Ugandan president backs 'frank' Trump after 'shithole' remark

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni (AFP, File picture)
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni (AFP, File picture)

Kampala - Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday hailed Donald Trump for speaking "frankly" to Africans, after the US president unleashed a storm by reportedly describing African nations as "shithole countries."

"I love Trump because he speaks to Africans frankly. I don't know if he was misquoted or whatever. He talks about Africans' weaknesses frankly," Museveni said in the capital Kampala to members of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA).

Trump reportedly used the language at a private White House meeting on January 12, which led to condemnation in the US and around the world.

He has denied using that term, but admitted to using "tough" language at the meeting, and rebutted accusations of racism.

Museveni also turned to Twitter to show his appreciation for Trump's use of language.

"Donald Trump speaks to Africa frankly. Africans need to solve their problems. You can't survive if you are weak. It is the Africans' fault that they are weak," he wrote.

His comments were in stark contrast to the outrage expressed by other African leaders.

Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo tweeted that Trump's language was "extremely unfortunate". Namibia said the president's language had "no place in diplomatic discourse" and was "contrary to the norms of civility and human progress". The African Union, which represents African countries, demanded that Trump apologise.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), meanwhile, described the reported comments as "racist", "shocking and shameful".

Museveni, 73, has been in power in Uganda since 1986 and could potentially seek a sixth term in office in 2021 if a bill to remove presidential age limits is passed.

No stranger to controversy, on Monday he described Uganda as a "pre-industrial society" and said he regretted removing the death sentence, saying the move had been "a recipe for chaos".

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