The Member of Parliament for Builsa South Constituency in the Upper East Region, Dr. Clement Abas Apaak, is challenging the government to revoke the conditions under which the two former Guantanamo Bay detainees in Ghana are currently living in Ghana.
The Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament said government has the choice to either revoke their status here and repatriate them or allow them to live in Ghana.
The two former Guantanamo Bay detainees in Ghana – Mahmud Umar Muhammed Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby – will continue to stay in the country although the two-year agreement with the US government has expired.
The Foreign Affairs Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, who made this known in Parliament on Wednesday, said the two have been given refugee status and are therefore the responsibility of the Ghana government.
“It is to be noted that no exit arrangements were originally discussed between the two governments to end the bilateral arrangement by the time of negotiations. The US has also been clear in our discussions with them that per the agreement, returning them to the United States is not an option open to discussion or negotiations. This means that all obligations relating to the two subjects has now become the responsibility of Ghana,” Madam Ayorkor Botchway explained.
Reacting to the issue on Onua FM’s Ghana Dadwene on Wednesday, Dr. Apaak said, “Government has a choice and it is not right for the government to say they were given the status in July 2016.”
“The laws also give conditions under which they could be rejected so if they look at the conditions and they don’t qualify to be refuges here, there is no way they should be here”.
Dr. Apaak added: “If they analyze the GITMO 2 and they look at that within the context of the law and that these people are threat to the security…they can revoke their status”.
“They cannot get away with these excuses. They have the power to reject them because the anti-terrorism law is very clear,” the National Democratic Congress MP explained.
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