Tillerson cuts short Africa visit


US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson cut short his first trip to Africa to return to Washington a day ahead of schedule to deal with urgent work there.

Tillerson’s travel plans changed so he can return to Washington on Tuesday morning instead of late that night, a spokesman for the top US diplomat told reporters travelling with him.

The secretary departed Nairobi on Monday morning. He will visit Chad and Nigeria, both oil-producers struggling to contain the Islamist Boko Haram insurgency, on Monday afternoon and evening.

Instead of spending Monday night in Abuja, before flying back to Washington, Tillerson’s spokesman said the secretary had changed his schedule so he would spend only a few hours in Nigeria before leaving to fly home.

On Saturday while visiting Nairobi, Tillerson cancelled scheduled events because he was unwell.

Tillerson’s week-long, five-country visit to Africa comes amid other urgent foreign policy developments, including Thursday’s announcement that US President Donald Trump will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.