PRESIDENT URGES SADC LEADERS TO ADDRESS RISK OF VIOLENCE IN MADAGASCAR
Seychelles President James Michel has addressed the 32nd Southern African Development Community Ordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government in Maputo on the SADC Troika recommendations on Madagascar in the Report of the Outgoing Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, South African President Jacob Zuma.
President Michel commended the leadership of President Zuma and supported the recommendations, and also called on SADC leaders to consider the risks associated with the elections in Madagascar next year.
“The situation in Madagascar is today very delicately poised. The situation on the ground is very difficult. An already poor country is further slipping into a cycle of misery and poverty- with little hope for immediate amelioration, despite its enormous potential. …..As the dignity of the people of Madagascar is challenged further and further, the risk of internal strife increases,” said President Michel during an intervention.
Mr. Michel called on the Heads of State and Government to address the main points of debate between the Former President Marc Ravalomanana and the President of the Transition Authority, Andry Rajoelina, in light of the current security situation in the country.
“From our consultations with all stakeholders including the security establishment, we are concerned that the unrest and isolated violence that we have known so far could escalate into something that is beyond the control of the security forces, and our own control as SADC Heads of State. As a small island country, we cannot afford to have such a volatile situation persisting on our doorstep. We need Madagascar to export food and commodities- not violence and instability.”
President Michel also urged SADC to not only protect principles of governance but also the lives of people of the member countries of the organization.
“As SADC Heads of State- we are the guardians of certain principles. We must also ensure that our decisions provide leadership and protection to citizens of all countries of our region. It is the prospect of holding of elections successfully that provides hope to the Malagasy people. In our recommendations for the way forward- we must bolster this hope,” said the President.
The SADC Summit talks on the developments in Madagascar are continuing.