A decision on whether the two ex-inmates of Guantanamo Bay who are currently in Ghana will be allowed to continue to stay or taken elsewhere will soon be taken, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said.
In August last year, parliament ratified an agreement to allow the two, Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby, to stay in Ghana, following a Supreme Court order. The Court had earlier ruled that their stay in Ghana was unconstitutional without parliamentary backing.
In January 2016, the John Mahama-led government accepted the transfer of the two Yemeni ex-detainees from the US into the country for a period of two years which ended earlier in January 2018.
The decision to host them created a controversy and public outcry among Ghanaians, with many expressing fear that the move would undermine Ghana’s internal security and expose the country to attacks from religious extremists.
Speaking at an encounter with the press at the Flagstaff House on Wednesday, 17 January, Mr Akufo-Addo said: “The GITMO detainees, the period is up and a decision has to be made.
“We need to be able to say something to Parliament when it resumes because the period of the agreement has come to an end.
“We have to decide whether or not we are going to grant them permission to stay, whether we are going to make arrangement for them to go somewhere else, all these things are being actively examined. But I am fully aware that a decision on that has to be made and it cannot be made in six months or five months, it has to be made now.”