Summary of the current malagasy political turmoil

Few days ago, i had a discussion with some foreigners. We talked about the current political turmoil which is affecting our country (Madagascar). They do not really understand the main origins of the current crisis. As a blogger, I tried to cover (gathering the information, taking the pictures) all the events related to the current crisis since its beginning on 2009. Here is the summary of the current Malagasy political turmoil (these are the information that I have in my hands/head). Madagascar (an island which is located in the Indian Ocean) is affected by a political crisis. Madagascar has been in political turmoil since December 2009, when the former President Marc Ravalomanana ordered the closure of the private television and radio station (VIVA station) run by opposition leader Andry Rajoelina, for airing an interview with former President Didier Ratsiraka without permission. At that time, Ravalomanana Marc was president of Madagascar and Andry Rajoelina was the mayor of the capital city (Antananarivo). Since that day, the clash between the supporters of president and those of the mayor started. In fact, few days after the closure of his television and radio station, Andry Rajoelina called for massive protests against what they called a “dictatorship” by the president(Marc Ravalomanana) and his handling of the national economy for the benefits of his own family and company(Magro, Tiko,etc).

While political tensions mounted in January, riots broke out in the capital city (Antananarivo) and elsewhere across the island, killing many people.  Rajoelina launched a take-over campaign on February 16th 2010 and his supporters took over four government ministries. With the mediation of the Council of Christian Churches in Madagascar (FFKM), Rajoelina and Ravalomanana have held three rounds of talks since Feb. 21 trying to find a peaceful settlement, but failed to reach any agreement.

On March 2nd, 2010, anti-government protests broke out again. The president (Ravalomanana Marc) sent troops and police onto the streets to restore order and security. However, the opposition (Andry Rajoelina camp) has held a series of protests and clashed with supporters of the government, leaving people dead and injured.

Few months later with the support of the armed forces,  Andry Rajoelina took the power (some sources  say that he came illegally to the power).  But his access to the power has not resolved the crisis. The supporters of Ravalomanana Marc started to protest against Andry Rajoelina. They have daily protest in different places. The claimed that he(Ravalomanana Marc) is the “lawful” president of Madagascar. However, Andry Rajoelina started to implement his government. He appointed Mr Monja Roindefo as Prime Minister. At the beginning, Andry Rajoelina and Monja Roindefo had the support of the armed forces and some politicians. Consequently, the opposition (Ravalomanana camp) could not really protest against them. The international mediation (International contact group) tried to call the Malagasy political leaders to end the crisis and restore the constitutional order in Madagascar. Consequently, two agreements (Maputo Agreements of August 8th and 9th2009; Addis Ababa Additional Act of November 6th 2009), were negotiated and signed by the four political camps (Andry Rajoelina camp, Ratsiraka camp, Zafy Albert camp and Ravalomanana Marc camp) of Madagascar and which constitute the basis for any solution to the Malagasy crisis.

However, these two agreements were not respected by the Rajoelina group. In fact, the High Authority of Transition (led by Andry Rajoelina) made unilateral step and rejected the two agreements.   Due to this unilateral step of the High Authority of Transition, the African Union peace and Security Council imposed sanctions (travel ban and diplomatic isolation) against the Malagasy government. 109 individuals (members of the High Authority of Transition)) are listed for the implementation of the sanctions. The names included the President Andry Rajoelina and some top military officers.

Despite these sanctions, Andry  Rajoelina and his team  continue to lead the country. They have decided to organize early elections in order to get the international recognition. But until now, the international community does not yet recognize the High Authority of Transition.

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