The African Union Commission (AUC) has reacted to the latest United States (U.S.) travel ban which has included Chad and excluded Sudan.
The AUC in a statement released on Tuesday said it was dismayed at Chad’s inclusion given that the country is a key U.S. ally in the fight against terrorism. It, however, welcomed that Sudan had been taken off the list.
According to the statement, a meeting of the leadership of regional anti-Boko Haram task force “expressed bewilderment at the imposition of the unjust 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.
The AUC further stressed that it was “perplexed by the imposition of a travel ban on some African countries as the free and legal movement of people is the foundation of a stronger and mutually enriching relationship between the African continent and the United States.
“While sharing the same concerns with the United States of America on the threat of terrorism and violent extremism, the AUC is of the view that cooperation and meaningful engagement are vital in shaping a common response to this very demanding global challenge,” the statement added.
The continental bloc’s position comes on the back of a similar shock expressed by the Chadian government and other security analysts with focus on terrorism in the Sahel region.
A government statement read: “The Chadian government expresses its lack of understanding of official reasons behind this decision. This move contrasts with Chad’s constant efforts and commitments in the fight against terrorism at the regional and global levels.
“The Chadian government calls for a better appreciation of the situation and invites President Donald Trump to reconsider this decision which seriously undermines the image of Chad and good relations between both countries, particularly in the fight against terrorism.
“Chad remains available to any discussion in order to reinforce its collaboration with the United States of America on security and counter-terrorism issues. However, the government doesn’t want to be forced to use the principle of reciprocity, which could undermine interests of the two countries.”
The A.U. called for what it called ‘meaningful dialogue’ between the parties ahead of an A.U.-U.S. High Level meeting scheduled for November this year.