Report of the Secretary General on the Situation in Madagascar, done in Dakar, 9 June 2002.
CENTRAL ORGAN OF THE OAU
MECHANISM FOR CONFLICT
AND RESOLUTION AT SUMMIT LEVEL
21 June 2002
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
REPORT OF THE SECRETARY GENERAL ON THE
SITUATION IN MADAGASCAR
REPORT OF THE SECRETARY GENERAL ON THE
SITUATION IN MADAGASCAR
Presidential election was held in Madagascar on 16 December 2001. There were six candidates for the election. After the counting of votes, the High Constitutional Court (HCC) gave its ruling on 25 January 2002 by which the two candidates who came on top were Mr. Marc Ravalomanana Mayor of Antananarivo with 46.21% and Mr. Didier Ratsiraka outgoing President, with 40.89%. The HCC, therefore, ordered a second round. However, a few days after the election, the Support Committee of Mr. Ravalomanana declared, on the basis of its own counting of votes, that its candidate had already won outright from the first round, with 52% of votes. As from 4 January 2002, mass demonstrations claiming victory for Mr. Ravalomanana and demanding cross-checking of the results were organised, bringing huge crowds each day to the “Place du 13 Mai”.
2. The Central Organ of the OAU Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution met on 11 January 2002 at Ambassadorial level and issued a Communiqué in which it stressed the need for all those involved in the electoral process to observe the rules governing the process, exercise tolerance, embrace dialogue and allow the appropriate institutions to carry out successfully their mandate in serenity and in conformity with the Constitution of the country. It further requested the General Secretariat to remain in contact with all the parties in Madagascar and to take the most appropriate measures to help defuse the crisis in the country.
3. On 28 January 2002, in a Press Release, the President of the Security Council expressed the concern of the Security Council over the situation in Madagascar, took note of the results declared by the HCC on 25 January 2002 and appealed to the two candidates to comply with the constitutional, electoral and legal provisions. He requested that the election be carried out freely, fairly and transparently in the presence of international observers. He finally appealed to supporters of the two candidates to refrain from any violence, and to the people of Madagascar to remain calm and respect the results of the second round election.
4. For my part, I issued a Press Release on 30 January 2002 in which I appealed to the two candidates to respect the decision of the HCC, which is the appropriate organ to give a ruling on the results of the election. On the same occasion, I called upon them to lend their cooperation towards the organization of a second round in conditions of freedom, fairness and equity in the presence of international observers.
5. It was against this backdrop that I went on mission to Madagascar from 9 to 14 February 2002. I arrived at a time of extreme tension when candidate Marc Ravalomanana and his supporters demanded a counter verification of the Reports from the different Polling Stations, failing which they threatened to inaugurate their candidate as President of the Republic on the basis of their own copies of the reports on the election.
6. I met the two rival candidates on several occasions. I also met other political actors particularly the four (4) other candidates of the first round, the political circle of Mr. Ravalomanana and the Christian Federation of Churches as well as the Consortium of National Observers. The Chairperson of the Consortium stated that according their ballot counting based on 75% of the votes collated, Mr. Marc Ravalomanana was leading with 51.04% as against 39% for Mr. Didier Ratsiraka. The positions of the two parties were as follows:
- candidate Ravalomanana and his supporters were demanding a counter verification of the reports from the various polling stations with a view to confirming his outright victory in the first round, thereby rejecting the ruling of the High Constitutional Court of 25 January 2002 whose neutrality and independence they contested;
- Presidential candidate Ratsiraka stood on the side of constitutional legality and was preparing himself for the second round scheduled to hold on 24 February 2002 in conformity with the decree of the High Constitutional Court of 25 January 2002.
7. I made it clear to Ravalomanana’s supporters that if their candidate was inaugurated contrary to constitutional provisions, the OAU would neither tolerate nor accept that unconstitutional change of Government, by virtue of the Algiers Decision of July 1999 and the Lomé Declaration of July 2000. I therefore encouraged him to accept the second round to confirm the choice of voters.
8. During my talks with the outgoing President and his collaborators, I emphasized the need to postpone the date of the second round in order to create the necessary conditions for its organization, acceptable to the two parties.
9. Following the by numerous contacts with both candidates and their supporters, the Mayor of Antananarivo agreed on 12 February 2002 to proceed to the Presidential Palace in my company in order to meet with President Ratsiraka. Following their meeting, the two candidates agreed to establish a 10-member Joint Committee in the presence of an OAU representative, to look into all the outstanding issues.
10. The two candidates reached agreement in principle on the following matters: postponement of the second round, fielding international observers and reorganising the National Electoral Commission. Furthermore, President Ratsiraka gave assurance that no action would be taken against the striking civil servants. However, agreement could not be reached on some of the issues raised by the Ravalomanana camp, particularly on counter verification of the reports from the polling stations, establishment of a transitional government and re-organization of the High Constitutional Court. These issues were referred to the Joint Commission for in-depth examination, with a view to exploring possible solutions.
11. The OAU representative Ambassador Saïd Djinnit OAU Assistant Secretary General in charge of Political Affairs, upon the decision of the Joint Committee, chaired the meeting of the Committee which convened from 13 to 19 February 2002 and made some progress in the search for solutions. At the end of the first round of talks, my representative with the agreement of the two delegations, made a statement on 19 February 2002, taking stock of the negotiations. He pointed out that the meeting had made progress in the search of a solution acceptable to the two Parties. He added that there were, indeed, huge differences but the two Parties were ready to continue a second round of talks under the aegis of the OAU.
12. In the meantime, on 20 February 2002, candidate Marc Ravalomanana stated his intention to be inaugurated, on 22 February, as President of the Republic.
13. On that same day, I issued a Press Release in which I drew the attention of Mr. Ravalomanana to the implications of such a decision and appealed to him to respect the Agreement concluded under the aegis of the OAU and allow the Joint Committee, established with his consent, to continue its work and propose an equitable solution to the crisis, in strict observance of constitutional legitimacy and legality.
14. In spite of the efforts deployed by the Heads of State and other personalities to convince candidate Ravalomanana to reconsider his decision, the latter maintained his position and proclaimed himself President of the Republic in the Municipal Stadium of Antananarivo on 22 February 2002. Following that decision, President Ratsiraka issued a decree proclaiming a state of national necessity for a period of three months.
15. I immediately issued, on 22 February a Press Release in which I, in conformity with the Lomé Declaration on Unconstitutional Changes of Government, strongly condemned the decision of candidate Marc Ravalomanana. I urged him to resume dialogue under the auspices of the OAU. I also brought the matter to the attention of the Current Chairman of the OAU. On 23 February I convened an emergency meeting of the Central Organ of the OAU Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution at Ambassadorial level. The Central Organ expressed serious concern at the unfolding situation in Madagascar and the risks to social peace in that country and stability of the Region. It endorsed the terms of my Communiqué and strongly condemned the decision of candidate Ravalomanana, as a flagrant violation of constitutional legality which undermined the de-escalation process and the search for a negotiated solution initiated under the aegis of the OAU. The Central Organ urged candidate Ravalomanana to return to the negotiating process. To that end, the Central Organ requested me to take an necessary steps to ensure resumption, without delay, of the negotiating process to find a negotiated solution to the issues in abeyance, and to pursue consultations with the United Nations and other partners of the OAU for a concerted and appropriate international response to help the Malagasy people resolve the crisis.
16. Following the meeting of the Central Organ, I sent a Contact Group to Madagascar to press ahead with the mediation process initiated by the OAU. The Contact Group led by Mr. Antonio Mascarenhas Monteiro, former President of the Republic of Cape Verde proceeded to Madagascar from 6 to 13 March 2002.
17. During that visit and following talks with the two leaders as well as with all the other concerned parties in Madagascar, the Contact Group put forward to the two leaders proposals to end the crisis which anchored on setting up a national reconciliation government whose composition would be agreed upon by the two candidates after consultation with the major political forces in the country. The proposed government would, within a period not exceeding 6 months, be responsible for creating the necessary conditions for restoration of normal economic and social life and organization of republican, transparent, free and fair electoral consultation.
18. As of the date of departure of the Contact Group on 13 March 2002, none of the two parties had reacted to the proposals. Moreover, an attempt to arrange a meeting between President Ratsiraka and Mr. Ravalomanana for Monday 11 March 2002, fell through at the last minute.
II. POSITION OF THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS
19. At the 75th Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers held in Addis Ababa from 13 to 15 March 2002, I presented a detailed account of the prevailing situation in Madagascar. Council also heard the oral report of the OAU Contact Group which visited the country from 6 to 13 March 2002. By Decision CM/Dec.649 (LXXV) Council expressed grave concern at the situation and the threat posed to peace, unity and national cohesion. It urged the two parties to resume dialogue without delay under OAU auspices, and to give positive consideration to the proposals presented by the OAU Contact Group. Council also urged all the concerned parties in Madagascar to immediately put an end to the demonstrations and general strike, dismantle the barricades throughout the country and refrain from all acts of violence or incitement to hatred and political, ethnic and/or regional intolerance. Council further made an appeal to the international community to support OAU’s on-going mediation efforts and to pursue its cooperation and assistance programmes in Madagascar. Lastly, Council invited me to continue with my efforts aimed at rapid resumption of dialogue.
III. DAKAR AGREEMENT 18 APRIL 2002
20. In the aftermath of the OAU Contact Group mission to Madagascar, I devoted attention to encouraging a meeting between the two leaders outside their country. With the support of President Abdoulaye Wade, I took advantage of the Summit on the financing of NEPAD in Dakar to invite the two leaders for talks in the Senegalese capital.
21. Meanwhile, ruling on the petition filed by Mr. Marc Ravalomanana, the Administrative Chamber of the Supreme Court in its Order No.3 of 10 April 2002 annulled decree No.2001-1080 of 22 November 2001 concerning appointment of members of the High Constitutional Court. The same Chamber on 16 April 2002 annulled the results declared by the High Constitutional Court on 25 January 2002, on the strength of which a second round of the presidential election had been ordered. At the same time, it ordered a recount of the votes to decide the winner between the two candidates.
22. The meeting between the two Malagasy Leaders got underway in Dakar on 18 April 2002 in the presence of 3 other Heads of State Facilitators, namely: President Mathieu Kérékou of Benin, President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique and President Laurent Gbagbo of Cote d’Ivoire. Also present at the meeting were the OAU Secretary General and the Personal Representative of the United Nations Secretary General Ibrahima Fall. At the end of the meeting and the negotiations, the two leaders appended their signatures to the Dakar Agreement of 18 April 2002, under the auspices of the OAU and the UN.
23. This Agreement which comprised 5 Articles took on board the 16 April 2002 Ruling No.4 of the Administrative Chamber of the Supreme Court, implementation of which would imply a counter recount of the votes. The Agreement provides as follows:
Article 1: The Parties agree that in the event that no candidate obtains the required majority to be elected outright in the first round, a people’s referendum to decide between the two candidates shall be organized with the assistance of the United Nations, the OAU, the European Union and the international community within a period not exceeding six months.
Article 2: In the above circumstances, a national reconciliation government of transition shall be put in place in accordance with the following principles:
- the Prime Minister shall be appointed on mutual agreement between Didier Ratsiraka and Marc Ravalomanana,
- out of the five sovereignty Ministries, Mr. Ravalomanana shall propose two personalities for the Finance and Interior Ministries,
- all the other members of the government shall be appointed by mutual agreement, a half of their number by Mr. Didier Ratsiraka and the other half by Mr. Ravalomanana.
Article 3: The two Parties agree, upon proclamation of the result, to set up a High Transition Council whose mandate shall be to oversee the proper conduct of the Transition. Mr. Ravalomanana shall be appointed Chairman of this institution and shall be placed second in the protocol order of national precedence.
Article 4: In place of the existing National Electoral Committee (NEC), an Independent Electoral Commission shall be established to be responsible for preparation and organization of the popular consultation.
Article 5: Messrs Didier Ratsiraka and Marc Ravalomanana undertake, upon signing the present agreement, to ensure observance of free movement of goods and persons, immediate end to all threats and acts of violence to persons and goods, the dynamiting of bridges and dismantling of all barricades throughout the national territory.
24. Unfortunately, the Dakar Agreement was not fully implemented by both parties which traded blame for the non-implementation.
25. Violence continued in the Fianarantsoa province, the governor’s office of which was seized by the Ravalomanana camp on 20 April 2002. Violence was also reported in other provinces such as Mahajanga, Toamasina and Antsiranana. Bridges were blown up after the signing of the Dakar Agreement and roadblocks were even reinforced.
26. On 26 April 2002, the Central Organ of the OAU Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution hailed the Dakar Agreement and appealed to the two Leaders to implement the Agreement both in spirit and letter. The Central Organ further expressed support for the initiatives of the Secretary General in support of the process, particularly the appointment of a Special Envoy and the decision taken in consultation with President Wade to send to Madagascar a Ministerial delegation to encourage the parties to implement the Dakar Agreement.
27. During the same period, the newly constituted High Constitutional Court recounted the votes, and on 29 April 2002 declared Marc Ravalomanana winner of the election with 51.46% as against 35.90% for Mr. Ratsiraka. Soon after, Ratsiraka and his followers rejected that decision as unilateral and a contravention of both the spirit and the letter of the Dakar Agreement. Moreover, the Governors of the 4 autonomous provinces of Antsiranana, Mahajanga , Toamasina and Toliara soon expressed their intention to declare independence of their respective provinces in the event that the decision of the High Constitutional Court was given effect.
IV. MISSION OF THE MINISTERIAL DELEGATION TO MADAGASCAR (2 – 4 MAY 2002)
28. As part of follow up on the Dakar Agreement of 18 April 2002, a Ministerial delegation was in Madagascar from 2 to 4 May 2002. The delegation was led by Cheikh Tidiane Gadio Foreign Minister of Senegal and comprised Mr. Anil Gayan Foreign Minister of Mauritius, Mr. Saïd Djinnit OAU Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs, Mr. K.G.S. Shengamo High Commissioner of Zambia to South Africa and Mr. Isaias Eliso Mondlane, Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mozambique.
29. The Ministerial delegation had the mandate to deliver to the two signatories to the Dakar Agreement Messrs. Didier Ratsiraka and Marc Ravalomanana, a message from the OAU and the Heads of State Facilitators, inviting them to take all appropriate steps at their respective levels to ensure effective implementation of the Dakar Agreement in spirit and letter.
30. As part of its mandate, the delegation underscored the urgent need to respect free movement of goods and persons, ensure an immediate end to all threats to and violence against people, an unconditional end to the dynamiting of bridges and the removal of all barricades throughout the national territory. Furthermore, the delegation urged the two parties to do nothing that could cast doubts on their Dakar Agreement or pose serious threat to civil peace, unity, national cohesion and the territorial integrity of Madagascar.
MEETING WITH MR. DIDIER RATSIRAKA (TOAMASINA, 2 MAY 2002)
31. The delegation delivered the message of the OAU and the Heads of State Facilitators to President Ratsiraka, indicating that since the first phase of the Dakar Agreement (counter vote recount) had not resulted in any solution to the crisis, it was necessary to move on to the next phase of the Agreement, namely: establishment of a transition mechanism to organize the planned popular consultation on the choice between the two candidates. The delegation called on President Ratsiraka to facilitate implementation of this phase of the Agreement and issue a strong signal by facilitating immediate dismantling of the barricades strangulating the country, and by resolving all the related problems. The delegation further stated that other important members of the international community like the United States and France had requested it to underscore this aspect of the Dakar Agreement.
32. President Ratsiraka explained his position in light of the recent decisions of the Administrative Chamber of the Supreme Court and of the High Constitutional Court, the spirit of the Dakar Agreement on how best to get out of the crisis, and the various post - Dakar developments.
33. With regard to the various decisions taken, Mr. Ratsiraka indicated that the ruling of the Administrative Chamber of the Supreme Court on 4 April 2002 was illegal, since the latter did not have the power to dissolve the High Constitutional Court which had higher jurisdiction than the Administrative Chamber. Furthermore, according to him, the Administrative Chamber was only competent to examine governmental actions and not government or parliamentary decisions.
34. President Ratsiraka further stressed that the High Constitutional Court, as newly constituted, not only did not comply with the provisions of the new constitution, but also had not sat in accordance with constitutional provisions. He argued that the High Constitutional Court did not have the required quorum of seven (7) judges, that the interim President was not qualified to preside over the deliberations of the Court because he was not the most senior and that four (4) of the six (6) judges had officiated during the first investiture of Mr. Marc Ravalomanana on 22 February 2002 and could therefore not be impartial.
35. President Ratsiraka also recalled that it had been agreed by the four (4) Heads of State Facilitators, the OAU and the two leaders that recounting of votes was only a means of saving face, considering the stand taken on the issue by the Ravalomanana camp. According to him, the recount was not feasible four months after the election. He was of the opinion that the transition and people’s referendum phases should have been engaged immediately. President Ratsiraka further explained the maintaining of barricades by the continued acts of violence perpetrated by the other camp and the seizure of the Fianarantsoa governor’s offices while the two leaders were still in Dakar. He said he had sent strong signals, but deplored the fact that such signals had been expected from him only, and not from the other party. He also stated that the real barricade was not physical, but psychological and moral.
36. Concluding, President Ratsiraka said that he could not ask his supporters to remove the barricades, at the risk of being considered as a traitor, all the more so because in their eyes he had conceded everything without receiving anything in return. In other words, under such conditions, he could not send further signals. He demanded the resignation of the rebellious government of Jacques Sylla and the Chairman of Fianarantsoa Special Delegation.
37. The leader of the OAU delegation urged the President to send further signals as a way out of the crisis.
MEETING WITH MR. MARC RAVALOMANANA (3 MAY 2002)
38. The delegation met Marc Ravalomanana on 3 May 2002 in the presence of his “Prime Minister”, his “Vice Prime Minister”, his “Secretary General at the Presidency”, Messrs. Manandafy and Evariste Marson, leaders of the parties of his coalition.
39. The leader of the OAU delegation presented OAU’s message as he had done the day before when the delegation met Mr. Ratsiraka. He said that the post-electoral crisis that broke out in Madagascar was a source of grave concern for the OAU and for Africa. He stressed that no political battle could justify the destruction of infrastructure. He further stressed the need to respect the constitutional provisions for change of government, adding that the legal and judicial aspects of the crisis were not the main stakes of the Dakar Agreement whose primary objective was rather to find a global political solution. It recalled the talks on the feasibility of recounting the votes and the subsequent introduction of the adjective “comparative” to the word “recount”. To this end, it was needful for both parties to devise a mechanism acceptable to either side, but apparently, that had not been the case.
40. The leader of the OAU delegation stated that, in the circumstances, it was necessary to move on to the second phase and assured Mr. Ravalomanana’s camp that the international community was willing to provide assistance towards organization of a popular referendum. He further stated that Ratsiraka’s camp had been asked to remove the barricades and respect the unity and territorial integrity of the country; and that Ravalomanana’s camp had been urged not to take any action which could affect implementation of the second phase of the Dakar Agreement, and in particular, to postpone the investiture.
41. Mr. Ravalomanana’s collaborators explained their camp’s understanding of the Dakar Agreement. They underscored the fact that as far as they were concerned, the first phase of the said Agreement had been concluded with the comparative vote recount and the subsequent announcement of the new results by the newly constituted HCC on 29 April 2002. Therefore, there was no need to implement the second phase, but to comply only with the provisions of Article 1 of the Agreement. On other hand, they called for condemnation of the Ratsiraka’s camp for not complying with the provisions of Article 5 of the Agreement on the immediate removal of the barricades. Consequently, requested that the OAU recognise the legitimacy of the decision of the new HCC, facilitate the recognition of Mr. Marc Ravalomanana’s new regime by the international community, insist on the immediate removal of the barricades and oppose any semblance of unilateral independence declared by the governors of the four (4) autonomous provinces. Ravalomanana’s collaborators intimated that even if their camp were to accept the holding of the popular referendum as provided for in the second phase of the Agreement, they feared that Mr Ratsiraka might use his militia to intimidate voters at polling stations.
42. Mr. Ravalomanana then requested the delegation to contact the new HCC in order to understand how it reached its decision. He stated that, that organ which had been appointed by the former regime, had worked independently, without any interference on his part. He made an urgent appeal for the immediate removal of the barricades and for an unconditional end to the blowing up of bridges. He said that on his return from Dakar, he had suspended the activities of the Council of Ministers and the deployment of special delegations to the autonomous provinces, with the exception of Fianarantsoa, where installation had already commenced at the time of the Dakar meeting.
43. The Leader of the OAU delegation urged Mr Ravalomanana to accord the second phase of the Agreement all the attention it deserved.
MEETING WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY AND THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS (3 MAY 2002)
44. The delegation met African Ambassadors accredited to Madagascar to brief them on the mission. It also exchanged views with representatives of the international community (France, the United States, Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Great Britain, the European Union, and UNDP). The delegation briefed its interlocutors on the efforts being exerted by the OAU to help the two leaders implement their Dakar Agreement.
45. The international community representatives underscored the need to put an end to the state of national necessity in the 4 provinces controlled by Ratsiraka. The delegation took note with interest of this important proposal. The representatives further underscored the need to ensure continued OAU presence to sustain the momentum of the negotiations between the two parties.
MEETING WITH THE FOUR OTHER CANDIDATES
(3 MAY 2002)
46. The delegation had talks with three (3) of the four (4) candidates in the presidential race, namely: Messrs Albert Zafy, Herizo Razafimahaleo and Daniel Rajoanary, to exchange views on the search for a solution to the crisis.
47. The leader of the OAU delegation encouraged them in their efforts to help find a solution to the crisis facing their country. He briefed them on the outcome of the talks with the two leaders and highlighted the fact that in Dakar there had been no “secret clause” but rather political understanding.
48. The three (3) former candidates thanked the OAU for the sustained interest it had demonstrated by this third visit since the outbreak of the crisis. They said that the situation was very serious and that the crisis had now gone beyond the two leaders; that the HCC was no longer a reference since each protagonist prided himself on having its own HCC, which, needless to say, proved that the problem was no longer a legal one. Like Mr Ratsiraka, they stated that four (4) of the six (6) judges of the new HCC had officiated during the first investiture on 22 February 2002 and that the quorum of seven judges had not been attained. They expressed the hope that no country would recognise the investiture scheduled for 6 May 2002, and requested that the OAU be firm with the big countries which might be tempted to recognise the investiture.
49. The three (3) former candidates further pointed out that Madagascar was a test case of elections in Africa, and strongly recommended that the OAU keep to the spirit of the Dakar Agreement. They expressed deep concern over the evolving situation in the provinces where the ultimatums recently issued could lead to mass exodus (between 800,000 and 1 million persons according to their estimates) of part of the coastal provinces population towards the plateau regions.
V. NEW INVESTITURE OF MR MARC RAVALOMANANA
50. After the departure of the Ministerial delegation on 4 May 2002, Marc Ravalomanana was sworn in for the second time on Monday 6 May 2002, as President of the Republic. This investiture was immediately rejected by Didier Ratsiraka and his camp. Mr Ravalomanana later re-appointed Mr Jacque Sylla as “Prime Minister”. A week later a new “government” was formed, which was not recognised by the Ratsiraka camp.
VI. NEW OVERTURES FOR ANOTHER MEETING IN DAKAR
51. Inspite of these new developments, President Abdoulaye Wade and myself continued to deploy efforts to bring the two leaders back to the negotiating table and explore how best to implement the Dakar Agreement effectively and in good faith. The two protagonists were thus invited to a meeting in Dakar on 13 and 14 or 16 May 2002. However, that meeting could not take place.
52. It should however be pointed out that Marc Ravalomanana dispatched three personalities to Dakar. These personalities who were granted audience by President Wade on 12 May 2002, solicited the latter’s support for African and international recognition of Mr Ravalomanana’s regime.
53. President Wade told the personalities that, like that of the international community, his action would continue to be in consonance with the Dakar Agreement. He recalled that his role as facilitator, requested and accepted by both parties, obliged him to show restraint and impartiality to both sides. He urged all the protagonists in the Malagasy conflict to abide by their commitments under the Dakar Agreement. He reiterated his readiness and that of his African peers to stand by the Malagasy people and their leaders until a definitive and lasting solution is found to the crisis bedevilling their country.
VII. NEW EFFORTS BY THE OAU TO RESUME THE DIALOGUE
54. Faced with the continued deterioration of the situation and in order to pursue OAU’s efforts aimed at helping the Malagasy leaders to implement their Agreement and find a negotiated solution to the crisis, on 30 April 2002 I appointed a Special Envoy in the person of Professor André Salifou of Niger.
55. On return of the Ministerial delegation and given the prevailing statement, the idea of a meeting of the Central Organ at the highest level emerged, the purpose being to sustain the Dakar Agreement and encourage the Group of Facilitators under the coordination of President Wade and in cooperation with the OAU Current Chairman, to continue with its efforts. The meeting was also aimed at sending message to the International Community to continue to support OAU’s efforts and to do nothing, especially in terms of government recognition, that might undermine OAU’s efforts. Soon after the return of the Ministerial delegation, President Wade, for his part, proposed a second meeting in Dakar upon the return of the Ministerial delegation. Arrangements were then set in motion to organize Dakar II.
56. Following subsequent consultation with the Current Chairman, it was agreed to convene a meeting of the Central Organ at Summit level on 22 May 2002 in Addis Ababa, in view of the urgency of the matter and given the fact that a number of Heads of State would be participating in the COMESA Summit scheduled for Addis Ababa from 23 to 24 May 2002.
57. The meeting of the Central Organ slated for 22 May was postponed at the eleventh hour in view of the relatively short time frame which did not make it possible for the Heads of State of the Central Organ to react positively, and also following consultations with President Wade who preferred a second meeting in Dakar.
58. As a follow-up to this last attempt to convene Dakar II, on 22 May 2002 I received a letter from the Senegalese Ambassador to Ethiopia stating that the meeting of the Central Organ had become an absolute necessity. Consequently, we resumed our consultations for convening a meeting of the Central Organ at Summit level. The Current Chairman contacted a number of Heads of State members of the Central Organ to that effect. On 30 May 2002, I further received a letter from the President of Gabon proposing the convening of a Central Organ Summit to examine the situation in Madagascar. On 5 June 2002 I also received a letter from the President of the Republic of Togo requesting the convening of the Summit.
VIII. SECOND DAKAR MEETING (8-9 JUNE 2002)
59. The political and socio -economic situation in Madagascar deteriorated rapidly. Acts perpetrated by both parties in the form of physical violence, destruction of infrastructure, and civilian and military interventions plunged the country into serious crisis, paralysing economic activities and occasioning daily enormous losses to the country’s economy.
60. In view of the seriousness of the situation and the threats that were becoming visible, President Omar Bongo invited President Abdoulaye Wade to Libreville to discuss the situation in Madagascar in the presence of Mr. Dominique De Villepin French Foreign Minister and myself. The meeting which took place in Libreville on 4 June 2002 made a solemn appeal to the two protagonists and urged them to come to Dakar for a meeting on Saturday 8 June 2002.
61. The second Dakar meeting took place as scheduled from 8 to 9 June 2002. Upon consultation, the two parties agreed that Dakar II should be held in two phases. Phase One would bring together the protagonists, the Heads of State Facilitators, the OAU Secretary General and the Personal Representative of the United Nations Secretary General. The purpose would be to secure an agreement on the institutions of the transition and organisation of new elections to decide once and for all the winner between the two protagonists. Phase Two which would be devoted to the “Emergency Plan for the Reconstruction and Economic Recovery of Madagascar” would be enlarged to include representatives of Western countries Facilitators, especially the United States and France.
62. At the end of the Dakar II Meeting, the Committee of Heads of State Facilitators adopted a Report, the substance of which is as follows (The report reproduced hereunder is the amended version as transmitted to the Secretary General by the Coordinator of the Committee on 14 June 2002):
63. In attendance at the first phase of the Meeting, apart from the President Abdoulaye WADE were:
- Presient El Hadj Omar BONGO,
- President Laurent GBAGBO,
- President Denis Sassou NGUESSO,
- President Blaise COMPAORE,
- President Didier RATSIRAKA,
- President Marc RAVALOMANANA,
- Secretary General of OAU Amara Essy, and
- Personal Representative of the United Nations Secretary General Ibrahima FALL.
64. President Abdoulaye WADE gave a run-down of developments in the crisis since Dakar I, and the issues on which consensus seemed to have been reached:
1. Marc RAVALOMANANA held that the 29 April 2002 ruling of the High Constitutional Court had underscored his victory and that he had been vested with popular legitimacy authorizing him to govern the country. He indicated that he would stand by this position.
Didier RATSIRAKA for his part stated that he stood by implementation of Dakar I decisions.
65. In view of this situation, the Committee of Heads of State Facilitators, the Secretary General of the OAU and the Personal Representative of the United Nations Secretary General adopted a strategy to resolve the crisis as follows:
1. The Committee of Heads’ of State Facilitators suggested to the protagonists in the Malagasy crisis the organization of early legislative elections before the end of the year. In case of any difficulties, these elections could take place at the end of the term of office of the members of parliament in May 2003.
1.1 These elections based on universal suffrage would allow the Malagasy people, through popular consultation, to elect a new majority and establish a new legitimacy.
1.2 Should the Ravalomanana coalition win the legislative elections, Mr. Ratsiraka shall agree to recognise Mr. Ravalomanana as President of the Republic of Madagascar, by virtue of the legitimacy vested by the majority votes thus obtained.
1.3 If on the other hand, Mr. Ratsiraka’s camp wins the legislative elections, the two parties shall agree that a referendum should be organized requesting the people to choose either Mr. Ravalomanana or Mr. Ratsiraka as their President.
2. Concerning the transition until the elections, the Committee of Heads of State Facilitators, drawing inspiration (as desired by both parties) from the Dakar Agreement of 18 April 2002, proposed the following plan to the parties:
2.1. The Prime Minister of the transition shall be appointed by Mr. Marc RAVALOMANANA.
2.2. Of the five sovereignty Ministers, three shall be appointed by Mr. Didier RATSIRAKA, while RAVALOMANANA shall designate the Interior and Finance Ministers. However, in a recent proposal, the RAVALOMANANA camp had requested that the Defence Minister be appointed by Mr. RAVALOMANANA. This issue is still open for discussion.
2.3. All other members of government shall be appointed by mutual agreement, half of them by Didier RATSIRAKA and the other half by Mr. Marc RAVALOMANANA.
3. The High Transition Council whose mission shall be to ensure a smooth transition, shall be chaired by Marc RAVALOMANANA.
4. The Committee of Heads of State Facilitators shall establish an Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI).
5. Until the legislative elections are held, the Prime Minister -Designate shall represent the Malagasy State at both international and African levels, particularly at the next OAU Summit.
6. The Malagasy leaders, Ratsiraka and Ravalomanana, undertake to immediately remove all barricades, dismantle the militias, cease all forms of violence, and free all persons arrested during the political crisis.
7. On the strength of this political agreement, the Heads of State Facilitators and the OAU recommend that all development partners release Madagascar’s foreign assets to the government thus established. They further urge the partners to provide urgent financial assistance towards the reconstruction of Madagascar.
8. The Committee of Heads of State Facilitators recommends that OAU convene as soon as possible a meeting of the Central Organ at the level of Heads of State on the crisis in Madagascar to consider the present report and make recommendations to the OAU Summit in Durban.
9. This meeting should enable Africa to come up with a continent-wide position, which would be transmitted to the United Nations Security Council, the United States, France, the European Union and the rest of the international community, as Africa’s framework to resolve the crisis in Madagascar.
66. As part of implementation of this strategy, a draft Dakar II Agreement was adopted by the Committee of Heads of State Facilitators. This Draft Agreement is attached as an Annex to this Report.
IX. LATEST DEVELOPMENTS
67. At the time of writing this report, there were new developments in Madagascar, the highlights of which are as follows:
i) the departure to France on13 June 2002, of President Didier Ratsiraka who declared that he intended to return to Madagascar as soon as possible. This departure was interpreted by Marc Ravalomanana’s supporters as exile, which Ratsiraka denied through the media;
ii) the control by Ravalomanana’s camp of provinces hitherto held by Mr. Ratsiraka’s supporters, namely: Mahajanga, Toléara and part of Antsiranana province, in addition to Antananarivo and Fianarantsoa provinces which had always been under Ravalomanana’s control. Ravalomanana’s forces were moving towards the towns of Antsiranana and Toamasina;
iii) Marc Ravalomanana addressed a letter dated 15 June 2002 to President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal, Coordinator of the Committee of Heads of State Facilitators to thank the Heads of State, the OAU and its Secretary General for efforts deployed to help the Malagasy people to resolve the crisis. In that letter, he indicated his agreement with the substance of the Dakar II “Resolution Plan”. He in particular, agreed that early legislative elections should be held to enable the Malagasy people to express themselves freely, in transparent elections guaranteed by the International Community, namely: the UN, the OAU and the EU. He further endorsed “the proposal to form, in compliance with the Dakar II recommendations, a new national reconciliation government without exclusion”. He also stated that he would “appoint a Prime Minister and a Cabinet which would rally all the active forces of the Malagasy nation including (Mr. Ratsiraka’s) supporters, renowned for their patriotism and spirit of national reconciliation.” Lastly, he stated that although not stipulated in the Dakar II Recommendations, he undertook to “submit, as soon as possible, an amnesty proposal for (Mr. Ratsiraka) and his family whereby, if they so wished, they could live in peace and security in Madagascar”. He requested the support of the Committee of Heads of State “ to ensure that Madagascar’s external assets are immediately released to (his) reconciliation and open government with a view to rebuilding the country”. On 16 June 2002, Mr. Ravalomanana dissolved his government and reappointed Mr. Jacques Sylla, whom he asked to propose members of a new government.
iv) For his part, Mr. Ratsiraka, in a press statement issued on 15 June 2002, indicated that he was in Paris as part of preparations for the Summit of the OAU Central Organ, and that he had already forwarded the observations, comments and suggestions of his supporters on the plan to resolve the crisis, to members of the Central Organ. Reacting to the Plan for solving the crisis, Mr. Didier Ratsiraka, in a letter addressed to me on 11 June 2002 but which I only received on 18 June 2002, recalled the counter-proposal he had made to the Committee of Heads of State Facilitators, for organisation, under international control, of a popular referendum for a choice between two Draft Constitutions respecting the territorial integrity and national unity of the country, presented by Ratsiraka and Ravalomanana. The functions of the President of the Republic would be dependent on the Constitutional choice made by the people. The date of the referendum would be fixed at most within a period of four (4) months from the date of the Agreement. Furthermore, he had proposed that the Transitional Government be established until proclamation of the results of the said referendum, that the Prime Minister be appointed jointly by Messers Ratsiraka and Ravalomanana and the rest of the Government appointed on equal basis by the two sides. Similarly, on 16 June 2002, Mr. Ratsiraka issued a press release condemning the looting, manhunts and other acts of violence which, according to him, were orchestrated in Mahajanga and Toléara by the Ravalomanana camp against his supporters. He called for the start of the national reconciliation process and for the Central Organ Summit to be held as soon as possible.
X. OBSERVATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
68. The crisis in Madagascar was triggered by an electoral dispute following the Presidential election of 16 December 2001 which was conducted without international monitoring. The results declared by the High Constitutional Court (HCC) on 25 January 2002, according to which no candidate won outright victory in the first round, was rejected by the Ravalomanana camp which, on the basis of its own ballot counting, felt that Mr. Ravalomanana had won the election outright in the first round. It should be mentioned however, that Mr. Ravalomanana’s presumed outright victory in the first round was not confirmed by any independent source. The Consortium of National Observers, for its part, indicated that Marc Ravalomanana was ahead by 51.04% on the basis of 75% of the ballot which the consortium had been able to collate.
69. Following proclamation of the results by the HCC on 25 January 2002, Marc Ravalomanana filed a petition in the Supreme Court to seek annulment of the election on the grounds that appointment of the judges had not been in conformity with the procedure laid down by the Constitution. The Administrative Chamber of the Supreme Court thereafter issued Order No. 3 and Order No. 4 on 4 and 16 April 2002 respectively, implementation of which implied dissolution and reconstitution of the HCC and a recount of the votes. Although Mr. Ratsiraka had, by virtue of having signed the Dakar Agreement of 18 April 2002 accepted Order No. 4, he however, upon publication of the new results on 29 April 2002 by the newly constituted High Constitutional Court, rejected the verdict as indicated earlier on the grounds of serious irregularities both on the part of the Administrative Chamber of the Supreme Court and on the part of the newly constituted HCC.
70. At the onset of the crisis the Ratsiraka camp claimed legality while Ravalomanana relied on legitimacy as apparently reflected by the first round results based on his own ballot counting . Since the Dakar Agreement and following the second decision of the HCC at the second investiture of Ravalomanana, the latter in turn claimed legality. Meanwhile, the situation on ground changed following the take-over of Mahajanga and Toléara provinces by Ravalomanana’s camp. For their part, OAU’s delegations which paid repeated visits to Madagascar, the Dakar Agreement of 18 April 2002 and the Dakar II Meeting (8-9 June 2002) underscored the need to find a political solution to the crisis. The disruption of economic activities, the state of insecurity and violence and the armed clashes in the country further underline the urgent need for a negotiated political solution between the two parties.
DAKAR II AGREEMENT
1. Considering the prevailing situation of the National Assembly sixty members of which from all political persuasions joined the camp of Mr. Ravalomanana, and the fact that the renewal of the National Assembly must take place in the middle of next year, the Parties agree to organize early legislative elections on the basis of one round and mixed ballot. The elections shall be organised by an Independent Electoral Commission (as stated at Dakar I) and with international electoral assistance. The date of these elections shall be fixed for 22 September 2002.
2. A Transitional Government of Reconciliation shall be established until the proclamation of the final results of the legislative elections. The Government which shall be operational as soon as this Agreement is signed, shall be headed by a Prime Minister appointed by Mr. Ravalomanana in the person of ………, while the rest of the Government (see list of Members in Annex) shall be appointed in equal numbers by the two major protagonists in the Malagasy political crisis: Messers Ratsiraka and Ravalomanana.
3. The two leaders, Ratsiraka and Ravalomanana, accept to manage, in the spirit of national reconciliation, a Presidential Council whose mission shall be to ensure faithful implementation of this Agreement. During this period, a Follow-Up Committee shall be established. It shall be composed of the Heads of State Facilitators, Messers Ratsiraka and Ravalomanana, the OAU Secretary General and the Personal Representative of the UN Secretary General.
4. The Governors of the six provinces shall be appointed as follows:
- Province of Tulear : Mr. or Mrs.
- Province of Fianarantsoa: Mr or Mrs.
- Province of Majunga: Mr. or Mrs
- Province of Antsiranana: Mr. Or Mrs.
- Province of Toamasina: Mr or Mrs.
- Province of Antananarivo: Mr or Mrs.
5. In the event the coalition of Parties of Mr. Ravalomanana wins the legislative election, Mr. Ratsiraka shall forthwith recognise Mr. Ravalomanana as President of the Republic of Madagascar, thus legitimised by the majority he has won.
6. If, on the other hand, the camp of Mr. Ratsiraka wins the legislative elections, the two Parties agree that a referendum shall be organized to ask the people to choose their President from between Mr. Ravalomanana and Mr Ratsiraka.
7. Until the legislative elections, the Prime Minister, thus appointed, shall represent the Malagasy State at African and international levels, particularly at the forthcoming OAU Summit.
8. The Malagasy leaders, Ratsiraka and Ravalomanana, pledge to lift immediately the barricades, disband the militia, stop all forms of violence and release all the persons arrested during the political crisis.
9. This Agreement shall be submitted to the UN Security Council. The two Malagasy Parties are requested to comply scrupulously with all its provisions, including the Annexes. Any action or initiative contrary to this Agreement shall be liable to a request for international sanction by the Follow-Up Committee.
10. On the basis of this political Agreement, the Committee of Heads of State Facilitators and the OAU recommend to all the development partners to release the external assets of Madagascar to the Government thus established. They also urge them to give urgent financial support towards the reconstruction of Madagascar.
Done in Dakar, 9 June 2002
Mr. Marc Ravalomanana Mr. Didier RATSIRAKA
IN THE PRESENCE OF
The Committee of Heads of State Facilitators