According to reports, Zambia, Benin, Rwanda, Somalia, DRC, Burundi have all protested against rogue diplomats.
African nations play host to several diplomats, who weigh in on the affairs of their hosts’ governments, and in the process take the risk of unsettling the relations between any two countries.
Diplomats are often granted certain privileges and immunities to ensure they may effectively carry out their duties, and also allow for maintenance of government relations, including during periods of difficulties and armed conflict.
While diplomats may not be prosecuted by the host countries, they can be ordered to leave, often within a short period of time.
Zambia protested the US ambassador’s reaction to jailing of a gay couple. The country’s foreign affairs minister Joseph Malanji told journalists he would send a protest letter to Washington.
US Ambassador Daniel Foote said he was ‘personally horrified to read about the sentencing of two men, who had a consensual relationship, which hurt absolutely no-one’.
Japhet Chataba and Steven Samba were last week sentenced to 15 years in prison by the High Court in the capital, Lusaka.
‘‘Until the Zambian constitution is changed to accommodate that, the courts will always rule according to the Zambian constitution”. Malanji said.
Benin in November 2019 ordered the European Union’s ambassador to the country to leave citing political interference.
The statement described Ambassador Oliver Nette as “harmful,” while reiterating that the West African country had nothing against the EU.
Germany’s ambassador to Rwanda, Dr. Peter Woeste left the country on March 30, three months after the Kigali government told authorities in Berlin, they would no longer work with him.
Rwanda accused Woeste of making ‘inappropriate and abusive’ remarks towards the country and its president, Paul Kagame.
This week, Somalia expelled the Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General for Somalia, Nicholas Haysom, accusing him of interfering with national sovereignty.
Last month, the Democratic Republic of Congo took a decision to expel the European Union ambassador, Bart Ouvry as a reaction to the renewal of EU sanctions against Congolese officials including the ruling coalition’s candidate in a presidential election.
Burundi’s government has taken several actions against the United Nations office in its country, including asking that ‘all international staff are redeployed’ and that the office closes ‘within two months’ from December 2018.
While the affected diplomats face the consequences of leaving the country hastily, and could end up on blacklists for those particular countries, relations between the governments and international institutions like the United Nations often continue.