Five Gitmo Uighurs to Palau: Thanks, but No Thanks

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2009 2:01 PM CDT
Chinese Uighur Guantanamo detainees.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Palau’s president Johnson Toribiong today said five of the 13 Uighurs held at Guantanamo Bay and set to be resettled in his country don't want to go, AFP reports. “A handful may not come,” he said. A recent delegation from the country to Gitmo met with just eight of the Chinese Muslims, who were cleared of wrongdoing four years ago. The other five refused interviews.

Toribiong did not discuss plans to relocate the Uighurs, though he continued to defend his choice to take them. “Those who oppose it are misinformed,” he said of Palauans who have protested his decision. “Had I said no to President Obama, what do you think would have been the consequences?” he added cryptically. Palau has depended heavily on US aid since it became independent in 1994.