US Navy in Ghana: Not a question of oil for security !

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An American ship has docked in Ghana with over 500 naval officers and civilians leading to allegations that the US government was making overtures to her counterpart in Ghana because of its oil.

But Lieutenant Douglas High of the Africa Partnership Station (APS), has been quick to say that the interest of the United States is to seek security collaboration with the government of Ghana to combat maritime crime in the country and nothing more.

Contrary to the speculations of an oil allure, crimes such as illegal fishing, piracy and drug trafficking were the reasons why the American fleet was in Ghana. As 90% of the world’s commerce passes through the sea, and Ghana seaports are fast becoming a major route, the need to tackle the growing maritime crime has become mandatory.

The Lieutenant of the American ship asked the government of Ghana to work in collaboration with the other countries in the world, including the USA to deal with the challenges.

He told the press in the twin cities of Sekondi-Takoradi, about 200 kilometres from the capital, that the US was is in the country to offer some three weeks training course to some of the Naval Officers in Ghana and others from Central and West African states. “The United States of America does not have any eye on Ghana’s oil. Both countries have had long standing relationship before Ghana’s recent oil discovery, so those allegations are false,” he said

A staff of the Africa Partnership Station (APS) and exercise planner of the Ghana Navy, Lieutenant Commander James Agambire, cleared the air when he stated that efforts were being made by the Ghana Navy to confront the illegal drug trade in Ghana.

He said since drug trafficking was still an ongoing problem; competent security is needed to handle the situation. “For us to be able to build our capacity, we need effective collaboration to find a modern way of fighting maritime crime. It is the aim of the Ghana Navy to collaborate with their US counterparts to build their technological capacity, to work hard to constantly be ahead of the criminals. We need to be at the forefront of tackling the challenges of maritime crime, including drug trafficking,” he added.

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