Bhawna Atmaram

Following the remarks of US President Donald Trump that immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African nations are undesirable as they are from ‘shithole countries’, the backlash has been quick to surface and send powerful ripples within the US itself and worldwide, condemning the absolutely unwarranted, derogatory and abhorrent terms used by the man who should have known better, but clearly did not and might not!

Some of the ‘shithole countries’ pinpointed have responded through individual and collective tweets, press releases or asking for clarifications from the US ambassadors posted in their territories. Many American citizens have also expressed their outrage against a president who is on a spree of putting his foot in his mouth.

As a citizen of Mauritius, which forms part of Africa, I felt the feathers our Dodo ruffle and having seen no response till date from the Mauritian authorities, I will take it upon myself to proudly claim: My country, Mauritius, is no ‘shithole either’! While some might disagree and point out that Mauritius does not form part of the list of ‘shithole countries’ specifically addressed and that ‘if the cap fits you, you should wear it’, these individuals are of course entitled to their opinions. However, the fact IS that Mauritius is part and parcel of the African continent. It is therefore incumbent on our Minister of Foreign Affairs or even the Prime Minister to set the record straight and stand in solidarity with our African brothers and sisters.

Like any other country, we do have our ups and downs but our strength lies in overcoming the challenges thrown at us. Donald Trump has every right to control the borders of the US but his continuously undiplomatic tenure is sending out very wrong signals, tantamount to bullying, which should not be tolerated at any cost. I demand my government to defend the honour of our African brethren by denouncing the big bully. Would that be asking for too much from a caring government?