Similarities between the 2018 and the 1998 agreements
In the 1998 agreement, it was provided that “US military
personnel and civilian employees of the US Department of
Defence who may be temporarily present in Ghana in
connection with the Africa Crisis Response Initiative and
other activities [should]…be accorded the status equivalent
to that accorded to administrative and technical staff of the
United States Embassy under the Vienna Convention on
diplomatic relations of 18th April 1961, and that they may
enter and exit Ghana with United States identifications and
with collective movement or individual travel orders.”
The 2018 agreement has a similar provision. It says in Article
3 Clause 1 that, “Ghana shall accord to military personnel and
civilian personnel the privileges, exemptions, and immunities
equivalent to those accorded to the administrative and
technical staff of a diplomatic mission under the Vienna
Convention on Diplomatic Relations of April 18, 1961.”
Again, the 1998 agreement also required that “personnel be
authorized to wear uniforms while performing official duties
and to carry arms while on duty if authorized to do so by
their orders.”
In 2018, it provides that “Military personnel may possess and
carry arms in Ghana, while on duty if authorized to do so, by
their orders, such authorization being made in consultation
with the appropriate authorities of Ghana. Military personnel
may wear their uniforms while performing official duties.”
The 1998 one requested “the Government of Ghana accord
duty-free importation and exportation as well as exemption
from internal taxation on products, property, material and
internal taxation on products, property, material and
equipment imported into or acquired in Ghana by the United
States Government in connection with their official activities.
“Vehicles, vessels and aircraft owned or operated by or
exclusively for the US AImed Forces shall not be subject to
the payment of landing or port fees, pilotage charges,
navigation or overlight charges or light and harbour dues
while in Ghana; however, the United States Armed Forces
shall pay reasonable charges for services requested and
received. Such aircraft shall observe local air traffic control
regulations while in Ghana. Such vessels shall not be subject
to compulsory pilotage at Ghanaian ports. Finally, the
Embassy proposes that both governments waive any and all
claims (other than contractual claims) against each other for
damage, loss or destruction of the property of the
Department of Defense of the United States or the property
of the Ministry of Defense of Ghana arising out of activities
related to official duties, or for injury or death suffered by
military personnel while engaged in the performance of their
official duty.”
This is largely reflected in the 2018 agreement.

Differences in the agreement

Contrary to Mr. Nitiwul’s suggestion that the 2018 agreement
merely reflects the terms in two previous agreements, the
current agreement requires more stringent commitments
from Ghana.
Clause 2 of Article 2 of the agreement clearly grants the US
Army rights of…“refuelling of aircraft; landing and recovery
of aircraft, accommodation of personnel; communications;
staging and deploying of forces and material…” This is not in
the 1998 agreement.
The current agreement says, “Ghana hereby provides
unimpeded access to and use of agreed facilities and areas
to United State forces, United States contractors, and
others as mutually agreed. Such agreed facilities and area:
or portions thereof, provided by Ghana shall be designated as
either for exclusive use by United States forces or to be
jointly used by United States forces and Ghana. Ghana shall
also provide access to and use of a runway that meets the
requirements of United States forces.”
Again no such expansive provision can be seen in the earlier
agreement signed 20 years ago, neither is it in the 2015
Another sticking point in the agreement which has angered
some is the provision that “United States forces and United
States contractors may undertake construction activities on,
and make alterations and improvements to, agreed facilities
and areas. United States forces may carry out construction
works and other services with military personnel and civilian
The Americans are further “authorized to control entry to
agreed facilities and areas that have been provided for
exclusive use by United States forces.”
Security analysts maintain that this is clearly meant to
facilitate the building of a US Military base in Ghana despite
the denials.

A lecturer, Justice Srem Sai wrote on his Facebook wall:
“A lot of people can’t read. Of those who can read, many
don’t. Of the few who do read, many don’t read much. Of
the handful who read much, some can’t analyze. Look what
we have here:
“You have an agreement in front of you. The agreement tells
you that the army of another country will come into your
town. They’ll occupy some places access to which will be
controlled by them (not you). They’ll import military
equipment which even your security agencies can’t inspect,
let alone authorize. Forget about your tax authorities – they
can’t even levy. The army will operate the equipment and
drive them in your streets without your licence. The laws of
your country don’t apply to them.
“All this means you have no independent means of knowing
what they do in your country in order for you to even
regulate them. On top of that no court under the sun can
review what they do. And the relationship is such that use of
force will not end in your favour. And there’s no foreseeable
end to the relationship.
“Yet, someone looks into your face and tells you that it is not
a military base; and you’re there nodding your head; and you
think you’re alright? There should be no problem if, after a
careful assessment, you decide that an American military
presence is the path out of your third world shithole
circumstances. Just know and be bold, proud and honest about
what you’re doing. That’s all.”

Source: joyonline