The Government of Ghana has allayed the fears of Ghanaians following the arrival of two ex-Guantanamo Bay inmates in the West African country.
Ghana has accepted to offer residence to Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby – discharged prisoners of the popular hardcore cell, Guantanamo Bay – on humanitarian grounds.
The decision, according to a statement signed by foreign affairs minister Hanna Tetteh, is at the behest of the US government.
Public uproar greeted the news after the announcement with Ghana making international headlines.
However, the government has given the strongest assurance that its citizens are safe and there is no cause for alarm.
“I can assure you, enough has been done to ensure that they don’t pose a threat,” deputy communications minister Felix Kwakye Ofosu told host of Morning Starr, Nii Arday Clegg on Thursday.
He said a lot has gone into the arrangement, adding “we will be able to handle the situation.”
According to him, the US government will bear the cost of the upkeep of the two former Guantanamo detainees.
Meanwhile, the US government has expressed its gratitude to the Government of Ghana for the gesture.
In a statement on its website, the US Department of Defense said it provided the necessary security assistance to Ghana in order to ensure a smooth transfer of the inmates.
“As directed by the president’s Jan. 22, 2009, executive order, the interagency Guantanamo Review Task Force conducted a comprehensive review of these cases. As a result of those reviews, which examined a number of factors, including security issues, Atef and Al-Dhuby were unanimously approved for transfer by the six departments and agencies comprising the task force,” the statement said.
It added: “The US is grateful to the Government of Ghana for its humanitarian gesture and willingness to support ongoing U.S. efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. The United States coordinated with the Government of Ghana to ensure these transfers took place consistent with appropriate security and humane treatment measures.”