The new US Ambassador to Ghana, Robert Jackson, says the great controversy sparked off by the transfer of two former Guantanamo Bay detainees to the country could have been completely avoided, were Ghanaians properly informed.
Robert Jackson blamed the incessant controversy over Ghana’s decision to accept the two ex-Guantanamo detainees on a lack of accurate information.
I understand Ghanaians are concerned, and this is largely because of misinformation and lack of information,” he said.
The US Ambassador made the comment on Tuesday, February 23, during a visit to the Nima residence of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential candidte, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
The new Us Ambassador went there in the company of the Political Chief at the US Embassy, Robert Carlson, and the main purpose of his visit was to formally introduce himself to the NPP presidential aspirant..
Mr Jackson explained that the transfer of Mahmud Umar Muhammad bin Atef, 36, and Khalid Muhammad Salih al-Dhuby, 38, was done with the understanding that the US will be responsible for the upkeep of the detainees for 2 years.
He revealed the US has similar agreements in 55 other countries.
The US Ambassador assured that the two detainees do not pose a threat to Ghana’s security.
Nana Akufo-Addo is also of the view that the issue was badly handled by the government communicators, stressing the issue has the potential of hurting relationship between Ghana and the US.
None of the institutions of State, not even Parliament, were consulted on the issue. Political parties were not consulted before this decision was taken. Not surprisingly, the overwhelming majority of Ghanaians and civil society were strongly against this decision,” Akufo-Addo said.
The NPP 2016 presidential candidate said even though the Ghana-US co-operation was worth striving for, decision that are taken must serve the mutual interest of the two countries.
Ghanaians are yet to be persuaded that this decision was in our national interest,” he said.
Parliament last week held a closed-door meeting with Foreign Affairs Minister, Hanna Tetteh, on the issue of the two Yemini former terror suspects.
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