“Its a Done Deal: Ghana Cannot Return Detainees” – US Embassy

The United States Embassy in Accra has explained that it would not be possible to return the Guantanamo detainees which government has accepted to accommodate in Ghana for two years.

The Public Affairs Counselor of the US Embassy in Ghana, Mr Daniel Fennell, has retracted his statement on sharing of cost of upkeep of the detainees between Ghana and the US, saying it was an error.

Many Ghanaians have been seriously protesting against the government’s decision to have the detainees and have asked that they should be returned, but a few others welcomed them, insisting they should be accepted on humanitarian grounds.

In an interview on Accra based radio station, Citi FM Friday morning, the Public Affairs Counselor of the US Embassy in Ghana, Mr Daniel Fennell said returning the two men is out of the question since it was a done deal.

I just don’t see that as a possible eventuality, I think this is a positive movement, Ghana is showing leadership, it makes the world safer and better, and it is very little risk to it and we appreciate their leadership, we appreciate their partnership,” Mr Fennel said.

Read – US Grateful to Ghana for Accepting ex-Guantanamo Detainees

Secondly, who would bear the financial cost for the upkeep of the two detainees recently added to the already existing controversies. This was majorly fueled by the statement made on Tv3 by the Public Affairs Counselor of the US Embassy in Ghana, Mr Daniel Fennell, that the expenses will be shared between Ghana and the US. These were his previous statements:

We are contributing some money towards that and the government of Ghana is making all the arrangements and taking care of them.

Is that so difficult to imagine that Ghana would pay for something that is happening in Ghana? I think it is laudable we should be proud of Ghana.

It is think it is a shared expense. The government of Ghana under the constitution is responsible for the security of everything in Ghana. So they are keeping track of it; they are better at it; they  are smart and we think they are doing an excellent job,” he said.

His comments appeared to be a contradiction to earlier comments by Ghana government that the US would be paying for the full cost for the upkeep of Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby.

But, deputy communication minister, Felix Kwakye-Ofosu, in a sharp rebuttal insisted that Ghana would not be bearing the cost of accommodation, feeding and transportation for the two former terror suspects.

However, Mr Fennell revoked his statements today and apologized for the upheavals his earlier comments has caused both on media and elsewhere.

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 apologize for any confusion,” he told Accra-based Joy FM.

The Ghanaian Government is absolutely correct. We are providing the support to allow for the transfer [of the detainees] to be successful,” Daniel Fennell added.