Madagascar News- Current Issues and Perspectives

The HAT Controls: The UN Corrects

In Economics, Politics, Society on September 25, 2009 at 8:01 pm

These last few days, controversial statements, questions without answers made the news in Madagascar ever since the HAT had announced that Rajoelina was invited to the 2009 United Nations (UN) summit on Climate Change, in New York. For Madagascar, it did signify the beginning of intertnational recognition of the HAT. At least, this is what the HAT wanted Malagasies to believe and let them believe. As of yesterday, Malagasies were led to believe that Rajoelina’s UN address would be retransmitted live in Madagascar, according to local media. RFI is more explicit but is  unfortunately not widely read in Madagascar. Accordingly, this is an administrative slip.

Today, local newspapers attempted to give some update on the situation: Rajoelina – or Madagascar– according to interpretations or perceptions has been removed from the list of heads of states or countries to address their statements at the New York UN summit, at the last minute, without explanation.

In fact, although personal addresses were in order, the UN had planned on having “pre-recorded videotaped statements in lieu of live statements to “to allow for more inter-active discussions during the Summit”” according to the UN site itself . Morevover, Rajoelina was not really invited: a misstep by the UN admistration that attempted to correct it.

Meanwhile, in Madagascar, for Public Relations purposes,  HAT representatives are still attempting to “‘find an explanation” about the situation in Madagascar.

September 24 UN briefings addressed Madagascar questions, mentionning the SADC. As of that day, discussions were ongoing and clarifiactions yet to be made. And finally, to put local questions to rest, Rajoelina was not invited by Obama to the Head of States dinner.

According to Afrik.com SADC members had threatened to leave had Rajoelina been allowed to address the Assembly.

Rajoelina Controls: Violence Erupts in Madagascar

September 11, 2009

The expected happened in Madagascar: discontent and frustration have led to demonstration against Rajoelina’s unilateral new cabinet forming, swiftly counteracted by the HAT under the now usual repressive signature of Rajoelina and his military supporters.

The pictures without comments promptly posted by Madagascar Tribune reinforce the atmosphere of fear and violence perpetrated by the Rajoelina regime since its ascension to power. The population is frustrated against the military, which a few days ago declared an apolitical stand, and today continues to support Rajoelina, as published in Madagascar Tribune.

The international media have rapidly covered the news: there are no reports of injuries nor arrests but tear gas grenades and rubber-coated bullets have been used to disperse the crowd, according to  Reuters, Taiwan News, and AFP.

French major daily media  Le Monde, that made headlines of every hour of Rajoelina move toward power, angering both French and Malagasies, abstained to this point. Sarkozy had however issued a statement comdemning the unilateral decision of Rajoelina a few days ago, but it has been skipped by local press. At this time there is no indication in Madagascar that the population is angered by France as during the Rajoelina protest movement.

Upon Chissano’s report to the SADC, the organization issued a  communiqué, writes The Swazi Observer. The communiqué reportedly states that the “Summit noted with concern the attempts to undermine the agreements signed in Maputo by all Malagasy political movements on the 9th of August 2009″ and “The Summit firmly rejected and strongly condemned any unilateral decision which violates the spirit of the Maputo agreements.”  “The Summit reiterates its support to the current political dialogue in Madagascar and urges all political stakeholders to fully implement the Maputo agreements.”

In The Africa Report however, David Zounmenou, a senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria, South Africa,  analayzes why Rajoelina could feel strong enough to “reject the Region”. Analysts agree that Madagascar’s crisis is far from being over.

Realities in Madagascar encompass far more than geopolitical interests, political wrangling, lack of political maturity, frustration and fear, anger and disillusion, and a post May 72 new breed that changed Malagasy culture. The root of the problem is complex.

In all eventualities the return of Madagascar to constitutional state is not and will not be an easy path.  What happened today is nothing but a prelude to the upcoming confusion. Madagascar is really on a very dangerous path and at this point it is hard to foresee internal protagonists succeeding in solving  the problem on their own. Madagascar is putting the region’s leadership to the test.

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