The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ms Hannah Serwaa Tetteh has defended the decision to accept two detainees of Yemeni origin who were kept in Guantanamo Bay by the United States government.
Government announced on Wednesday that Ghana has agreed to accommodate the two in addition with some refugees from Syria and Rwanda due to the grave humanitarian crisis in those countries.This according to the government was in line with Ghana’s respect for human rights.
It said the decision to accept the Guantanamo detainees followed a request by the US government that they have been cleared of any involvement in any terrorist activities and were being released.
It explained they are unable to return to Yemen at the moment and hence Ghana has indicated readiness to accept them for a period of two years after which they may leave the country.
Some Ghanaians have expressed concerns about the government’s move saying it may expose the country to attacks from extremist groups.
An International Relations expert, Professor Keith Bluwey for instance in an interview on Accra based radio station, Starr FM Thursday morning said the decision was “dangerous” and accused government of being reckless only looking at financial benefits that may come out of it.
“It is not in our interest, these people are not ordinary refugees who are being found places of rest, these are criminals, terrorists to the core, Osama Bin Laden activists and they should have no place in Ghana,’ he told the radio station.
But defending the move, Ms Tetteh insisted that those qualified to settle in Ghana pose no security threats.
“When the request was made to us by the United States government, we asked our ambassador, General Smith to also go and assess the situation for us and to make recommendations.”
“He had the opportunity to go to Guantanamo, visited persons who they were requesting us to take and he was the one who made the recommendations to us,” the Foreign Affairs Minister said