Madagascan parties to meet in Mozambique

Monday, July 27, 2009

Madagascar - Madagascar's various political parties have agreed to get together in Mozambique in early August, in a bid to find a solution to the political crisis in the Indian Ocean island country.

According to the officials of the African Union's Peace and Security Council, all the Madagascan political camps, represented by their respective leaders, will meet during the first week of August at the latest.

The meeting in Mozambique is aimed at reaching a consensual solution for the rapid return to constitutional order and resolving the outstanding issues, following the suspension of negotiations in June this year.

Former President Marc Ravalomanana was forced to flee the island country after his political rival Andry Rajoelina ousted him in a military coup. The African Union suspended the African Union in March, until constitutional order is restored.

In Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, the AU headquarters, an international contact group for Madagascan political crisis held its second consultative meeting on Wednesday to coordinate the efforts of the international community to promote the rapid return to constitutional order in Madagascar.

In a communique issued after the consultative meeting, the contact group said the meeting, under the auspices of the AU, will take place under the leadership of former Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano, assisted by the mediation team of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the special envoys of the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF), the AU and the United Nations.

Mr Chissano, the SADC mediator, in close collaboration with the special envoys of the AU, the OIF and the UN, will work out modalities for a preparatory mission to Madagascar next week to facilitate the smooth and successful conduct of the meeting of the leaders of the Malagasy camps.

He will also liaise with all the Malagasy parties both within and outside Madagascar, said the communique.

There are currently four main political camps in Madagascar. The four political camps are each led by Madagascar's former Presidents Didier Ratsiraka, Albert Zafy and Mr Ravalomanana, as well as transitional leader Mr Rajoelina.