Ghana’s president tells Trump his African nation isn’t a ‘s—gap nation’


WARNING:  This story includes vulgar language.

Two days after President Donald Trump described African nations, along with Haiti and El Salvador, as “shithole countries” with undesirable emigrants for the United States, the president of Ghana called the language “extremely unfortunate” and said his nation was not a “shithole country.” Nana Akufo-Addo, who assumed the presidency a year ago, made the comments on his Twitter account Saturday (Jan. 13).

“We will not accept such insults, even from a leader of a friendly country, no matter how powerful,” Afuko-Addo’s tweet added.

In his own tweet Friday, Trump had appeared to deny using the term “shithole,” as he was reported to have done during a private White House meeting Thursday. Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois, the lone Democrat present in the Oval Office at the time, said Trump’s denial was false and the president had said things that were “hate-filled, vile and racist.”

Akufo-Addo is at least the second head of state or government in an insulted country to respond publicly to Trump. Macky Sall, president of Senegal, tweeted Friday he was “shocked” by Trump’s words, adding that “Africa and the black race deserve the respect and consideration of all.”

The U.S. government has faced a sustained diplomatic backlash over the past few days due to the comments, as well as widespread criticism from civil society. The government of Botswana on Friday issued a statement condemning the remarks, calling them “irresponsible, reprehensible and racist,” and urging other nations to take a stand against Trump’s remarks.

A group of African ambassadors at the United Nations also issued a statement Friday to condemn the “outrageous, racist and xenophobic” remarks by the president.

Samantha Power, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, wrote on Twitter that she had “never seen a statement like this by African countries directed at the United Nations.”

Akufo-Addo’s predecessor, John Dramani Mahama, also criticized Trump’s comments Saturday. In his tweet, Mahama referred to speech made by Trump to African leaders at the United Nations in September, when the U.S. president praised their nations but also mistakenly referred to a nonexistent country called “Nambia.” Mahama’s tweet used an altered image of an Oval Office meeting featuring Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to mock that mistake.

In an earlier tweet, Mahama said that Trump’s comments showed he was “nothing but a racist.”

Ghana, located in west Africa, is one of the region’s most politically stable countries and has long enjoyed friendly relations with the United States. According to a Pew poll from 2015, 89 percent of the country said they had a favorable view of America, though that number dropped to 59 percent when the same poll was conducted in 2017.

Robert Jackson, the current U.S. ambassador to Ghana, told Ghanaian reporters last year that the election of Trump would not change the…



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