- The United States has placed Nigeria on a special watch list over alleged religious persecution
- Other countries on the list are Comoros, Russia, and Uzbekistan, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Sudan
- The US government said the designation is part of the Trump's administration to promote religious freedom and combat abuses
Following allegations of rights violations, the United States has put Nigeria on a special watch list of countries that have engaged in or tolerated “severe violations of religious freedom.”
This was disclosed in a statement titled United States Takes Action Against Violators of Religious Freedom and released on Friday, December 20, by the US secretary of state, Michael Pompeo.
Pompeo noted that the protection of religious freedom is a top priority for President Donald Trump administration's foreign policy.
He explained that the designations were parts of Trump's administration to promote religious freedom and combat abuses.
The US authorities said it placed Nigeria, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Sudan "on a Special Watch List (SWL) for governments that have engaged in or tolerated “severe violations of religious freedom.”
Legit.ng notes that Comoros, Russia, and Uzbekistan are also on the list.
The US authorities also designated Boko Haram as an Entity of Particular Concern alongside other terrorist organisations.
"We will continue to challenge state and non-state entities that seek to infringe upon those fundamental rights and to ensure they are held to account for their actions," the statement added partly.
Though the US does not specifically indicate why Nigeria was put on the list, Legit.ng notes that the federal government has been having an unending battle the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) also referred to as Shiites.
The federal government has since proscribed the IMN, saying the move was to discourage violence, murder and willful destruction of public and private property by the group.
Recently, members of the IMN made an appeal to the federal government for a peaceful dialogue. The group, through its leader in the Katsina chapter, Malam Yahaya Yakubu, on Saturday, October 19, said that the move is to ensure that peace reigns in the country.
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