Somali refugees who were to be resettled in US cannot travel following Trump's ban

Tuesday January 31 2017

Megitu Argo (left) and her daughter Ebany Turn cry as a family of Somali refugees speaks about their cousin's deportation back to Somalia at a rally for immigrants and refugees in Seattle, Washington on January 29, 2017. PHOTO | JASON REDMOND | AFP


More than 26,000 Somali refugees in Kenya who were to be resettled in the United States (US) can not travel to the country following President Donald Trump's travel ban against people from seven Muslim-majority countries including Somalia.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 13,000 of these refugees had been interviewed by US officials and were scheduled to travel from this week.

The other 13,000 people are yet be interviewed by the US Department of State.

According to Yvonne Ndege, an officer at the UNHCR office in Nairobi, they had listed the 26,000 people for processing and resettlement in the US. However, following Mr Trump’s travel ban on Muslims, they cannot travel.

Ms Ndege sai, of the 26,000 people affected, about 14,500 are from Dadaab refugee camp who left after the Kenyan government closed it last year.

On Tuesday, reports indicated that some of these refugees in Kenya were told they could not travel to the US at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport when they were awaiting their flights.


But on Tuesday, airport officials said they have not turned any Somali refugees from travelling to the US.

Airport Police Boss Zipporah Waweru told the Nation that they had no Somali refugee destined for the US.

Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, had said 800 refugees were set to make America their new home.

Mr Grandi said because of the ban, the refugees are anxious, confused and heartbroken.