The meetings have finished for the day and according to sobika.com it appears that Andry Rajoelina came out very dissatisfied with his meeting with Marc. According to the site Andry requesting the release of Ranjivason and the resignation of government ministers (and Marc??? Not clear on the page). Even though it is not exactly clear, you get the feeling that he seems to be back at making demands/threats and the feeling that they could hit the streets back to May 13th if things don’t go his way in tomorrow’s meeting.
Will this mean that the march on Iavoloha will continue? What could he possibly do next if he did return to protest? I guess we will see, but since the return will be the result of failed negotiations, you can bet he would want to make a point in the next rally.
It would seem that the negotiations between the two political rivals are still occurring, which is great news. I think everyone was on the edge of their seats waiting for the “Monday” meeting that had caused the long march that was planned for Iavoloha to be put on hiatus. But it would appear that Monday came and went with no word of negotiations breaking off, but also, no word of what is being negotiated. If I were to guess, I would say that we are at this point because Andry Rajoelina has very few moves left and little leverage. For talks to break down now, we would need to have some catasrophic problem that would force Andry to go back to the people and startup the rallies anew. Even if Andry wanted to start trouble now, the SADC has announced that they are ready to send their army in to keep the peace in both Madagascar and the Congo. So if there were to be more marches, you would bet that there would be a bigger military presence to deal with so I bet the incentive to do something outrageous like walking to Iavoloha would not happen any more.
Here is a link to the conditions for negotiations between Marc and Andry. Basically they have agreed to the following in order to engage in negotiations:
- Stop all forms of incitement to violence
- To stop all forms of provocation, denigration, and disseminating false information through the Audiovisual.
- To cease all acts of looting and vandalism to property of individuals and the State.
- To stop any demonstration in the street.
- To stop any form of arrest and prosecution of a political nature.
As you can see it is rather front loaded with stuff for Andry and his media network. There would seem to be only 1 item in here for Marc, which is to stop the threat of arrest. As of Monday morning all 50 people that were arrested when the 4 ministries were reclaimed have been released. Theodore Ranjivason is still under arrest, and I haven’t seen any news as to why he is still arrested or when he is going to be released.
So all and all we have good news Monday that negotiations are continuing and we have assurances that there will be no more demonstrations, incitement to violence, provocation or looting in Tana. This means that people (like my family) that have been locked up in their houses pretty much the whole crisis can now come outside and try and live a normal life. And with some promise of stability businesses and hopefully tourism can resume.
I will keep my eye on the situation and keep updating the blog with information as I see it. But hopefully now it will just involve minor updates on negotiations…