Hundreds of Deportees from U.S. Stranded in Addis Ababa?

Fredrick Ngugi February 03, 2017
Ethiopian deportees arriving back home. Photo credit: Awramba Times

Hundreds of deportees from the United States are reportedly stuck at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, after they were deported from various U.S. airports, following the recent travel ban issued by U.S. President Donald Trump.

It is still not clear why the returnees — mainly from Somalia, Sudan and Yemen — were deported to Ethiopia, according to Awramba Times.

The Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Workineh Gebyehu has, however, denied the presence of deportees in Ethiopia, saying he has no information on the matter.

Yet, the story was reported by Ethio-News Flash, an Ethiopian news website supposedly funded by the country’s ministry of foreign affairs. It reportedly disclosed that the deportees are planning to sue Trump’s administration for the inconveniences, according to Awramba Times.

Backing up numerous reports, Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg, a lawyer representing two Yemeni migrants, told Slate that his clients were denied entry in to the United States and are currently trapped at an airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The two young men, who allegedly hold legal U.S. green cards, were identified as Tareq Aqel Mohammed Azziz and Ammar Aqel Mohammed Azziz.

“I am informed that there are a ton of returnees from airports all over the U.S. at Addis Ababa Intl and the Ethiopian government is telling them they have only one more day to stay before it kicks them all out back to the countries they originally came from,” Moshenberg said.

Tough Immigration Laws for Muslims, Refugees

Last Friday, the newly elected Trump signed an executive order, banning citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for the next 90 days and indefinitely suspending further admission of Syrian refugees.

The seven countries affected include Syria, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen.

“I hereby proclaim that the entry of nationals of Syria as refugees is detrimental to the interests of the United States and thus suspend any such entry,” the order reads in part.

Travelers from the seven countries seeking to enter the United States were immediately detained at different airports across the United States and questioned before being deported back to their countries of origin.

The ban triggered outrage across the United States, with thousands of protesters marching in more than 11 cities and chanting, “Let them in!”

Many leaders, including the former U.S. President Barack Obama, have criticized the ban, saying it goes against fundamental human rights and is counterproductive.

“Citizens exercising their Constitutional rights to assemble, organize, and have their voices heard by their elected officials is exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake,” Mr. Obama said in a statement.

However, President Trump has denied claims that the order is a ban on Muslims, insisting that the order is a temporary ban on travelers from the seven countries.

Last Edited by:Abena Agyeman-Fisher Updated: June 19, 2018


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