5 March 2018

Africa: U.S. Urges Democracy, Jobs Creation to Prevent Extremism

Abuja — A UNITED States (US) envoy has urged African governments to uphold democracy and develop economies in order to prevent the emergence of rebel groups.

Rex Tillerson, the Secretary of State, was speaking ahead of his first official visit to the continent, which begins on Tuesday.

His visit coincides with escalating terror by the Boko Haram in Nigeria where the Boko Haram last week killed several soldiers, police officers and aid workers in the Borno State.

The Islamic terror group also kidnapped more than 100 schoolgirls in the Yobe State.

Tillerson noted the abductions followed the kidnapping of over 200 other schoolgirls in Borno in 2014.

"Those acts are horrendous, unacceptable and terrible. And how do you do security?" he quipped.

Tillerson said such attacks were not only a security issue.

"The other issue, too, is on economic development and education."

President Donald Trump's envoy argued providing youths with jobs would also lessen indoctrination by the extremist groups.

He also bemoaned the proliferation of similar groups in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

"A lot of it is due to the political instability, insecurity, and not knowing about the next electoral process in the DRC, which we're trying to push towards December of this year," Tillerson said.

Secretary of State since 2017, he will visit Chad, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Nigeria during his trip to the continent.

The US has 44 embassies and six consulates and offices in Sub-Saharan Africa.


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