Ghana refutes claim that UK troops may come to Ghana in shift of strategy against terror
Ghana has refuted the claim that UK troops may come to Ghana in shift of strategy against terror.
The British newspaper, The Telegraph, had reported on Monday (November 21, 2022) that Britain may be invited to send special forces to Ghana after it [Britain] was forced to withdraw all of its 300 peacekeepers from Mali in the face of bands of Russian mercenaries and jihadist groups.
British ministers will this week fly to Ghana to hammer out a new security agreement, the newspaper reported.
It is unclear if the move is a face saving operation in the wake of the mission in Mali being shut down or something more significant as British forces already train troops in Ghana, it added.
But in a press statement issued Tuesday night (November 22, 2022), Ghana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration said the newspaper’s report was “false.”
“The Government of Ghana has no interactions with the UK Government aimed at deploying UK soldiers to Ghana for purposes of operations as described in the story,” it stated
Attached below is a copy of the press statement
THE GOVERNMENT OF GHANA REFUTES STORY ON UK SPECIAL FORCES FOR GHANA
ACCRA, 22ND NOVEMBER, 2022 - The attention of the Government of Ghana has been drawn to a news item by "the Telegraph" which was carried by the Ghanaweb on 22nd November, 2022, captioned "British soldiers expected in Ghana after withdrawal from Mali" The story by "The Telegraph" which was authored by Will Brown their Africa correspondent, stated that the British Government had taken a decision to send 300 special forces units to Ghana to support the Accra Initiative.
The Government of Ghana has no interactions with the UK Government aimed at deploying UK soldiers to Ghana for purposes of operations as described in the story.
The Accra Initiative (AI) is a cooperative and collaborative security mechanism, launched in 2017 under the leadership of the President of the Republic of Ghana, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa AKUFO-ADDO with his colleagues from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, and Togo. The current members of the Initiative are Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Mali, and Niger.
The Initiative aims to prevent a spill over of terrorism from the Sahel and to address transnational organized crime within the common border areas of member states. The initiative is to further exchange intelligence, build capacity and undertake military action against terrorist forces in the Sahel that threaten coastal west Africa. The Accra Initiative is an African-led, African-executed initiative which would depend solely on the armed forces of its member states.
The presence of the UK Minister for the Armed Forces in Accra, was to participate in the Accra Initiative Conference on 21st and 22nd November 2022
The Government of Ghana wishes to state that the information regarding British special forces is false. Neither Ghana nor any other member of the Accra Initiative has discussed with any partner, any such request nor contemplated the involvement of foreign forces in any of their activities.
It is noted that some persons on social media have already leapt on the back of the false news item to spread vile accusations against the Ghana Government. We urge all patriotic Africans, including Ghanaian patriots, to not fall into the trap of disinformation, misinformation, and fake news that are intended to divide our societies and undermine our unity of purpose.
While the member states of the Initiative appreciate the partnerships they share with the international community, either on an individual basis or collectively, the kinds of support envisaged under the Accra Initiative will not extend to the involvement of foreign troops.
Indeed, the British Minister for the Armed Forces, Rt Hon James Heappey, clarified the position today in an interview he granted the BBC World Service.