Why so fast?

There have been a great deal of changes that have happened in the last 6 days and a lot of them leave me scratching my head. Basically on October 1st, we left off with threats of not allowing mediators back into Madagascar and that Madagascar would remove itself from the SADC.  Since then, we have had:

  • There was a poll, where Roindefo says that 80% of the Malagasy people favour the new government. (Le Courier)
  • Roindefo states that the Maputo accord is not viable. (Reuters)
  • HAT government accused of profiting from the illegal logging of rosewood. (Reuters)
  • Rajoelina gives an address to the Malagasy people stating that he is going to follow Maputo and appoint a new PM in hopes to provide Madagascar with a president by the 50th anniversary of independence. (AFP: Google)
  • International powers stated that they do not support the power grab and that Rajoelina’s demands made no sense suggesting that they give him money or he won’t hold elections. (Reuters)
  • Rajoelina and Roindefo receive a suprise visit from a delegation of 40 people from the army to request that they take action to resolve the crisis urgently and they do so to avoid disorders. (Clicanoo – Reunion) and (Xinhua).
  • At a meeting at the Carlton in Tana, the 3 missing posts from the Maputo accord have been filled by Andry Rajoelina (President) Emmanuel Rakotovahiny (Vice President – Albert Zafy) Eugene Mangalaza (Prime Minister – Didier Ratsiraka). (Globe and Mail)

Is your head spinning? Mine is. How on earth did we go from having Rajoelina on a power trip to the UN to gain international recognition to Rajoelina actually becoming president and fulfilling the Maputo accord??? Something is definitely fishy about everything that has transpired in recent days, but I will be damned if I can put my finger on it.

Here are some of the things that I think may have contributed to the abrupt change in direction:

  • France intervened.
  • The army threatened.
  • Money

Monja Roindefo abandoned?

I am really having a hard time swallowing that Rajoelina would just accept the Maputo accord out of nowhere because he and Monja have been (at least up to this point) inseparable. At almost every turn in the past, you would see Rajoelina defend Roindefo and vice versa and on any political statement, they just seemed to be in sync.

But ever since ‘the incident’ at the UN, it seems as though Rajoelina has left Monja on his own. You can see from the articles on the first 2 points (above) and from my previous post that Monja seems to be towing the traditional party line by stating that everyone is happy with the status quo, threatening mediator visas, threatening to pull out of the SADC and finally stating that the Maputo accord is not viable.

But on the same day after Roindefo’s statements about the Maputo accord, Rajoelina makes the announcement that he is ready to honor the accord an appoint a PM and a VP from the various opposition parties.

“We will implement the agreements in Maputo (providing a temporary sharing of power and elections) if there is a written commitment from the international community to help us organize all elections, to suspend sanctions affecting Madagascar, and resume funding, “said Andry Rajoelina, president of the High Authority of Transition, citing the support of the European Union and World Bank.

“If everything is agreed, I am ready to listen to proposals from other spheres of influence and to appoint a Prime Minister acceptable to all,” he said.

Mr. Rajoelina said he “wanted the Malagasy people have a president for the 50th anniversary of Independence,” June 26, 2010, while agreements Maputo gave fifteen months to achieve this deadline.

How could Monja make all those statements and know that Rajoelina was going to say that? Clearly, the intent there is to dispose of him as PM… so this must have sideswiped Monja completely.

To prove it, here is Monja’s response to what occurred at the meeting on October 6th pretty must says it all:

The Prime Minister left the meeting room an hour after his arrival. “I’ll go eat,” he said to justify his early exit. He also refused to comment on his return to the meeting. But this time, his fate seems sealed. Since then he became quiet.

Is it France?

This is the part that doesn’t add up to me. Everything was going the regular TGV way, spreading rumours and misinformation all while trying to gain international recognition. Which is what they were trying to do when they showed up at the UN knowing full well that they are not recognized as the legal government… so why show up if not for the chance to gain international recognition for the government (or at least lie about it) and why try this stunt if you have any intention of accepting Maputo?

The UN general assembly was in late September (25/26) and it was reported that before going home Rajoelina was received in the Elysee Palace by Nicolas Sarkozy on September 28th

Yet external sources and on the net, we learn that the President of the NDT was received at the Elysee Palace this Monday, September 28 despite a busy official agenda of President Nicolas Sarkozy. Other sources later deny this information. True or false? No one knows! Previously Andry Rajoelina have also met with Admiral Didier Ratsiraka had already discussed with the emissary of the International Contact Group (ICG) Joachim Chissano and Tiebilé Drama.

All these information flows while in the country, Prime Minister Monja Roindefo hosted at the Palais de Mahazoarivo, French personalities presented as close to President Sarkozy and benefactors because they will make the communication of Madagascar to restore the prestige of the country and improve branding power up. The aim is to attract investors especially in the tourism sector in Nosy Be and in the South and quickly get millions of dollars as was done in his time, former Prime Minister Jacques Sylla.

Here is another blurb:

“Twice humiliated” in the words of Midi Madagasikara,Andry Rajoelina cut short his stay in New York to go to Paris accompanied by his Foreign Minister Ny Hasina Andriamanjato. “Launched in vain to conquer the international recognition without going through the implementation of agreements in Maputo, Rajoelina met in Paris, Admiral Didier Ratsiraka and the mediators of the International Contact Group (ICG), led by former President of Mozambique, Joaquim Chissano, provides Midi Madgasikara.

Then basically there was no news until Rajoelina’s announcement on October 4th.

So how did we go from trying to gain international acceptance (to avoid accepting Maputo) to accepting the conditions of Maputo? It was like a complete shift in mentality from wanting to keep the current government as the transitional head to accepting the August negotiations? It’s really too bad that there was no information from his meeting in Paris and also too bad that the reports that did leak out were later denied.

Army Threats?

Now whether or not the Paris trip happened, it is true that at some point on October 4th that some delegates from the army had visited Rajoelina:

During the meeting, the officers underlined with the two eminent personages, the need for finding a solution with the current location urgently. They would have asked president Andry Rajoelina and the Prime Minister Monja Roindefo to intend itself on the position to hold during the meeting.

At the exit of the meeting, some officers made it clear that they “would not enter the political questions”, but which they “had asked (with the two authorities) to take decisions to avoid the disorders”.

or

In another development, army generals held a close-door meeting with Rajoelina and his Prime Minister Monja Roindefo for nearly two hours on Sunday, but no information was disclosed from the meeting.

So the army had stopped by for a little visit with Rajoelina and Roindefo, but whatever for? There have always been rumours surrounding the army and their various positions… but what could make a delegation come to the then heads of the HAT government and have a 2 hour meeting?


If you as me, the only reason that a delegation would come and have a 2 hour meeting with the current government is to express dissatisfaction or a present a problem. There was never any information leaked from that meeting, but I bet that it was either dissatisfaction or a problem that caused the impromptu visit.


Money?


Perhaps it was money that pushed everything over the top. With all of the sanctions imposed on Madagascar, I am surprised that the government has been able to last this long. Ever since Rajoelina overthrew Ravalomanana all you have seen in the news is how much worse it is getting for the average Malagasy person (tourism, loss of TIKO and food shortages.. etc) and how much the Malagasy Ariary has been depreciating in value. And now, if the recent accusations hold true, they have allowed the illegal logging to flourish because all they are doing about it is taxing the exports to other countries.

 

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Conservation International and Wild life Conservation Society said an inter-ministerial order issued last month granted an exceptional authorisation to export raw and semi-processed hard wood. “It legalises the sale of illegally cut and collected wood onto the market; allows for the potential embezzlement of funds in the name of environmental protection and constitutes a legal incentive for further corruption in the forestry sector,” the statement signed by the three groups said.

The Sept. 21 government order authorised 13 operators to export 325 containers of timber, with the authorities taking a 72 million ariary ($36,054) tax on each container.


The donor-dependent country has seen its reserves dwindle after key donors branded Andry Rajoelina’s March power-grab a coup and froze hundreds of millions of dollars in aid.

If they are turning a blind eye to the lawless logging that has been going on (but taxing exports), then government must be desperate for income… which might just explain why Rajoelina was so desperate to address the UN and gain international recognition (not that I believe he could). Could money have been the reason for the abrupt change in direction for Rajoelina? I am certain that it definitely played a part… but I don’t think it is the catalyst.


Future of Madagascar

Well whatever happened to cause Andry Rajoelina to agree to the Maputo accord is a good thing because Madagascar was going nowhere fast with the HAT’s plan of avoiding Maputo and continuing to pretend that they govern Madagascar. Though it will never make sense that Albert Zafy and Didier Ratsiraka were included in the crisis negotiations, nor that Marc Ravalomanana’s party doesn’t seem to have any representation in the transitional government or even that Andry Rajoelina is leading the transitional government… at least we are moving some where and not stuck in the political quagmire we had been for so long.

But even with this progress have some really uneasy feelings:

  • Why and how did this sudden transition happen? I think I need this to be answered because I think we all need to know the reason, or who is behind the sudden change of heart. There is no doubt a reason behind it, but whose reason is it and how does it serve them?
  • Why is there no representation from Ravalomanana’s party? Though there may be some representation in some lower positions (I don’t know for sure), I find it disturbing that Ravalomanana’s party has not been given a power position. It makes me feel as though Andry Rajoelina has won somehow (he is now the president, Ravalomanana or his party really have no presence in the government). If the negotiations where to be between the 2 conflicting parties… how is it that 1 of the 2 parties is seemingly left out?
  • Didier Ratsiraka and Rajoelina: In some of the above articles it states that Ratsiraka and Rajoelina met in France. Also at the very beginning of the crisis there was some speculation that Ratsiraka was really behind the whole coup to extract his revenge on Ravalomanana for overthrowing his government in 2002. Now, Ratsiraka has influential power over the transitional government through his PM delegate and now that Rajoelina is not allowed to run for president in the next election… who is to say that Ratsiraka won’t? And if he does, he could easily appoint Rajoelina as PM if he did win… I don’t want to float conspiracies… but it seems that everyone but Ravalomanana is getting what they want, could this end up being the sweetest revenge?

I have this feeling that we are going to see this government stay intact until the elections are organized before we are going to see anything extremely newsworthy. Until then, the news in Madagascar is probably going to be dry with the occassional rumour for Ravalomanana or Roindefo.

So let’s hope that when the elections come that the combined forces of Ratsiraka and Rajoelina don’t try to rig the elections to continue to have their way. I hope that we can see many contenders for the presidency (hopefully some not related to any of these parties) so that the people of Madagascar can have a choice and not be forced or coerced into having the president that Rajoelina/Ratsiraka think they should have.

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Holding Madagascar hostage

I have been meaning to blog and have had a few drafts, but I thought I would scrap that and write a new one today while I have a few moments. I have been really busy over the past couple of weeks and haven’t been able to find the time to eek out a post or update any of the timeline pages.

Anyhow… a lot has happened since the last time I blogged, but I can’t really say that it is anything suprising… here is a rundown of the stuff that has happened since September 1st:

    • Rajoelina holds a mini-referendum at Mahamasima to ‘pretend’ to consult his people on the next steps since Maputo had ended.
    • The opposition (Ratsiraka, Rajoelina, Zafy) called on the army to break the deadlock and form an interum government.
    • Army refuses political role.
    • Monja Roindefo charged with creating a ‘unity’ government (by himself) in 72 hours by Rajoelina.
    • The opposition & SADC reject the new government
    • Protests begin on September 11th & 12th and are met with arrests and tear gas
    • The HAT starts to arrest opposition supporters
    • Rajoelina feels ‘betrayed’ by the international community
    • Rumours:
      • The HAT obtains support from Libya military for rural areas and possible donations.
      • Army give Roindefo 24hrs to resign.
    • Rajoelina was invited to the UN General Assembly on climate change
    • Rajoelina goes to NYC to attend UN summit
    • Rajoelina goes to Paris where he is accompanied by French diplomates
    • Rajoelina to give climate change address to UN and plagiraises the VPM of luxemburg
    • Rajoelina denied not once, but twice at the UN general assembly
    • Now HAT is threatening to deny visas to mediators unless a HAT satisfactory explanation occurs
    • Madagascar says to withdraw from SADC

Obviously there has been a complete reversal in anything gained by the Maputo accord, and the HAT is back up to their usual tricks of trying to misinform and trick people into giving them what they want. Let’s start at the top:

Rajoelina holds a mini-referendum at Mahamasima

So everything was going well with Maputo, we had some concessions made and some crimes forgiven… everything looked promising and everyone including myself thought that the crisis may finally be on its way to being over.  We were all so convinced of this that we didn’t even think of what would happen at the next when Maputo II was scheduled to choose who would be the transitional leaders that would lead Madagascar back into a legitimate elected government.

So at Maputo II the negotiations began over the period of a few days to decide who would lead the ‘transition’ and naturally Rajoelina would insist that he be the leader of the transition, a position that he feels is his alone… why didn’t we see that coming? So a few days later the talks were at a complete standstill and eventually broke off under the auspice that Rajoelina and the others would take some time to deliberate on who should lead the transition.

Of course, not to miss any opportunity to make it into the headlines and to look as though he cares, Rajoelina holds a mini-referendum at Mahamasima stadium to consult the ‘Forces of Change’  to ‘ask’ them if he should lead the next transitional government. This of course is more or less a rhetorical question as we all know that Rajoelina already had the answer to that question long before he ever organized this ‘referendum’.

The opposition (Ratsiraka, Rajoelina, Zafy) called on the army to break the deadlock

After the Maputo peace talks had broken off and talks slowly began to fail, the 3 former presidents: Marc Ravalomanana, Didier Ratsiraka and Albert Zafy create an unofficial united opposition to Rajoelina and the HAT. Fully expecting the outcome of the referendum and knowing how Rajoelina is, they decide that it would be best if the military just took the reigns of power and broke the deadlock that was occurring in the presidential power struggle. Albert Zafy seems to completely understand where these negotiations are going and offers this quote:

“It is now the military to take responsibility. For us, this is the only solution because the civilian side (…), it did not happen to resolve the situation, “he told reporters the former president Albert Zafy.

“They (the military) can impose their point of view (…) because it is the military who gave the power to Andry Rajoelina. So they may well decide and influence Mr. Rajoelina “said Zafy.

Though it is true that there is virtually nothing aside from a complete military takeover that will change things, the request sadly falls on deaf ears as those who placed Rajoelina into power are quite content to keep him there.

Army refuses political role

After all the struggle that was had placing Rajoelina into power, did anyone seriously think that they would entertain a thought about what was good for Madagascar and assume control? Of course not, is that a question that can really be asked? The military is seeing more action then they have seen in a long time and received bonus wages from the government (among other things that have been seen around the net). They just came back to the opposition with the typical good guy answer stating that they don’t want to be involved in politics and want to remain neutral… only, they are a bit late on that choice ever since they had sided and continue to side with Rajoelina.

Military police head General Claude Ravalomanana said in a statement that the armed forces had no role to play in politics and would not risk creating internal rifts.
“We are categorically against the establishment of a military government,” he told several hundred officers.
“We urge the politicians to find a solution so that the transition can establish a fourth republic.”

Military police head General Claude Ravalomanana said in a statement that the armed forces had no role to play in politics and would not risk creating internal rifts.

“We are categorically against the establishment of a military government,” he told several hundred officers.

“We urge the politicians to find a solution so that the transition can establish a fourth republic.”

Well it is too late for the rifts General Ravalomanana they have been there ever since the take over and still exist to this day, you are just lucky nothing has happened so far.

Monja Roindefo charged with creating a ‘unity’ government (madatribune article here)

Since talks have completely stalled and it would seem that no one can agree on anything, Andry Rajoelina takes it upon himself to solve this problem by creating a ‘unity’ government without any involvement from the other former presidents. He charges his PM Monja Roindefo to create a unity government within 72 hours to solve the current stand still.

Is it just me, or does it seem that Rajoelina (and perhaps the HAT) do not think things through completely before executing them? Clearly the other 3 ex-presidents are not going to accept the new government since they were not a part of its creation and obviously the rest of the world won’t accept the new government for the same reasons. There was absolutely nothing to be gained by creating this unity government as it was something that was doomed to failure from the very start. This is just one of many ‘stunts’ (the Maputo accord being another) that Rajoelina pulls to obtain media attention and it would seem to make someone (perhaps the forces of change?) believe that he was truly trying to solve all of Madagascar’s problems. Rajoelina only wants 3 things:

  1. To lead the transition to the next republic of Madagascar and into the next government of Madagascar (which will, if he was ever successful in leading a transition, probably be his government).
  2. International recognition as the president of Madagascar.
  3. To keep himself in the news.

Of course there is the power, money and fame… but almost everything that Rajoelina does seems to revolve around those 2 things. So clearly, forming this ‘unity’ government all alone is some sort of absurd attempt at trying to look as though he is ‘doing something for Madagascar’ and a way to garner media attention.

“I give instruction to Prime Minister Monja Roindefo to form an open government of national unity with 72 hours,” Rajoelina said in a statement.

He said his government would set up all the institutions that were agreed under the terms of an initial power-sharing deal reached in Maputo in early August.

Yup… ‘his’ government would obviously include himself and Monja to lead the government and if they were lucky some elements of the opposition parties, albeit most likely in lowly positions. It would actually be quite funny if he seriously did believe that this was agreed to in the Maputo power sharing deal.

The opposition & SADC reject the new government (other links here and here. Government details: here)

Needless to say, the idea was categorically rejected. First, by the opposition, who were not too pleased that Rajoelina had taken it upon himself to conjure his non-unity government.

“Of course we will not participate in this government. We reject it,” Emmanuel Rakotovahiny, a senior member of former President Albert Zafy’s delegation, told Reuters.

“The country is moving towards a dangerous situation where there may never be peace,” he added.

“Following the declaration of Andry Rajoelina, who has flagrantly contradicted what was agreed at Maputo … the Ratsiraka movement, and all those who support it, reject this decision of Mr Rajoelina,” the statement signed by Ange Andrianarisoa, head of the Ratsiraka delegation, said.

Second, by the SADC who also did not like the unilateral action taken by Andry Rajoelina.

Joaquim Chissano, Mozambique’s former president who is mediating in the island’s crisis, said Southern African leaders meeting in Democratic Republic of Congo on Tuesday had rejected “the unilateral decision taken in Madagascar”.

“We will continue to negotiate to find a consensual solution. The current (Southern African Development Community) suspension will remain in place until they find a consensual and inclusive solution to the problem,” he said.

Analysts said the government was unlikely to end the crisis, even if the balance of power currently lay with Rajoelina.

“Everybody agrees there must be negotiations as neither side can really go forward without the other. Rajoelina needs the donors back and the opposition wants to be back (in power), said Lille-based political risk consultant Lydie Boka.

Of course the HAT rigorously defends the new government, maintaining that it is inclusive even though they hand picked people for every position.

Roindefo defended the new government, which included several people until recently closely associated with Ravalomanana.

“The new government is not for one party alone. It is for everyone. For me, all four movements are represented,” he said in a televised statement.

Rajemison Rakotomahro and Jacques Sylla, former heads of the upper and lower houses of parliament respectively during the Ravalomanana era, took up the posts of the transition’s vice president and president of the transition’s congress.

That’s right, ‘until recently’ was associated with Ravalomanana… before they sided with the HAT. No doubt their government was full of people that were ‘formerly’ associated with their respective movements.

Since Rajoelina is so blatantly violating the spirit of Maputo by creating this unilateral government of his, the only recourse for the opposition parties is to return to the streets and protest against it (which they had stopped previously as a condition of the Maputo agreement).

Protests begin on September 11th & 12th (other links here and here)

So the opposition calls for the people to stand up and boycott the new so called ‘unity’ government and return to the streets as the legalists have been doing since Rajoelina took power. I don’t think it is a surprise to anyone that the protesters were greeted with confrontation and tear gas from the police/army.

Backers of ousted President Marc Ravalomanana massed in a park near a central square, but security forces moved in saying the demonstration had not been authorized.

Raharinaivo Andrianantoandro, spokesperson for Ravalomanana’s party, said they had wanted to demonstrate peacefully to condemn Rajoelina’s appointment of a new government this week and to convince the ruling authorities to resume crisis talks.

“But the security forces stopped us,” he told Reuters, adding that he was not aware of any arrests or injuries.

Ah yes… the old, “You were not authorized to protest” excuse, as if a protest against a government must first be approved by that same government… how ludicrous!

Well regardless of how absurd the HAT’s reasoning is, they would greet any protest that occurred with confrontation and tear gas. It is amazing how much of a difference 8 months makes isn’t it? It was just like yesterday when Rajoelina had a movement that was protesting the Ravalomanana government, though with quite a lot less tear gas and military involved.

The HAT starts to arrest opposition supporters

And because the HAT is all for openness and transparency, they begin to go after opposition leaders and begin to throw them in jail. They start with Senator Naika Eliane following up with Raharinaivo Randrianatoandro, drumming up some clearly fake charges to take them off to prison.

Raharinaivo Randrianatoandro is the second leader of the movement Ravalomanana be thrown in jail since Friday, September 11 after Senator Naika Eliane has been in custody at the prison Manjakandriana. Other arrests are expected.

On top of this there were reported injuries and protester arrests as well.

Rajoelina feels ‘betrayed’ by the international community

Now that it is quite clear that no one but the HAT wants their newly created unilateral ‘unity’ government, Rajoelina cries foul to get himself back into the headlines.

“Rajoelina feels betrayed by the International Contact Group (ICG),” Roindefo said late on Tuesday in a televised debate with the head of ousted leader Marc Ravalomanana’s movement.

“The president and the prime minister of the transition reflect the national will. The ICG then created these other parties. If we are not careful, we will end up like Somalia with warlords,” he said.

At least now Roindefo and Rajoelina are stating the truth of the matter by stating that the president and PM of the transition reflect the national will (aka the HAT’s will). It does make you wonder how someone can say something like that with a straight face doesn’t it? Months of protests from 10’s of thousands of people, growing opposition from across the country and Roindefo can actually manage to say that they represent the ‘nations will’…. please.

I think Fetison Andrianirina’s statement best describes the HAT’s double standard of using the Maputo accord to condemn the opposition, but at the same time not respecting it when they created their unilateral government.

“You brandish the Maputo charter when you feel it suits you, for example, in creating a government. But you fail to respect the agreement’s terms when it comes to setting up the agreed institutions,” Andrianirina said.

Roindefo then goes to the Malagasy High Consitutional Court for interpretation of the Maputo accord, apparently finding it unbelievable that people aren’t interpreting the agreement the way the HAT as no one is accepting his new ‘unity’ government.

Despite all of the nonsense from the HAT, the unusual alliance between Ratsiraka, Zafy and Ravalomanana continues with all of the involved parties wishing to reach the consensual government defined within the Maputo accord.

Rumours (other link here)

While all of the bickering was taking place over the unity government there were 2 articles of news that had come up and had gone away as quickly as they had came.

One of these rumours was that Madagascar had somehow procured from Libya 3 MI8 helicopters and 1 military transport plane. This was rumoured to be a donation to help them fight dahalo (highwaymen) who I have actually heard are becoming an increasing problem on Madagascar’s highways.

The second rumour was that the army had proposed a 72 hour deadline for Monja Roindefo to step down as PM. According to the military (in the Les-Nouvelles article) they wanted Monja to step down so that an officer they have selected can succeed him. This didn’t make any sense to me because:

  • The military have been quite happy where they are.
  • Rajoelina has gone out of his way to retain Monja, this is why the broke off the Maputo talks.
  • If the military are going to be a part of the government, wouldn’t they just completely take over government? Why just follow orders from Rajoelina if they are in government? They are already doing that without being part of it.

At any rate, 72 hours passed along and Monja Roindefo was just fine, remaining the PM of the HAT.

AND NOW FOR THE INTERESTING PART….

After all the talk and bickering about the unity government and Maputo, Rajoelina was actually invited by the UN to the UN General Assembly on climate change. This could have been huge for Rajoelina in terms of his desire to obtain international recognition, or at least, some form of it.

Rather than being wise and abstaining from talking at the UN general assembly and simply going back to Madagascar stating he was invited to the assembly as the ‘leader’ of Madagascar, he insists that he give a speech to the assembly. And this is where karma catches up with Rajoelina as not only it was found that many key elements of his address were copied from an address made by the VPM of Luxembourg, but he inadvertently created one of the biggest  controversies ever witnessed at the UN!

His first problem with plagiarism started when people had received a copy of the address he intended to give to the UN. A malagasy blogger read through it and had noticed that it looked remarkably like a speech that the VPM of Luxembourg had given 3 years ago, here is how the blog compares the speeches:

Rajoelina’s Speech:

“In unison with other developing countries, Madagascar would like to reiterate that the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities (Principle 7 of Rio) and equity are the cornerstones that must guide international cooperation on changes Climate. We must recognize that environmental degradation, depletion of natural resources and character – now inevitable – change

Climate representing an obstacle or an obstacle to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and may negate the positive trends observed in some developing countries, provided that the environmental quality remains an integral factor essential to ensure sustainable economic and social harmonious long term.

It is therefore urgent to act quickly, effectively and collectively. Indeed, the fight against climate change and environmental degradation must be understood in the international framework set by Agenda 21, the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, the United Nations Convention on the Fight against Desertification, the Convention United Nations Framework on Climate Change, the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

It is especially necessary to take into account that developing countries are particularly vulnerable to threats posed by climate change on economic and social development, since their economies are often more dependent on environmental resources and they not have as many resources as developed countries to pursue policies to adapt to climate change. “

Jean Asselborn VPM Luxembourg on Sept 24, 2007 (FR):

“The environmental degradation, depletion of natural resources and character – now inevitable – climate change represent a barrier but a barrier to achieving the Millennium Development Goals and may negate the positive trends observed in many developing countries. The quality of the environment is also essential to ensure sustainable economic and social harmonious long term.

It is therefore urgent to act quickly and collectively. Indeed, the fight against climate change and environmental degradation must be viewed collectively in the international framework set by Agenda 21, the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, the United Nations Convention on the Fight against Desertification, the Convention United Nations Framework on Climate Change, the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Millennium Development Goals.

It is especially necessary to take into account that developing countries are particularly vulnerable to threats posed by climate change on economic and social development, since their economies are often more dependent on environmental resources and they not have as many resources as developed countries to pursue policies to adapt to climate change. “

The blog can be found here in Malagasy and you can take the comparison whatever way you like as there was really no other coverage of this aside from the Malagasy bloggers entry so it could be completely false for all I know. If you wish to compare, I have found Rajoelina’s speech in english hosted here (PDF) on the UN site as well as is taped address below. I have also found the VPM of Luxembourg’s speech here at their government site.

Now this is really detracting from the biggest story of all, which is that UN members had voted to prevent Andry Rajoelina from addressing the UN because he was not the legitimate leader of Madagascar. Below are some of the headlines:

Andry Rajoelina prevented a second time to access the gallery (FR)

Delegates Prevent Madagascar Leader from Addressing UN General Assembly

AP Exclusive: UN leader cites rules on Madagascar

Rajoelina prevented from speaking at the UN: Madagascar will protest (FR)

Andry Rajoelina was supposed to make his speech on September 25th, 2009, but SADC members had strongly opposed allowing him to speak as he was not the legitimate leader of Madagascar. So strongly in fact, they forced the poor Ali Abdessalam Treki to put it to a vote and even though a VERY large percentage of the UN membership did not vote, there were 23 members opposing his speech and 4 members for his speech, so the speech did not happen.

In a rare intervention in the Assembly hall, the foreign minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Alexis Mwamba, representing SADC, protested allowing Mr. Rajoelina to speak. “SADC would like to express its protest against the decision to invite Mr. Andry Rajoelina to take the floor at the general debate of our august assembly,” he said.

He insisted the matter be voted on under the rules of procedure and the assembly decided Mr. Rajoelina should be deferred from taking the floor. But confusion reigned both during and after the vote, and it remained unclear whether the decision was the final word on the matter.

Ali Abdessalam Treki insists that he was only following the ‘rules’ when granting permission for Rajoelina to address the UN assembly. But it now appears that there is a movement afoot because of this to prevent any illegal government official from ever addressing the UN. Now Nambia is pushing the UN to take a ‘hard line’ against coup d’etats:

Speaking on the fifth day of the high-level debate, Marco Hausiku said the 192-member General Assembly should “urgently pass a resolution” that prohibits unelected regimes from participating in UN activities.

“There is a need for the UN to support the AU [African Union] principle position of not recognizing governments that come to power through military coups,” he said.

I totally agree with the idea and it really makes me wonder why this hasn’t happened sooner? Clearly Rajoelina fully intended on using his address to the UN to ‘legitimize’ himself to the world, so why would the UN have allowed this to take place if not for the SADC objection? There should be no recognition and no invitation for those member states that come to power illegally through any method, and I certainly hope that they adopt this stance.

Now HAT is threatening to deny visas to mediators

Now that Andry Rajoelina and the HAT have been so immensely humiliated they are now responding to the embarassment by threatening to deny visas to mediators and even more intensely cracking down on demonstrations against their government.

Madagascar said on Tuesday it may refuse visas to officials from the Southern African Development Community after African nations blocked the island’s leader from addressing the U.N. General Assembly last week.

Prime Minister Monja Roindefo told Reuters he had sent letters to SADC member states represented on the Indian Ocean island to demand an explanation, as well as a letter of protest to the U.N. headquarters.

“For now, we will leave it at that. Further actions (regarding visas) will depend on the responses we receive to our demands for an explanation,” Roindefo said.

Doesn’t this ‘pretend’ sincerity by the HAT get under your skin? It drives me crazy to think that the HAT was even invited go to the UN Assembly in the first place. How can the HAT seriously be surprised that anyone would protest their address to the UN? They know they are illegitimate, it is exactly why they showed up to the UN meeting in the first place! How would anyone seriously want to allow an illegal government to use the UN as a tool to bolster the credibility of it’s international recognition? The invite shouldn’t have happened, and this is something that should have been addressed long ago with the UN.

So Andry Rajoelina and Monja Roindefo are in the process of throwing a fit of protest against everyone involved in blocking their speech to the UN. They are furious that anyone would think of blocking their chance at bolstering their international recognition, but mostly they are furious that their plan couldn’t have back fired worse than it did.

I have heard it mentioned on the net, and I completely agree that if they wanted to succeed in bolstering their recognition they should have just shown up and kept their mouths shut. They could have just walked away from the general assembly telling the world and anyone who wants to hear that they are now recognized because the UN invited them to an assembly, and it would be up to the UN to correct that error. But instead, they got greedy and pleaded with Ali Abdessalam Treki to let Rajoelina speak despite the process which in the end will cement a piece of the HAT in history. Of course the HAT won’t be remembered as the transitional government that lead Madagascar to it’s 4th republic, but rather as the illegitimate government that caused an uproar at the UN and most likely will result in new measures passed not to allow illegal governments to attend or participate in UN functions.

Madagascar says to withdraw from SADC

There is not much more for the HAT to do but complain to the world how offended they are about what had happened in the UN. Well… not much more than making empty threats! I almost can’t contain my laughter.

So, now they are going to prevent SADC members from entering Madagascar (not that they need to hold negotiations there)… but now they are going to withdraw from the SADC? You are kidding right? Madagascar was thrown out of the SADC shortly after the coup d’etat occurred!

Government actions on the granting of visas to SADC members, scheduled to arrive in Antananarivo on Oct. 6 for the International Contact Group meeting, will be specified depending on the response to these requests for explanation, said Roindefo.

Roindefo’s decision followed the declaration of two dozens of political parties allied to the HTA, proposing the withdrawal of Madagascar from the SADC, which Rajoelina’s supporters consider as “non-compliance of Madagascar’s sovereignty.”

Of course they are non-compliant with the HAT’s sovereignty! Nobody wants to side with the HAT. Don’t worry about your proposal, Madagascar will be out of the SADC until such a time as there is a legitimate leader, who I am sure will want to take part in the SADC once again.

Now there is no chance that the HAT will ever gain international recognition and possibly no way that he will ever lead a transitional government. They cannot do anything more but to hold all of Madagascar hostage until there is either a SADC military intervention or the 4 leaders come to an agreement. Which one do you think will happen first?