Ghana’s bishops warn against transfer from Guantanamo

Ghana’s bishops warn against transfer from Guantanamo Bishop Joseph Osei-Bonsu

Ghana’s bishops have issued a statement protesting about the transfer of former Guantanamo Bay prisoners to their country, describing it as “wrong and dangerous”.

In a statement signed by Konongo-Mampong’s Bishop Joseph Osei-Bonsu, president of the country’s bishops’ conference, the bishops said they had responded to this development with “distress and sadness”, calling on the government “to act responsibly and in the interest of the nation by sending these men back to wherever they came from”.

Noting that Mahmoud Bin Atef had fought for Osama Bin Laden and Khalid Shayk Mohammed is known to have trained Al Qaeda, they asked whether the two prisoners would pose a threat in Ghana and asked whether they had been genuinely cleared of terrorist acts.

“Ghana has been open to receiving refugees in the past but these two men are not in this category,” the bishops said, describing the two men as “not refugees but time-bombs”.

Tentative talks are steps to peace, says Syrian priest

A leading Catholic priest in Syria has said that deals made between government and rebel forces are small but important steps to peace. “Only the Islamic State group and the Nusra Front want to continue the conflict”, Msgr George Abou Khazen, apostolic vicar of Aleppo of the Latins has said, claiming that while the situation “remains difficult” it is fair to say that “tentative talks, small localised deals, a certain desire to stay together are encouraging and hopeful signs”.

It is important to understand, Msgr Khazen said, that in besieged locations such as Madaya in northern Syria, “the government and rebels are talking to each other. Some are pulling back. Others have handed over their weapons.”