President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama has finally addressed speculations that the decision to host two former Guantanamo Bay detainees in the country for two years attracted some financial gains from the US.
Speaking at the annual Media Interaction conference today, Jan 12-16, Mahama took time to deny the $300million rumours saying;
“absolutely untrue”, social media reports that I pocketed “$300 million”.
“There is no monetary consideration and the US itself would have disclosed if there was any monetary consideration. What you are seeing on social media that I collected $300 million to accept these detainees is absolutely untrue.”
At the request of the International Tribunal and then by the USA, two Yemeni nationals; Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby, have been transferred to Ghana.
Bin Atef is an admitted member of the Taliban and fought for Usama bin Laden, while Al-Dhuby trained with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.
They finally arrived in Ghana on Thursday January 7, 2016 for a two-year stay as part of a deal reached between the United States of America and the Government of Ghana from the Guantanamo Bay.
Ghanaians have been panicking since their arrival believing the attempt to live with these ex-detainees are extremely risky.
Responding to a question at the annual Media Interaction at the Flagstaff House, President Mahama stated there’s no cause for alarm as these ex- detainees are well-behaved and have no threat to the Ghanaian community.
“We did a comprehensive appraisal of the situation when the request came in from the US to take the detainees…The two detainees were said to be the lowest risk inmates of Guantanamo Bay,” he added
According to him, the country did a risk assessment after the US made the request. He explained that two ex-detainees were low-risk people who were picked when they were 20 years old and have had no operational role in Afghanistan. They are here to begin a better life under his “Better Ghana” agenda.
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