The U.S. State Department is headed to Nigeria this week amid the massacre of hundreds of Christians at the hands of various Islamic radical factions. Killings had spiked in October.
The State Department says on it website that the visit will be part of a wider focus on promoting stronger trade and commercial ties between the U.S. and several Africa countries, with the final stop in Abuja.
International Christian Concern noted that in April 2018, President Donald Trump’s administration signed a deal with the Nigerian government for purchasing 12 fighter jets, intended to be used to fight militants and bring an end to the killings of Christians and other civilians.
With the terrorist actions of Boko Haram, and separately other Islamic radicals who are presenting themselves as Fulani herdsmen, continuing in full force, however, ICC said that the Trump administration has “big decisions” to make concerning its strategy with Nigeria.
“Many are hoping that this week the Trump administration would stand up in support of religious freedoms in Nigeria,” the watchdog group said.
Emeka Umeagbalasi, board chair of the Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law, shared with The Christian Post that October was one of the deadliest months this year, with Islamic extremists killing 260 Christians and 100 Muslims.
“The senseless killings mostly took place in the Middle Belt Region of Nigeria particularly in the States of Kaduna (Southern part), Plateau, Adamawa, Benue and Borno (Northeast) and were perpetrated by state actor and non-state actor Jihadists. The killings, perpetrated in the name of ‘Islam,’ are done with reckless abandon despite heavy presence and deployment of soldiers in all the 36 States of Nigeria and the Abuja,” the monitoring group said in its October report.