MarcRavalomanana

Former president Marc Ravalomanana finally stepped on the Malagasy territory, his homeland on sunday 12th october in the night. A land where his followers call him: Dada, or father. Where he was once democratically elected as Chief of State then thrown out of power by a controversial coup d’état in 2009. A transition government was put in place reigning over the not so glorious years of political instability. This time around, Dada successfully entered the Malagasy territory without the typically mediatised declaration of his arrival. Surprising many of his followers – Dada is back !

Back to bickering 
Dada’s arrival was followed by predictable controversies. The current President Rajaonarimampianina announced that he has been arrested, emphasis added, to ensure his safety. Dada has actually been placed “in a supervised area” to ensure his safety. Clearly he has been invisibly hand cuffed and imprisoned by the authorities in a naval base in the North of the island in Diego Suarez. None of the Government officials hierarchically competent to decide on such matter was present at the conseil de gouvernement that was to decide on Dada’s fate. General Dominique Rakotozafy, minister of Défence, Didier Gérard Paza, secretary to the gendarmerie nationale, as well as the minister of “public security” who would be the principal decision maker on such issues were not involved the meeting. Once again, the lack of transparency on defining events in Madagascar’s political future is not surprising.

Dada « the martyr? » 
Where should we start? A shady house arrest, that was not decided by a tribunal, without a warrant, I presume, thus devoid of any legal basis. It was in fact a decision taken by the conseil de gouvernement, thus by the executive branch. Should we call it a “kidnapping” or an “arbitrary arrest”? Thus in violation of the rights of a former Chief of State, a legislation upheld in Madagascar as well as articles 5 and 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was ratified and implemented by the Malagasy Government.

If Ravalomanana, was a danger to another person, to the population, to national security, similar measure emanating from the legislative branch could potentially apply. However, as President Rajaonarimampianina declared, he had been locked away in Diego on the basis of security threats. In the legislation on the rights of former Chief of State, it is possible to assign military type of surveillance if such threat is suspect and there are reasonable grounds that Dada was indeed in danger. Needless to say, it is only a matter of the most simple research to conclude that Dada under house arrest was an arbitrary decision.

The government of Rajaonarimampianina should calculate his actions carefully since such blatant abuse of Dada’s right is unacceptable even when rubber stamped by the SADC and FRANCE, who in fact congratulated him on obvious violations.

To be continued ….
The contradictory opinions of the international community : SADC and la belle FRANCE

Michaella A’solo
The Hague

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