The African Union, an organization comprised of all 55 African nations, blasted US President Donald Trump’s comments that the continent contained “shithole countries.”
“The African Union Mission wishes to express its infuriation, disappointment and outrage over the unfortunate comment made by Mr. Donald Trump, the President of the United States of America, which remarks dishonor the celebrated American creed and respect for diversity and human dignity,” the union said in a statement.
The response came after Trump told a bipartisan meeting of senators that the immigration system should be changed to allow fewer people from “shithole countries” during a discussion about Haiti, El Salvador, and African nations.
The union also demanded that Trump formally retract the statement and deliver “an apology not only to the Africans but to all people of African descent around the globe.”
The statement from the African Union also followed a slew of international condemnations. Some countries, such as Botswana, demanding the president apologize for his remark.
The African Union said in its statement that while it condemn Trump’s remark, maintaining a dialogue with the president was necessary to help him better understand their continent.
“While expressing our shock, dismay and outrage, the African Union strongly believes that there is a huge misunderstanding of the African continent and its people by the current administration,” the statement said. “There is a serious need for dialogue between the US administration and the African countries.”
The White House did not initially deny the remark on Thursday, but Trump suggested in a tweet Friday that the “shithole” comment was “not the language used.” Multiple senators of both parties confirmed or suggested Friday that Trump used those words.