Two ex-Guantanamo Bay (Gitmo) detainees to stay in Ghana for two years as part of an agreement made by the government to host them. The president of United States of America, Barack Obama issued an executive order to close down the detention facility and to release detainees or transferred to a third country.
The detainees, Mahmud Umer Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby spent almost 14-years in Gitmo camp on a suspicion of been fighter of a terror group, Al-Quaeda.
The two of Yemeni origin were arrested in Afghanistan by the United States government. They are released after been cleared of any involvement in any terrorist group. They are not able to return to Yemen because the country is politically unstable at the moment.
Ghana accepted base on the request of the US to host the detainees but the government says it was just on humanitarian purposes. The Ghana government in a press release stated that, “in all instances the persons who are being allowed into the country are subject to security clearance and their activities will be monitored during their stay in the country.”
The Ghana government has come under serious pressure from politician, the Christian council, Non Governmental Organizations and the media that the move to host the detainees is a bad one. The common argument from these groups is that the country that is currently enjoying peace will be expose to terrorism.
The president of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama has called on various groups to have compassionate for the detainees just as the bible teaches. Joy News has quoted Bishop Osei Bonsu, a Catholic Bishop of the Christian Council, as saying the president should “balance compassion with common sense.”
The United States of America is however grateful to Ghana for its humanitarian assistance in supporting the US close down the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba.
Despite the anger of many Ghanaians towards their arrival, the detainees, as quoted by Ghana Soccernet say they are happy to come to Ghana. Ghana is a football nation and they have supported Ghana in all Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) world cups. They even jubilated when Ghana won against the United States in the 2010 FIFA world cup.