Kenyan, Somali nationals to be released from Guantanamo Bay prison

Kenyan, Somali nationals to be released from Guantanamo Bay prison

A file photo of Somali national Guled Hassan Duran (left) and Kenyan Mohammed Abdul Malik Bajabu. PHOTO/COURTESY: CNN

  • The detainees, Mohammed Abdul Malik Bajabu and Gled Hassan Duran, have been at the prison since 2006.
  • They will once again become free men after the US’ Periodic Review Board cleared their release, when the prison marked its 20-year anniversary on Tuesday.   

Two men; a Kenyan and Somali national, who have been detained at the United States’ Cuba-based Guantanamo Bay Prison for over a decade are set to be released.

The detainees, Mohammed Abdul Malik Bajabu and Gled Hassan Duran, who have been at the prison since 2006, will once again become free men after the US’ Periodic Review Board cleared their release as the prison marked its 20-year anniversary on Tuesday.   

The Periodic Review Board (PBR) is responsible for determining whether the detainees being held at the correctional facility are guilty or not.

Bajabu, the sole Kenyan detainee at the prison, is alleged to have taken part in the planning and execution of terrorist attacks in Mombasa in 2002. He has also been accused of being a facilitator and having close ties with terror group Al Qaeda.

However, it is worth noting that Bajabu has never been charged for any of his alleged offences.

According to CNN, Bajabu was cleared for release owing to his "low level of training and lack of leadership role in his pre-detention activities."

Duran, who has been labelled as a ‘high value' target is said to have been an integral part of Al Qaeda operations in East Africa. He was arrested in Djibouti in 2004 en route to Sudan for surgery.

The duo’s planned discharge now brings the number of prisoners approved for release by the PBR to 15. As it stands, the correctional facility notorious for human rights abuse, houses 39 detainees. The remaining 24 prisoners are also eligible for release and have also been accessed by the PBR.

US law states that despite PBR’s approval, the two detainees will remain in US custody until diplomatic arrangements are made to have the inmates transferred to their respective nations.

The said expedition process has already begun for detainees such as Bajabu and Duran according to Pentagon spokesman John Kirby.

US President Joe Biden has in recent months expressed his desire to permanently close the facility which was opened by retired President George W. Bush in 2002.

latest stories