15 January 2018

Liberia: AU Reacts to Us President Trump's 'Shithole' Remark

The African Union has expressed its disappointment and outrage over the unfortunate comments made by Mr. Donald Trump, President of the United States, describing Africa as 'shithole' countries and why people from Africa should be welcomed to the United States.

The AU's response was contained in a release dated Jan. 12, and issued in Washington DC, the US capital.

The US President was confirmed to have said: "Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?" with reference to countries mentioned by the lawmakers.

In plain language Trump told a bipartisan meeting of senators that the immigration system should be changed to allow fewer people from "shithole countries" during a discussion about Haiti, El Salvador, and African nations.

In its official reaction, the AU said "The African Union Mission wishes to express its infuriation, disappointment and outrage over the unfortunate comment made by Mr. Donald Trump, the President of the United States of America, which remarks dishonor the celebrated American creed and respect for diversity and human dignity."

Just emerging from highly contested elections, there has been no official reaction from the Government of Liberia but few African countries, including Botswana and Ghana weighed in their frustration on President Trumps unfavorable comment about Africa as 'shithole' countries.

According to the website, pulse.com, the Government of Botswana issued a blistering statement Friday in response to President Donald Trump's reported reference to Haiti, El Salvador, and African nations as "shithole countries."

Botswana's Ministry of International Affairs and Cooperation called on the US's ambassador to Botswana "to express its displeasure at the alleged utterances made by the President of the US." The ministry also asked the ambassador to clarify whether the US regarded Botswana as a "shithole" country, adding that Trump's comments were "highly irresponsible, reprehensible, and racist."

Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo took to Twitter to share his thoughts on the comments of Trump and said "The language of @realDonaldTrump that the African continent, Haiti and El Salvador are "shithole countries" is extremely unfortunate. We are certainly not a 'shithole country.' We will not accept such insults, even from a leader of a friendly country, no matter how powerful."

And former Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama also took to twitter, "Africans and Haitians come from 'shithole' countries? Isn't Trump demonstrating that he's nothing but a racist and pursuing a policy of 'Make America White Again'? I congratulate Botswana for showing the way. Our AU Presidents must respond strongly to this insult."

Meanwhile the AU said "The African Union, through its Member States, values the strategic partnership with the US. This relationship should be from the point of equality and mutual respect based on accepted international principles or respect of basic human dignity for all.

"The African Union Mission condemns the comments in the strongest terms and demands a retraction of the comment as well as an apology to not only to the Africans but to all people of African descent around the globe."

The White House did not initially deny the remark on Thursday, but Trump suggested in a tweet Friday that the "shithole" comment was "not the language used." Multiple senators of both Democrat and Republican parties confirmed Friday that Trump used those words.

A statement from Raj Shah, a deputy White House press secretary, did not deny that Trump made the comments.

"Like other nations that have merit-based immigration, President Trump is fighting for permanent solutions that make our country stronger by welcoming those who can contribute to our society, grow our economy and assimilate into our great nation," Shah said.

Shah added: "He will always reject temporary, weak and dangerous stopgap measures that threaten the lives of hardworking Americans, and undercut immigrants who seek a better life in the United States through the legal pathway."

As a consequence of Trump's remarks, there have been deluge of negative reactions from across the world against what many see as the US President's apparent lack for human diversity in a country that has its origins on immigrants from the rest of the world.

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