Ghana’s Parliament has ratified the Agreement between Ghana and the United States of American on the resettlement in Ghana of the two former detainees, Mahmud Umar Muhammad bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby of the U.S. Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The request for ratification was in line with Article 75(2) of the 1992 Constitution and pursuant to a directive of the Supreme Court of Ghana.
Presenting the report of the Foreign Affairs Committee on the Request for Ratification of the Agreement on the floor of Parliament, the chairman of the Committee, Hon. Annoh Dompreh informed the House that as regards the obligations of Ghana under the Agreements, Ghana was committed to satisfy the stated obligations pursuant to the Agreement to receive Mahmud Umar Muhammad bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby.
He also said that under the agreement, Ghana was obliged to monitor and surveil the Subjects (the two former detainees) for at least two years or longer if necessary and to withhold their passports and travel documents and where appropriate make necessary arrangements to prevent them from travelling outside Ghana for at least two years.
He further stated that Ghana was also obliged to immediately notify the U.S. government if it became aware of any travel or the intention of either of them to travel outside Ghana. He added that Ghana was also to regularly consult on matters regarding the status, activities, whereabouts and integration progress of the two.
The Chairman also told the House that Ghana was further obliged to take measures to facilitate their integration into society and to ensure their unfettered access to legal representation of their choice. He also said that Ghana was further obliged to provide access, with minimal notice to the Subjects by a mutually agreed upon independent third party in the instance that both or either of them was incarcerated or detained after their resettlement.
‘Considering the fact that no findings have linked the detainees to any terror group and the importance of the Agreement to the strengthening of the bond between the government of Ghana and the government of the United States of America, the Committee wishes to recommend to the House to adopt its report and ratify the Agreement between the Government of Ghana and the Government of the U.S. on the Resettlement in Ghana of the two former Guantanamo Bay Detainees in accordance with Article 75(2) of the Constitution, and Order 183 of the Standing Orders of Ghana’s Parliament’, the Chairman said.
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey also informed the House that the obligations of the Government of Ghana under the Agreements, which commenced on the 6th of January, 2016, and will end in about five months, will mean that by the 6th of January, 2018, Ghana’s obligations will be fully discharged under the Agreements.
She also said that there would be no further obligations in this regard unless the two governments agree otherwise and in accordance with due process. She added that her Ministry and Ministries of the Interior and National Security will work together to ensure an exit plan or otherwise of the two, stressing that engagements have already started, taking into accounts the sentiments of Ghanaians on the matter.