The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) has appealed to the international community to provide emergency humanitarian assistance to Madagascar to help the Indian Ocean island country cope with the problems caused by this year’s poor rice crop and the locust invasion.
In a communiqué issued after its 394th meeting here Thursday, the Council expressed worry about the impact that the situation may have on the conduct of Madagascar’s ongoing electoral process.
In addition, the meeting urged the international partners of Madagascar to extend the necessary support for the country’s socio-economic recovery.
Voters in Madagascar are due to hold the first round of presidential election 25 Oct. 2013, with a possible second round, coupled with legislative polls, on 20 Dec. 2013.
The Council has commended the country’s transition President Andry Rajoelina for the crucial role he played in the adoption of the required measures for the re-launch of the electoral process, in a manner that is consistent with the Malagasy legislation, as well as for the full cooperation he extended to the AU and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) in resolving the Malagasy leadership crisis.
According to its communiqué, the PSC has reiterated its appreciation to SADC and its mediator in the crisis, former President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique, “for their commitment as well as for their cooperation and coordination with the AU, which have greatly contributed to the progress that has been recorded”.
“Council commends the AU Commission for its active involvement and contribution to the crisis exit process,” it said, expressing appreciation to the international partners for their continued support to the AU and SADC efforts.
Settlement of the crisis has led to re-composition of the country’s Special Electoral Court (CES), removal, by the new CES, of the illegal candidacies from the list of candidates for the presidential election, and publication of a final list of 33 candidates who meet the legal requirements to participate in the presidential election.
In addition, the Independent National Electoral Commission for the Transition (CENI-T), jointly with UN representatives, has adopted a revised calendar for the holding the elections.
The PSC said it fully supported the decisions taken by the CES, and commended the personalities and political groupings who have accepted the decisions of the CES.
Also, the Council’s resolution on the situation In Madagascar “urges all Malagasy political and social actors to contribute positively to the ongoing process, in particular by maintaining peace and stability and upholding the spirit of tolerance and national reconciliation, in order to facilitate the successful holding of the presidential and legislative elections that will mark the completion of the restoration of constitutional order.
“Council further urges the President of the Transition and the entire Transitional Government of National Unity to pursue the implementation process of the roadmap for a way out of the crisis and to remain neutral throughout the electoral process.”
At the same time, the PSC warned persons who may be tempted to hinder the ongoing process, particularly by challenging the decisions of the CES.
It underlined its determination, in collaboration with SADC and with the support of the international partners, to impose individual sanctions, as well as any other appropriate measures, against the concerned actors.