The African Union, a group representing the African countries, and African ambassadors to the United Nations sharply denounced US President Donald Trump’s reference to African nations as “shitholes” and called on him to retract his statement and apologize.
‘The African Union Mission wishes to express its infuriation, disappointment and outrage over the unfortunate comment made by Mr. Donald Trump, President of the United States of America, which remarks dishonor the celebrated American creed and respect for diversity and human dignity,’ the African Union mission to the United States said in a blistering statement.
On Thursday, in a meeting that Trump had with the lawmakers to discuss a proposal for an immigration plan, the President of the States reportedly grew agitated as the conversation turned to citizens of Haiti and El Salvador, and immigrants from the African continent.
‘Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?’ he asked, according to multiple sources present at the White House meeting.
His comments Thursday revived racism accusations against Trump, roiled immigration talks and set off international outrage that left some foreign journalists wondering how to express the offending word, according to the reports.
‘We have dozens of language services at the BBC which today are all discussing the right way to translate into their own language the word ‘shithole’ for their millions of listeners,’ Paul Danahar, the editor of the BBC’s North America bureau, tweeted Friday.
It is reported that all 54 African ambassadors to the United Nations decried Donald Trump’s reported remarks as “outrageous, racist, and xenophobic” on Friday, a day after US media reported that Trump had referred to African states, Haiti, and El Salvador as “shithole countries.”
The UN diplomats met for an emergency session before issuing a joint statement to demand a “retraction and an apology” from the US president.
‘For once, we are all on the same page,’ an ambassador told the Agence France-Presse news agency.
Though Trump argues that he did not use the word as his remark for the African countries, numerous of the people that were present at the time, have testified he did – sources show.
The AU, in the strongest terms, also reportedly demanded “a retraction of the comment as well as an apology, not only to the Africans, but to all people of African descent around the globe.”
They however thanked the American people from all walks of life and backgrounds who have condemned the remarks and reaffirmed their commitment to the values and principles of multilateralism, diversity and equality of nations.
With the anger amongst the African nations currently, Trump’s remarks might impact US companies doing business in one of the world’s fastest growing regions and complicate the Pentagon’s counterterrorism efforts and security cooperation on the continent, diplomats and analysts said.
It will certainly sour relations with this administration.
‘I don’t think this will just blow over,’ said Peter Lewis, director of African Studies at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, ‘I think it fundamentally poisons the relationship with numerous countries.’
After Trump’s remarks, two African American members of congress have announced they are boycotting Donald Trump’s State of the Union in protest at his “unbelievable” remarks in which he allegedly described Haiti and African nations as “shithole countries”.
Democrats Maxine Waters and John Lewis said they would not attend the speech, technically the President’s first State of the Union, as controversy grew over his alleged remarks, which many said were racist and vulgar.
‘Why would I take my time to go and sit and listen to a liar?’ said Ms Waters, a California congresswoman.
Trump’s comments speculated numerous comments from various people across the globe, among which many believe that racism is in Trump’s DNA.
Reporter: Shamilah Namuddu