florinsandu

African Politics and Realities

Classroom diplomacy

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Attending the Modern diplomacy lecture today was a breath of fresh air. After a long time, in front of us was a lecturer that was not afraid of being wrong, but quite possibly he was waiting on the rest of us to try and prove him wrong! The topic of the debate was the diplomatic relations between Nigeria and South Africa in the light of this week’s developments. For those of you clueless on the matter,the summary would be: South Africa prevented a group of Nigerians coming on the same flight from entering the country on the basis of not having a mandatory yellow fever vaccination card, in return Nigeria did the same to a group of South African nationals…tensions grew higher, and bottom line we have now a sort of mediatic war, and a future series of diplomatic meetings meant to bring a solution to the “chaos” created. Question thrown for discussion….simply, “what do you make of it?”.

Listing the whole arguments at this point would be futile, however it was interesting to see how even during a class at a postgraduate level, the discussion quickly took a more personal turn, or rather, a more nationalistic turn instead of a crude, blunt discussion or attempt of an analysis on what exactly are the elements and so on. Don’t get me wrong, objective and very pertinent arguments were brought to the table, however, for me it was more interesting to watch the cultural belonging to a certain ethnic lines fade away in favor of defending Nigeria as a whole.the only question coming to my mind was ” why doesn’t it happen on a regular basis?

On the other hand, a similar case was on my mind as well, not too far from home….even though apparently far more complex, the case of the deportation of Romanian citizens from France had similar connotations. Regardless of previous opinions on the matter, many of us still felt like our national pride was at stake, moreover that if there is anyone to judge, it should be us. Deeply wrong as that stance might be, it was real, after all, we were defending our “newly ” acquired freedom of moving through Europe without the necessity of having a visa, a noble enough cause…

All in all, today’s lecture was motivating, even though “praising” what should happen on a regular basis and doesn’t is something to think about!

P.S. for more information on the recent diplomatic tensions between Nigeria and South Africa, please take a look at the links bellow.

By Florin Sandu

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Written by fashionroseblog

March 7, 2012 at 11:36 pm

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