Kenyan, Somali nationals set to be released from Guantanamo Bay

Wednesday January 12 2022
Kenyan terrorism suspect Mohamed Abdul'malik Bajabu.

Guled Hassan Duran (left) and Mohammed Abdul Malik Bajabu. PHOTO | COURTESY

By The East African

Kenyan Mohammed Abdul Malik Bajabu and Guled Hassan Duran from Somalia are set to be released by US authorities from Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba.

The two have been held in the facility since 2006.

Bajabu was the only Kenyan captive held at the US Military base.

On Tuesday, the Periodic Review Board, a US agency established to determine whether detainees at the facility were guilty, announced the decisions in filings posted to its website.

The board is made up of senior US officials from the Departments of Defence, Homeland Security, Justice, and State; the Joint Chiefs of Staff; the Office of Director of National Intelligence.

The board announced the clearing of Mr Bajabu and Mr Duran, paving the way for their eventual release and transfer to second countries for rehabilitation.

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Once a detainee is cleared for release, he cannot leave the prison until the US works out a diplomatic arrangement with another country for them to be released to.

According to CNN, Guled Hassan Duran, a Somali who has been at the prison since 2006, was also cleared by the board, according his attorney Shane Kadidal.

Mr Kadidal told CNN he found out about the board's decision regarding his client on Monday.

Mr Bajabu was accused by the US of developing close ties with al Qaeda in East Africa and had relationships with senior members. He was also accused of participating in the planning and execution of terrorist attacks in Mombasa, Kenya, in 2002.

Of the 64 detainees who have received the Boards decisions, 38 have been cleared for transfer by the PRBs, and 26 detainees have been recommended for continued indefinite detention.

Thirty-six of the 38 detainees cleared for transfer by the PRBs have been released from Guantanamo to their home countries or third countries.