Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Africa

Newsline: Slovaki envoy to Kenya collapses, dies at embassy

A Slovaki envoy to Kenya collapsed and died at the embassy in Nairobi on Tuesday. The cause of death remains unclear but police said they are investigating the matter. His body was taken to the mortuary for a postmortem on Wednesday morning.

http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2017/03/15/slovaki-envoy-to-kenya-collapses-dies-at-embassy_c1525181

Newsline: Kenya Halts Mogadishu Embassy Project Over Insecurity

The insecurity in Somalia has seen Kenya halt construction of an embassy in Mogadishu, Foreign Affairs secretary Amina Mohamed told Parliament. She said a third of works at Mogadishu embassy, which includes construction of an office block, ambassador’s residence and four staff houses, had been done when building was stopped. Ms Mohamed told the National Assembly’s Defence and Foreign Affairs committee that the project commenced in August 2015 and was due for completion in December 2016. “However, it has slowed down due to security challenges. The project completion rate is at 35 per cent,” she told MPs. In March 2014, Kenya announced plans to reopen its embassy in Mogadishu to boost its diplomatic engagement with Somalia. The Kenyan embassy to Somalia has been operating from Nairobi — at the NSSF Building — and many other Foreign missions have engaged Somalia from their Nairobi missions due to insecurity in Mogadishu.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201703130599.html

Newsline: Chinese embassy in Namibia distances self from ‘rotten’ nationals

The Chinese embassy in Namibia has distanced its operations and relations from what its chargé d’affaires Li Nan called the ‘rotten’ Chinese, following dozens of poaching cases and other illegal activities involving Chinese nationals. Several Chinese were also arrested in arguably the biggest financial scandal ever reported in Namibia, involving N$3.5 billion that the government allegedly lost in tax evasion and money laundering, among others counts in the matter. Some Namibians were also arrested in connection with the case. “China will never give unprincipled protection to Chinese national suspects if they are treated according to the law,” he said. He said Chinese nationals that are involved in illegal activities do not represent the local Chinese community and embassy, and certainly not the People’s Republic of China.

https://www.newera.com.na/2017/03/06/chinese-embassy-distances-self-from-rotten-nationals/

Newsline: Nigerians Storm South Africa Embassy, Demand Suspension Of Ambassador

Nigerians, under the aegis of Advocates for Collective Transformation and Youth Empowerment Initiative, took the protest against attacks on Nigerians in South Africa to the country’s Embassy on Molade Okoya Thomas Street, Victoria Island, Lagos State. The protesters, who were mostly youths, occupied the frontage of the embassy, singing solidarity songs. Expressing their displeasure at the destruction and looting of business ventures owned by Nigerians in South Africa, they called on the Federal Government to shut down the South African high commission offices in the country. They also demanded that the government suspended the South African ambassador to Nigeria and other officials until the safety of Nigerians in South Africa could be guaranteed. Some persons, believed to be officials of the embassy, observed the protest from the barred gate of the embassy and took some photos.

https://www.nigeriatoday.ng/2017/03/xenophobia-nigerians-storm-south-africa-embassy-demand-suspension-of-ambassador/

Newsline: US Ambassador’s Gift to Somali President Leads to Confusion

Controversy is surrounding a meeting between U.S. Ambassador to Somalia Stephen Schwartz, who was appointed by former president Barack Obama, and new Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo. The controversy is not so much about the meeting but what happened during the photo opportunity when Schwartz gave Farmajo a hat bearing a slogan that appears to be derived from President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.” After the meeting, the Twitter account of the U.S. Mission tweeted about the meeting posting a message that read, “US2SOM Amb Schwartz had a fruitful mtng w Pres Farmaajo 2day + presented the Pres with a cap “MAKE SOM GREAT AGAIN.” The photo attached with the message shows the two men shaking hands and holding the hat. Most Twitter users thought the gift was a diplomatic misstep; others were harsher and said the timing for such a message was inappropriate because of Trump’s recent immigration travel ban that affected seven Muslim-majority nations, including Somalia.

http://www.voanews.com/a/us-ambassador-gift-to-somali-president/3730709.html

Newsline: Namibian Embassy to the Rescue As Zimbabwe Envoy’s Car Breaks Down in France

Zimbabwe’s diplomats in Europe are using battered cars with some relying on fellow African envoys’ transport to attend business, a government report has revealed. One such diplomat is Rudo Mabel Chitiga, Zimbabwe’s ambassador to France. According to a recent report by the Parliamentary Portfolio on Foreign Affairs, to the speaker of Parliament, Jacob Mudenda, Chitiga’s car failed to start when she had visited a fellow African diplomat in Paris recently. “The first incident involved our ambassador in Paris whose official car couldn’t start when she had visited her Namibian counterpart and was forced, under humiliating circumstances, to use the Namibian ambassador’s car back to her office. This is because the car she is using has already outlived its life span,” said the report.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201702140047.html

Newsline: Kenya police arrest US diplomat for fleeing accident scene and brandishing gun

A US diplomat has been arrested in Nairobi for fleeing the scene of a road rage clash with another driver where local police claim he brandished a gun. The diplomat, who has not been named, was disarmed by police after the incident on Sunday, according to authorities in the Kenyan capital. While it’s not clear what prompted the row, Robinson Thuku, chief of police in Nairobi’s central business district, said it was ‘obvious’ it had been a traffic incident. The US embassy confirmed his arrest but denied local authorities’ accusation he drew his gun. Police fired their weapons three times to stop the diplomat, an Associated Press photographer at the scene said. The State Department has not released the US diplomat’s name but said it was working to assist him. There was no  answer from the US embassy in Nairobi.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4216948/Kenya-police-arrest-US-diplomat-fleeing-accident-scene.html