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African Union welcomes removal of U.S. travel ban on Sudan but perplexed by Chad

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AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat (AU Photo)
September 26, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The African Union Tuesday welcomed the lift of travel ban on Sudan and said confused by Washington’s decision to place it on Chadian nationals.

In an expanded travel ban on Sunday, President Donald Trump removed Sudan from his initial list, imposed a full travel ban on Chad maintained it on Somali immigrants.

"The African Union Commission (AUC) welcomes the removal of the travel ban on Sudan by the Government of the United States of America and looks forward to the full normalization of relations between the two countries," said a statement released by the regional body.

The statement further said the commission was perplexed by the imposition of the restriction on "some African countries".

The African body said the AUC head raised the issue in a meeting with the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) against the Boko Haram held at its headquarters in Addis Ababa.

"the leadership expressed bewilderment at the imposition of a travel ban on the Republic of Chad, in particular, given its important role in the fight against terrorism in the Lake Chad Basin, Northern Mali, and the Sahel," stressed the statement.

If the previous travel restrictions were criticised for targeting Muslim-majority countries. the expanded one is slammed for the inclusion of Chadian nationals.

Analysts agree that this ban will only tarnish the image of Chad and may affect the security cooperation between the two countries.

President Trump in his decision cited Chad’s failure to “adequately share public-safety and terrorism-related information,” and pointed that several terrorist groups are active there.

But Ndjamena rejected the American explanation saying "the motives contrast with Chad’s ongoing efforts and commitments in the fight against terrorism at regional and global levels".

Washington provides military assistance and training to the Chadian army.

(ST)

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