Monday, August 17, 2009

Madagascar Armed Forces Reject Clause in Peace Deal

ANTANANARIVO 14 August 2009 Sapa-AFP


Madagascar's armed forces, which played a key role in the
eviction in March of president Marc Ravalomanana, on Friday
"categorically rejected" one clause in a peace deal negotiated in

In a statement signed by the armed forces minister, Colonel Noel
Rakotonandrasana, and by the chiefs of staff of the army and the
paramilitary gendarmerie force, the soldiers "categorically
rejected (a provision) for the creation of a think tank on defence
and national security (CRDSN)."

The peace deal signed in Maputo by Madagascar's rival leaders
had provided for this "reflection committee", which would include
two members from each of the political movements who have agreed on a transitional government.

But the statement signed by the military warned that such a
think tank would "run contrary to regulations ... providing for the
depoliticisation of the armed forces" promised by the transitional
regime, led by Andry Rajoelina.

"All objections likely to raise dissent in the armed forces will
no longer be tolerated," Friday's statement said, adding that
undefined "appropriate measures" had been prepared in response.

The military hierarchy nevertheless said it had "full confidence
that the Maputo accords will lead the country to political
serenity, social peace and an economic recovery".

Rajoelina took power after weeks of street demonstrations and
winning the support of the army, which led to the departure of
Ravalomanana in March. But the international community does not
recognise his regime and for months put pressure on all the
Madagascan parties to negotiate.

The leaders of the island's four main political groups,
including former presidents Albert Zafy and Didier Ratsiraka,
agreed to set up an interim government and hold elections by the
end of next year.

The marathon talks in Mozambique cleared key points of amnesty
for Ravalomanana, the structure of a unity transition government, a
constitutional referendum, and legislative and presidential
elections within 15 months.

But the issue of who will lead the power-sharing government to
steer the transition - headed by a president, vice president,
prime minister and three deputy prime ministers - will await
further talks.

1 comment:

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