President of policy think tank, IMANI Ghana, Franklin Cudjoe has revealed that the United States government consulted him before the two former Guantanamo Bay detainees were brought to Ghana.
Although he failed to give details on what transpired, according to Mr. Cudjoe, he was again contacted during the heat of the issue in Ghana.
“In the heat of the public uproar, I was briefed. I actually got a call all the way from the States. I got two calls; one possible just immediately before they [ex-detainees] were brought in and when the matter became public as well, I got a call,” he disclosed on Citi FM’s news analysis programme, The Big Issue yesterday, Saturday.
The two detainees, Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby, among others, were under detention in US custody for 14 years after being linked with terrorist group Al-Qaeda.
The erstwhile Obama government, in its bid to reintegrate them into society, deployed them to other countries, including Ghana, in 2016.
However, the arrival of the two generated massive public uproar in Ghana with many putting pressure on the Ghanaian government to return them to the US.
The Ghana government was also sued over the matter for not briefing Parliament.
Meanwhile, last Thursday, the Supreme Court described as unconstitutional the agreement between the then Mahama government and the United States, which saw two Guantanamo Bay detainees brought into the country with Parliamentary approval.
The court, therefore, ordered that the government must within the next three months send the agreement to Parliament for ratification or have the two detainees sent back to the United States.
But Franklin Cudjoe said he felt the processes leading up to hosting the two former detainees in Ghana were necessary.
According to him, the deal was rushed and kept under wraps by the US for fear that the matter would become too political, in addition to further security concerns.
“This decision was not taken lightly. In fact, one of the major reasons all of this was hurriedly done, and probably hushed, was because the United States government was worried that not even domestic lawmakers or advocates or civil society were going to be up in arms against it, but they were more worried about US lawmakers.”
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(Via: CitiFM Online Ghana)