Our one embassy is all-powerful

When things were looking worse in Côte d’Ivoire than they are now (and honestly, they’re really not that great now) it was time to think about a route of egress. The initial one that came to mind was hopping across the Ghanaian border which is just 20km east of Abengourou. Of course, it’s good it didn’t come to that as, when heading out there one day with #1 Fan at the wheel of the organization car, we weren’t allowed to cross the Ivorian border, which was ridiculous considering that they had no jurisdiction to stop the vehicle. Nothing like backwater military outposts…
But the much more obvious choice was to make use of the embassy as really, that’s what it’s there for. The American embassy, like most of them these days is a heavily fortified structure in Abidjan. The only problem of course would be getting there, which in theory they would send a helicopter up to the safe location in Abengourou (the UN base) and then fly me and and any other Americans out to safety. That would have been pretty badass. Even if they just sent up a couple of Marines in a Hummer with guns mounted on it, again, it would have been badass. But, in the off chance they weren’t able to come get me (there are only four Americans in Abengourou) I wanted a Plan C as when it comes to your ass, no one knows how to protect it better than you.
Plan C revolved around using the other, very handy Croatian passport. There was one glaring glitch in all of this. Not being French, I wouldn’t have gotten hassled as much in getting to Abidjan, but once there, there would have been no where to go. Croatia has no embassy in Côte d’Ivoire. The nearest one, which handles Ivoirian, as well as most all West African affairs is in Morocco. While a scenic locale, it didn’t do a lot of good being there given that going just to Mali overland damn near killed me. So, Plan C sorta devolved in to maybe going to the French embassy, pray that it wasn’t on fire, and hope that they’d take me in an repatriate me.
Thankfully it never came to any of that although to this day I still have both embassy phone numbers in my phone as Côte d’Ivoire keeps sinking in to a deeper Congo-esque existence.
Our one embassy is all-powerful

4 Replies to “Our one embassy is all-powerful”

  1. You’re lucky to have a double nationality. As a Slovene in Burkina Faso I often wondered what good would our embassy in Egypt be to me. Now that I am moving to Ethiopia I guess I should be happy that i is closer to Egypt (only have to cross Sudan really), but still pretty ridiculous that we only have one embassy in Africa. Guess our former fellow countrymen, the Serbs, got all the Subsaharan embassies.

    1. Well, being that Slovenia only have 2 million people, it’s remarkable to have that many embassies at all. Croatia isn’t much better off. I don’t think it’s so much that Serbia got all the embassies as when you check around you’ll see that they don’t have that many either. There was probably a splitting up process similar to what happened in Czech Republic and Slovakia. But, in a pinch, I’m guessing that you’d have some kind of reciprocal embassy services with a neighboring country such as Italy when in Ethiopia. Just a guess as 192 countries maintaining 192 embassies in the world would be nearly 39,000 in total, which seems just shy of completely and utterly ridiculous.

    2. I am not suggesting 192 countries should maintain 192 embassies, but to have 1 embassy in a continent of 53 countries, shows how little importance Africa plays in the minds of Slovene diplomats. I have now counted the embassie and here goes: Serbia (around 6, 5 mil inhab) has 9 embassies in Africa (so more than 1 embassy per million inhb, not that that’s the way it should be divided ), and there are 15 African embassies in Belgrade. Croatia (4,4 m inhb) has 4 embassies in Africa (about 1 for 1,1 m inhb) and 3 African embassies in Zagreb. Slovenia (2 mil inhb) has 1 embassy in Africa (so 1 for 2 m people) and 1 African embassy in Ljubljana.
      When I lived in Burkina Faso in 2000-2002, before we joined EU, my only consular support was Austrian consulate in Abidjan. So good thing I didn’t need anything. Now they tell me all EU countries can/should offer consular protection to Slovene citizens in countries that don’t have Slovene embassies.
      I guess your blog is not the place for me to lament this lack of diplomatic interest my country seems to have for Africa, but hey, I was inspired.

    3. Obviously Belgrade inherited those embassies from from Yugoslav times as the importance of Serbia to Africa is minimal at best. I am a bit shocked that Slovenia doesn’t at least have an embassy in South Africa as it seems that everyone has an embassy in South Africa. Overall, I guess it just comes down to economic interest these days.

Comments are closed.