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Guantanamo pair moved to Senegal

BBC News BBC News 4/04/2016
Guantanamo Bay prison: The Guantanamo Bay facility is used to detain what the US government calls "enemy combatants" © Getty Images The Guantanamo Bay facility is used to detain what the US government calls "enemy combatants"

Two Libyans held at the US military prison in Guantanamo have been flown to Senegal, the Pentagon said.

Salem Abdu Salam Ghereby and Omar Khalif Mohammed Abu Baker Mahjour Umar are the first of a group of about a dozen inmates expected to be resettled, US media report.

The two transfers mean there are now 89 detainees left in Guantanamo.

President Barack Obama has presented Congress with a plan to close the facility but faces stiff opposition.

Will Guantanamo finally close?

Life after Guantanamo

"We are taking all possible steps to reduce the detainee population at Guantanamo and to close the detention facility in a responsible manner that protects our national security," US Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement.

Mr Ghereby was approved for transfer under a presidential executive order from 2009. US security services decided it was no longer necessary to hold Mr Umar last August.

Mr Obama promised to close Guantanamo in 2009 and wants to transfer the remaining detainees to their home countries or to US military or civilian prisons.

In February, he said the prison was "contrary to US values" and undermined the country's standing in the world.

But Congress remains deeply opposed to terror suspects being held on US soil.

A total of 780 men have been held at Guantanamo Bay since 2002, the vast majority without charge or criminal trial.

Of those who have left the prison, nearly 100 have been resettled across 26 countries, others have been freed and one man has been sentenced to life in prison after standing trial in a US civilian court.

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