A 100 cell prison at Guantánamo Bay has been closed as part of President Barack Obama’s plan to close the controversial detention center before leaving office. In February Obama announced he aims to close the facility because it “undermines national security and is counterproductive in the fight against ISIS” and radical Islamic terrorism. 100 cells in the maximum-security lockup known as “Camp 5” were closed to make room for a new prison clinic and psychiatric ward.
There are reportedly only 61 detainees remaining in the entire facility. All of the suspected terrorists from Camp 5 have been moved to nearby Camp 6 in a effort to consolidate the remaining detainees. Other detainees are also being held in Camp 7. Closing the cells will result in 400 soldiers being removed from the facility by the end of 2016. The facility currently employs 33 soldiers, medics, and civilians for each detainee at the facility.
Camp 5 was a built as part of a $17 million project between 2003 and 2004. An additional $8 million will be spent renovating the buildings to turn them into medical facilities that should be completed by the end of summer 2017.
At least 20 of the remaining detainees are expected to be transferred from the facility in the coming months if the government can find suitable host countries that will accept them. Many of the captives have been cleared for release by federal review boards and 58 out of the 61 remaining detainees have been deemed “compliant” by staff at Guantánamo.