Nothing new except possibly 23 helicopters…

So as you may or may not have noticed, there is practically no news since COMESA suggested that they assist Marc Ravalomanana return to Madagascar by military force. It would seem that now that the HAT knows that there will be no military force  coming to oust them, they can take their sweet time doing whatever it is that they want to do. They are just playing a wait/stall game now, and unless something drastic happens between now and the time of the elections they will remain in power.

That sucks, but I guess that is the way things are when we depend upon negotiations and consessions right? We just have to sit and wait for 30 days before former Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano fails in negotiating a deal with 4 people that have very different ideas and demands. Guess we will have to see… but you can bank that Ratsiraka will demand amnesty so he can return, which won’t happen. Ravalomanana will demand that he comes back to Madagascar, that won’t happen (unless of course rumours are true that he is assembling a mercenary force to take back his presidency). Albert Zafy will just be there watching with his little demands, critisizing the HAT the whole way.

What was interesting this week though was the rumour and articles that the HAT is going to be purchasing 23 Alouette II helicopters from Belgium to protect Madagascar air from the neverending threat of  impending mercenaries to return Marc Ravalomanana to power and save threaten Malagasy citizens. Here are some of the links, and do take them with a grain of salt because they are from the Times of Madagascar, who I had recently caught with an article based on an urban legend. They had an article that supposedly showed AF447 breaking apart in mid-air… you could even see the tail end breaking a way and a guy flying out the back… amazing photo right? A person not fearing for their own life decides to stand up and take a picture just in the knick of time and their camera somehow survives the jets plummet to earth. Turns out that it is just a screenshot of TV’s lost… here are the links (if they are still up):

Madagascar Times AF447 article

Urban Legend explanation

Here are the links for the supposed helicopter purchases (Fr):

Link 1

Link 2

So let me get this straight (if true), Ravalomanana was ousted because he bought a private jet for his presidency (which Rajoelina has already proved wasn’t a bad idea with his hijacking). But, Rajoelina and the HAT who are having trouble keeping up with the bills and paying anyone but the military…. is now (according to the article and rumours) spending 3 million euro on these 23 helicopters?

Is that not insane? He will no doubt justify it by stating that they need to defend Madagascar (or rather the HAT) from the threat of a mercenary invasion… but where exactly is this money coming from? Is there still a secret supporter out there… (France?)… that is helping out with this? I only bring up France because of their participation in the Malagasy independance day celebrations despite the fact that Sarkozy rejected the government… see this article.

This again just sickens me (if true) that the HAT got to power preaching that the government was corrupt (but is systematically replacing most federal/regional politicians), that they were mispending because of a jet (when they are now going to be buying 23 helicopters to defend from invading mercenaries), that there was no freedom of speech (when they have shut down almost all radio/news sources that don’t speak kindly of them) and that “the people” were being repressed, not being allowed to demonstrate at May 13th square (when they have not allowed the legalists the same privelage at either May 13th or at Ambohijatovo).

It is still a travesty, and I am still pissed that all that has been happening and will continue to happen are talks that will never succeed, not while the HAT has money anyway. Something more needs to be done… but what?


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