Monday 23 October 2017

U.S. Trump lifts travel ban on Sudan

U.S. Trump lifts travel ban on Sudan
(Sudan Tribune 09/25/17)
U.S. Trump lifts travel ban on Sudan

U.S. President Donald Trump Sunday removed Sudan from a renewed travel ban imposed last March originally on six Muslim-majority countries.

The lift takes places two weeks before a decision on the permanent revocation of economic sanctions on Sudan that many expect on 12 October.

No official statement on Sudan removal of the new restrictions but the Washington Post reported that officials in Washington pointed to Khartoum cooperation on counterterrorism.

"Sudan fell off the travel ban list issued at the beginning of the year. Senior administration officials said a review of Sudan’s cooperation with the U.S. government on national security and information-sharing showed it was appropriate to remove them from the list," reads the Washington Post.

In January 2017, President Trump banned the refugee admissions and new visas for citizens from seven Muslim-majority nations. But in a revised version in March 2017, he reduced their number to six countries after removing Iraq imposed the travel restrictions for travellers from Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Sudan.

The lift of travel ban on Sudan does not change its status on the U.S. terror list.

The renewed travel ban was expanded to include new three countries: Chad, North Korea and Venezuela. However, the full travel bans are placed on North Korea and Chad nationals. For Venezuela, the restrictions are limited to officials from government agencies and their families.

Chad’s inclusion in the list was a surprise to many as the Central African country plays a significant role in the fight against terror groups in the region like Al-Qaeda and Boko Haram.

In his presidential proclamation, Trump called Chad as “an important and valuable counterterrorism partner.”

Nonetheless, the decision pointed to the presence in Chad of several terrorist groups adding that "Chad does not adequately share public- safety and terrorism-related information".

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