Press statement of the Ministerial Committee of the Organ Troika, 26 January 2012
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Ministerial Committee of the Organ (MCO) Troika, comprising of South Africa as Chair, the Republic of Zambia and United Republic of Tanzania as well as the SADC Secretariat, convened an urgent meeting in Pretoria. The meeting was attended by the Malagasy political stakeholders among them; the representatives of President of the Transition, Prime Minister of Consensus, the Deputy Prime Minister, the President of the Congress of Transition and Mouvances (Political Parties) Ravalomanana and Zafy, respectively.
The meeting of the MCO Troika took place within the context of the progress made in the implementation of the SADC Roadmap "To end the Crisis in Madagascar." The Organ Troika reflected on the political situation in Madagascar, progress made and challenges experienced.
The MCO Troika reaffirmed that there has been much progress made in the past few months by all political stakeholders in the implementation of the Roadmap, however it was also noted that some critical challenges still remains to be resolved.
The events of 21st January 2012 in which former President Ravalomanana attempted to enter Madagascar unilaterally are seen as setback. There is already an agreed process in place in which the MCO Troika has undertaken to ensure the safe and secure return of all political exiles as required by Article 20 of the Roadmap.
The MCO Troika noted that this action by former president was unfortunate as it had the potential to jeopardise further implementation of the Roadmap to which most political parties had agreed. However the MCO Troika further noted that these actions could have been precipitated by the perception that the process to ensure the return of political exiles in terms of Article 20 of the Roadmap had not been given sufficient attention.
Equally so, the MCO Troika was disappointed by the immediate response and statements made by the Transitional Authority to this incident. Moving forward, the MCO Troika demands that the Transitional Authority and all stakeholders involved urgently find a consensual approach for the implementation of the Roadmap in its entirety and in particular, Article 16,17,18,19 and 20 read together with Article 45 of the RoadMap.
The MCO Troika emphasised the need to avoid the selective implementation of the Roadmap. Therefore, the Malagasy stakeholders are urged to expedite the process of implementing all the other outstanding articles of the Roadmap especially those relating to confidence building measures. These include the enactment of amnesty legislation; release of political prisoners; the unconditional return of political exiles and protection and promotion of human rights as they relate to the freedom of assembly, association and expression.
The MCO Troika furthermore calls for an immediate prioritisation of the enactment of the amnesty legislation by 29th February, 2012 in order to facilitate implementation of outstanding matters as per the Roadmap.
The MCO Troika remains seized with complaints by some of the signatories and in particular the complaints related to the formation of the transitional government. The MCO Troika aims to resolve these issues by the 29th of February, 2012.
The MCO Troika reiterated the importance of adherence to the letter and spirit of the Roadmap in its entirety. The Roadmap is the most viable instrument that can contribute towards ensuring peace, stability and democracy in Madagascar. These include the principles of consensus, integrity, impartiality and inclusivity in all actions by all the signatories. The signatories should take up their positions and fully participate in the Transitional Authority.
The MCO Troika reaffirmed the significance of the Roadmap as the only mechanism to resolve the current political crisis. It re-emphasized that the Roadmap is also aimed at facilitating a process leading to the holding of free, fair, credible and transparent elections. The MCO Troika also stressed the urgency for the establishment of a credible and acceptable electoral body (CENI) that will prepare and conduct elections that is free and fair. It also noted the positive progress in this regard i.e. the recently passed legislation by parliament as well as the expert support that the UN provided in this process.
The MCO Troika, after having carefully considered the current challenging political environment, implores upon all the signatories and their supporters to desist from engaging in any further decisions and activities that are designed to create division and which casts aspersions on the current SADC sponsored political process.
The MCO troika furthermore makes the clarion call to all stakeholders, their supporters, civil society and the media to end the current rumour-mongering, disinformation and slandering of the Malagasy leadership deployed to lead the implementation of the Roadmap, as these actions amount to a violation of Article 22 and 23 of the Roadmap and distracts and deters these otherwise dedicated persons in helping to move Madagascar forward. Instead it calls upon all these stakeholders to positively contribute to this process by helping to create the conditons for an environment of consensual engagement, compromise, nation building and forgiveness.
The MCO Troika also appeals to all political leaders of the various parties to act responsibly by providing the necessary leadership, political maturity and functional coherence in finding ways of working together during this critical period. The interests of the Malagasy nation must be placed above narrow party political,emotional,historical and individual interests.
In conclusion the SADC MCO Troika will continue to remain seized with the Malagasy political process in order to ensure that there are free and fair elections and that Madagascr returns to constitutional normalcy and becomes a democratic dispensation based on the will of all the people.