File picture: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

Johannesburg – The African Union Commission (AUC) has welcomed the removal of the travel ban on Sudan by the United States of America and looks forward to the full normalisation of relations. 

However, doubts have been raised about the bans on other African countries.

In a Tuesday press release, sent out on Wednesday, the AUC said the imposition of a travel ban on some African countries was confusing as the free and legal movement of people was the foundation of a stronger and mutually enriching relationship between the African continent and the United States.

“While sharing the same concerns with the US on the threat of terrorism and violent extremism, the AUC is of the view that cooperation and meaningful engagement are vital in shaping a common response to this very demanding global challenge,” said the press release.

During a Tuesday meeting at AU headquarters with the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), against the Boko Haram insurgency, the leadership expressed bewilderment at the imposition of a travel ban on the Republic of Chad, in particular, given its important role in the fight against terrorism in the Lake Chad Basin, Northern Mali, and the Sahel.

In an attempt to resolve the dispute, the AUC is calling for further dialogue on the matter between African countries and Washington at the upcoming AU-US High Level Dialogue in November 2017.