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John Kerry arrives in Nigeria on official visit

US Secretary of State Kerry to meet President Muhammadu Buhari

23.08.2016
John Kerry arrives in Nigeria on official visit

By Rafiu Ajakaye

LAGOS, Nigeria

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has arrived in Nigeria for a two-day official visit.

He is expected to give a speech on interreligious tolerance, in the northwestern Sokoto State later Tuesday morning.

"He will meet with President [Muhammadu] Buhari to discuss counterterrorism efforts, the Nigerian economy, the fight against corruption, and human rights issues," said a U.S. embassy statement.

"In Sokoto, he will deliver a speech on the importance of resilient communities and religious tolerance in countering violent extremism. In Abuja, the Secretary will meet with a group of adolescent girls working to change community perceptions that devalue the role of girls in society. He will also meet with northern governors and religious leaders," the statement added.

Kerry's visit - his third as Secretary of State and likely the last for top Obama administration officials - comes a day after the Nigerian army announced the killing of top Boko Haram commanders in an "unprecedented air raid".

The army also said the "so-called Abubakar Shekau was 'fatally wounded' in the airstrike, in which at least 300 Boko Haram fighters were said to have been killed.

The Nigerian military had twice claimed it killed the Boko Haram leader in previous operations, a claim which Shekau refuted in subsequent video releases.

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