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African leaders cannot keep quiet about ‘shocking’ Trump remark

The African Union Commission chairman said African leaders may respond to Trump’s statements and actions, including his statements on Jerusalem and UN peacekeeping operations.

world Updated: Jan 25, 2018 16:24 IST
The Associated Press
The Associated Press
The Associated Press, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Donald Trump,shithole countries,African Union Commission
File photo of African Union Commission chairman Moussa Faki Mahmat. (AFP)

The chairman of the African Union Commission said on Thursday that the continent’s leaders cannot stay silent after US President Donald Trump’s alleged vulgar remarks about African countries and Haiti.

Moussa Faki Mahmat told African foreign ministers gathering in the Ethiopian capital that many are still digesting Trump’s comment that the continent’s countries are like a filthy toilet.

“The continent is deeply shocked by the message of hatred and the desire to marginalise Africa,” Mahmat said, before the African Union summit on Sunday.

He said African leaders may respond to other statements and actions by Trump. “The statements on Jerusalem, a reduction of contribution to a peacekeeping operations budget . The continent cannot keep quiet about all these,” said Mahmat.

Many Africans have reacted angrily to Trump’s rude comment but Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni grabbed headlines this week by saying the US president should be praised for not mincing words.

Botswana’s government called Trump’s comment “reprehensible and racist” and summoned the US ambassador to explain.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres responded to Trump’s remark by saying that “the dignity, equality and human rights of refugees and migrants has to be respected everywhere”.

First Published: Jan 25, 2018 16:24 IST