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Posted at: Jan 14, 2018, 1:39 AM; last updated: Jan 14, 2018, 1:39 AM (IST)

African Union calls Trump’s remarks racist, xenophobic

African Union calls Trump’s remarks racist, xenophobic
People join a protest to condemn US President Donald Trump's remarks against African nations in Florida. AFP

Nairobi, January 13

Africans have reacted angrily after US President Donald Trump reportedly referred to their nations as “shithole countries”, with many accusing the US president of racism and ignorance.

The 55-nation African Union (AU) condemned the remarks yesterday, while a statement from ambassadors of all countries from the continent at the United Nations demanded a retraction and apology.

The African Group of UN ambassadors said it was “extremely appalled at, and strongly condemns the outrageous, racist and xenophobic remarks by the president of the United States as widely reported by the media”.

Ambassadors unanimously agreed the resolution after an emergency session to weigh Trump’s remarks. The comment was “clearly” racist, said Ebba Kalondo, spokeswoman for AU chief Moussa Faki. “This is even more hurtful given the historical reality of just how many Africans arrived in the United States as slaves, and also terribly surprising as the United States remains a massively positive example as just how migration can give birth to a nation,” Kalondo said.

Trump reportedly demanded to know why the US should accept immigrants from “shithole countries”, after lawmakers raised the issue of protections for immigrants from African nations, Haiti and El Salvador.  However he later tweeted: “this was not the language used”.

The ÚN slammed the reported remarks as “shocking and shameful” and “racist”.

“You cannot dismiss entire countries and continents as ‘shitholes’ whose entire populations, who are not white, are therefore, not welcome,” Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN human rights office, told reporters in Geneva. Botswana summoned the US ambassador to the country to “clarify if Botswana is regarded as a ‘shithole’ country”, according to a foreign ministry statement calling Trump’s comments “irresponsible, reprehensible and racist”. — AFP

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