Guantanamo detainees in the yard at Camp 4 detention facility at Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base, Cuba, May 31, 2009
In this pool photo reviewed by the U.S. military, Guantanamo detainees talk together inside the open-air yard at Camp 4 detention facility at Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base, Cuba, May 31, 2009. Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Kurbi said Sunday that Yemen is to coordinate with the United States to organise the return of Yemeni detainees from Guantanamo Bay. © Brennan Linsley - Pool/AFP/File
Guantanamo detainees in the yard at Camp 4 detention facility at Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base, Cuba, May 31, 2009
AFP
Last updated: May 26, 2013

Sanaa aims to organise Yemeni returns from Guantanamo

Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Kurbi said Sunday that Yemen is to coordinate with the United States to organise the return of Yemeni detainees from Guantanamo Bay.

"We are going to make contact with US authorities to prepare the repatriation of the Yemenis held at Guantanamo," Kurbi said on the defence ministry's website, 26sep.net.

He said the Americans were expected to organise the transfer in groups.

In a move welcomed by Sanaa, US President Barack Obama pledged on Thursday to end a moratorium on sending Yemeni prisoners held at the US military base in Cuba to the Arabian peninsula.

Of the 86 inmates cleared for release, most -- 56 -- are from Yemen, where Al-Qaeda has established a foothold. Overall, a total of 84 Yemenis are currently held at the jail, making them the largest group by nationality.

Most were seized more than a decade ago.

Repatriations to Yemen were halted after a Nigerian man trained in Yemen tried to detonate explosives in his underwear on a flight to Detroit in the United States on Christmas Day 2009.

The incident triggered fears returned detainees could join radical movements, as was the case with a number of Yemeni detainees allowed to return home before 2009.

Kurbi said his country has already prepared a programme to reintegrate the detainees into Yemeni society.

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