Tuesday 25 July 2017

Ghosts of Africa won't go away, Mr Trump

The outgoing US ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power Photo: Don Emmert / AFP / Getty Images
The outgoing US ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power Photo: Don Emmert / AFP / Getty Images

Fergal Keane

The whole scene in Washington was far from my mind. As the 45th President was taking the oath I was skirting the storm somewhere over Chad.

We bounced through the immense white cumulus, a forest of improbable shapes moulded by the changing currents of the African sky, until the plane entered clear air and we saw rivers glinting in the sunlight on the thick green face of the Earth. As President Trump declared his desire to put "America First" I was coming back to Africa.

It has been too long since I was last in the centre of the continent. Old ghosts kept me away. It was Rwanda and the memory of all that happened there when I was a younger man, back in 1994, that made the territories along the equator the places where bloodshed rears catastrophically every generation, terra ad vitanda. I am back because of Trump.

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