11 April 2018

Chad: US Drops Travel Ban for Citizens of Chad

Photo: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons
United States President Donald Trump

The White House has lauded Chad's efforts to bolster security and share critical passenger data. But Donald Trump said the travel ban will remain in place for six other countries that "did not make notable improvements."

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday lifted a travel ban imposed on Chadian citizens following a six-month government review.

According to the White House, the review found that the landlocked central African country had improved security standards and bolstered communication about its citizens with US authorities.

"We welcome the improved practices by the Chadian authorities, which demonstrate a clear off-ramp for countries placed on the travel restriction list," said the US State Department. "These improvements will improve security for the people of Chad and the United States."

The White House said Chad had increased cooperation with US security bodies and dealt with deficiencies in vetting citizens leaving the country. One of the reasons given for Chad's inclusion in the ban was its inability to supply homeland security officials with recent passport samples.

Controversial ban

Chad was among eight countries targeted by a travel ban on its citizens. The others include Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Venezuela and North Korea.

In a statement, Trump said the other seven countries "did not make notable or sufficient improvements in their identity-management and information-sharing practices" and consequently would remain on the list.

Trump's critics have accused the US president of imposing unconstitutional measures against citizens of other countries by predominantly targeting Muslim-majority countries. Two of Trump's travel bans were suspended by US courts.

Chad is considered a key US ally in the war on terror. The US maintains a drone base in Chad, where it launches attacks on extremist groups, including Boko Haram. A month ago Rex Tillerson made a fleeting visit to the country as part of his tour of African nations in his role as US secretary of state. During the security-focused trip, he faced questions from Chadians over the travel ban. Tillerson was fired by Trump upon returning from Africa.

(Reuters, AFP, AP)

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