Ghana’s government on Friday sought to reassure the public that two former Guantanamo prisoners living in the West African nation remained under supervision, a day after a court ruled their arrival was unconstitutional without parliament’s approval.
Ghana’s Information Ministry said the government will comply with the Supreme Court ruling and seek approval for the Yemeni men’s continued stay. Parliament has three months to act.
The men “have been comporting themselves well since their arrival in Ghana,” the ministry said in a statement.
Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby were held at the U.S. base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as enemy combatants, accused of training with al-Qaida and fighting with the Taliban. They had been cleared for release in 2009, but the United States won’t send Guantanamo prisoners to Yemen because of instability there and officials had to find another country to accept them.
Former Ghana President John Dramani Mahama has said the two Yemenis were taken in by his country in January 2016 after a direct request by the U.S. and did not pose a security threat.
Several religious and civil society groups in Ghana protested Mahama’s decision at the time. This week’s ruling came after two citizens sued Ghana’s attorney general and interior minister, accusing the government of illegally bringing in the two former detainees
At least four other former Guantanamo prisoners have been resettled to sub-Saharan Africa: two to Cape Verde and two to Senegal. Three Mauritanians have been repatriated.
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