The SADC Liaison Office wishes to re-affirm that SADC, in close consultation with its international partners, remain seized with the most critical matter of finding a lasting solution to the political crisis in Madagascar. In this regards, it continues to engage and besiege all the parties and signatories to the Roadmap to earnestly implement it completely and accord the necessary respect to its letter and spirit. As such, the upcoming elections in Madagascar, requires that all the stakeholders work tirelessly in creating the necessary conditions for free
and fair elections that would reflect the popular will of the Malagasy people.
It is therefore important that the Confidence-Building Measures and National Reconciliation as stipulated in the Roadmap be seen to be implemented and adhered to. Article 15 clearly indicates the critical role of the institutions of Transition and the neutrality expected of them particularly in the electoral period and process. This calls for equal access by all parties and mouvances to state controlled media in both print and electronic. As stipulated in article 17 the people of Madagascar should be allowed the fundamental freedoms of expression, of opinion, association and demonstration. Therefore in this context journalists should be allowed to do their work without fear, intimidation and possible arrest, as expected in any normal democratic
dispensation. As such, the recent cases of threats and harassment against some journalists do not bode well for the creation of a serene and peaceful political environment.Furthermore, SADC also notes with serious concerns developments that are taking place in the Southern part of Madagascar. The loss of life and the destruction of property under any circumstances is regrettable. In this regard, it calls upon the leadership of Madagascar together
with the Security Forces to exercise restraint and behave in a manner commensurate with its constitutional responsibility to protect the country and its citizens in line with Articles 16, 17 and 24 of the Roadmap as they specifically relate to the protection and promotion of human rights and the requisite confidence building measures. Accordingly, the situation in the South if not attended to appropriately and within the law and of course taking into account the country’s international obligations to respect human rights ,would have negative ramifications for the entire electoral process in the country.The comprehensive implementation of the Roadmap in its letter and spirit cannot be deferred any longer as it is the only viable route out of the current political impasse. The SADC leadership is fully committed to its implementation and as such, calls on its partners continentally and
internationally to remain resolute in its complete implementation and to remain highly vigilant especially during this period.
Issued by the SADC Liaison Office
23 November 2012
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