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Former Somali president denied U.S. visa under Trump travel ban

The former president of Somalia, H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud

The former president of Somalia, H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has reportedly been denied a visa to the United States of America where he was scheduled to deliver a lecture on Tuesday March 27, titled ‘Somalia the Crossroads: Opportunities and Challenges post civil war’.

Mohamud who was head of state of Somalia from 2012 to 2017 was a victim of the Trump travel ban that came into force last year, according to the World Council Affairs of Maine (WCM), which had organised the lecture.

Somalia is one of three African countries whose citizens are banned from travelling to the United States.

In a statement issued on their Facebook page, WCM said Mohamud was denied a visa under Executive Order 13769 protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the United States’.

‘‘We regret to share that H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was denied visa issuance by the U.S. Consulate in Somalia under Executive Order 13769, Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.’‘

The statement has since been deleted from the Facebook account, but the website of the organisations shows that the event has been cancelled.

Mohamud visited the U.S. several times while serving as the President of Somalia, including visits to the U.N General Assembly in New York and the White House.

His predecessor, President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo who holds dual U.S. and Somali citizenship has pledged to work towards the lifting of the travel ban.

For Mohamud, this will be the second time he is being denied a visa by a foreign country.

In February this year, he cancelled a similar invitation to address a lecture in Sweden after after the country’s Embassy in Ankara Turkey declined to stamp the visa on his Passport.

Most Scandinavian countries do not recognize the Somali Passport following the fall of the central government in 1991.

Mohamud has not yet addressed the reported denial of a visa and instead posted about the simmering tensions along the Somali Kenya border where the latter is building a wall in the Balad Hawo town, on his Facebook page on Sunday.

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