‘Are we a shithole country?’ — Botswana queries US ambassador over Trump’s ‘irresponsible’ comment

The Government of Botswana has queried the Ambassador of United States of America to the country over comments attributed to Donald Trump, which described African countries as “shithole countries”.

According to a statement by Botswana’s Ministry of International Affairs and Cooperation, the US Ambassador was asked to “clarify if Botsana is regarded as a ‘shithole’ country, given that there are Botswana nationals residing in the US. and that some… 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 for so many years,” the statement read in part.

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The current US Ambassador to Botswana is Earl R. Miller, according to the website of the US Embassy in Gaborone, the capital of Botswana.

“Botswana has accepted US citizens within her borders for so many years, and continues to host US guests and senior government officials, including a congressional delegation that will come to Botswana by the end of this month; that is why we view the utterances of the current American President as highly irresponsible, reprehensible and racist.

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“Botswana calls of SADC (Southern African Development Community), the African Union and all other progressive nations across the world to strongly condemn the comments made by President Trump.”

Trump allegedly made the remarks in the White House when some members of the US Senate came to brief him on a newly-drafted immigration bill being considered by a bipartisan group of senators.

“Why do we want all these people from Africa here? They’re shithole countries … We should have more people from Norway,” Trump was quoted as saying.

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The White House did not deny Trump’s comments but explained that the President supports immigration policies that welcome “those who can contribute to our society”.

The United Nations condemned the comments attributed to Trump, with Rupert Colville, UN human rights spokesman, saying: “There is no other word one can use (to describe the comments) but racist.”

“You cannot dismiss entire countries and continents as ‘shitholes’, whose entire populations, who are not white, are therefore not welcome.”

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