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The African Union calls on the Malagasy stakeholders to exercise restraint and leadership following the return of former President Marc Ravalomanana

By African Union Commission (AUC)
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ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, October 16, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, is closely monitoring the situation in Madagascar, following the return of Mr. Marc Ravalomanana, former President of the Republic, on 13 October 2014. She notes that his return took place without consultation with the Malagasy authorities and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

The Chairperson of the Commission regrets the holding, by former President Ravalomanana, of a press conference just hours after his return, and strongly condemns the remarks he made on that occasion. In this regard, the Chairperson of the Commission considers that calling into question the legitimacy of the Malagasy institutions, which emanated from free, fair and democratic elections and whose results were recognized by the entire international community, including the AU and SADC, is an unacceptable provocation.

The Chairperson of the Commission welcomes the sense of responsibility demonstrated by the President of the Republic of Madagascar, Mr. Hery Rajaonarimampianina, noting his continued commitment to national reconciliation, as reiterated in the statement he made on 13 October 2014. She welcomes the subsequent actions taken by the Malagasy Government to address the situation.

The Chairperson of the Commission urges all Malagasy stakeholders, in general, and the political actors, in particular, to exercise restraint and sense of responsibility. In this context, she urges them to put the interests of Madagascar and its people above any other considerations, by refraining from any action that is likely to undermine the invaluable gains made following a long and challenging transition.

The Chairperson of the Commission recalls that the International Support Group for Madagascar (ISG-M), at its consultative meeting held in Antananarivo, on 28 March 2014, stressed the need to implement the outstanding aspects of the Roadmap for a way out of the crisis in Madagascar, notably the completion of national reconciliation, including the return of political exiles. She stresses that such return must be done in close collaboration with the Government and bearing in mind the security related requirements, as well as the imperative of accountability and rejection of impunity.