As Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the UN prepares to make an exit, we bring the highlights of her visit to the African continent last year.
- October 11, 2018
The global face of the United States administration, Nikki Haley, has resigned as the country’s Ambassador to the United Nations. This was announced by US President Donald Trump on Tuesday on his social media handle.
Sitting side-by-side in the Oval Office, the President said that she “has been very special to me, she has done an incredible job, she is a fantastic person, very importantly, but she is also somebody that gets it.”
“Hopefully you’ll be coming back at some point, right,” he added. “Maybe a different capacity, you can have your pick.” Mrs Haley laughed.
While Donald Trump is infamous for his insensitive comments and disregard for the African continent, Nikki Haley, who may not be regarded as a staunch supporter of human rights, certainly made progress on various issues relating to Africa.
She helped push the UN Security Council to impose an arms embargo on South Sudan. And she repeatedly asked the Democratic Republic of Congo’s President Joseph Kabila to curtail abuses against opponents and investigate the murder of two UN experts there.
As she prepares to exit as the US Ambassador to the UN by the end of this year, we look back at her visit to the African continent last year.
A 3-nation trip to Africa
Usually, when any diplomatic mission takes place, the ambassador-in-charge indulges in plain diplomacy to address the issues – but not Nikki Haley – the United States Ambassador to the United Nations – who is known for her blunt diplomacy. She addresses the issues by hitting at the core rather than beating around the bushes.
And this was further consolidated by her remarks when she visited three nations of Africa – Ethiopia, South Sudan and Democratic Republic of the Congo.
From the day she took charge, she has been actively vocal about the atrocities that the people of violence-hit and poverty-struck nations have been through.
In October, 2017, Nikki Haley made her first stop in Ethiopia on her Africa tour, where she met with with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and a senior African Union official. Later, Haley told reporters she hoped this was the beginning of “a stronger relationship with the AU and our African partners.”
“The United States very much sees Africa as a very important part of the world. We see great opportunities in Africa, we see challenges in Africa, but we want to support and help in those situations,” Haley had said.
“But most importantly we want to see how we can partner together, whether that is through economic development, whether it is through strategic practices, whether it’s through political solutions,” she had said.
The world’s newest nation is also one of the least developed regions of the Earth. And no, the backwardness is not because of the newness of independence; it is because the promises and the hopes on which the fort of independence was built got shattered within two years of becoming an independent state as a civil war broke out between the Government and the rebel groups.
This war gained the reputation of being, to put in Haley’s words, ‘one of the most horrific civil conflicts of our time.’
Making matters worse, about 4.9 million people are suffering the havoc caused by famine in the country.
Known for her blunt diplomacy, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, during a discussion with the South Sudanese President Salva Kiir had said, “We’ve lost trust in the government of South Sudan. To regain our trust (you) must take care of all people.”
Democratic Republic of the Congo
“It’s not a democracy unless the people’s voices are heard. We won’t condone elections being put off any longer,” Ambassador Haley had said on meeting President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Joseph Kabila Kabange.
“With no education, abducted as child soldiers, young girls raped, we can’t take our eyes off the children of South Sudan and Democratic Republic of the Congo,”
“We have to find a way to have a peaceful situation, we have to find a way for them to have safe and fair elections, so we that we can get some leaders that know how to handle this situation and get these armed groups to stop,” she had said in the Mungote camp.
Her cut-to-the-point interaction with the leaders of Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan did have an impact in their respective countries. Will Nikki Haley’s replacement be as vocal and supportive of Africa? Only time will tell.
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