Ethiopian exiled journos remain unsettled as Uhuru hold their refugee status, Trump pause immigration process. Featured

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Ethiopian exiled journalists who fled their country following numerous attacks and abuses are now stranded in neighboring Kenya.

Trump's administration decision on immigration process has affected the journalists who are already in the pipeline to be resettled to the United States.

"I was shocked," said one of the journalists who already finalized her resettlement process to US and waiting for a flight ticket. "I never thought of such an eruption at the end of the process and after passing all those obstacles," says recalling the challenges she has been through in the last three years in Kenya.

Usually, the resettlement process comes after the person passes through the UNHCR, a UN refugee agency, process and accepted as a refugee.

However, the refugee process at the UNHCR is also frozen since last May because the Kenyan government is not handing over the decision of refugee status made by the UNHCR, according to these journalists.

"I have been given a number of appointments by the HUNHCR for RSD (Refugee Status Determination) but I always come back with bare hands," said a desperate journalist to get his mandate, (an official refugee status paper). "When I ask them the reason, they always tell me it is the government that stopped issuing the mandates and I have to wait."

When the 2015 Ethiopian national election approaches, the government shutdown many of the private magazines and newspapers, prosecuted many of the editors and media owners. Following these incidents many of the journalists and media owners left fled the country.

More than 30--twice the number of exiles CPJ documented in 2012 and 2013 combined--were forced to leave after the government began a campaign of arrests, CPJ reported.

Out of this number, very few of them are being resettled to a third country and many of them are still frozen either in the US embassy or in Kenya's Department of Refugee Affairs.

It is over three years now since they arrived in Kenya. However, some of them have not yet accepted as refugees and some of them have to wait to be called for resettlement.

"We are not safe here and we also cannot generate income for livelihood because of our status as refugees," said one of them. "We are like a flying object that cannot land at the moment."

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