Madagascar News- Current Issues and Perspectives

Madagascar’s Diversity and Sustainability

In Uncategorized on August 14, 2009 at 10:12 am

On March 13, Michael Schulder, CNN Senior Executive Producer in AC 360 of  Anderson Cooper quoted President Ravalomanana: “Killing me would not be in your interest.”

On the eve of  the  negotiations for peace and settlement for reinstating constitutional state in Madagascar  under the UN  newly-appointed mediator former Mozambican President Chissano, in Maputo, Mozambique, the  HAT-sponsoring army was threatening to disrupt any possible negotiated outcome, reported French local media L’Express de Madagascar.

There has been several previous attempts to negotiation that have all stalled due to unwilliness to open talks from all involved parties. We recall that HAT leader Andry Rajoelina reluctantly joined the Maputo negotiation table at the last minute.  His long-standing position was to refuse to participate in any talks that would include President Ravalomanana. Lately, the HAT had accused Ravalomanana team of causing terrorism.

According to a communiqué issued and co-signed by the HAT-assigned Madagascar army, national police and gendarmerie nationale leaders  unequivocally reject any eventual return of the President Ravalomanana to power.  Such event would inevitaby cause serious crisis according to them.

The new mediation team includes officials from the African Union, United Nations, the International Organisation of the Francophonie (French-speaking countries) and SADC, and has finally succeeded in breaking the  long-lasting stalemate.

According to AFP, the issue of amnesty was resolved last Thrusday for former President Didier Ratsiraka. Ratsiraka ruled over Madagascar for over 20 years with his omnipresent AREMA party. He had written a socialist-inspired manifesto known as “Le Livre Rouge” (the Red Book) that soon had to be applied in Madagascar’s everyday life.

As for President Ravalomanana, his situation has been clarified yesterday by Edem Kodjo, International Organization of Francophonie and International Contact Group representative in Antananarivo, report local papers. According to the Maputo deal, all condemnations toward Ravalomanana relating to the purchase of the presidential plane  FORCE ONE II are nullified and void. Most importantly,  Ravalomanana would be excluded from “amnesty” since “crime against humanity, genocide, and mass violations of Human Rights” are irrelevant, reports Midi Madagascar. According to Midi Madagascar and l’Express de Madagascar these were necessary clarifications as to interpret the Maputo deal terms. Indeed,  due to growing controversial interpretations and Rajoelina’s lack of transparency upon his arrival at the Ivato Airport,  confusion was paramount.

Madagascar Tribune raises the possiblity of “blackmail” on the part of the HAT. It suggests that the HAT could use the return of Ravalomanana as a leverage against the international community to formally recognize Rajoelina’s  “executive” authority. It is not clear if this is of mediatic interest or a realistic prediction. Apparently, Malagasy readers are divided. Many seem to have realize that the HAT had failed to deliver its promises.

The deadlock has ended but sustainability of the agreement is subject to caution. The Paris-based French Le Monde questions the authority of Rajoelina in Madagascar, raising the question of all parties reactions to the Maputo deal. Local medias confirm that Rajoelina has made no transparent public comment since his return from Maputo.

Most importantly, the mutiny army starts showing signs of division. However, the subject of its refusal of parts of the Maputo deal is subject to local headlines.

In sum, sustainability of the Maputo deal remains extremely fragile in the constant atmosphere of volatility and diversity of Madagascar politics.

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