Trying, and Failing, to Make Sense of Chad’s Inclusion on Trump’s Travel Ban

Trying, and Failing, to Make Sense of Chad’s Inclusion on Trump’s Travel Ban
Chadian troops participate in the closing ceremony of Operation Flintlock, N'Djamena, Chad, March 9, 2015 (AP photo by Jerome Delay).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, WPR Associate Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent.

While many people have argued that the Trump administration’s travel ban on several Muslim-majority countries is a bad policy regardless of which states it affects, the inclusion of Chad in the latest iteration, announced Sunday, was especially baffling to those familiar with Chad’s record on counterterrorism and its ties to the United States.

As the Sahel region has struggled to cope with a proliferation of jihadi groups, Chad has played an essential role in maintaining at least a semblance of order. Its well-funded army, which excels at desert warfare, helped turn the tide against al-Qaida-affiliated extremists that took over northern Mali in 2012. More recently, Chad became heavily involved in the fight against the Nigeria-based militant group Boko Haram, risking its own stability in the process. The Lake Chad basin has become one of the world’s worst humanitarian situations, while Chad’s capital, N’Djamena, has been hit by suspected Boko Haram suicide bombers multiple times.

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