Ghana president defends decision to accept two Yemenis from Guantanamo
The US military prison is seen in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where two Yemeni prisoners have been released and resettled in Ghana. (File photo)
Click here to add Bin Atef as an alert
Disable alert for Bin Atef,
Click here to add Ghana government as an alert
Disable alert for Ghana government,
Click here to add John Mahama as an alert
Disable alert for John Mahama,
Click here to add Khalid Muhammad Salih al-Dhuby as an alert
Disable alert for Khalid Muhammad Salih al-Dhuby,
Click here to add New Patriotic Party as an alert
Disable alert for New Patriotic Party,
Click here to add Reuters as an alert
Disable alert for Reuters,
Click here to add US Defense Department as an alert
Disable alert for US Defense Department
Ghanaian president John Mahama defended Tuesday his country's decision to accept two Yemenis who have been released from the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay, saying criticisims and fear from Christian leaders were unfounded, Reuters reported.
After more than a decade in Guantanamo, Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih al-Dhuby were transferred to Ghana, according to the US Defense Department and the Ghana government.
Their arrival has been met with some pushback from Christian leaders in the country, who say their presence poses a threat to national security. Ghana's main opposition party, the New Patriotic Party, said the government should have consulted more broadly before accepting Bin Atef and al-Dhuby.
President Mahama maintains that the men pose no threat and will continue to be monitored. Ghana is receiving no financial compensation from the US for accepting the pair, however, the US will provide Ghana with information about people entering the country who pose potential threats.
Bin Atef and al-Dhuby will live on a national security compound and will be accompanied by a chaperone wherever they go.
"Any Ghanaian is more in danger of dying from a road accident than from these Guantanamo detainees ... They just want to pick up the pieces of their lives and live normally. We don't have anything to fear," Mahama said in a press conference.
"Guantanamo has been a blot on the human rights record of the world," he continued.
Ghana is a peaceful country, but concerns about security have increased due to the relative proximity of Boko Haram, a militant group in Nigeria.
The two Yemeni men, who were never convicted of a crime, spoke on national radio late Monday, stating their desire to rebuild their lives in the west African country.
- Albright Defends Nkorea Overture, Urges Next President to Continue Dialogue
- Yemen's President Hadi says he won't reconsider his resignation
- Bush dismisses Saddam acceptance of surveillance flights
- 8-year-old Yemeni child dies at hands of 40-year-old husband on wedding night
- Yemen Closing in on Two al Qaeda Suspects; Four al Qaeda Members Go on Trial in Italy