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New Travel Ban Targets North Korea, Venezuela and Chad. Chad??

African nation is U.S. ally, but battling al-Qaeda, Boko Haram

(INDIANAPOLIS) - The list of countries on the Trump Administration's latest travel ban includes a surprising entry.

President Trump has clashed directly with the leaders of North Korea and Venezuela, but the African nation of Chad, the third newcomer to the list, doesn't make much news. Unlike travel-ban holdovers Iran and Syria, Chad's government has cooperated with the U-S against rebel groups. 

But the country is currently fending off the Islamist group Boko Haram and the al-Qaeda offshoot al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. UIndy international affairs professor Douglas Woodwell says with Chad's decades-long history of internal conflict, it's not hard to come up with a justification for listing it as a threat. He says the real question is why the same logic wasn't applied to countries such as Saudi Arabia, Mali, Burkina Faso, Sudan, or Nigeria, Boko Haram's home base.

Woodwell suggests Chad simply isn't as politically important to the U-S.

The White House announcement calls Chad a "valuable counterterrorism partner," but says the country doesn't do enough to share information on terror threats. Sudan was on the original travel ban list but was dropped from the updated version. The administration statement doesn't discuss the omission, but a statement from the Sudanese foreign ministry says there's been a "clear and long dialogue" with the U-S, and says the country hopes sanctions in place the last 20 years will be lifted next month when they come up for review.

Woodwell calls the updated list a "mishmash," with near-total bans on entry of citizens from Syria and North Korea, while the Venezuelan ban is limited to government officials and their families, and restrictions on other countries fall somewhere in between.

(Photo: Buyenlarge/Getty Images)

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