Diaspora Reacts to Firing of Tillerson and What It Means for Africa at Tadias Magazine

by Zelalem

The recently fired US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is greeted by Ethiopia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Workneh Gebeyehu as he arrives at Addis Ababa airport on March 7th, 2018. (Photo: EPA)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: March 18th, 2018

New York (TADIAS) — It was supposed to be Rex Tillerson’s first trip to Africa as America’s top diplomat, but it turned out to be his last one.

“So what was the point of it all?,” asked a poignant article published by the Washington Post following Trump’s unceremonious firing of Tillerson last week. “Couldn’t he have just stayed home and sent Africa an email?”

From a public relations point of view, as Reuters points out: “Tillerson’s main aim appeared to be clearing up the mess left by President Donald Trump’s reported dismissal of some African nations as ‘shithole countries’ in addition to promising “$533 million in humanitarian aid and some pat remarks about security and not getting too cozy with China.”

The Washington Post piece adds: “the administration no doubt needed to do something to soften the blow of President Trump’s “shithole countries” remarks (though Tillerson sidestepped the issue at news conferences)… Ultimately, many Africans in the countries he visited were unimpressed.”

In a follow-up story featured today (Sunday, March 18th) titled “In Africa, Trump’s firing of Tillerson a New Sign of Neglect,” The Associated Press highlights the perspective of Africans as well as members of the African Diaspora including Ethiopian Americans.

Befekadu Hailu, a prominent Ethiopian blogger, told The Associated Press that “Africans have nothing to take Trump seriously. He already proved himself ethno-centrist and exclusivist, no friend to Africa.”

Regarding the removal of Tillerson while making his inaugural visit to the continent, Ted Alemayhu, an Ethiopian-born American who is running for Congress to represent California’s 39th District, told AP: “That, in my opinion, is adding insult to injury.”

The Associated Press notes: “While in Africa, Tillerson tried to project a more positive image of the continent, saying its rapid economic growth and fast-growing populations mean its future is increasingly linked to America’s. He visited some of Africa’s most prominent economies in Nigeria, Kenya and Ethiopia and highlighted U.S. security issues with stops in Chad and Djibouti… Tillerson also sought to reassure African nations that aid would continue even as the Trump administration pursues deep cuts in foreign assistance.”

AP states “unlike Trump, recent U.S. leaders engaged substantially with Africa. Bill Clinton created a signature trade program known as the African Growth and Opportunity Act, and George W. Bush launched an HIV treatment program, PEPFAR, that has boosted the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of AIDS patients across Africa. Barack Obama enjoyed goodwill throughout the continent, even though some in Africa felt he fell short of expectations as the son of a Kenyan man. Trump has not indicated any possible initiatives for Africa.”

Read the full article at the washingtonpost.com »

Diaspora’s Role in Helping to Shape Better U.S. Foreign Policy Towards Ethiopia
Trump Fires Tillerson (UPDATE)
In the end, no one was more surprised that Tillerson was fired than Tillerson
Tillerson in Ethiopia Media Round Up
Tillerson Calls Ethiopia ‘A Young Democracy’
A Look Back at Obama’s Visit to Ethiopia
Ethiopia Pictures: Yirgacheffe Coffee for Tillerson, Ethiopic Script Tie for Lavrov
Tillerson, in Africa, Dodges Questions on Vulgarity and Trolling (NYT)
Tillerson and Lavrov Book Same Ethiopian Hotel—and Can’t Agree on a Meeting (Bloomberg)
Africa should avoid forfeiting sovereignty to China over loans: Tillerson (Reuters)
Trump’s comments on Africa cast pall over Tillerson’s long-awaited trip (The Washington Post)
Tillerson’s Ethiopia visit to stress US interest-based diplomacy: analyst
Strikes Spread in Restive Ethiopia Region Before Tillerson Visit (Bloomberg)
Institution Building, Ethnic Conflict, Sudan Refugees on Tillerson Ethiopia Agenda
Russia suggests Tillerson-Lavrov meeting in Ethiopia this week
Tillerson Heads to Addis, Ethiopia Doubles Down on Emergency Law: Media Round up

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook

Read More News Here Source link

Related Posts

Leave a Comment