The US Ambassador to Ghana has rejected suggestions that the presence of the two Guantanamo detainees could be a reason for the increased threat of terrorism in Ghana.
Speaking at his first media round a table dominated by issues relating to peace and security, Ambassador Robert Jackson says Ghana and US security forces are set to being a series of training to prevent a terrorist threat.
Ambassador Jackson revealed that Ghanaian security officials are set to benefit from a collaborative training program with the US to further guarantee stability and security in the country.
This first media roundtable marks 90 days of the new Ambassador’s starting work in Ghana. The coming week and a half will see the start of a training program dubbed “Epic Guardian” by the embassy.
It will strengthen bilateral relations and emphasise the US’s long-term commitment to supporting Ghana. Ghanaian officers from the police Counter Terror Unit and military will train with US Special Forces over 8 days.
The program will improve the capacity of the Ghanaian officers in areas of communications logistics, intelligence gathering and analysis, crisis planning and response.
He also revealed that NPP flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo was consulted two weeks before the arrival of the two detainees and Mr. Akuffo-Addo expressed reservation about the decision by the Mahama administration.
However in a statement released in reaction to the US ambassador’s comments, Akuffo-Addo’s communication team denied this.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we would like to reiterate our earlier stated position that at no point during the transaction between the two governments was Nana Akufo-Addo consulted, and the facts of the matter speak clearly for themselves,” the statement said.
Ambassador Jackson also disclosed that he consulted the Catholic Bishops Conference, the [President of the National association of Charismatic and Christian Churches] and other civil society groups after the arrival of the detainees to explain the US position and collaboration with the Ghana government for the decision.
On Ghana’s quest for free, fair and violent-free elections, the US is committing some ¢4.5 million in support.
Some ¢1.5 million will go to the EC while another ¢1.5 million will go to the national peace council with other groups such as the media also receiving support in the form of training.