Madagascr – Regional body acts on Madagascar

Date: June 17, 2011
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SADC Heads of State and government recently ordered an urgent meeting with all Malagasy stakeholders at the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Headquarters in Gaborone, Botswana to try and bring peace to Madagascar.

SADC leaders decided this at an Extraordinary Summit in Windhoek on 20 May.

In attendance was mediator Joaquim Chissano, former president of Mozambique.

“Summit reiterated the need for an inclusive political process towards finding a lasting solution to the challenges facing the country,” a communiqué issued at the end of the extraordinary summit stated.

In the absence of South African President Jacob Zuma, who is the SADC mediator on Zimbabwe, the SADC chairperson, President Hifikepunye Pohamba proposed that the Zimbabwean issue be deferred to another date but not later than June 12.

“We are still consulting with Zuma,” said SADC executive secretary, Tomaz Salomão.

Andry Rajoelina, declared himself transitional head of state of Madagascar following a 2009 military coup that forced elected president Marc Ravalomanana to resign. The new government was condemned by most of the international community.

Chissano suggested that Rajoelina remain in power until elections take place in that country.

The Extraordinary Summit further reiterated a moratorium on receiving new cases or hearings of any case by the Tribunal until the SADC Protocol on the Tribunal has been reviewed and approved.

Salomão said they had made progress and the final report may be ready by August 2011, after which a meeting would be held in Angola. He said they believe that the report would be comprehensive and have clear recommendations on the rulings of the Tribunal.

The summit also received a report on preparations of the second tripartite council and summit to be held in June 12 at Sandton, South Africa towards the launching of the negotiations for the COMESA-EAC-SADC.

Heads of State and government or representatives of Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Angola, Malawi, South Africa and Swaziland attended the summit.

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