AFRICA/GHANA - Concern in the country for the arrival of two former Guantanamo detainees

Friday, 22 January 2016 terrorism   bishops  

Accra (Agenzia Fides) - Two Catholic lay groups have issued statements in support of the Ghana catholic Bishops’ Conference’s (GCBC) call on Government to do all it could to send the two Guantanamo detainees back to wherever they came from. In a Statement by the GCBC on January 11, the Bishops were emphatic: "This year is an election year and we expect our Government to focus a lot of attention on helping to secure peace and security in the Country (...) and not to risk the security of our land by hosting two former terrorists".
Ghana had agreed to provide humanitarian assistance to persons from Rwanda, Syria and Yemen and agreed to accept two former Guantanamo detainees, Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby, after reaching an agreement with Washington authorities. A decision that is generating a lively debate in Ghana.
The Knights and Ladies of Marshall and Kumasi Province of the Association of Catholic Teachers (ACT) give their support to the Bishops.
In a statement, the Knights and Ladies of Marshall say "we associate ourselves with issues raised by a number of Ghanaians and civil society groups, including the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference and the Christian Council of Ghana that the issue relating to the two is totally different from previous asylum requests granted to other refugees".
In particular, "the Interior Minister said that he was not privy to the discussions" on the reception of the two, pointing out that "although the government of Ghana claims that the two Gitmo detainees pose no security risk, we are at a loss as to why the suspects are being kept at the National Security compound and their movement monitored 24/7". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 22/01/2016)