African Union slams 'hurtful, upsetting' Trump remark

Chadian African Union Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

The African Union said Friday that President Donald Trump's reported description of African nations as "shithole countries" broke with "accepted behaviour" and was "extremely upsetting."

Ebba Kalondo, spokeswoman for AU Chairperson Moussa Faki, told AFP that Trump's statement "truly flies in the face of accepted behaviour and practice."

"This is not only hurtful, I think, to people of African origin in the United States, but certainly to African citizens," she said.

"It's an extremely upsetting statement," she added.

The comment was reportedly made during a Thursday meeting with lawmakers about immigration reform when Trump demanded to know why the United States should accept citizens from "shithole countries", including Haiti, El Salvador and the entire African continent.

Trump then suggested the United States should welcome immigrants from places like Norway, whose prime minister met with Trump on Wednesday, according to the reports.

Trump denied in a tweet that he used the controversial language.

While Kalondo said the comments were "clearly" racist, she didn't believe they indicated a shift in the US stance towards Africa.

"The United States of America is a big country and the United States of America goes beyond just one man or one statement," she said.

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