Algeria and the US are undergoing negotiations to release the final eight Algerian detainees held in Guantanamo Bay, Algerian Justice Minister Tayeb Louh announced yesterday.
“We are continuing with legal proceedings with the United States for receiving the eight remaining Algerian detainees who are still in Guantanamo,” Louh explained.
“The negotiations that began years ago allowed the receipt of 18 Algerian detainees of the 26, most of whom were arrested in Afghanistan on terrorism-related charges,” he added.
According to the Algerian minister, the detainees who had been extradited to Algeria were referred to the judiciary which acquitted some of them and convicted others.
US President Barack Obama said a few days ago that he expected the number of Guantanamo detainees to decrease to less than a hundred next year.
In his last press conference of 2015, Obama said that the US will continue to reduce the number of detainees in Guantanamo systematically, describing the prison as “one of the key magnets for jihadi recruitment”.
He went on saying that the US will “come to a point where we have an irreducible population – people who pose a significant threat.”
US Congress rejects the idea of closing the notorious prison out of concern that its closure would pose a threat to the country’s internal security.