The European Union (EU) has announced its decision to expel the head of Benin's diplomatic mission in Brussels, Zacharie Richard Akplogan.
The confirmation of Ambassador Akplogan's expulsion is an-eye-for-an-eye move by the European Union after the government of Benin Republic expelled the EU envoy in Cotonou, Benin Republic last month.
"The Council decided today that the Head of the Mission of the Republic of Benin to the European Union will be declared persona non grata," the EU wrote on its website yesterday.
You will recall that the Beninese government recently declared the head of the EU delegation in the Benin Republic persona non grata for alleged interference in its internal affairs.
The EU has said its ambassador's expulsion on November 20 by the government of Benin Republic was unjustified and ran contrary to its objective of forging serious relations and building partnerships with third world countries.
EU diplomat, Olivier Nette was expelled from Benin over his ostentatious positions which did not respect diplomatic rules, a spokesman of the Beninese government had said before his expulsion.
Socio-political commentators around the world have stressed the need for countries to take other sanctions against diplomats rather than resulting in expulsion. It remains a thing of interest on what will happen to other countries that have expelled EU envoys in Africa for 'interference in local political decisions.'
The Benin Republic is not the only country in Africa who have expelled foreign envoys from their lands for one reason or the other.
Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia have in the last few months thrown out ambassadors.
- Malawi ordered EU ambassador to leave
- The Zambian government has asked the US envoy to be recalled
- Rwanda' expelled' German ambassador in March 2019
- Somalia sacked UN envoy over interference with the sovereignty
- DRC ordered EU envoy to leave in December 2018
- Burundi closed UN offices in the country
- EU recalled its ambassador to Tanzania over deteriorating relations
In retaliation, the European Union Council decision to expel Ambassador Zacharie Richard Akplogan was communicated in an official statement dated December 19, 2019.
Ambassador Akplogan, by the declaration, will no longer receive diplomatic treatment and no longer represents his country in the eyes of the EU.
"This is a response to the decision by the Beninese government to declare the head of the EU delegation to Benin as persona non grata.
"The EU considers this declaration as wholly unwarranted and contrary to the EU's objective of developing relations and building partnerships in third countries," the statement added.
In diplomacy, a persona non grata (Latin: "person not appreciated", plural: personae non-gratae) is a foreign person whose entering or remaining in a particular country is prohibited by that country's government.
Header Image Credit: AP