Gitmo ex-detainees cannot be returned – Kwakye Ofosu

Sat, 16 Jan 2016 Source: peacefmonline

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Deputy Communications Minister, Felix Kwakye Ofosu has rubbished the agitations by some Ghanaians to send back the Gitmo ex-detainees, saying they are rather worsening matters.

According to him, there is no way the two can leave the country per the agreement signed regarding their stay in the country.

“The ex-detainees were not brought here against their will and cannot leave before the two years agreement signed between their government and the government of Ghana. So all we can do as a country is to put measures in place to prevent the peace of this country being undermined…” he said.

In an interview with JOY FM on the ‘Super Morning show’, he confirmed what the Head of Press Information at the US Embassy in Ghana, Daniel Fennell said, that all expenses per clear terms and agreements reviewed by the two parties involved show that the upkeep of the ex-detainees which includes; security, feeding, housing, transportation required to sustain them would be borne by the US government.

Earlier, the Public Affairs Consular at the US Embassy in Ghana had indicated that, the West African state is footing part of the bills for the upkeep of the former Guantanamo Bay detainees.

Speaking on TV3’s Hot Issues hosted by Kwesi Pratt, which will be aired on Saturday, January 16, Daniel Fennell said the upkeep of the inmates is “a shared expense.”

“It’s a shared expense…we are contributing some for the monitoring and upkeep of the individuals and the government of Ghana. We are contributing some money towards that and the government of Ghana is making all the arrangements and taking care of them,” he said.

But Felix Kwakye Ofosu indicated that the only routine cost that the government of Ghana will bear is to pay the security personnel who would take care of the ex- detainees.

To him this is even no cost to the nation because with or without the ex-detainees these security personnel would be paid at the end of the month.

In a related development, Daniel Fennel has admitted erring in announcing that Ghana government will contribute to the upkeep of the two former Guantanamo Bay detainees.

Daniel Fennell, speaking on Joy FM, apologised for any mix-up that must have resulted from his earlier interview with Kwesi Pratt.

“The United States is providing costs support for all of the housing and support for the detainees that have come to Ghana. So the Minister is absolutely correct. If I made a contrary statement, it is my error and I apologise for any confusion.”

Ghana's president has strongly defended the government's decision to allow two Yemenis freed from Guantanamo Bay to live in the West African state.

Khalid al-Dhuby and Mahmoud Omar Bin Atef were held at the US prison in Cuba for more than a decade without being charged.

Dozens of countries have received former Guantanamo Bay detainees, including other African states such as Uganda and Cape Verde.

A total of 780 men have been held at Guantanamo Bay since 2002, the vast majority without charge or criminal trial.

The Pentagon announced Thursday that it had transferred 10 Yemeni detainees at Guantanamo Bay to the Arabian nation of Oman.

The transfers bring the number of detainees remaining at the military prison to 93, as President Obama continues to try to make good on his campaign promise to close the facility — or at least vastly reduce the number of detainees.

Source: peacefmonline
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