Report of the Mediation Crisis in Madagascar, done in Dakar, 9 June 2002.
I. On 17 and 18 April 2002, under the auspices of the OAU represented by its Secretary General Mr. Amara Essy, and in the presence of the United Nations Secretary General’s Representative in the person of Mr. Ibrahima FALL, the two Malagasy Leaders – Didier RATSIRAKA and Marc RAVALOMANANA – feuding over the first round of presidential elections, met in Dakar in the presence of a Committee of Heads of State Facilitators coordinated by President Wade of the Republic of Senegal.
Also in attendance alongside the Facilitators were:
- President Joaquim Alberto CHISSANO of the Republic of Mozambique,
- President Laurent GBAGBO of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, and
- President Mathieu KEREKOU of the Republic of Benin.
In a bid to arrest the crisis situation compounded by threats to partition the country with the attendant violence, the Parties, on 18 April, signed an Agreement and made a commitment to implement same in good faith, so as to guarantee stable institutions and put an end to the anarchy prevalent in the country.
II. On basis of Order No.4 of 16 April issued by the Administrative Chamber of the Supreme Court, the Agreement provided for a recount of the votes.
On return of the Parties to Madagascar, the situation took a turn for the worse.
Following the recount, the High Constitutional Court on 29 April 2002, declared Marc RAVALOMANANA winner of the first round with 51.46% of the votes as against Didier RATSIRAKA who obtained 35.90%. These fresh results which were quite different from the earlier results declared by the same Court (the composition of this Court had indeed changed in the meantime) were contested by Didier RATSIRAKA. On the other hand, Marc RAVALOMANANA’s followers persistently complained about the non-implementation of Article 5 of the Dakar Agreement on immediate dismantling of barricades and an end to the dynamiting of bridges which in their view, were attributable to the RATSIRAKA camp.
Thenceforth, the situation rapidly deteriorated. The acts of disruption perpetrated by both sides in the form of physical violence, destruction of infrastructure and civil and military intervention plunged the country into near-chaos, paralyzing economic activities and occasioning daily severe losses to the national economy.
III. In view of the gravity of the situation and the threats which were beginning to materialize, President Omar BONGO invited President Abdoulaye WADE to Libreville to exchange views on the matter. Also present at that meeting were the Secretary General of the OAU Mr. Amara Essy and the French Foreign Relations Minister Mr. Dominique DE VILLEPIN. The meeting which took place in Libreville on 4 June 2002, made an impassioned appeal to the two adversaries, and urged them to proceed to Dakar for talks on Saturday 8 June 2002.
IV. Consulted, the Parties agreed that the Dakar II meeting should take place in two segments; the first, between the protagonists and the Heads of State Facilitators, the Secretary General of the OAU and the Personal Representative of the United Nations Secretary General. The objective would be to obtain agreement on transition institutions and on organization of fresh elections to settle definitively the dispute between the two protagonists in the crisis in Madagascar.
The meeting would then proceed to address its other agenda namely: “an Emergency Plan for Reconstruction and Economic Recovery of Madagascar” and would, to this end, be expanded to include representatives of Western Countries Facilitators particularly the United States and France.
In attendance at the first segment, apart from the Coordinator President Abdoulaye WADE were:
- Presient El Hadji 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.
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. Mr. Marc RAVALOMANANA felt 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.
Mr. Didier RATSIRAKA stated that he would abide by implementation of Dakar I decisions.
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.
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 by universal suffrage would allow the Malagasy people, through popular consultation, to elect a new majority and establish a new legitimacy, which would have to be taken into account.
1.2 In case the coalition of Parties of Mr. Ravalomanana won the legislative elections, Mr. Ratsiraka would accept immediately to recognise Mr. Ravalomanana as President of the Republic of Madagascar, legitimised by the majority he would have won.
1.3 If, on the other hand, the camp of Mr. Ratsiraka won the legislative elections, the two Parties would accept that a referendum be organised to ask the people to choose their President of the Republic between Mr. Ravalomanana and Mr. Ratsiraka..
2. Concerning the transition, 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 strategy 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, and RAVALOMANANA shall designate the Interior and Finance Ministers. However, the RAVALOMANANA camp requested that the Defence Minister should be appointed by Mr. Ravalomanana. The door for discussion on the matter (2.2) was still open.
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, Messers. 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 for the reconstruction of Madagascar.
8. The Committee of Heads of State Facilitators recommend that the 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.
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.
For the Committee of Heads of State Facilitators:
H.E. Maître Abdoulaye WADE
President of the Republic of Senegal.
H.E. El Hadj Omar BONGO
President of the Republic of Gabon
H.E. Blaise COMPAORE
President of Faso
H.E. Laurent GBAGBO
President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire
H.E. Denis Sassou NGUESSO
President of the Republic of Congo