SEKONDI, Ghana - The USS Nashville lies at anchor in Sekoni, Ghana, during a visit of Africa Partnership Station. Nashville, with an international crew, arrived in Ghana on February 20, 2009. The ship is on a five-month APS cruise to promote international cooperation on maritime security in West Africa. (Photo by Vince Crawley, U.S. Africa Command)

SEKONDI, Ghana - The USS Nashville lies at anchor in Sekondi, Ghana, during a visit of Africa Partnership Station. Nashville, with an international crew, arrived in Ghana on February 20, 2009. The ship is on a five-month APS cruise to promote international cooperation on maritime security in West Africa. (Photo by Vince Crawley, U.S. Africa Command)

AFRICOM’s floating headquarters, a sea base for the colonial administration of West Africa, is floating off the coast of Ghana. They have been doing some serious “partnering“, doing a variety of photo-op good works. AFRICOM’s Mary Yates has been talking up the drug menace to Ghanaian journalists and officials:

2009-03-04 Journalists asked to assist in fighting drug war
2009-03-04 Take drug war serious – Yates
2009-03-03 8% of Europes drugs pass through Ghana

As I have written before, AFRICOM regards Ghana as a very desirable location. And one way of both ingratiating itself, and pressuring the Ghana government at the same time, is using the drug issue. The US will pressure Ghana to do something about drugs, and offer lots of training and military supplies to fight the “war on drugs”, which has been a miserable failure from its beginnings more than 50 years ago.

From The Ghanaian Times:

Defence Minister Receives US Team
By Times Reporter
Tuesday, 10 March 2009

The Deputy Commander (Civil Activities) of the US Military Africa Command (AFRICOM), Ambassador Mary Carlin Yates, has led a high powered delegation to call on the Defence Minister, Lt Gen (Rtd) Joseph Henry Smith at his office at Burma Camp.

According to a statement from the Public Relations Directorate of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), the meeting which was held behind closed doors, was believed to have centered on strengthening the relationship between the two countries.

Besides, it explored ways of extending AFRICOM’s support to the Ghana Armed Forces to enable it to effectively police Ghana’s coastline to check illegal fishing, trafficking of narcotics and also safeguarding the country’s oil finds.

The statement signed by Lt-Col Dzotefe Mensah, of the Armed Forces Public Relations Directorate said the meeting also discussed the establishment of AFRICOM and its advantages to Ghana in particular and Africa in general.

Ambassador Yates was accompanied by the US Ambassador to Ghana, Donald Teitelbaum.

This means the pressure is really on.

This story is likely part of the same pressure on Ghana to let AFRICOM use it as a regional headquarters:

The World Bank has agreed to speed up payments worth $250 million to Ghana to help it cope with the international financial crisis, the bank’s representative said on Wednesday.

The World Bank has agreed with Ghana to front-load $250 million to the government out of Ghana’s allocation from the Bank, to enable it to cushion the effects of the crisis,” Ishac Diwan, the World Bank’s resident representative in Ghana.

Before the Presidential election the World Bank praised Ghana, WB: Ghana still best place to do business in West Africa. Then, when the new government came in, the World Bank was critical and said Ghana was broke, WB paints gloomy picture of Ghanaian economy. This new loan looks like an attempt at a bribe. Timed as it is, with AFRICOM’s Yates conferring with Ghana’s Defense Minister, it looks like a bribe to get Ghana to host AFRICOM, and, as a first requirement, send proxy soldiers to Somalia to fight for whatever the US thinks it is fighting for there. So far President Mills has been canny, and said only that he would consider the possibility. Ghanaians don’t need to die in Somalia for an ill conceived and fundamentally misguided policy. US/UN activities in Somalia are no more honest or well planned than the US invasion of Iraq.

It is only natural and appropriate that the Ministry of Defense would talk with Yates. It is usually smart to talk. I am hoping they are tough, canny, and patriotic enough at the Ministry of Defense, to refrain from giving up Ghanaian sovereignty. I have reason to think the current administration at the Ministry of Defense is tough and canny. They will need to be. The bribes of the recolonizers are enticing and the pressure is strong, and certain to get stronger.