SA calls for Madagascan leaders not to incite violence

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Cape Town - South Africa has called on the two Madagascan leaders not to incite their supporters or do anything ahead of the Wednesday deadline set by SADC to meet steps to achieve political stability, the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Marius Fransman said.

Madagascar has been rocked by instability since Andry Rajoelina overthrew Marc Ravalomanana in 2009. In efforts to resolve the political problems there, a roadmap was signed in September by President Andry Rajoelina and SADC.

"Over the next few days, we will be calling on especially the two leaders, Rajoelina and Ravalomanana, not to do anything that is outside the process (the roadmap), especially not anything relating to inciting their support base because that, in the existing fragile environment, will create further problems in terms of the implementation (of the roadmap)," said Fransman.

However, Fransman said a cyclone, which had killed several Madagascans and left over 11 000 homeless, had hampered communications and progress towards meeting the roadmap for the last three weeks. But he said that SADC members had still insisted on seeing some progress by the end of this month.

Progress had been made in the appointment of the prime minister and the government, but political prisoners still needed to be released and the former president allowed to return to Madagascar.

A progress report would be handed to SADC, which would include the issue of amnesty legislation and progress towards the implementation of normalisation.

Fransman said the government had also held discussions with the EU and the SADC secretariat, and was confident that "the log-jam" would be resolved soon.

Meanwhile, the Minister of International Relations and Co-operation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said relations with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe remained cordial.

Turning to the issue of climate change, Nkoana-Mashabane called on African countries to help nominate Africans to become board members for the Green Climate Fund before the April deadline for applicants to the board.

On moves to reform global institutions to ensure these are more representative of the developing world and Africa, the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Lindiwe Sisulu said the World Bank had created an additional executive director position to represent three countries - South Africa, Nigeria and Angola.

This would increase the voice of African states in the institution, Sisulu said.

South Africa had also recently contributed to the formulation of the G20 agreement to reform the IMF to include more focus on Africa, she said.