Somalia President 'Farmaajo' criticises Donald Trump's new travel ban on mainly Muslim people

Elsa Buchanan
President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo

Somalia's new President, Mohamed Abdullahi "Farmajo" Mohamed, who was inaugurated last month, has criticised his American counterpart Donald Trump's new travel ban on people from several mainly Muslim nations, including Somalia.

Trump signed his latest executive order on immigration on 6 March. Replacing his previous travel ban, it prevents people from six majority-Muslim nations from entering the US – down from seven in the original order. The first ban was lifted a month ago.

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Farmaajo, as he is known, is a dual US-Somali citizen and told Associated Press new agency that the estimated 150,000 Somalis in the US had "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".

Trump's new executive order was presented as a means to boost US national security against terror threats. President Farmaajo, who was speaking at an event in the capital, Mogadishu, said it was critical that Somalia continue to work to beat the Somalia-based Islamist militant group al-Shabab.

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The US directive, which includes a 120-day ban on all refugees, takes effect on 16 March.

Last month, the Republic of Somaliland sent a letter to Trump's administration requesting an exemption for Somaliland residents from the blanket ban. In the letter, the minister highlighted how Somaliland – a self-declared state recognised as an autonomous region within Somalia – was a stable nation and had not experienced the emergence of terrorist organisations.

Somali refugees living in Dadaab, the world's biggest refugee camp, in eastern Kenya, also fear they could find themselves between a rock and a hard place following Trump's first ban on refugees.

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