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Ghana-US Guantanamo Deal Lacks Transparency – CCG

Ghana-US Guantanamo Deal Lacks Transparency – CCG General Secretary of the Council Rev. Dr. Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong

The Christian Council of Ghana (CCG) has charged government to reverse the decision to accept two released Guantanamo Bay inmates with Al Qaeda ties to Ghana.

“It is our hope and prayer that the President will listen to the lamentations of Ghanaians and quickly relocate the inmates.

“We are of the strongest view that the inadequate public consultation and broader consensus building by government is exposing our nation and the entire sub-region to terrorist attack, and must be reserved”, Rev Dr Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong, General Secretary of CCG, said in a statement.

According to Fox News, one of the two prisoners brought from Guantanamo Bay to Ghana, in the person of Bin Atef, “is an admitted member of the Taliban and fought for Osama bin Laden while the other Al-Dhuby trained with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.”

The website adds, “The two inmates [who have spent close to 14 years in prison] are the first of a group of 17 detainees expected to be transferred out of Guantanamo Bay that includes ‘multiple bad guys’ and ‘Al Qaeda followers.’

The CCG said there are enough evidences for them to believe that these inmates have Al Qaeda ties, and, therefore, put all Ghanaians at risk. 

They want government to answer the following questions and give further information about the whole thing:

1. Who is funding their stay in Ghana?

2. Will their families be allowed to visit them in Ghana?

3. Are they going to have any public interactions? 

4. Are they going to be camped, restricted or reintegrated into the society as refugees?

5. Have Ghanaians been properly educated on public safety and security consciousness in the wake of terrorism?

6. Do we have what it takes to detect and deal with any threat of terrorism?

CCG said it observed with grave concern the lamentations and fears being expressed by most Ghanaians since news broke about the relocation of the two. 

“As a Council, we associate with the uncertainties and fears this issue has generated among our people, and requests that government should consider immediate recession of the decision and relocate the inmates outside the country.

“The non-engagement of civil society and other stakeholders on such sensitive security issue that affects the common good of the nation has put all of us at risk as the ordinary people don’t know what is required of them in the current potential security threat. In fact, the whole process lacks transparency.

“It will be recalled that, in 2007, the United States (US) government wanted to establish its African Command (AFRICOM) in Ghana and most Ghanaians and African countries kicked against it.

“The admission of the Guantanamo inmates into Ghana is no different from setting up an AFRICOM in Ghana.

“We are very much aware that Ghana belongs to a community of nations which requires her to support international humanitarian efforts such as the provision of assistance to refugees and asylum seekers.

“However, the case of the Guantanamo inmates is entirely different and is not in our national interest,” it added.

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