AU condemns Trump travel ban, says ‘Africans are only welcome to the US as slaves’

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Participants gather for a group photo for the 28th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Monday, Jan. 30, 2017. The U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Monday commended African countries for opening their borders to refugees and people fleeing violence.

The head of the African Union commission, in her speech to open an AU summit currently underway in Ethiopia, slammed the US President Donald Trump for his bias travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries, including three in Africa.

AU Commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma predicted ‘turbulent times’ for the continent due to the travel ban, but criticised the US president’s exclusive sentiments saying, “The very country to whom our people were taken as slaves during the transatlantic slave trade, have now decided to ban refugees from some of our countries.”

“What do we do about this? Indeed, this is one of the greatest challenges to our unity and solidarity,” she told African leaders in the Ethiopian capital.

Dlamini-Zuma last Tuesday also expressed concern about Trump’s presidency, saying it could affect the global advances made in the fight for gender equality as well as combatting climate change.

The comments come after Trump’s executive order halted travel by people with passports from Libya, Somalia, Sudan and four other Middle East nations for 90 days, and stopped refugee resettlement for 120 days.

The ban caused chaos at airports globally, while airlines have to put in place emergency procedures to accommodate both travellers and airline employees who ‘fell short’ of Trump’s new #MuslimBan criteria.

Airlines around the world turned away passengers, refunding tickets and rebooking flights in the aftermath of President Donald Trump’s immigration order over the weekend. The order also suspended the US refugee program for four months – but its effect on approved green card holders remains unclear.

SA’s Dlamini-Zuma will be presiding over the proceedings for the last time as a Chad candidate Moussa Faki Mahamat has been appointed as the new African Union chair. At the summit, the country of Morocco has also been readmitted into the African Union after a 33-year absence.

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