US President Donald John Trump has signed a revised travel ban banning citizens of six Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.
Three African countries are affected by the ban, which is expected to take effect after 10 days. Somalia, Sudan and Libya have made the list again.
An earlier ban which affected seven countries was suspended by a federal judge, the result of which is the current one.
The 10-day period is believed to be in place to avert some of the chaotic scenes that were seen at US airports after the first ban, which was to take immediate effect. The current order has also ‘freed’ Iraq from the ban. Syria, Yemen and Iran complete the latest list.
The White House said Trump signed the order – which temporarily freezes new visas for Syrians, Iranians, Libyans, Somalis, Yemenis and Sudanese citizens – behind closed doors “this (Monday) morning”.
The order places a 120-day freeze on all refugee arrivals.
The revised ban, which comes into effect on March 16, said the six countries were targeted because their screening and information capabilities could not meet US security requirements.
Officials said that, unlike in the initial Jan 27 executive order, all pre-existing, valid visas from the six countries would be honoured.
The Trump administration’s wide-ranging initial travel restrictions were slapped down by the federal courts, after sparking a legal, political and logistical furore.
The State Department cancelled 60,000 visas under the original order, and hundreds of people were reportedly detained at US airports.
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) last month slammed the earlier order describing it as ‘selective and discriminatory.’ The OIC said it was of the view that the ban will further complicate the grave situation that refugees find themselves in.
They also held the view that it would only play into the hands of violent terrorists to continue their acts.
‘‘Such selective and discriminatory acts will only serve to embolden the radical narratives of extremists and will provide further fuel to the advocates of violence and terrorism at a critical time when the OIC has been engaged with all partners, including the US, to combat extremism and terrorism in all their forms and manifestations,’‘ an OIC statement read.
OIC is the second largest inter-governmental organisation after the United Nations. It has 56 other member states across the world. Gambia is set to host the next summit of the body.
– Bernama-NNN Agencies