US Ambassador blames Gitmo 2 agitation on ‘misinformation’
The new US Ambassador to Ghana, Robert Jackson, says the huge debate generated by the transfer of two former Guantanamo Bay detainees to the country could have been avoided entirely.
Robert Jackson blamed the never ending controversy over Ghana’s decision to accept the two Yemini terror suspects on a dearth of accurate information.
“I understand Ghanaians are concerned, and this is largely because of misinformation and lack of information,” he said.
The US Ambassador made the comment on Tuesday February 23 during a visit to the Nima residence of flagbearer of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
He was accompanied by the Political Chief at the US Embassy, Robert Carlson, to formally introduce himself to the NPP presidential aspirant.
Mr Jackson explained that the transfer of Mahmud Umar Muhammad bin Atef, 36, and Khalid Muhammad Salih al-Dhuby, 38, was done with the understanding that the US will be responsible for the upkeep of the detainees for 2 years.
He revealed the US has similar agreements in 55 other countries.
The US Ambassador assured that the two detainees do not pose a threat to Ghana’s security.
Nana Akufo-Addo is also of the view that the issue was badly handled by the government communicators, stressing the issue has the potential of hurting relationship between Ghana and the US.
“None of the institutions of State, not even Parliament, were consulted on the issue. Political parties were not consulted before this decision was taken. Not surprisingly, the overwhelming majority of Ghanaians and civil society were strongly against this decision,” Akufo-Addo said.
The NPP 2016 presidential candidate said even thought the Ghana-US co-operation was worth striving for, decision that are taken must serve the mutual interest of the two countries.
“Ghanaians are yet to be persuaded that this decision was in our national interest,” he said.
Parliament last week held a closed-door meetng with Foreign Affairs Minister, Hanna Tetteh, on the issue of the two Yemini former terror suspects.
Minority MPs say they are dissatisfied with the Minister’s briefing.