Friday, June 12, 2009

Madagascar Military Solution?

On Monday, the COMESA (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa) bloc refused to discount the possibility of a military intervention to restore the Ravalomanana government (-in-exile) to control of Madagascar. Within the next day, both France and the United Nations warned against doing such.

Today, in the process of shutting down yet another round of pro-Ravalomanana protests, Armed Forces Minister Noel Rakotonandrasana (of the Rajoelina junta) has declared that such threats as that from COMESA must be taken seriously:
"In the end, that (military intervention) could become a reality. We are on maximum alert to guarantee the security of Madagascar's territory," said Rakotonandrasana.

All measures had been taken including the surveillance of the world's fourth largest island's coastline, he said.
That pretty much lights the confrontation lamp, but several questions remain:

. With France refusing to deny the junta, who else has the military means and motivation to attempt an intervention? Egypt?

.. Will the various COMESA governments now tolerate an effort to arm an insurgency against the junta?

... Doesn't this just give the junta a lot more reasons to crack down?

.... And as long as we are asking questions, where the heck was the outrage from COMESA when matters of Sudan, or D.R. Congo, or Eritrea, or Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) came to be?

I'll bet that the answer somehow involves "this time is different", and maybe "we blame France".



Jean Louis said...

This is quite a strange situation we find ourselves in!

Who would have thought that Mr. Mugabe would rise again to "encourage" yet another armed intervention, after the mayhem he inflicted to his own nation not so long ago?

Most of all, why is the G7 so quiet, except perhaps for France, when one can easily see that this is a perfect case study of how merely insisting on following "democratic" rules does not nexcessarly apply to most of Africa.

Yes, I humbly submit that the issues are more complex and involve deep governance issues our "friends" were so shy to enforce on the previous regime, leading to the popular uprisings...

Clearly, there are also larger geopolitical issues at stake, unfortunately for the millions of Malagasies whom struggle on a dollar a day.

We should use this example and at least have the courage to look at all the issues in depth, in the hope that the solutions come not only from and for the belligerants, but also from and for the hosts of "players" whom all share some degree of responsability in this tragedy.

As for Mr. Ravalomanana; Any man who thinks he is important enough to warrant an external military intervention to reinstate him is ample proof that it isn't love for his country that drives him!

Today, our nation is divided and such an action will inevitably lead to a disastrous conflict without a single chance of even reaching the intended objective of reinstating the man.

Yes, pressure must be put on malagasy politicians! But other also have to look closer at home to find that they too can make a difference, if they really want to.

ndrina said...

Others nstions couldn't say anything because this world is divided for those great nations and Madagascar belongs to france that is why France is the only one who can rule Madagascar again.But be sure even without any military intervention from outside we shall get out those putchist.Welcome to every one who would like to hekp us and thank to comesa for their decision. We don't need any putch in madagascar. We need democracy.

L.Douglas Garrett said...

Welcome, Jean Louis; Welcome, ndrina.

I am most pleased to have you both come comment here.

We've been following the affairs in Madagascar since before the exile of the Ravalomanana government here at this weblog. Besides (my) interest in matters African, this situation also is of great importance to those studying "Rule of Law" as the basis for civil society.

May justice and peace be found for the République Malgache (Republic of Madagascar), and may we all learn more about defending the institutions of democratic society in the process.

Jean Louis said...

Douglas, Ndrina,

Thanks for your comments, a healthy discussion is always a part of any solution.

I agree wholeheartedly that the Rule of Law is a critical component of not only a strong and healthy Civil society, but a Society as a whole.

I am somewhat disappointed with Ndrina's comment, which is based on what I feel is an overly simplistic analysis of the geopolitics involved.

Madagascar is not important enough to be a momentous subject of debate and conflict between those "developed nations".

I believe that what we should be focusing on is not how to get back to a previous situation, but how to work harder, learn from this painful experience, and move on in a more positive and stable direction.

Again, I submit that Governance is an issue that affects the entire planet at this point, and that glaring governance failures are bound to bring increasingly negative effects and impacts to ANY nation.

A fitting example can be seen through the mmost recent troubles in England, where MP's extravagent expenses became a hot enough issue to seriously shake an entire government, leading to the resignation of such high ranking officials as Ministers.

We in Africa in general are far from this, not to say that everything is perfect in England... But our situation as a whole is much worse in view of the immense poverty that plagues the vast majority of our fellow citizens.

We can no longer afford to find the slightest excuse for such behavior!

Today, Communication/information play a major role in how people of all nations perceive the effectivity of Democracy and governance not only in their countries, but also in a more global manner.

Gone are the days, or gone they should be, when leaders can claim to be doing "good", and in some aspects, actually do good, whereas on the other side, they perpetuate practices that demonstrate their inability to operate in a manner truly beneficial/fair/honest for their peoples.

The subject at hand is much too vast to fully address through a forum, but I do feel it is high time EACH of us take responsibility, starting by exchanging and speaking our minds.

I am one of those who felt, and still feel that Mr. Ravalomanana HAD a unique opportunity to make history. But his actions starting somewhere during the second half of his first presidential term slowly convinced me that his personal demons are stronger than his will/desire/ability to work effectively and ONLY for Madagascar in the medium-long term.

Certainly, he is not alone to bear responsability, but his management style does point to a very large extent in the repeated "errors".

Again, this is NOT about Mr. So and So; This is about a nation growing up, and feeling the inevitable growing pains.

What I have learned is that Today, we are sure we will not longer tolerate being treated like subjects or children.

The question is: Where do we start? So much has to be done.

Thanks again for sharing, I am not sure this new regime can do any better, but I now realize that I MUST get invloved and play a part in order to EARN a voice in the concert of life!

L.Douglas Garrett said...

If the course to be followed is one of reconcilliation...

...there may be a problem with that.

The Rajoelina government has apparently walked away from the AU / UN -moderated talks.

L.Douglas Garrett said...

@Jean Louis

You've brought out a critical matter in your last comment with your question "Where do we start? So much has to be done."

I've forwarded on our discussion so far to an associate who works in an organization that promotes good-governance solutions around the world, and with a bit of luck they'll have the opportunity to join us in this discussion.

I'll help where I can as well. After all, we all need to play our parts if things are to get better.