Johannesburg – The African Union says it is “frankly alarmed” by President Donald Trump’s statement in which he used vulgar language to question why the US would accept more immigrants from African countries and Haiti.
“Given the historical reality of how many Africans arrived in the United States as slaves, this statement flies in the face of all accepted behaviour and practice,” AU spokesperson Ebba Kalondo said.
“This is particularly surprising as the United States of America remains a global example of how migration gave birth to a nation built on strong values of diversity and opportunity.”
She added that “we believe that a statement like this hurts our shared global values on diversity, human rights and reciprocal understanding”.
Africa is waking up to find President Donald Trump has finally taken an interest in the continent. It’s not what people expected.
Trump has questioned why the US would accept more immigrants from Haiti and “shithole countries” in Africa rather than places like Norway in rejecting an immigration deal.
African governments find themselves in an awkward position. As top recipients of US aid, some hesitate to jeopardize it by criticizing Trump.
In South Sudan, government spokesperson Ateny Wek Ateny says that “unless it was specifically said about South Sudan, we have nothing to say.”
African media outlets and the continent’s young, connected population are less shy.
“Casual Friday at the White House is soon to include hoods and tiki torches at this rate,” South African media outlet Daily Maverick says.