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General News of Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Source: citifmonline.com

Return GITMO 2 now – Antwi Danso to government

An International relations analyst, Dr. Vladimir Antwi Danso, wants government to take immediate steps to return the two former Guantanamo Bay detainees who are being hosted in Ghana back to where ever they came from.

“They were given two years to stay in Ghana, and the two years have elapsed, what next. And for me they have to leave the country. They must be made to leave by the tenets of the agreement. And agreement tells how its termination can be. So I don’t see why this thing cannot be done, because if they are not made to leave, the security implications are dire,” he told Umaru Sanda on the Point Blank segment on Eyewitness News on Tuesday.

Ghana’s controversial agreement with the United States of America for the two-year stay of the two former Guantanamo Bay detainees, Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby, ended on January 6, 2018. The government has said it is discussing the future of the two, who were in detention for 14 years after being linked with terrorist group Al-Qaeda.

Despite the concerns that met Ghana’s decision to host the two Yemeni men, their two-year stay passed without any incident.

But Dr. Danso insists that the two must leave the country because hosting them “has brought lot of insecurity to us already.”

“Remember when they were brought in, the Ghana government said the Syrians could come and visit their relatives here. How many Syrians came in and who are they? All these things have security implications. The government must come out and tell us,” Dr. Danso added.

Background

The move to host the two in the country was criticized by many observers including the then-in-opposition New Patriotic Party, who described the two as a security threat despite assurances to the contrary by the US.

Two citizens; Margaret Bamful and Henry Nana Boakye, further sued the former Attorney General and the Minister of Interior contending that the two were being hosted illegally.

The two were justified by the Supreme Court, which declared as unconstitutional the agreement between the Mahama government and the United States.

The apex court ordered the government to send the agreement to Parliament for ratification or have the two detainees sent back to the US.

According to the judgment, government needed the approval of Parliament before entering into any international agreement, just as in the case of the two detainees.

When the matter came up for discussion in Parliament, the House was informed that the agreement that was reached under a note verbale and Memorandum of Understanding.

A note verbale is a piece of diplomatic correspondence prepared in the third person and unsigned.

Parliament subsequently ratified the agreement for the two for detainees to be in the country for two year.