Guantanamo detainees pose no threat to Ghana – Security expert

Security expert Ibrahim Irbad says public fears that the two Guantanamo Bay detainees pose a risk to the country’s security is unnecessary.

“From where I sit, I don’t think these two guys will have the liberty to operate,” he said.

He was speaking Thursday on current affairs programme, PM Express on Joy News channel (Multi TV).

Ibrahim Irbad says the detainees have gone through the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) approach.

DDR is a set of activities that forms part of the strategies for peacebuilding after a conflict. It has become the standard for addressing security threats in immediate post-conflict situations.

“The résumé they [detainess] come to the table with is quite scary. But they’ve remained sober, they’ve been neutralised and therefore personally, I don’t think these two guys, disarmed and [put] away at some safe house with the needed collaboration with international intelligence agencies would pose any problem”, Ibrahim Irbad said.

Ibrahim Irbad
He is also convinced the U.S. decided on Ghana to keep two Guantantamo detainees because of the country’s good human rights record.

Ibrahim Irbad says Ghana’s human rights record compared to other countries that could have harboured the prisoners – Saudi Arabia, Togo and Burkina Faso – is better.

The US military announced Wednesday that two detainees held for years without charge at the Guantanamo Bay prison will be transferred to Ghana, leaving 105 detainees at the notorious camp.

Yemeni Mahmud Umar Muhammad bin Atef, 36, and Khalid Muhammad Salih al-Dhuby, 38, will settle in Ghana for two years.

“The United States is grateful to the government of Ghana for its humanitarian gesture and willingness to support ongoing US efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility,” the US defence department said in a statement.

Discussing the issue Thursday on current affairs programme, PM Express on Joy News channel (Multi TV), Ibrahim Irbad said although reasons why Ghana was chosen to keep the detainees are murky, the decision has something to do with the country’s human rights record.

“ You don’t want to take them [detainees] to certain countries where you think their human rights would be infringed upon because some Arab countries are no nonsense countries,” he said.

He notes that Ghana has a “much better a much sexier human rights record compared to say Saudi Arabia”, which could have also accepted the two detainees.

He however recommends further investigation into the reason the U.S settled on Ghana.

“We should probe further and ask why not Togo for example or Burkina Faso, or is it that the information is classified and therefore we don’t know?” he said.

International relations expert Vladmir Antwi-Danso, who was also on PM Express Thursday, said government may not be telling the truth if it says it gets nothing for accepting to keep the detainees.

He said Ghanaians must push for information on the benefits for the country.

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