Diplomacy, one must emphasise, political diplomacy, as it is and practised in Africa, much like all things political, administrative and governance, is a colonial political [and power] instrument that Africans grossly misunderstand, despite pretending to understanding it.
Africans do not understand [political] diplomacy as a political instrument [weapon], how they can best and effectively use this political instrument to their advantage, to foster consensus while still maintain control; hence their flagrant misuse and abuse of diplomacy and diplomatic values.
Political diplomacy is one such colonial instrument [weapon] Africans inherited but, like most things that constitute their colonial inheritance – their colonial largesse they enjoy and abuse, most of the times – hardly understand and careless and have little interest to study and understand.
They, indeed, have diplomatic institutions and rituals that follow in the footsteps of or are simply a blind practice of the traditional colonial diplomacy but are largely clueless and careless to ask, hence investigate, why they do what they do, in the name of diplomacy and not differently.
They may or claim to have studied and hence have degrees, certificates in things like international relations or even diplomacy but they aren’t diplomatic in their behaviour, in their relations either, firstly, with and among themselves and/or, secondly, towards others – foreigners.
Africans are sickeningly obsequious to foreigners, and pathetically self-dehumanisingly obsequious to “white” people, even in diplomatic circles. African diplomats behave and act towards – in the presence of – “white” diplomats, their supposed so-called “counterparts”, obsequious.
There’s, unsurprisingly, little to zero diplomacy inside many African diplomatic institutions. Most are rife with infighting, senseless, totally irrelevant, unjustified, embarrassingly uncivilised petty plotting.
Many are like village chiefdoms where every villager tries to appease and appeal to the benevolence of the clan chief, who has access to the overall village chief, to put in a good and kind word for them to the village chief, hence the insidious backstabbing and plotting.
African diplomacy is rogue, brute diplomacy because Africans deal [prefer to deal] with and treat [respond to] differences with raw and brute force, especially among themselves, irrespective of the nature and magnitude of differences.
It’s as if we Africans are naturally hardwired to respond to differences with force. Dialogue, hence diplomacy, does not come naturally and easily even though, and if, it promises the same or similar results.
We take and/or treat dialogue, hence diplomacy, for and as a weakness and we’re terribly afraid to admit or show our weaknesses, that we may indeed be weak. This is why it’s not uncommon for many of us to try to hide and/or protect our incompetence and ignorance.
This behaviour and practice is even more prevalent with and among those with a little power and/or in power, hence, again, why [political] diplomacy in Africa is typically and more often than not, such a waste of time and resources.
Nowhere in Africa has diplomacy, alone, been commendably effective in resolving political differences and conflicts. It has always been and it is always played and put forward as a mere front – a ruse to beguile while brute force is applied behind the so-called diplomatic scenes [circles].
This is precisely because, diplomacy is a colonial political instrument [weapon] the effective use and application of which, very few Africans can claim to fully understand, not least African so-called diplomats most of whom are mere institutional clerks – paper pushers.
Diplomacy in Africa is comedy, and most African diplomatic officials are merely clowns with high sounding colonial titles, in expensive suits. This is not to suggest, however, these individuals are naturally clowns, no.
Far from it, most are intelligent people but their positions require them to act like and thus make them clowns, usually in expensive suits. To act and appear the part – which the “hypocrisy” industry demands and expects of its tools.
This is why African conflicts cannot be and will never be [re]solved by diplomacy, or at least by [with] diplomacy alone. It must always be accompanied by [with] the show and demonstration of brute force, the breaking of bones and cracking of skulls.
We Africans don’t trust or believe in [nice] sweet words. We trust and believe in the show and demonstration of force, brute force and power. It’s conspicuous in our voices, in our body language, gesticulation.
Diplomacy is for the weak, not the strong and there’s hardly any African who believes they’re weak. Weakness is an abomination. It’s an insult to many and hence, why people go to unparalleled lengths to hide and/or protect their weaknesses.