Botswana on Friday officially asked the US ambassador whether Donald Trump considers the nation a “s***hole” country, describing the American president’s disparaging comments about African countries “reprehensible and racist”.
Trump had sparked outrage on Thursday after he questioned during a meeting with lawmakers why the US would want to take in immigrants from Haiti and African nations, referring to them as “s***hole countries”. He also suggested the US should welcome immigrants from places such as Norway.
He later seemed to backtrack, tweeting this was not the language used by him. But by then, the damage had been done.
“The Botswana Government has also enquired from the US Government through the Ambassador, to clarify if Botswana is regarded as a ‘s***hole’ country given that there are Botswana nationals residing in the US, and also that some of Botswana may wish to visit the US,” said a statement from the country’s ministry of international affairs and cooperation.
“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 for so many years,” it added.
The statement further said: “Botswana 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 come to Botswana at the end of this month; that is why we view the utterances by the current American President as highly irresponsible, reprehensible and racist.”
PRESS RELEASE |Botswana condemns remarks made by President Trump @VensonMoitoi@MIACBW@OfficialMasisipic.twitter.com/16i7CUMR4x— Botswana Government (@BWGovernment) January 12, 2018
Trump’s remarks provoked angry reactions from other corners.
Haiti summoned the charge d’affaires of the US embassy to protest the derogatory term, while South Africa’s ruling ANC party described Trump as “extremely offensive”.
The UN too criticised the remarks as “shocking and shameful” and “racist”.