The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has said that the two ex-Guantanamo Bay detainees who have been in Ghana for two years now have been discovered to have been granted refugee status by the previous government. She said as the two had been granted this status the present administration’s hands had been tied even as the Ministry was exploring other avenues of resettlement in another country if possible.
A lively debate stormed on the floor of the House with both sides of the House admitting that Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atel and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al Dhubyand their families were now in Ghana with a refugee status.
They have been reported to have comported themselves satisfactorily and any subsequent decisions by relevant authorities will be communicated to Parliament.
There are other security concerns that are being taken into consideration and all can be made public. Attention was drawn to the need to take care not to mar the existing cordial relationship between Ghana and the United States of America.
Members were also cautioned not to impute guilt to the two had not been found guilty by any court of law for any terrorist acts. Compassion was therefore used by many MPs who had also for the possible regularization of the two and their spouses in Ghana if they so wish considering the devastating war raging in Yemen, the home country of the two refugees.
The original agreement between the government of Ghana and the USA expired on January 6, 2018.
Source: John Kumado.