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The International Community has a change heart

Shocking declarations of the international community via the SADC and France following the arrest of ex-president Ravalomanana, or Dada which rubber stamped the Government’s arbitrary decision on the basis of unclear legal grounds is already in the past.

SADC and France condemned Dada’s speech upon his arrival and merely hinted at the possibility of a national reconciliation. Both seemed to have given the Government a green card to what has now become an illegal arrest.

The exception was the USA. They wisely chose to stay silent on the issue of arrest and instead reminded Madagascar to seriously consider a move towards national reconciliation.

Just two days ago, admist confusing reports of whether Dada incited violence through his speech during his arrival and whether he was under surveillance on the basis of security threats or simply locked up; France and the SADC did not condemn the violation of Ravalomanana’s rights. However, after following the development of the events, the SADC urged the Government to respect the rights of Dada and hinted at a potential violations of such rights. Dada is moving closer to becoming a symbolic martyr for his followers: unjustly locked up for the World to see, victim of the decision of a suggestive authoritarian regime.

Dada is held captive

Slowly rising from the status of Dada or father to a martyr, Ravalomanana’s detention situation seemed to have worsened. The ex-president of Madagascar is reported captive in a Bana naval base in Diego Suarez, North of the country. His wife Lalao Ravalomanana called out for help, and shared her concerns with her followers denouncing injustice and mistreatment of her husband. She reports that he is being held in one bedroom, denied time for fresh air or family visits.

This only confirms that he is in fact arbitrarily arrested. Held captive without any legal basis. Hearing the concerned appeal of his wife and family members: are we possibly moving toward mistreatment ? Or is that paranoid thinking?

Rajoanarimampianina is not all to blame

Certainly, the Government needs to do some damage control. The current President Rajaonarimampianina is unknown for such miscalculated moves. He is a skilled and knowledgeable leader, who surely would have assessed and acted within reason. In contrast, his spokesperson and advisors, such as the trained lawyer Rabary Njaka, surely lacks integrity and credibility. A proof of which, was his declaration that: “everyone is entitled to their opinions” in relation to the measures taken. When in fact Ravalomanana’s situation should no longer a subject of debate: he has been arbitrarily arrested, illegally detained and potentially mistreated. Sir Rabary Njaka, please check your legislations.

Finally clearer on the events and in hindsight, the International Community correctly urges Ravalomanana’s rapid and effective release. Will Dada be a free man again, soon enough?

Michaella A’solo
The Hague




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