Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga, has refuted claims by the United States Ambassador to Ghana that the US government was not consulted before the refugee status was accorded the two former terror suspects.
The Foreign Affairs Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, revealed last Wednesday that the ex Gitmo detainees, Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby, will remain in Ghana despite the expiration of their stay in the country.
This, she told Parliament, was because the erstwhile John Mahama administration handed them a refugee status.
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But the development, according to the United States Ambassador to Ghana Robert Jackson came as a surprise to him.
“I did not know until this week that they had been granted a refugee status,” Mr. Jackson told Journalists in Wa in the Upper West region.
“That came as much of a surprise to me as all of you. However, that decision just gives them certain rights and if the government of Ghana wishes to relocate them to a third country, they need to discuss that with the two refugees under the international law.”
But commenting on the matter, Mr Ayariga expressed shock over the claims by the US Ambassador, Robert Jackson.
Read more: GITMO 2 refugee status: Mahama lied to Ghanaians over GITMO 2 arrangements – Lawyer
According to him, the US Embassy, since the arrival of the two terror suspects, have been part of every decision and therefore could not fathom why the Ambassador will make such a claim.
“This issue from day one was discussed with the US embassy; all the officials were briefed into details by national security and so we find it very shocking why the Ambassador will make such claims. They were all aware of the refugee status.
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“I think they only want to make the Mahama administration unpopular. If the NPP still find their stay worrying, they should send them back else they should stop making false allegations against us” he said on Accra based Neat FM.


  1. The refugee status accorded them means Ghana cannot send them back without infringing the international law on refugees’ rights. Hon Ayariga knows this and yet he is admonishing the present gov’t to send them away. How can he be so insincere? Hypocrite! The previous govt for which he was part, has tied the legs of the present govt and he is telling them to get up and ran. Does he have any conscience?