Ravalomanana in Libya for AU summit

Monday, June 29, 2009

Syrte - Ousted former Madagascan President, Marc Ravalomanana, arrived in Libya on Sunday ahead of the 13th African Union Summit, where he will meet continental leaders to discuss the country's political crisis.

"President Ravalomanana will continue to work closely with all parties interested in finding a peaceful and lasting solution to the crisis in Madagascar," said a statement issued by his office.

Mr Ravalomanana fled the Indian Ocean island country after his political rival Andry Rajoelina ousted him in a military coup.

Mr Rajoelina has promised elections will take place next year, despite being constitutionally five years too young to run for president.

Last weekend, Mr Ravalomanana met with several African leaders at an extraordinary Southern African Development Community (SADC) Summit which called for a peaceful, negotiated settlement through dialogue in Madagascar.

Former President of Mozambique, Joaquim Chissano, was appointed to lead an inclusive dialogue among the parties.

In the statement, Mr Ravalomanana again declared his commitment to support the process of further dialogue endorsed by SADC and the AU and applauded efforts to help bring about a peaceful solution to the crisis.

Mr Ravalomanana has suggested that all options, including military action, be considered to restore order to Madagascar. This is a view shared by Africa's largest trading bloc the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).

SADC took over efforts to restore Constitutional order in the country after mediation efforts by the AU and United Nations were suspended.

Both the AU and SADC have suspended Madagascar until the return of Constitutional order.