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African nations unite against Trump's reported 's***hole' countries slur

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All African countries at the United Nations unanimously demanded that US President Donald Trump retract and apologise for his reported denunciation of immigration from 's***hole' nations.

The African Group of UN ambassadors is "extremely appalled at, and strongly condemns the outrageous, racist and xenophobic remarks by the president of the United States of America as widely reported by the media," a statement said.

After an emergency session to weigh Trump's remarks, the group said it was "concerned at the continuing and growing trend from the US administration toward Africa and people of African descent to denigrate the continent and people of color."

While demanding a "retraction and an apology" from Trump, the 54 countries also thanked those Americans "from all walks of life who have condemned the remarks."

The resolution was passed unanimously after four hours of discussions.

"For once, we are all on the same page," an ambassador told AFP.

The ambassadors did not consult their governments before issuing the resolution, he said, adding that some could now expect to receive phone calls from their capitals because of the text's strong tone.

Trump's comments were allegedly made on Thursday at a White House meeting with lawmakers on immigration reform.

After lawmakers raised the issue of protections for immigrants from African nations, Haiti and El Salvador, the president reportedly demanded to know why the United States should accept immigrants from "s***hole countries," rather than -- for instance -- wealthy and overwhelmingly white Norway.

He tweeted a convoluted denial Friday in an attempt to quell outrage both at home and abroad.

Earlier, the 55-nation African Union condemned the remarks, while Botswana and Senegal hauled in the US ambassador to complain. 

The comment "truly flies in the face of accepted behavior and practice," said Ebba Kalondo, spokeswoman for AU chief Moussa Faki.

Western Sahara is not recognised as a sovereign state by the UN and thus not included in its African Group. 

It is, however, part of the African Union, which Morocco left in 1984 over the body's recognition of the disputed territory's independence, before rejoining it last year.

'Nothing new' 

This is not the first time Trump has rubbed Africans up the wrong way -- he was widely derided last year after he twice referred to Namibia as "Nambia".

On social media, users across the continent on Friday posted images of modern skylines and beautiful nature from their countries with the ironic hashtag "s***hole".

Many Africans reminded the US of its historic role in the continent's woes.

"President Trump, One day, I'll take you to a 's***hole' country called Ghana," wrote Ghanaian Edmond Prime Sarpong on Facebook.

"First stop would be Osu Castle, Elmina Castle, and the over 40 Forts that detained about 30 million slaves, beaten and shipped out like sardine cans and then I will tell you the history of Africa and why people like you made that a 's***hole' continent."

Prominent Kenyan commentator Patrick Gathara, told AFP that Trump's words were nothing new from a "racist and ignorant" administration, nor from the West at large.

"This is no different from what Hollywood and Western media have been saying about Africa for decades. We have consistently been portrayed as sh**ty people from sh**ty countries."

 

'Extremely offensive'

"This statement shocks us a lot... as Africans but as black people too", said Senegalese teacher Mohamed Dieye, adding that "we do not need Americans or Europeans, we will go it alone".

Some acknowledged problems in their countries, but blamed this on their poor leaders as well as western nations such as the US.

"Please don't confuse the #s***hole leaders we Africans elect with our beautiful continent... Our motherland is the most blessed continent that has been raped by imperialists in collaboration with our sh**ty misleaders for generations," wrote Kenyan activist Boniface Mwangi on Twitter.

In South Africa, the ruling party declared "ours is not a s***hole country" and described Trump as "extremely offensive".

"It is not as if the United States doesn't have difficulties. There are millions of unemployed people in the US, millions of people who don't have health care services or access to education and we would not deign to make comments as derogatory as that," said Jessie Duarte, the deputy secretary general of the African National Congress (ANC).

'It's our s***hole' 

Some Nigerians however did not hold back, with many on Twitter saying their country was a "s***hole", but that it was "our s***hole" to criticise.

In Senegal's capital Dakar, administrator Idrissa Fall said "we cannot really say that he (Trump) is wrong". 

"African countries, and sometimes our leaders, do not exactly deal with the problems of the worst-off, that's what makes people immigrate".

Even war-torn South Sudan weighed in, with President Salva Kiir's spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny slamming the comments as "outrageous".

However Juba businesswoman Jenny Jore, 31, told AFP that Trump's remarks were "on point".

"It is thanks to our African leaders that we are insulted that way," she said.

Trump's latest comments also provided ample fodder for talkshow hosts.

South African comedian Trevor Noah, star of "The Daily Show", described himself as an offended citizen of "South S***hole" and also criticised Trump's preferred choice of Norway for immigrants.

"He didn't just name a white country, he named the whitest -– so white they wear moon-screen," he said.

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