By Joseph Oduha, Nairobi, Kenya
Thursday, June 25, 2020 (PW) — The scholarly definition of Diplomacy is that it is the arts and science of conducting negotiations between and among the diplomats of one or more nations at international arena.
In other word, it’s a genuine method in which a country create her friendship with other countries based on particular interests from both sides towards each other.
Couple of weeks ago, South Sudan government decried the renewal of the arms embargo on the troubled country.
“Our biggest problem with the arms embargo as a country is, the civilians are more armed than the government and this is achallenged as a country really. Even just to arm the police for them to keep law and order is a big issue to us,” media report quoted Mr. Deng Dau Deng, the Country’s deputy Foreign Minister as saying.
It added that Juba government was lobbying the U.S to convincethe veto members of UN Security Council to drop the arms embargo.
However, the key question is how effective is South Sudan diplomacy?
President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar led-government has forgotten that the U.S values of protection of human rights, democracy and its pillars of good governance, rule of law, justice, press freedom and freedom of speech among others are conditions to the lifting of the arms embargo.
These values are not only the United States values alone but rather, they are tenets enshrined in western foreign policy.
These values alone left one to ask questions like: what is the status of human rights in South Sudan? Is media freedom and freedom of speech respected? What about the rule of law and justice?
Are there some concrete explicit practical steps taken by the South Sudan Government to ensure some of these issues above must be implemented?
Now, if South Sudan present leadership could not even achieved the quarter of these precepts, then how optimistic is our government about convincing the United States who is the leader of the motion to renewed arms embargo on South Sudan?
It’s crystal clear that South Sudan leaders are adamant to learn from lessons of other countries such as Libya. Muamar Gaddafi was a powerful African dictator but his negative foreign policy and diplomacy towards the west caused him a painful death. He was killed in October 2011 in a NATO led-revolution in Libya.
Today, Libya fate is in the dark after the death of Gaddafi.
Another most recent example at hand now is the ouster of another yet powerful dictator Omar al-Bashir of Sudan in April 2019 in popular uprising that was believed to be aided by the west still.
Bashir was another Gaddafi who boasted his relations with China and continuously bombarding the west in any international and regional forums.
His negativity towards the west resulted from his elusive foreign policy and diplomacy to fix Sudan’s status in international arena. Today, he is a mere man and locked inside the cell.
There are many other examples like Egypt and Zimbabwe among others that the leaders of South Sudan should learned a lesson from and improve their diplomacy when dealing with the west.
Perhaps, we may be faced with what had already happened in Libya, Sudan, Egypt, and Zimbabwe one day one time in South Sudan as long as we have leaders who are in love with wealth of the country more than being in love with citizens through service delivery. I’m not a prophet but let’s think twice.
Therefore, if we want to succeed and unlocked any future unfolding tragedy, then we must revive our foreign policy and diplomacy through the absorption of transparency and accountability and respect to all forms of human rights.
The tortoise speed of peace implementation is one of the evidence that’s keeping our once best friends mainly the Troika countries as spectators rather than fully engaging in the political settlement of South Sudan today.
Troika countries have repeatedly said they want to see the seriousness of the parties implementing the peace in letter and spirit but sadly, things are moving too slow hence, putting thecountry at loggerhead with international community and our friends.
Any attempt to lobby for U.S forgiveness of our country depends on redesigning our foreign policy and diplomacy otherwise, our lobbying for the mighty America to drop the arms embargo imposed on Juba since 2018 continued to be renewed every year will be waste.
Once again, the country’s diplomacy remains fickle due to the South Sudan toxic record of human rights violations in which the government is largely stomached the responsibility.
The author Mr. Joseph Oduha is a South Sudanese journalist. He can be reached by email@example.com
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