US removes Nigeria from list of religious violators

The US has removed Nigeria from the list of religious violators, ahead of the visit by the Secretary of State Antony Blinken to the country.

The US government last year placed Nigeria on its special watch list of states that had engaged in or tolerated the severe violation of religious freedom

Nigeria is not in the 2021 list which has Myanmar, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

Algeria, Comoros, Cuba, and Nicaragua are also on the special list of governments that have violated religious freedom, according to the US state department.

However, the jihadist groups Boko Haram and Iswap operating in north-east Nigeria, are still designated as entities of particular concern.

Mr Blinken is visiting Nigeria on Thursday on the second leg of his three-nation trip that includes Kenya and Senegal.

He is expected to meet Nigerian President Muhamadu Buhari to discuss how both countries can further co-operate on global health, security, expanding energy access and economic growth.

Nigeria is battling a range of security threats, including the long-running Boko Haram insurgency, inter-communal clashes and more recently, a wave of mass abductions at schools by armed gangs.

Source: BBC

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