Namibia: Swapo Youth League's Statement On the 'Disrespectful Behaviour' of the European Mission

press release

This is a statement released by SPYL secretary Ephraim Nekongo on 13 April.

The Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) condemns in the strongest possible terms the unprecedented and undiplomatic conduct of the European heads of missions, comprising of Germany, Spain, France, Portugal and Finland, who clearly seek to undermine the sovereignty of the Republic of Namibia. In their joint statement released on Friday, 13 April, after meeting a leader of a particular opposition party at the German embassy in Namibia, the European mission delegation condescendingly conceded that they met an opposition leader "to discuss the situation in Namibian and domestic elections campaign" in our country. This is indeed a clear exhibition of foreign interference and meddling in the affairs of our country, as a sovereign state. Foreign missions have no business to discuss our domestic issues and their engagements are subject to the provisions of the United Nations Convention on Diplomatic relations.

The infringing meeting that took place at the German embassy in Namibia is déjà vu, and history has no blank pages. The same Germany convened the Berlin Conference in 1884, an assembly of imperialists that commissioned the partitioning of Africa by imperial forces. Germany went on to carry out despicable atrocities in our country, and committed the first genocide in the 20th century, wiping out almost 80% of the ovaHerero population and almost 20% of the Nama population, stealing the most productive land and cattle in the process, an aftermath that left our people in abject poverty.

While the United Nations Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 gives certain privileges and immunities to heads of foreign missions and in the spirit of the Charter of the United Nations, article 41 (1-3) of the convention compels foreign missions and their representatives to act within the principles of diplomatic relations, premised on mutual respect. It states that: receiving state."They also have a duty not to interfere in the internal affairs of thatState."

· All official business with the receiving State entrusted to the mission by the sending State shall be conducted with or through the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the receiving Stateor such other ministry as may be agreed.

·The premises of the mission must not be used in any manner incompatible with the functionsof the mission as laid down in the present Convention or by other rules of generalinternational law or by any special agreements in force between the sending and thereceiving State.

There is therefore no doubt that the European mission to Namibia has abused, violated and infringed upon the sacred United Nations Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which is also their term of reference with regards to their operations in our country.

Germany and many European nations who are responsible for the agony and oppression of many African nations is yet to pay reparations for its criminality, thuggery and robbery committed in our country. We are not naive; our people remain dispossessed of their ancestral land, and now live on the periphery of their own motherland. Germany has an eternal debt to Namibia, and our patience should not be misconstrued for weakness. We are aware of the desire of those whose past history exposed them as colonial masters, and their thirst to keep us in servitude, under whatever means necessary. A leopard indeed never changes its spots. However, what should be certain to all those who harbour imperialist tendencies, is that nothing will ever circumvent the will of our people, including the return of their land.

It is deeply concerning and unacceptable that EU diplomats in Namibia have undermined our country's sovereignty and national security by disregarding established diplomatic protocols and are justifying their actions, irrationally so. The respect for diplomatic norms and protocols is essential for maintaining mutual trust and cooperation between nations. Justifying meeting a member of the opposition who is not even a member of the legislative arm of government to discuss domestic affairs of a sovereign state is not only sensitive, but a threat to our national security. Namibia remains open and ready to cooperate with those who are ready to act within the width and length of multilateralism, cooperation, mutual respect and understanding. It is our hope that the sending nations in the EU will withdraw their deployees immediately. Lest we deem their actions as having been sanctioned by their respective countries.

The arrogance and patronising posture employed by Germany, Spain, Portugal, France and Finland thereafter in this regard is disrespectful and intolerable. We reject the frivolous apology and demeaning joint statement of the EU mission and hereby demand an unconditional apology to that effect. Consequently, the Swapo Party Youth League calls for the immediate expulsion of the fivefold European mission to Namibia, masquerading as diplomats while indulging in acts that are contrary to diplomatic values, principles and protocols. The former colonisers must understand that Namibia is forever free, sovereign and independent. We call on the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation under the leadership of Peya Mushelenga to declare any foreign missions' representatives who seek to interfere in the internal affairs of our country, as persona non grata without compromise.


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