Arrogance of Power and Rogue Diplomacy in the Great Lakes Region of Africa.

Clearly, it is a no-brainer that arrogance (of power) and rogue diplomacy as part of foreign policy, are not a good recipe for inter-state, inter-national relations and cooperation; they’re a recipe for hostility. There’s no winner in a hostile environment; everyone is a loser!

Ideally, diplomacy should not be a one-upmanship characterised by arrogance and rogue behaviour and attitude.

Fundamentally, diplomacy developed out of the need to deal with problems in the relationship, initially, between neighbouring countries; but has, overtime, extended into various areas of international relations and affairs such politics and trade.

Diplomacy, in essence, is about advancing an idea or cause in such measured manner, yet with impact, without inflaming passions and still attract interest of engagement. It’s about, for instance, circumnavigating an issue that people feel strongly about that might, if approached or handled clumsily, otherwise trigger them off, arousing negative sentiments and reaction such as anger, resentment and/or revenge.

Diplomacy between countries (international diplomacy) therefore, must be exercised from and with that basic principle of diplomacy fully in mind. A diplomat, therefore, must adhere to and endeavour to demonstrate understanding of such sensitivity in their diplomatic engagements.

If diplomatic engagements are conducted with arrogance, i.e, from a position of and with a sense of superiority rather than seek consensus on issues at hand without the need to be condescending towards another party, however weak they may be at the time, it risks to cause, and it will in most cases, cause disharmony in diplomatic relations.

A diplomat who seeks and engages in diplomatic activities or relations with no respect for those with whom they’re engaging; with the sole intention and purpose of proving superiority, to infuriate and humiliate others; is no diplomat: he or she is a misplaced rogue in diplomacy. A true diplomat should avoid trying to prove a point, or seek instant victory; but seek to find a middle ground; especially on issues that are sensitive and prone to misinterpretation, hence, causing misunderstanding and likely to result in negative reactions.

History is awash with examples in the world of cases/instances where a minor misunderstanding or oversight on protocol standards and expectations on relations have led to disharmony in diplomatic relations between countries, eventually deteriorating into devastating political conflicts with far-reaching consequences.

Based on the ongoing political and diplomatic events, there’s a sense in which Africa’s Great Lakes Region seems to be entangled in rogue diplomacy; with those in diplomacy and designated diplomats, violating basic standards and expectations of diplomacy such as foresight and sound judgement.

The level of arrogance of power by and from those who wield the levers of power in Africa’s Great Lakes Region, has effectively bred a growing sense and attitude of arrogance in diplomacy which, in itself, has been an integral factor in the growth of the kind of rogue diplomacy that’s increasingly prevalent in the region and its relational affairs.

That arrogance of power, by those in and with power in Africa’s Great Lakes Region, has thus turned diplomacy – otherwise an important arm or tool of politics supposed to handle and settle political matters, grievances without aggression – into a tool of aggression with rogues as diplomats.

Consequently, the inexcusably intransigent childish, insensitive behaviour and arrogant attitude of some rogue diplomats in diplomacy in Africa’s Great Lakes Region, has stoked and continues to stoke perpetual sociopolitical conflicts in the region with disastrous sociopolitical and economic outcomes.