African Union slams ‘hurtful, upsetting’ Trump remark

US President Donald Trump (C) greets African Union Commission Chairperson Mahamat Moussa Faki (L) and President of African Bank for Development Akinwumi Adesina (R) after a family photo with leaders of the G7 and leaders of some African countries that have been invited for the two-day talks, on the second day of the G7 summit of Heads of State and of Government, on May 27, 2017 in Taormina, Sicily. / AFP PHOTO / Tiziana FABI

ADDIS ABABA – The African Union said Friday that President Donald Trump’s reported description of African nations as “sh*hole 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 sh**hole 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.

AFP