Update – I just recently read an article that sort of opened my eyes to something I didn’t know was happening. There is an article by Mialy in Globalvoices about rumours and fear in Antanarivo. The article provides many quotes from bloggers and information from various resources that outline just how hard the TGV propaganda machine is working, and also how it is affecting people that are not siding with TGV. People who are not with TGV are apparently “Enemies of the People”.
There are a many points within the article that are concerning (quoting from the article except #4):
1. Threats made to bloggers/reporters/supporters that are pro-ravalomana
“This is the third night that I have received nocturnal harassment, at midnight, at 2, 4, 5.30 in the morning, by phone and the callers have unabashedly unveiled their phone numbers, though they do not respond when called back.”
2. The attack on Lala Rasendrahasina leader of the FJKM
“Finally, they [security agents at Lala Rasendrahasina’s home] tried to locate the attackers by cautiously peering outside, but it was impossible to identify anyone. One of the security agents shot randomly at a shadow and the shot was enough to make the attackers flee.”
3. The failed looting in Toliara and the plans for looting in Antsirabe and the destruction of Ravalomana’s businesses there.
“According to news I heard, the Karana and others who collaborated with TIKO [Ravalomanana’s dairy firm] are targeted for looting and even looting in Toliary [a city in Southern Madagascar]. It is heard that hooligans or GV supporters are preparing to loot and burn down whatever is left of Ravalomanana’s empire in Antsirabe (10:30 they are no on the horse race tracks now as I speak). The soldiers have warned that they will immediately shoot even if the targeted stores are not in the “red zone””
4. The dissatisfaction with the negotiations and Andry’s plan to announce more ministers Saturday.
I have to find the link for this one (I know I read it somewhere), but if it is true, then that would pretty much mean the concessions would mean nothing. So, we could potentially see confrontations on Saturday of ProTGV vs. ProRavalomana or on Monday we could see some more marches on government buildings to put his ministers to work.
It would be truly sad if talks broke off so quickly as a peaceful resolution is what is needed here. I have this feeling that this TGV movement is an all or nothing movement unfortunately. For some reason, I just don’t feel that this whole crisis will end until Andry and his puppet masters get what they want.
It is good to see that things are slowing down now regarding the political crisis in Madagascar, I have been scouring the web and there has been very little to report.
The first bit of good news came yesterday when Marc and Andry were meeting with the French secretary of state for co-operation (interesting title). Both sides during the meeting had to make some concessions while engaging in dialogue (as per my previous post) Marc can’t arrest Andry and Andry cannot march on government buildings. If the agreement holds, then we can expect no trouble when his new pretend cabinet to start working on Monday because there would be no more marching on government buildings.
In case you are wondering here are his newest pseudo government officials:
Chief of State – General RASOLOMAHANDRY Edmond
Second in command (?) – Colonel RAMBOASALAMA Emilien
Minister of defence – Vice Admiral Mamy Ranaivoniarivo
What I find interesting about the talks though is that Andry demanded that people recognize the TGV parallel government, that elections be held and, that criminal charges were laid against Ravalomana before he would talk. None of this ever happened, or not that I am aware of, so it would seem like he put up a pretty weak fight before he gave in (but this is a good thing). Hopefully that is represents the state of support for the movement.
There will be another pro-Ravalomana rally at Mahamasima this Saturday, at least it is another bit of good news. I am wondering if the “silent majority” will be coming out to show their support, I hope that the crowd is as big or bigger than the previous rally.
Another minor thing that happened was that there was almost some more looting in Toliara. Some young people were gathering to start some trouble, but the police were quick to arrest about 20 of them without issue.
Finally, I found this article on the crisis and it’s comparison to an attempted coup d’etat that occurred in 2006, though you might want to take a look and read to see if you see any similarities.
I have updated the links, but there aren’t many of them. Peaceful resolution seems to have begun, hooray!