NDC must apologise to Ghanaians - Defense Minister

The Defense Minister Dominic Nitiwul said he was disappointed in the erstwhile Mahama government for hiding aspects of the agreement they signed with the USA to host the GITMO 2 from Ghanaians.

The Minister was contributing to discussions on the floor of parliament after the Foreign Affairs Minister disclosed that the Guantanamo Bay detainees will continue to stay because were granted refugee status under the Mahama government in July 2016.

“The government at the time granted the two detainees refugee status. This followed a request by National Security to the then-Chairman of the Ghana Refugee Board. They were issued a decision letter dated 21st July 2016, recognizing their status as refugees.”

Mrs Botchway explained that the agreement signed between the government of Ghana and United States of America indicated that, the US has no obligation to the detainees after the initial two-year agreement.


Meanwhile, Ghana has the responsibility to integrate the two into the Ghanaian society because they have obtained refugee status.

In reacting to this development, Dominic Nitiwul said he was disappointed in the erstwhile Mahama government for hiding aspects of the deal from Ghanaians.

"Unknowingly to the people of Ghana and even to the Supreme Court, the NDC government then had given them the refugee status. Until today nobody in Ghana including yourself knew that the NDC ha actually given these people refugee status and have shifted the goal post completely.”

“Mr Speaker, that agreement that talks about moving them, even if today, the agreement was that we should move them, the fact that they have moved them from ordinary suspects to refugees changes the equation. You cannot just throw them out. Today they’re not just ordinary Yemeni citizens, they’re not just terrorist suspects, today by the action of the NDC government they’re refugees. They hid it from Parliament, from the people of Ghana and even the incoming government. I think that they owe the people of Ghana an apology,” he added.


The two detainees of Yemeni nationality, Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby, who were in detention for 14 years after being linked with terrorist group Al-Qaeda, were brought to Ghana in January 2016, for a period of two years.

At the time when they came to Ghana, a statement released by the then-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hanna Tetteh, on January 6, 2015, did not explicitly state that the former detainees would necessarily have to leave the country after the agreement expired. The statement said the two may leave the country after the two-year period, suggesting the decision was in their hands.

Many Ghanaians criticized the government of the day for taking such a decision.

Two citizens; Margaret Bamful and Henry Nana Boakye, further sued the former Attorney General and the Minister of Interior contending that the two were being hosted illegally.


The Supreme Court declared as unconstitutional the agreement between the Mahama government and the United States.

The Supreme Court ordered the government to send the agreement to Parliament for ratification or have the two detainees sent back to the US.


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