The Government of Ghana has refuted claims made by the UK Telegraph that Britain has deployed 300 special forces units to support the Accra Initiative.
“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,” it said.
This was contained in a statement released on Tuesday from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.
It stated that the government had no interaction 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 spillover 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,” it clarified.
It explained that 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 stated.
According to the press release, some persons on social media have already leapt on the back of the false news item to spread vile accusations against the Ghana Government.
The Ministry cautioned all patriotic Africans, including Ghanaians, not to fall into the trap of disinformation, misinformation, and fake news that are intended to divide the societies and undermine the 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 kind of support envisaged under the Accra Initiative will not extend to the involvement of foreign troops,” it added.
Patience Anaadem, ISD