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US Secretary of State to visit Nigeria, Kenya, three others
10 March 2018, 01:01 | Damon Campbell
Nigeria's 2019 elections our major priority – US
Tillerson is expected to visit N'Djamena in Chad, Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Nigeria during his African tour.
"And so those are some of the issues and challenges that we'll be working on - political institutions, political dialogue, reconciliation, supporting community-based development, helping growth, education".
Though he has yet to visit as diplomat, Tillerson is not a stranger to Africa, which he visited frequently in search of deals in his previous job as CEO of Exxon Mobil.
The selection of countries the secretary will visit indicates a strong emphasis on security issues.
In recent years, countries like Ethiopia and Djibouti have benefited from massive economic expansion, while Nigeria, Chad and other states along the Sahel region have faced a rising threat of terrorism.
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In Djibouti, China's development of its first overseas military base just a few miles away has been cause for concern for the USA, illustrating the military side of a broader competition between the US and China playing out across the continent. "Secretary Tillerson should emphasize the importance of respect for the rule of law and freedom of expression, in light of the government's recent dismissal of a court order to reopen several press outlets, and the United States' commitment to Kenyan civil society and human rights defenders, some of whom are coming under increasing pressure".
Tillerson will also visit Kenya, where the political system is in turmoil over disputes related to President Uhuru Kenyatta's re-election. Nigeria, the giant of Africa, has established itself as a credible democracy, but goes into a 2019 election cycle that could be violent.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will be in the country from March 9-12 on his first trip to Africa as the top U.S. diplomat. Its new president, Cyril Ramaphosa, provides the possibility of a reset in the bilateral relationship, which at present is no more than "cordial" and "correct". Democracy, human rights and development take a back seat under the Trump administration, with sharp cuts in foreign aid. "When do we get to see the outlines of what the Trump Africa policy is?"
As far as Africa's concerned, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the Trump administration have some explaining to do. Certain authoritarian African leaders, like Rwanda's Paul Kagame and Uganda's Yoweri Museveni, have made positive statements about President Trump. In a thoughtful article, John Stremlau, an American visiting professor at Johannesburg's prestigious University of the Witswatersrand, suggests that, for the time being, growing the United States relationship with sub-Saharan Africa may rest more with the legislative branch than with the executive branch and the secretary of state. "If Trump and Tillerson were seriously interested in issues of trade, public health, and good governance, he would have at least included democratic South Africa on his agenda", Stremlau said.
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The apex court had earlier allowed her to resume her Bachelors in Homeopatic Medicine and Surgery (BMHS) at a Salem-based college. On May 24, 2017, the Kerala HC declared the marriage a "sham", directing that she be returned to the "custody" of her parents.