Tillerson should not focus only on security during Africa trip

Posted March 13, 2018

He has visited the Horn of Africa just days after he announced a new 533 million dollars aid package for Africa out of which 128 million dollars was earmarked for Nigeria and countries of the Lake Chad region.

Tillerson, who had visited Chad while CEO of Exxon Mobil Corp., called the African nation an "important partner".

A key goal for Tillerson was to ensure sustained Chadian cooperation, while also easing its displeasure for being included last September on the visa-ban list.

On the outskirts of a sprawling reserve of Kenyan grasslands where endangered animals roam wild, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson lavished praise on an American-funded forensics lab that tracks down elephant-poachers for prosecution, and urged aggressive action in Africa on conservation.

Chad is an "important partner" in fighting terrorism, Tillerson told a press conference.

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Heavily armed Islamist militants abducted 110 girls from their school in Dapchi, in Yobe state, northeast Nigeria, on February 19.

"As we have had success in defeating ISIS in Iraq and Syria, we knew that violence would flee that area, and we knew that Africa was there area they would come", Tillerson said.

The United States has yet to hear back from North Korea about its proposal for a summit, which President Donald Trump accepted last week, Washington's top diplomat said Monday.

The various versions of Trump's travel ban have faced opposition in US courts.

Foreign Affairs CS Monica Juma, US ambassador Robert Godec and other government officials accompanied Tillerson to the JKIA.

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The government shut down three television channels in January on the day opposition leader Raila Odinga took a symbolic presidential oath, then defied a court order to switch them back on.

"These steps I think are going to allow us to begin to normalize the travel relationship with Chad", he said. And in the months since, the US has repeatedly praised Chad's efforts to improve its compliance with USA requirements.

The Chad issue has emerged as a sore point between the State Department and Homeland Security, exposing fault lines within Trump's administration.

The trip hasn't been easy for Tillerson.

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