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Between 1989 and 1990 war erupted in the sub-Saharan nation of Mauritania, Africa. Approximately 70,000 Afro-Maritanians, members of a slave caste, were exiled. On November 28, 1990, the country’s Independence Day, the Mauritanian government executed 28 soldiers.
30 years since the war and genocide, Ohio is now home to the largest population of Mauritanian refugees. Now, many Mauritanian nationals, including Lockland resident Amadou Sow, are caught up in the U.S. immigration system. Sow was detained by immigration officials and scheduled for deportation. After 11 months, Amadou Sow was released after a routine review of his detention. He now has a hearing scheduled in Detroit immigration court on December 18, 2019.
On November 25 from 4 to 8 p.m. The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center hosts “The 30th Anniversary of the Mauritanian Genocide.” Joining Cincinnati Edition to discuss the event are Dr. Mamadou Sy, a Mauritanian refugee deported to Senegal during the genocide; spokesperson for the Mauritanian community and event organizer Saidou Wane; Awa Harouna who is the daughter of Amadous Sow and who appeared in the Netflix series "Living Undocumented"; and with the Immigrant and Refugee Law Center attorney D. Alexandria Lubans-Otto, Esq. who represents Amadou Sow.