Thousands of people took to the streets of Ghana’s capital, Accra, to protest the government’s decision to expand military cooperation with the U.S.
Former Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur and general secretary of the main opposition National Democratic Congress Asiedu Nketia joined protesters clad in black and red clothes and carrying placards, Joy News TV reported in a live broadcast on Wednesday.
“We are not ready to sacrifice our security, sovereignty and dignity to any co-operative gain,” protest organizer Edem Agbana told Joy News. “The people have the power and they will use it to defend the peace of this country.”
The deal, which lawmakers approved on March 23, allows the U.S. to station forces in the country and use its radio spectrum, according to parliamentary documents. The NDC, which President Nana Akufo-Addo’s New Patriotic Party unseated from power in a December 2016 election, boycotted the legislative vote.
“The agreement should be brought back to parliament for us to amend some portions,” said James Klutse Avedzi, an NDC lawmaker. “The agreement allows the U.S. to have access to our military installations. What assurance do we have that we can monitor?”
The U.S. embassy said in a statement last week that Washington has no plans to establish a military base in Ghana.
“The United States and Ghana are planning joint security exercises in 2018, which require access to Ghanaian bases by U.S. participants and those from other nations when included,” it said.