Losing faith in the SADC

So it would almost appear as though the news stories over the past few weeks have been manipulated by the HAT, or at least the ones where it was stated that Ravalomanana was perfectly fine with accepting the SADC agreement allowing Rajoelina to control and hand pick the prime minister of Madagascar.

The notion that any of the opposing parties in Madagascar would accept this sort of agreement was suspicious to say the least, but the fact that it was the SADC that had proposed it and put forward this proposal is very concerning. The SADC along with the AU were relied upon heavily as groups that would be instrumental in the resolution to the illegal. government in Madagascar, and their most recently proposed solution was to keep Rajoelina in power? Clearly Rajoelina has been very busy lobbying the SADC, or has a connection within the organization that made this obscene suggestion possible. So if we cannot trust the SADC, who can the Malagasy turn to for resolution to the coup? How long will the coup exist?

The most recent news has finally gotten out of Madagascar indicating that all opposition parities were against the SADC proposal, contrary to some of the information released earlier. And it really comes as no surprise in recent news that all opposition party leaders are about to be arrested for 13 months on the arbitrary charge of taking part in a ‘banned demonstration’. The article Rajoelina charges opposition leaders describes the arrest and actually states that many of the opposition leaders were in jail since November, which I don’t recall as to whether or not it is being reported previously.

The arrests seem to be a knee jerk reaction to the most recent opposition to Rajoelina, but who knows what purpose they serve. But what is highlighted by this, particularily regarding the SADC, is that this problem is far from being resolved and that the Malagasy can no longer rely on the SADC (and most likely the AU) in hopes of resolution. In my opinion this crisis is rapidly becoming a problem that the Malagasy themselves will have to sollve because the sad fact is that they have no one else they can trust.

Terrorism reigns

I have been watching, but have not had time to comment on all the things that have happened since my last blog post… I can hardly believe that there is so much to write about in a matter of 4 days. And for some of the things, it seems like deja vue as they have  parallels to what has already happened since January 26th:

  • Marc Ravalomanana shut down VIVA, infuriating people and starting the daily demonstrations at May 13th.
  • Andry Rajoelina shuts down TVM and RNM, infuriating people and starting more aggressive demonstrations.
  • Marc Ravalomanana stops people from accessing May 13th square.
  • Andry Rajoelina stops people from accessing Ambohijatovo.

These are the only similarities, really, it is the way in which the Ravalomanana and Rajoelina handle public discontent that is very different.

Marc Ravalomanana knew when it was time to back away from a decision, especially if it would result in violence, and he tended to respect people and democracy.

Andry Rajoelina doesn’t seem to back away from any decision, regardless of whether or not it results in violence. We already know that he does not respect democracy by the simple act of not allowing people to vote for their new leader, but he is also trying to censor information, is installing his own people in place of elected officials to the head of almost every institution (regardless of what the public thinks), and is on a regular basis allowing acts of violence to transpire against the Malagasy people.

I guess you could say that the real difference is that Marc Ravalomanana cared about Madagascar and Andry Rajoelina doesnt. Marc may have been seen as cocky, or arrogant, but he never caused any problems for the people of Madagascar and most of the time he had the interests of the country in mind. Andry Rajoelina has only one thing in mind, keeping his power, and he has shown time and time again that he will stay the course regardless of what happens in the country.

And this is what scares me about Andry Rajoelina, that he is willing to do anything to carry out whatever evil plan he has in mind. It is ridiculous that in approximately 4 days the HAT has (from Sobika/TopMada/Twitter/Articles):

  • Closed down 2 radio/tv stations.
  • Banned public rallies
  • Stopping protests by force with:
    • 9 people died
    • 38 people injured
  • Have threatened doctors, according to Jose Andrianjatovo, Department head of the HJRA. It is suspected that the HAT are forcing the HJRA to not report the true casualties and is hiding bodies.
  • Dismissed and replaced four high ranking officials: the Prefect of police of Antananarivo, the Managing director of the BIANCO, the office which fights against corruption, the Managing director of the CIS, service of investigation and intelligence and the Managing director of the national police force.
  • Announced 19 new directors for the gendarmerie.
  • Ministry of Interior lied to the people to say the military had not fired on people at all.
  • Ministry of Environment lies and states that there has been no looting of rosewood since April 12th.
  • Has attempted to seize all bank accounts belonging to TIKO and Marc Ravalomanana.
  • Cause the Central bank to continue their strike because of threats against them and threats to use force.
  • Their new mayor of Fianarantsoa (Pety Rakotoniaina) states that “During the transition, the legalists have no right to speak”.
  • HAT PM lied stating that the legalists had guns and fired on the army/police first so they had to defend themselves.
  • Detaining executives of TELMA
  • According to the radio Fahazavana, 4 women were taken by the military and 4  pro-Ravalomanana deputies and senators including Senator Lanto Rabenantoandro, Henri Randrianjatovo were arrested in Ambanidia. Also 4 university students were taken as well.
  • Continue to hold Razily the student protestor that marched defiantly towards the army carrying a flag.
  • Accused legalists of having mercenaries, but have a 4×4 full of armed unidentified people giving police orders and chasing demonstrators.
  • Appointed 8 heads of regions in place of elected ones.
  • Caused taxis/buses to go on strike between Tana and Ivato due to threats.
  • Arrested 28 legalists.
  • Have blocked all entrances and exits at the HJRA with the army, controlling who goes in or out.
  • Andry Rajoelina announced the customs exemption of the sporting equipment.
  • Andry Rajoelina announced free 30 day visas to tourists.

This is unbelievable… and it just continues to get worse. I really don’t see the situation improving especially in light of all the censorship and oppression that the HAT government is putting on people. This will just be a catalyst for more violence because people are not going to allow themselves to be muzzled by the government. They will continue to rally and perhaps even riot because people and the country continue to get poorer with every passing day of a HAT government and because they have no one to turn to because they cannot trust the police, army or government. The more the HAT government tries to stop this from happening the more dire the situation will become… I am scared to see what is going to happen next. And if the riots don’t come from the oppression, they will most certainly come from desperation because if Andry Rajoelina thinks that free visas to a country run by terrorist or a custom exception for sporting equipment is going to save the country’s economy… then Madagascar is doomed.