Tillerson travelled to Chad on Monday morning to meet President Idriss Deby, an important American ally whose military is battling al Qaeda and Islamic State-affiliated groups in the Sahel region.
Parallels were immediately drawn to the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls in Chibok in 2014, which captured world attention and contributed to the ouster of Buhari's predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan.
"The United States is very much engaged in the coordinated effort (of the Combined Multinational Force), both in equipment and training and in advice and information. We've not heard anything directly back from North Korea but we expect to hear something directly from them", he said during a visit to Nigeria's capital, Abuja. We hope that something can be developed to release these girls quickly.
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He was received by the Foreign affairs minister Geofrey Onyeama at the forecourt of the Villa.
"We are trying to be careful".
Tillerson was billed to depart Nairobi, the capital of Kenya on Monday to Abuja for his first official visit in Nigeria, where he is expected to hold talks with President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday.
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A key mission for Tillerson will be to ensure sustained Chadian cooperation, while also easing its displeasure for being included last September on the visa-ban list.
Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis left Washington for a six-day trip that begins with stops in Oman and Bahrain, where Mattis said his priority is to cement United States military relationships with the two Persian Gulf nations. "It is better to get our daughters back alive", he was quoted as saying. He says he believes those steps will "allow us to begin to normalize the travel relationship with Chad".
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