Sunday, 17 January 2016

US Gov't on Ex-Gitmo in Ghana - 'American People Are Not Keeping Track on them'

The United States says it has no security personnel keeping track of the movement and activities of the two ex-Guantanamo Bay detainees who have been resettled in Ghana after being rejected by the US.
Daniel Fennell - Public Affairs Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Accra
According to the American Embassy in Accra, the US government cannot guarantee the behaviour of the two ex-detainees linked to the terror group Al-Qaeda.



Head of Public Affairs of the Embassy, Daniel Fennell, who made the revelation on TV3's Hot Issues, scheduled to be aired on Saturday, said the two - Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby- are under the watch of Ghana's security.

"As far as I know, we don't have American people whose job it is to keep track of these individuals but we certainly have American security experts partnering with Ghana in many, many areas including making sure that our Ghanaian partners have the right resources and information," he said.

He however said should the US have any information necessary for their Ghanaian counterparts, they would not hesitate to share, saying "The United States and Ghana work together carefully so if the United States have information or news that we can pass, we certainly are going to do so."

"Is there a 100 percent guarantee of anyone's behaviour? I would say no. There is no 100 percent guarantee of anyone's behaviour; I mean your behaviour or mine. But what we want to do is to give these folks, these individuals the highest possibility of success," he added.

Asked whether the two could end up in combat, he responded, "well, there is very little combat that exist in Ghana, thank God," but he did not rule out the possibility of the two escaping Ghana to "re-insert themselves" into combat in other parts of the world saying "that's true of anyone who lives here."

He was, however, quick to add: "We want to diminish that likelihood as much as possible. Is there a 100 percent guarantee? No!"

Mr Fennel said the US trust the Ghanaian security which he said: "have the good capacity to perform security duties necessary and we have great confidence they are doing a great job."

The two ex-detainees were relocated to Ghana on January 6 after a deal between Ghana and the US governments.

Many Ghanaians including security experts have questioned the government’s decision to host the ex-detainees who were held without charges and trial for 14 years. Some critics have raised a number of pertinent questions most of which are yet to be addressed by the government.

But at a special media chat on Tuesday, President Mahama denied claims that the government has taken money from the US government to arrive at such a crucial decision.

“There’s no monetary consideration and the US itself would have disclosed if there were any monetary consideration,” Mr Mahama told journalists, adding “It was a direct request from the US to my government. We have been allies to the US for a year, it didn’t start today…”