U.N. to house ex-Guantanamo detainees

The former prisoners - four Syrians, a Palestinian and a Tunisian - arrived in Uruguay in December after more than a decade in Gitmo

The United Nations refugee agency will provide homes to six former detainees of the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo who have struggled to resettle in Uruguay, the country's president said Friday.

"Each one of them will have a home," President Tabare Vazquez told Uruguayan media after meeting US President Barack Obama at the Summit of the Americas in Panama.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, he said in televised remarks, has "the necessary resources to attend to the needs of the (former) prisoners."

Before his meeting with Obama, Vazquez said he would ask Washington for help to care for the six men, who arrived in Uruguay late last year with the status of refugees.

Uruguay took in the six in December to help Obama fulfill his long-delayed promise to close the prison, located in a U.S. naval base in Cuba, that was set up to hold terror suspects after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

The former prisoners -- four Syrians, a Palestinian and a Tunisian -- arrived in Uruguay on December 6 after more than a decade in detention.

They were never charged or tried.

Since arriving in Uruguay, which promised they would have the same rights as any other resident, they have been taking Spanish classes and living in hotel rooms and a house provided by a local labor union.

But officials have expressed concern that they are having trouble adapting.
 

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