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Accountability on Gitmo detainees; NPP demands

The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) have demanded accountability from government over the two Guantanamo detainees who have been sent to Ghana.

In a statement issued and signed by Acting General Secretary, John Boadu on Monday, the party said shared the deep anxiety and fears of the Ghanaian people over the resettlement of the two former terrorist detainees – Mahmud Umar Muhammed Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammed Salih Al-Dhuby-in Ghana.

“We are concerned that the decision was made without any consultation whatsoever with Parliament, political parties and other stakeholders.”

It said the conduct of government raises a number of important questions and thus the party joins in demanding answers to pertinent questions in the spirit of full disclosure.

Below are the questions the party want answers from government

1. What foreign policy considerations went into the decision to resettle the detainees?

2. Why was the agreement to resettle the detainees in Ghana shrouded in secrecy?

3. Why was Parliament not informed, especially since the issue touches on and concerns terrorism and national security?

4. Why has Government chosen to ignore the relevant provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Act (Act 762) which clearly frowns on the admission of suspected terrorists into Ghana? Section 35(1) of Act 762 states as follows: “The director of immigration or an officer authorised by the director shall not grant an endorsement or authority to permit a person to enter this country if there is reasonable ground to suspect that the person IS, WILL OR HAS BEEN INVOLVED IN THE COMMISSION OF A TERRORIST ACT!”

5. Why has the Government not disclosed the terms of agreement, nature and full extent of the consideration received in exchange for resettling the detainees?

6. Why is the Government hiding the true violent and dangerous profiles of the two detainees, as disclosed in official US Government information portals, from the Ghanaian people?

7. Why is Government straining to paint a picture of the two detainees as harmless misunderstood and wrongly detained persons?

8. Why did Government smuggle the detainees into Ghana only to give the impression that they were yet to arrive?

It cannot be in the interest of good governance that such critical matters should be agreed to by Government on the blind side of the people in whose midst these former terrorist detainees are supposed to live. The proverbial Ghanaian hospitality should not be put at such risk, the NPP said.

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