Tillerson praises African Union for boosting security

Rex Tillerson and Moussa Faki seated at table (© Jonathan Ernst/AP Images)
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (left) with African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki, of Chad, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (© Jonathan Ernst/AP Images)

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, on the first leg of his March 6–13 trip to Africa, hailed the African Union as “a force for good” in the region.

The U.S. is grateful for the African Union’s role “in seeking solutions to help this continent move towards greater stability,” the secretary said in a March 8 meeting with African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Faki said Tillerson’s visit “is taking place at a time when Africa is firmly embarked on the path to integration and reform.”

America’s top diplomat praised the organization for naming 2018 as the year for winning the fight against corruption. “From high-level secret deals to petty bribes on the street,” Tillerson said, “corruption really does steal precious resources from job creators and entrepreneurs.”

The United States has supported the African Union — a group of heads of state from 55 African nations — since its beginning in 2002. The U.S. is the first non-African country with a mission to the union. Conflict prevention, mitigation and peace operations have been among the focuses of U.S.–African Union relations.

In his first trip to Africa as secretary of state, Tillerson is visiting five countries — Chad, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Nigeria — to meet with leaders to discuss ongoing efforts to combat terrorism and boost economic ties.