Two Libyan inmates released from Guantanamo Bay

#HumanRights

The Pentagon announced the two men had been transferred to Senegal

US soldier walking next to the razor wire-topped fence at the US Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, 9 April 2014 (AFP)
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Monday 4 April 2016 18:43 UTC
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The Pentagon has announced two Libyan inmates have been transferred from Guantanamo Bay to Senegal.

The two men – Salem Abdu Salam Ghereby, 55, and Omar Khalif Mohammed Abu Baker Mahjour Umar, 44 – had been in the controversial US military jail since 2002.

Both men had ties to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and al-Qaeda, according to their leaked prisoner files.

"The United States is grateful to the government of Senegal for its humanitarian gesture and willingness to support ongoing US efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility," the Pentagon said in a statement on Monday.

The latest transfers mean the remaining population at the controversial jail is now 89.

Thirty-five of these inmates have been approved for transfer to other countries, though the complex process is only completed after rehabilitation and monitoring measures are implemented.

President Barack Obama in February presented Congress with a new plan to close Guantanamo, which he says serves only to stoke anti-US resentment and fuel jihadi recruitment.

Mahjour Umar had been held on suspicion of helping re-establish al-Qaeda camps following their destruction by US bombings in 1998, and was identified as an explosives and weapons trainer, according to his leaked file.

Ghereby's file states that he had attended multiple training camps and received explosives training from a senior al-Qaeda explosives expert.

The Pentagon said the men were approved for transfer after multiple agencies reviewed their cases.

The Washington Post on Wednesday reported that the Pentagon has told Congress it will move "nearly a dozen" inmates over the course of several weeks, including a Yemeni man who has been on hunger strike for almost a decade.