US backtracks on ex-Gitmo detainees’ upkeep arrangement

Head of Public Affairs at the US Embassy in Accra Daniel Fennel has apologized for his suggestion that the upkeep of the two ex-Guantanamo Bay detainees will be a shared responsibility between the government of Ghana and US.

Mr Fennel on Thursday in an interview on TV3’s Hot Issues said Ghana will bear part of the costs for the upkeep of Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby, two Yemeni terror suspects to stay in Accra for two years.

“Is that so difficult to imagine that Ghana would pay for something that is happening in Ghana? I think it’s laudable, we should be proud of Ghana,” Mr Fennel wondered when pressed further by host Kwesi Pratt.

But in an interview on TV3’s New Day on Friday, January 15, the US Embassy official said: “I apologise if I caused any confusion.”

He clarified further that the government of Ghana will provide the infrastructure for the terror suspects while the US fully takes care of their upkeep.

He pointed out that this has been the arrangement in the 54 countries that have accepted to host any ex-Gitmo detainee.

The acceptance of Ghana to allow the two in Accra has generated public conversation with some civil society organizations calling for their immediate return.

But President John Dramani Mahama has insisted his decision to accept the “low risk” terror suspects was borne out of his high regard for the security of the state and he will do nothing to jeopardize such.

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana

Twitter: @kwame_amoh