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US govt tags Boko Haram, ISIS, others as ‘entities of particular concern’

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The United States has tagged the terrorist group, Boko Haram, as one of the “entities of particular concern”.

The U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo in a statement also listed alongside Boko Haram other groups including ISIS, Al-Nura front, Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula, Al-Qa’ida, Al-Shabab, the Houthis, Isis-Khorasan, and the Taliban as entities of particular concern.

China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, were also designated as countries of particular concern.

The US top diplomat in the statement explained that the listed countries have engaged in or tolerated what it describes as systematic violations of religious freedom under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.

“In far too many places across the globe, individuals continue to face harassment, arrests, or even death for simply living their lives in accordance with their beliefs. the united states will not stand by as spectators in the face of such oppression,” the statement read in part.

According to him, protecting religious freedom is vital to ensuring peace, stability, and prosperity across the world.

Mr Pompeo also regretted that in far too many places across the globe, individuals continue to face harassment, arrests, or even death for simply living their lives in accordance with their beliefs.

“The United States will not stand by as spectators in the face of such oppression. Protecting and promoting international religious freedom is a top foreign policy priority of the Trump Administration.

“In July, I hosted the first-ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, which brought together some 85 like-minded governments and more than 400 civil society organisations to harness global attention and motivate forceful action to advance respect for the human right of religious freedom,” he added.

Pompeo also reiterated the commitment of the United States to working with governments, civil society organisations, and religious leaders to advance religious freedom around the world.

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