The Latest: African nations shocked, angered by Trump


JOHANNESBURG (AP) – The Latest on President Donald Trump’s comments on Africa and Haiti (all times local):

1:55 p.m.

Botswana’s government is calling President Donald Trump’s vulgar comment on immigrants from African nations and Haiti “reprehensible and racist.”

A statement by the southern African nation says the U.S. ambassador has been summoned. Botswana says it wants to clarify whether the nation is regarded as, to use Trump’s word, a “shithole” country after years of cordial relations.

Other African nations have begun speaking up.

Uganda’s state minister for international relations, Henry Okello Oryem, calls Trump’s remarks “unfortunate and regrettable.”

He adds that “we pray that the almighty god gives him wisdom to change his mind about people who are suffering and looking for safe haven in America.”

He says he hopes African heads of state will reply to Trump at an African Union summit later this month.


1:05 p.m.

The U.N. human rights office says President Donald Trump’s reported use of an expletive to describe Africa and other countries could “potentially damage and disrupt the lives of many people.”

Repeating the term attributed to Trump a day earlier, spokesman Rupert Colville says that “you cannot dismiss entire countries and continents as ‘shitholes’.”

Colville said Friday that the comments, if confirmed, were “shocking and shameful” and “I’m sorry, but there’s no other word one can use but racist.”

People briefed on the extraordinary Oval Office conversation confirmed the remarks, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss it publicly. White House spokesman Raj Shah did not deny them when asked.

Colville says Trump’s reported comment could endanger lives by potentially fanning xenophobia: “It legitimizes the targeting of people based on who they are.”

“This isn’t just a story about vulgar language, it’s about opening the door to humanity’s worst side,” he said.

Colville says Trump’s reported comments “go against the universal values the world has been striving so hard to establish since World War II and the Holocaust.”


12:25 p.m.

The U.S. government’s Africa Media Hub is trying to put out the flames sparked by President Donald Trump’s vulgar comments about African immigrants.

Without directly referring to Trump’s statement, the tweet says that “US remains committed to working together w/Africans to realize the promise of a more peaceful, more productive, more prosperous 21st century Africa. US deeply respects the people of #Africa & values its partnerships with them.”

Trump on Thursday questioned why the U.S. would accept more immigrants from Haiti and “shithole countries” in Africa rather than places like Norway in rejecting a bipartisan immigration deal.


11:55 a.m.

South Africa’s ruling party is calling President Donald Trump’s comment on African immigrants “extremely offensive.”

Deputy secretary general Jesse Duarte of the African National Congress tells reporters that developing countries do have difficulties but that the United States itself has millions of people out of work or without health care.

She says that “we would not deign to make comments as derogatory” as Trump’s.

Trump has questioned why the U.S. would accept more immigrants from Haiti and “shithole countries” in Africa rather than places like Norway in rejecting a bipartisan immigration deal.


11:05 a.m.

The African Union says it is “frankly alarmed” by President Donald Trump’s statement in which he used vulgar language to question why the U.S. 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 behavior and practice,” AU spokeswoman Ebba Kalondo tells The Associated Press. “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 adds that “we believe that a statement like this hurts our shared global values on diversity, human rights and reciprocal understanding.”


9 a.m.

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 U.S. 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 U.S. aid, some hesitate to jeopardize it by criticizing Trump.

In South Sudan, government spokesman 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.