CONFLICT MANAGEMENT IN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMACY: A PERSPECTIVE ON THE DIPLOMATIC FACE- OFF BETWEEN NIGERIA AND SOUTH AFRICA OVER THE RISE OF XENOPHOBIA
Keywords:Conflict Management, International Diplomacy, Xenophobia
This paper examines the impact of xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa beginning from 1996 and how both countries have managed that conflict in relation to their diplomatic ties. It became topical in the context of the dynamics of the subtle age- long struggle for supremacy between Nigeria and South Africa, Africa’s largest economies for continental dominance and leadership. It also investigates the responses of the Nigerian government and other stakeholders to the xenophobic attacks. The methodology deployed was mixed method- qualitative and quantitative. It focused on the descriptive analytical approach in data collection and analysis, the data obtained was discussed and interpreted using content analysis where some useful themes were established and analyzed critically to arrive at the findings.The conclusion and findings shows that Nigerians resident in South Africa are victimized and prosecuted as a result of xenophobic resentment, and more fundamentally Nigerians with professional skills are discouraged and deterred from moving to South Africa as a result of it or leave out of frustration. The paper adopted the theories of realism and rational choice as the premise for its submissions. The study recommends among others that the Nigerian government should work amicably in a non-adversarial approach with the South African government to fulfill its international obligations of protecting the rights of immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers in their country, irrespective of their race or sex as articulated in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the 1965 International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) and, the 1981 African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR).
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