Archive for the ‘Ambassade des Etats Unis’ Category

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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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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

Shocked …. the Malagasy were left on 25 January following the inaugurals.

The new president Hery Rajaonarimapianina was welcomed by a scandal. One that claimed the life of an innocent two years old and injured 37 other from a grenade explosion at a bus stop. It was reportedly initiated by a white man in a 4×4 or on foot. The facts are unclear. It happened 200 yards from the swearing in ceremony. Immediately following the blast it was still too early and too sensitive to jump into conclusion. However, with a few days to gain some perspective it is time to question, set the facts straight and investigate.

The innocent victims were rushed to the emergency.
Flowers were left in remembrance. Buzzes were launched in social media such as facebook and twitter. Eager to find out more, we have been closely monitoring the media. Surprisingly the news did not make the headlines the next day. Information are trickling down but nothing sufficiently clear to draw any conclusion. Needless to say such crime cannot be left unpunished. As it stand a serious investigation should be carried out. In fact it is an opportunity for the new government to demonstrate its commitment to end impunity. The media is already using powerful terms such as « Terrorism. » Isn’t that too extreme without clear investigation? Terrorism is defined as « the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes. » Thus a political element must be proven. If it is politically related, one can only wonder what the verdict would be.

The press reported a 4×4 driven by military personnel visiting Antanimora, the capital’s prison, to free theirs friends. When asked whether they had a decision issued by the tribunal that would allow their action, they were unable to produce one. The situation was so confusing that following an emergency meeting chaired by the leaders in the military a number of military personnel and civilians were thrown back into prison. They were freed again later during the week. Apparently they negotiated between themselves so as to avoid any escalation of violence. Between the uncertainty of the investigation, the shock of the loss of a two year old’s life, the too many victims fighting for survival, the tragedy and the story continues to unfold with pieces of information in the media.

Whether politically motivated or other these victims deserve more than just flowers. The population need to be reassured that their newly elected President is truly committed to ending impunity for such crimes. Ceasing political episode which was led by savages abusing power and authority. Time ! It is time for real change. Where art thou Mr President ? Rendering justice to innocents is your first test.

Michaella




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