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US places travel restrictions on Nigerians involved in violence and rigging during elections

September 15, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

The US government has placed travel restrictions on Nigerians who undermine "democratic process or organize election-related violence" during elections.

(CNN)The US government has placed travel restrictions on Nigerians who undermine "democratic process or organize election-related violence" during elections.

Last year travel restrictions were also placed on individuals who were involved in corruption and electoral violence during the country's general elections in February - March 2019.

The lastest visa restrictions affect "individuals have so far operated with impunity at the expense of the Nigerian people and have undermined democratic principles," Morgan Ortagus, a US State Department spokeswoman, said in a statement announcing the restrictions Monday.

The visa restrictions will only affect "certain individuals and not directed at the Nigerian people," the report says.

Nigeria's general elections and parliamentary elections, held between March and April 2019, were marred by violence, vote-buying and rigging.

More than 620 people died of violence during the 2019 elections cycle, according to a report from SBM Intelligence, one of Nigeria's leading analysis platforms.

This violence weakens voter confidence in the government and scares away Nigerians from participating in elections, says Lagos based public affairs analyst Samuel Ibemere.

Nigeria will go to the polls once more on September 19 to elect the governor of Edo state, one of the states included in the US visa ban.

Samuel says he expects the US ban to change the political culture of violence in Nigeria, as well as other African countries because of Nigeria's strategic influence in the region.

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