US could lift travel ban on "important partner" Chad: Tillerson


When he arrived on Friday, the Secretary of State and the President discussed democracy and media freedom - he said the government should not stifle the media and threaten the courts.

Tillerson says Chad has taken important, positive steps to strengthen control over its passports and improve information-sharing.

"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.

In September, The Trump White House added Chad - along with North Korea and Venezuela - to a list of countries whose citizens are restricted from travelling to the United States - drawing protests from Chad and others including France which works closely with the Chadian military.

But he says the decision will have to await a final report the United States will prepare later in March.

But the African tour has coincided with the shock announcement of a possible summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump over the nuclear standoff in the Korean peninsula. Chad, with its long border with Libya and proximity to Nigeria and Mali, is particularly affected by the threat of instability and extremism in the region.

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Also speaking on Boko Haram, Onyeama insisted that the terrorist group had been degraded as a fighting force even though it can still inflict serious damage on soft targets.

The U.S. has been vocal in its praise for Chad's efforts on counterterrorism.

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

He further urged Africans to explore US alternative financing mechanism instead of taking loans from China, noting that Chinese loans need to be looked at carefully as they have failed to yield the desired result in other places.

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

Tillerson made the comments during his first diplomatic trip to Africa, Reuters reported.