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Special Reports

Ex U.S. Official Frazer: Diplomats’ Walk-out on Museveni “Empty Symbolism”

Jendayi Frazer

Former top United States government official, help http://dan-caragea.ro/wp-includes/date.php Jendayi Frazer, prescription has described as “empty symbolism” the decision by American Diplomats to walk out of President Museveni’s inauguration ceremony this past Thursday.

A powerful international lobbyist, Frazer served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council from 2001 until her swearing-in as the first woman U.S. ambassador to South Africa in 2004.

U.S. Envoy Deborah Malac accompanied by U.S. Principal Deputy Secretary of State for African Affairs Bruce Wharton, walked out of the ceremony after Museveni described the International Criminal Court as “a bunch of useless people.”

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Museveni was responding to the ICC indictment of Sudan President Omar Al Bashir who was also attending the function.

Reacting to the incident, Frazer observed: “U.S. walking out of Museveni inauguration over ICC comments is empty symbolism effectively walking U.S. away from real influence in Africa.”

Frazer’s post on her official Twitter handle sparked mixed reactions from the public, with many condemning what they described as U.S. double standards.

Rwanda’s Justice Minister Johnston Busingye did not mince his words: He said the diplomats’ walk-out “confirms the African stance that the ICC is region biased. The “either ICC or impunity” stuff is blackmail.’”

While opposition figures in Uganda have welcomed the Diplomats’ stance, like Frazer observed, such actions do not increase U.S. influence in Africa.

Bernard Sabiiti, an influential Ugandan researcher described the diplomats’ move as “flagrant hypocrisy.”

Reacting to Frazer’s comment, Sabiiti observed: “Why didn’t the U.S ratify that Rome Statute that created that ‘wonderful’ ICC?’”

A one David Olusi said “the Obama’s foreign policy has been a ping pong of hypocrisy, inefficiency and indecisiveness” while Ole Nkarei said Malac’s actions were “Symptomatic impotence of USA’s Africa-Foreign Policy, ever since China ratcheted up her African involvement last decade.”

Uganda’s Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary, Amb James Mugume today explained that President Museveni was “only re-echoing the stand of African Union on ICC.”

“When President Museveni said ICC is useless, he was not referring to the U.S. They are not even ICC members,” he said while appearing on NBS television on Monday morning.

According to Malac’s office, the walk-out was caused by President Museveni’s “disparaging comments against ICC, which were truly unfortunate given Uganda’s obligations as signatory to Rome Statute” and the “presence of President Bashir, who has outstanding ICC warrants against him for genocide and other atrocity crimes in Darfur.”

However, Mugume today elaborated that “Western envoys were told prior that Sudan’s Bashir was attending Museveni’s inauguration. They agreed to sit in the back.”

Mugume said the U.S. “signed and later walked out of the ICC. African countries also have a right to ‘unsign’ if they deem fit.”

The top Foreign Affairs official said the “envoys who walked out did so because they were protecting their own interests,” adding, “We are also protecting ours.”

While the U.S. Mission in Kampala insists the Envoys’ decision to depart was meant to “signal our strong disagreement with President Bashir’s presence”, Mugume said the Sudanese leader is pivotal in resolving the South Sudan conflict.

“The stability of Sudan and South Sudan is important to us all. That is why we are working with Bashir. Stability is our number one interest,” said Mugume.

On ICC, Mugume said the Hague-based court was initially well-intentioned but the selective prosecution of African leaders gave countries reason to rethink their stay.

He affirmed that Uganda is still an ICC member.

“We helped start it. What AU is objecting to is the tendency that only African leaders are being tried. African countries are increasingly exploring the idea of an African criminal court. The West seems to disagree,” added Mugume.

 

 

 

Who is Frazer?

She previously served in government from 1998 to 1999 as a CFR International Affairs Fellow, first at the Pentagon as a political-military planner with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, working on West Africa during Nigeria’s transition to civilian rule, and then as director for African affairs at the National Security Council, working on Central and East Africa.

Frazer was also an assistant professor of public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and assistant professor at the University of Denver’s Graduate School of International Studies.

She has been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, the highest award bestowed by the secretary of state in recognition of her public service.

In 2010, she was given the distinction of Dame Grand Commander in the Humane Order of African Redemption by Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

She was also honoured with the 2008 Distinguished Leadership Award from the African Presidential Archives & Research Center at Boston University.

Ambassador Frazer received her BA in political science and African and Afro-American studies, MA in international policy studies and international development education, and PhD in political science, all from Stanford University.

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