Kwaku Baako: Mahama’s Interior Minister advised against Gitmo 2

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It has emerged that the Interior Ministry under the erstwhile John Mahama government advised cabinet against the Gitmo 2 agreement.

The international agreement with the United States of America which saw the two Guantanamo Bay detainees being resettled in Ghana was met with fierce resistance from Ghanaians, and at the front of that was then opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP).

The John Mahama government, however, defended the decision, saying the concerns being raised that the detainees posed a security threat to Ghana were false.

Speaking on Joy FM’s news analysis programme, Newsfile Saturday, editor-in-chief of the New Crusading Guide Newspaper, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako revealed that the Interior Ministry under the National Democratic Congress (NDC) advised against the agreement.

The veteran journalist cited letters from the M\ministry signed by Deputy Interior Minister at the time, James Agalga.
“The Ministry for the Interior advised against acceptance; raising security concerns, I have the letter here signed by Agalga,” he said.

The letter, according to Mr Baako, said “it was inappropriate; there were security challenges and could have political implications”, and therefore advised against acceptance.

But cabinet ignored the advice and went into the agreement, Mr Baako highlighted.
This correspondence and others were issued within a six-month period prior to the arrival of the duo in Ghana.
Following the expiration of the two-year agreement with the USA to host the detainees, civil society organisations are mounting pressure on the government to repatriate them.

But new revelation made by Foreign Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey confirms that the duo was granted refugee status in Ghana by the Mahama government, and they, therefore, cannot be removed from the country without their consent.

Some members of the minority, including ranking member of foreign affairs committee, Okudzeto Ablakwa, have, however, rebutted that, saying the government can revoke the refugee status at any time.

The Foreign Ministry maintains they are exploring other means of resettling the Yemenis considering the instability in their home country.

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