A private legal practitioner, Martin Kpebu, has urged the government to continue hosting the two former Guantanamo Bay detainees, citing potential security benefits.
“I am of the opinion that once we don’t find them as a threat to national security we should continue to host them. This world is a global village. What happens elsewhere affects our own security,” he said on The Big Issue.
[contextly_sidebar id=”D5UyvcR15TiW7BAML7jNSHlvhaWCrL1O”]Ghana’s controversial agreement with the United States of America for the two-year stay of the two former Guantanamo Bay detainees, Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby, ended on January 6, 2018.
The government has said it is discussing the future of the two, who were in detention for 14 years after being linked with terrorist group Al-Qaeda.
Despite the concerns that met Ghana’s decision to host the two Yemeni men, their two-year stay passed without any incident.
Mr. Kpebu believes continuing to show commitment to the US on this front will only serve to bolster the nation’s security efforts.
“To the extent that we have helped for about two years now, I think that once everything holds constant, we should continue to help because we are also thereby taking care of our own security. Some of these things are not done for free… when you keep these guys we also benefit. They share intelligence with us and so many other things.”
“Bottom line is that, once it doesn’t hurt our national security to continue to host them, let’s do so because we are also indirectly taking care of our own security by helping out,” the lawyer said.
‘Storm in a teacup’
Anti-corruption campaigner, Sydney Casely Hayford, also speaking on the show, welcomed the stay of the two Yemeni, and said the negative reaction to the hosting of the two was ultimately overblown.
“We need to conclude that at the end of the day, it was just a storm in a teacup. They are welcome to stay – why not?”
Earlier on, the Minority Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, said the firestorm generated in response to the agreement, including fears of the terror attacks were alarmist.
He believes the incident-free stay of the two former Guantanamo Bay detainees vindicates the Mahama government’s decision to enter into the agreement with the United States of America to host them.
The move was criticized by many observers including the then-in-opposition New Patriotic Party, who described the two as a security threat despite assurances to the contrary by the US.
Two citizens; Margaret Bamful and Henry Nana Boakye, further sued the former Attorney General and the Minister of Interior contending that the two were being hosted illegally.
The suit was upheld by the Supreme Court, which declared as unconstitutional the agreement between the Mahama government and the United States.
The apex court ordered the government to send the agreement to Parliament for ratification or have the two detainees sent back to the US.
By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana