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Obama Releases 10 More Gitmo Prisoners To The Middle East

January 17, 2017

In a last ditch effort to make good on his promise to close Guantanamo Bay detention camp, President Barack Obama has released another 10 detainees from the U.S. prison camp in Cuba. Oman’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it accepted the prisoners at Obama’s request.

“In consideration of their humanitarian situation, 10 persons have been released from detention and arrived in the sultanate today for a temporary residence,” the foreign ministry said.

This isn’t the first time Oman has accepted prisoners from the detention camp. The country accepted 10 Guantanamo prisoners from Yemen in January 2016, and another six in June 2015. Four prisoners were released to Saudi Arabia earlier this month and the United Arab Emirates took 15 detainees in the largest-single transfer during Obama’s administration in August 2016.

The move was foreshadowed in a statement from U.S. officials just days before the release. Authorities claimed that 19 of the remaining 55 prisoners at the detention center were cleared for release and could be freed by Obama just days before he stepped down. Most of the released detainees are sent to foreign countries due to congressional opposition to transferring any of the remaining detainees to U.S. prisons.

Obama cut the number of detainees down from 242 prisoners in 2009 to less than 50. A report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence shows that 17.6% of those released returned to fighting.

President-elect Donald Trump, who will be inaugurated on Friday, stated during his campaign that he has no plans to close the facility. He has stated that he plans to keep Guantanamo open and “load it up with some bad dudes.”