Tillerson highlights sub-Saharan security challenges ahead of Africa visit

The Secretary of State is expected to touch down in Abuja, Nigeria's capital on Wednesday and will be meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, members of the National Assembly and civil society.

"And if terrorism or trafficking of persons, if that's going to get them the jobs, then that's unacceptable and we really need to find alternative ways to help the economic development in these regions".

In addition, the U.S.is also very concerned about the recent ethnic fighting between Oromo and Somali ethnic groups that has displaced almost one million people, and the subject is certain to come up during the meeting.

"That's not the answer".

The United States will give more than $533 million in humanitarian aid for victims of conflicts and drought in Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan and the West and Central African countries bordering Lake Chad, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Tuesday.

The department expressed hope that African countries now with democratically elected governments will not have transitions through undemocratic means.

"The countries being visited by Secretary Tillerson have an overarching common denominator, and that is security and counterterrorism", says Johnnie Carson, a former assistant secretary of State for African affairs and ambassador to several African countries.

Much of the world is "questioning whether we really have the energy, the engagement, the investment to sustain what has for 70 years been the rules-based liberal world order the U.S. built after the Second World War", said Sen.

More news: Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Organising committee unveils futuristic mascots

The U.S., in contrast, wants to partner with African countries while promoting rule of law and democratic development, he said.

The United States of America has expressed worry about the heavy indebtedness by African countries a few years after they were relieved of their debts by worldwide financial institutions.

The U.S. also noted the election of Nana Akufo-Addo in Ghana, Alassane Ouattara in Cote d'Ivoire and Macky Sall in Senegal, describing them as positive developments.

The Chinese government has also encouraged and supported its companies to increase direct investment in Africa and explore new cooperative modes of investment such as public-private partnership, he said. He said the US was committed to helping, but that prosperity and basic stability would be impossible until the security situation is brought under control.

Tillerson has yet to appoint an assistant secretary of state for African affairs and eight USA embassies in Africa have no ambassadors, including key players South Africa and Egypt.

It said it was also looking at how it could have reconciliation and dialogues between all of the different groups - the Oromos, the Amharas, the Tigrays, and also in Kenya with the opposition and with the ruling government.

"How do we advance political and economic reform that will help in the transition process?" Those are issues too that we're working in Zimbabwe with the transition between Robert Mugabe and Emmerson Mnangagwa.

As far as Africa's concerned, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the Trump administration have some explaining to do.

  • Adam Floyd