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26,000 Somali refugees stranded in Kenya after US travel ban by Trump

Up to 26,000 Somali refugee in Kenya who are to be resettled in the United States cannot travel to the country following the latest travel ban by the US President Donald Trump against Muslims.

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

The other 13,000 people in the resettlement pipeline are yet be interviewed.

RESETTLEMENT TO US

According to Ms Yvonne Ndege, an officer at the UNHCR in Nairobi, UNHCR had listed the 26,000 persons in the processing for resettlement to the US.

However, following Mr Trump’s travel ban directives, the 20,000 cannot travel.

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

COULD NOT TRAVEL

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

However, Kenya Airport Police Unit boss Zipporah Waweru told the Daily Nation that they had not received any Somali refugee traveling to the US.

“We did not receive any reports of Somali nationals or refugees at the airport travelling to the US apart from the ones deported by the US government on Wednesday last week,” she said.

In a press statement, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi raised concerns over thousands of refugees around the world who have been affected by the ban.