United States transfers 2 more Gitmo prisoners to Ghana

United States transfers 2 more Gitmo prisoners to Ghana

The United States government has expressed gratitude to the Government of Ghana for providing refuge for two Yemeni detainees of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, and for assisting in the closure of the facility.

A total of 780 men have been held at Guantanamo since 2002, the US Navy Base now has 105 detainees, almost 50 of whom have been cleared for release. The conditions of their release require them to stay in Ghana for two years, after which they will be able to leave the country and travel to any destination of their choosing. They had been cleared for release in 2009, but the USA won't send Guantanamo prisoners to Yemen because of instability there and officials had to find another country to accept them.

The jail was set up following the 11 September 2001 attacks in the U.S. to detain what Washington called "enemy combatants". "President Obama has recommitted to closing the detention facility by the end of his term; for that to happen he needs to put significant resources behind the goal".

In its statement, the USA government noted that Ghana was aware of potential threats posed by the two detainees and had taken measures to mitigate those threats, adding that their transfer had been approved by the Inter-agency Guantanamo Review Task Force after a "comprehensive review" of their cases.

President Barack Obama, who campaigned on a pledge to close the prison, views it as a damaging symbol of detainee abuse and detention without charge that he inherited from Republican President George W. Bush. "I am not quite sure why the government is doing this, especially at a time when we have elections, when we have security issues at the fore", he told DW.

The Ghanaian public however, have been unhappy about the development and have been questioning the propriety of the decision taken by the government. It said the two were part of a group of people who had been acquitted, or sentenced and served time.

Meanwhile, government has also agreed to provide humanitarian assistance to persons from Syria following the crisis that happened in the Middle East.

Ghana is a predominantly Christian nation, but around a fifth of the population are Muslims, and Islam is particularly strong in the north of the country.

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