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African Union slams ‘hurtful, upsetting’ Trump remark

FILE PHOTO: Trump speaks at the luncheon with African leaders recently.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia | AFP | The African Union said Friday that President Donald Trump’s reported description of African nations as “shithole countries” broke with “accepted behaviour” and was “extremely upsetting.”

Ebba Kalondo, spokeswoman for AU Chairperson Moussa Faki, told AFP that Trump’s statement “truly flies in the face of accepted behaviour and practice.”

“This is not only hurtful, I think, to people of African origin in the United States, but certainly to African citizens,” she said.

“It’s an extremely upsetting statement,” she added.

The comment was reportedly made during a Thursday meeting with lawmakers about immigration reform when Trump demanded to know why the United States should accept citizens from “shithole countries”, including Haiti, El Salvador and the entire African continent.

Trump then suggested the United States should welcome immigrants from places like Norway, whose prime minister met with Trump on Wednesday, according to the reports.

Trump denied in a tweet that he used the controversial language.

While Kalondo said the comments were “clearly” racist, she didn’t believe they indicated a shift in the US stance towards Africa.

“The United States of America is a big country and the United States of America goes beyond just one man or one statement,” she said.

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4 comments

  1. In our rush to condemn Donald Trump, I suggest that we all take an honest “man in the mirror” look at ourselves.
    Many African countries are indeed “shitholes”. Take a really good look at our continent, is there, with the exception of Senegal, any really functional francophone African state?
    Let’s start: Burundi, DRC, CAR, Congo Brazzaville, Cameroon, Mali, Niger, Togo etc… Let’s take a look at other states: Uganda, Eritrea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe – the list goes on.

    Most of our countries are completely dysfunctional (essential services like health care are largely non-existant; the state only serves the interest of the thugs in power and their families and hangers-on) – they can barely support themselves and their people without continuously begging for handouts – which by the way are also mismanaged; are governed by a seemingly incompetent and corrupt leadership.

    Maybe the ‘orange lunatic’ occupying the White House isn’t wrong. He is just saying what is on the minds of people all over the world – but are too afraid to voice that particular opinion.

    If indeed our countries weren’t “shitholes”, our people would not be facing the humiliation of slavery in Libya, they would not be drowining in the Mediterranean – while in a desparate bid to
    reach Europe.

    I can only hope that Trump’s description, can spur our leadership in a direction geared to grow our countries for Africans. Other regions (specifically Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea and now Vietnam) have done it. Why can’t we?

    • Dan, different countries have different problems, many are trying in their little ways to make a difference, but things have not been easy sometimes because of reasons beyond their control especially like connivence from you know who. I didn’t think Libya was a “shithole” before they destroyed it! I don’t think God created shithole countries, Congo was no a “shithole” country before it became a “property” of the king of Belgium! Poor Haiti had to pay millions in compensation to France for decades for becoming independent.

      I don’t know which country you come from but I don’t think whatever problems you may have, no country should be called that! It akin to insulting your mother.

      This great country whose leader is a disgrace, resents being called the “evil empire”, may be the “dotard” should be reminded that his “shithole” mouth ought to be closed for repairs, enough is enough. Mugabe used to tell them off, that’s why they “fixed” Zimbabwe.

      • Joe,

        I am a Ugandan like you, however, I am going to be honest about our country. Uganda is a “shithole” country.
        We do not have rule of law; the state is dysfunctional; the government clueless, corrupt and incompetent; the economy is in shambles; unemployment is sky high, we cannot sustain ourselves without foreign aid, etc.

        You make an honest reference to Congo which was ravaged by the Belgians; Haiti by the French, however, I can argue that Vietnam was completely destroyed by the Americans – by 1975, there was nothing of economic value in that country, however, they have been able to pull themselves out of the pit they were in, and today Vietnam is a middle-income country, with a functional state, and rapidly growing economy.

        Let’s take a look at Cambodia – a country that was totally ravaged by war and mis-rule in the 1970s – today, Cambodia is a rapidly growing economy. Both Vietnam and Cambodia are no longer “shithole” countries.

        We Africans need to stop making excuses. Yes, granted we went through colonialism, civil war etc, however, we should stop blaming colonialists – they left more than 50 years ago!!!

        There are signs of hope on the continent – countries like Botswana, Ghana, Ethiopia, Rwanda are pulling themselves out the pit.

        We too need to honestly examine ourselves, and find a solution – otherwise, we will remain shithole banana republics.

  2. Guys! Let’s be proactive about ourselves as countries, continent, nations, … what have You! Whatever ‘others’ might label us, the responsibility lies with us! Trump is simply honest; albeit rudely, about what ‘others’ and not an insignificant part of us do think about us, isn’t it!? Why do we emigrate often ‘shamelessly’?!!!!

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