Oman announced on Monday that it had taken in 10 prisoners released by the United States from its Guantanamo Bay military prison, part of a push by outgoing President Barack Obama to shrink the inmate population before leaving office.
“To meet a request by the U.S. government to assist in settling the issue of the detainees at Guantanamo, out of consideration of their humanitarian situation, 10 people released from that prison arrived in the Sultanate of Oman for a temporary residency,” a foreign ministry statement said.
The transfers are part of Obama’s plan aimed at sending as many as 19 prisoners to at least four countries, including Saudi Arabia, Italy, Oman and the United Arab Emirates, before Donald Trump is sworn in on Jan. 20. Four prisoners were transferred to Saudi Arabia earlier this month.
If the final transfers go according to plan, only about 40 prisoners will remain at Guantanamo, despite Obama’s pledge to close the controversial facility at the U.S. naval base in Cuba.
The Republican president-elect has vowed, however, to keep the Guantanamo military prison open and “load it up with some bad dudes.”
The Obama administration notified Congress last month of its intention to make the additional transfers, Reuters has reported. Those being transferred make up the bulk of the 23 prisoners declared in parole-style hearings to be safe for repatriation or resettlement in other countries.