Somalia, Sudan Describe US Ban As “Unjustified”
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Two of the countries affected by the new United States immigration ban, Somalia and Sudan, have condemned the executive order by President Donald Trump, describing it as “unjustified”.
The United Nations, UN, has also criticized the ban which placed a 90-day ban on people from six mainly Muslim nations.
President Trump presented the order as a means to strengthen US national security against terror threats.
The directive also includes a 120-day ban on all refugees and takes effect from March 16.
It follows a previous order that sparked confusion and mass protests at US airports, and was later blocked by a US federal court.
“The fact remains that we are not immune to terrorist threats and that our enemies often use our own freedoms and generosity against us,” Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said while trying to justify the ban.
US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson said that “President Trump is exercising his rightful authority to keep our people safe.”
Attorney-General Jeff Sessions said there were more than 300 refugees under investigation for potential terror offences, but no further details were given.
He said three of the countries on the list were state sponsors of terrorism and the other three had lost control of territory to militants such as the Islamic State group or al-Qaeda.
Not every country on the list has reacted to the new ban yet. Iran previously said it would stick with the ban on US tourists it introduced after the first ban. At the time, Iran called the decision “illegal, illogical and contrary to international rules”.
On Tuesday, Somalia’s president Mohamed Abdullahi – a dual US-Somali citizen – expressed his concern over the new ban.
He said the estimated 150,000 Somalis in the US “have contributed to the US economy and the US society in different ways, and we have to talk about what the Somali people have contributed rather than a few people who may cause a problem.”
He was speaking at an event with the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to address the issue of drought in Somalia, which poses the risk of famine to more than five million people.
Abdullahi added that it was critical that Somalia continue to work to defeat the Islamist militant group al-Shabab..
Similarly, Sudan’s ministry of foreign affairs, spoke of the country’s “deep regret and discontent” that a new ban was issued.
“Sudanese citizens have never been involved in any crimes or terrorism in the United States,” the statement added.
The United Nations refugee, in its reaction to the ban, regretted that the US policy has also cut down the number of refugees the country had agreed to accept from 110,000 this year to 50,000.
“Americans have long played a crucial role in promoting global stability while simultaneously exemplifying the highest humanitarian ideals,” the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said.
“This is the gold standard in refugee protection and a powerful model for all countries. At a time of record-high levels of forced human displacement, this kind of humane leadership is needed more than ever.”