Sekou Fantamadi Traore from Burkina Faso speaking to the Pan African Parliament in Midrand on US sanctions on Chad. Mel Frykberg/ANA

The Pan African Parliament (PAP) presented a draft motion calling for the lifting of the ban on citizens of Chad from entering the United States, at PAP’s fifth session at the Gallagher Conference Centre in Midrand on Monday.

The African continent was united on the issue as speaker after speaker in the chamber slammed the US decision to include Chad on the list of countries - including North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Iran, Somalia and Yemen - whose nationals are banned from entering the US, allegedly on the grounds of posing a security threat.

“The PAP expresses its solidarity and unwavering support to the government and people of Chad and regrets the decision by United States President Donald Trump to ban citizens of Chad from entering the US,” said presenter Sekou Fantamadi Traore from Burkina Faso.

The right of every state to take protective measures for its citizens and institutions against terrorist threats and attacks, and the overriding need for cooperation against evil was acknowledged by Traore, on behalf of PAP.

“However, Chad’s commitment to combating terrorism, by deploying its defence and security forces to work side by side with the military forces of the countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission and the G5 Sahel Multinational Joint Force, is a fact that has been recognised and hailed the world over,” he stated.

Furthermore, the active cooperation between Chad and the US, which provides technical support to Chadian forces and France’s Operation Barkhane, stationed in Chad also pointed to the good intentions of the country, said Traore.

The anger and disbelief of the speakers who subsequently debated the issue was apparent with Mauritius accusing Washington of sanctioning ordinary Chadians with a form of economic sanctions as business people from that country could no longer travel to the US.

The island country pointed to the fact that as a result of the travel ban Chad had pulled its forces, fighting Boko Haram in Niger, out of the country thereby increasing regional instability.

But it was Uganda’s Miria Matembe, a women’s rights and political activist and former PAP parliamentarian, who came out swinging with no punches held.

Strongly supporting the draft motion she said the US had self-appointed itself as the world’s policeman and that its status as big brother had to be challenged.

“Africa is being challenged by this decision. Charity begins at home so America should focus on how it governs its own country,” said Matembe.

“Washington preaches about democracy in its own country, but goes around the rest of the world killing and maiming.”

- African News Agency (ANA)