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December 17, 2018

Botswana wants African countries to condemn Trump's 'shithole' remarks

US Ambassador to Botswana Earl Miller
US Ambassador to Botswana Earl Miller

The government of Botswana has called on SADC and other African countries to strongly condemn the latest remarks by the US president Donal Trump calling African countries 'shitholes'.

Through its Ministry of International Affairs and Cooperation, it says it has also summoned the US ambassador to the country Earl  Miller to express their displeasure over the remarks.

"Today we summoned the US Ambassador to Botswana to express our displeasure at the alleged utterances made by the president Donald Trump when he referred to African Countries and others as 'shithole countries'" read part of the statement from the government.

Botswana put Miller to task to clarify if it is regarded as shithole country given that there are Botswana nationals residing in the US and also that some of Botswana may wish to visit the US.

"The government of Botswana is wondering why president Trump must use this descriptor and derogatory word when talking about countries with whom the US has had cordial and mutually beneficial bilateral relations over the years," the statement read.

President Donald Trump on Thursday questioned why the United States would want to have immigrants from Haiti and African nations.

According to an article by Reuters, Trump is said to have referred to some as “shithole countries,” as per two sources familiar with the comments.

Reuters said one of the sources who was briefed on the conversation said that Trump said: “Why do we want all these people from Africa here? They’re shithole countries ... We should have more people from Norway.”

The second source familiar with the conversation said Trump, who has vowed to clamp down on illegal immigration, also questioned the need for Haitians in the United States.

Botswana government has protested these remarks saying it has accepted US citizens within her borders over the years and continues to host US guests and senior government officials including a congressional delegation that will visit the country at the end of the month.

"This is why we view the utterances by the current American president highly irresponsible, reprehensible and racist," part of the statement quoted.

This also comes as a section of Democrats and some Republican lawmakers slammed the president for his remarks.

Republican US Representative Mia Love, a daughter of Haitian immigrants, said the comments were “unkind, divisive, elitist, and fly in the face of our nation’s values” and called on Trump to apologise to the American people and to the countries he denigrated.

Another Republican Representative, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who was born in Cuba and whose south Florida district includes many Haitian immigrants, said: “Language like that shouldn’t be heard in locker rooms and it shouldn’t be heard in the White House.”

Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, a frequent Trump critic, said the president’s comment “smacks of blatant racism, the most odious and insidious racism masquerading poorly as immigration policy.”

In an apparent response to his critics, Trump took to Twitter late on Thursday night.

“The Democrats seem intent on having people and drugs pour into our country from the Southern Border, risking thousands of lives in the process,” he tweeted.

“It is my duty to protect the lives and safety of all Americans. We must build a Great Wall, think Merit and end Lottery & Chain. USA!”

Read:Trump questions taking immigrants from 'shithole countries' - sources







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