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COMMUNIQUÉ


The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU), at its 809th meeting, held on 21 November 2018, adopted the following decision on the situation in Madagascar:

The Council,

1.     Takes note of the briefing given by the AU High Representative for Silencing the Guns in Africa,  Head of Election Observer Mission in Madagascar, former AU Commissioner for Peace and Security and Minister, Ramtane Lamamra and the presentation made by the Special Representative, Head of the AU Office in Madagascar , Amb. Hawa Youssouf Ahmed. Council further takes note of the Statements made by the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Madagascar to the AU, the representative of Namibia, the country holding the Chairmanship of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and those of the United Nations and the European Union;

2.     Recalls its previous positions on the situation in Madagascar, as well as Paragraph 2 of Assembly/AU/Dec.695 (XXXI), adopted by the 31st Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union, held in Nouakchott, Mauritania, on 1 and 2 July 2018;

3.     Welcomes the positive development in the situation in Madagascar, in particular the successful organisation, on 7 November 2018, of the first round of the Presidential elections. Council takes note of the proclamation, on 17 November 2018, by the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) of Madagascar, of the provisional results of the first round of the Presidential election. Expresses its appreciation to the Government and people of Madagascar, as well as to all Malagasy political actors and relevant institutions, for their efforts that made it possible to have a smooth and peaceful conduct of the 1st round of the Presidential elections;

4.     Urges the Malagasy actors to continue to work in peace and dialogue, with a view to finding adequate consensual and peaceful responses to the challenges they may encounter in the conduct and conclusion of the electoral process. Council, in particular, calls upon all the relevant stakeholders to recourse to the constitutional and legal channels provided for by Malagasy laws and regulations to address and resolve any electoral disputes;

5.     Pays tribute to the AU, particularly to the Chairperson of the Commission, his High Representative for Silencing the Guns in Africa and Head of the Election Observer Mission in Madagascar, Former Minister Ramtane Lamamra, as well as the Special Representative of the Chairperson, Madame Hawa Youssef Ahmed, for having contributed to build the confidence that led to consensus among the Malagasy parties, thus enabling the successful organisation of the electoral process. Council expresses its appreciation to former President Joachim Chissano, SADC Special Envoy for Madagascar, for his sustained action, in full synergy with the AU, for peace and stability in that country;

6.     Pays also tribute to the Malagasy institutions, especially the Interim President of the Republic, the CENI and its branches, the High Constitutional Court (HCC), and other stakeholders including the Civil Society, community leaders and religious organisations, the candidates and their political parties, for having kindly cooperated with the AU, relevant RECs and the international community and contributed to the smooth running of the polls in an environment of calm, serenity and transparency;     

7.       Expresses its appreciation to the United Nations, the International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF), the European Union and other partners for their sustained action in support for peace, stability and democratic transition in Madagascar;

8.     Commends the central role played by the AU in coordinating international efforts in Madagascar, through the local chapter of the International Support Group for Madagascar (GIS-M), to develop a common regional and international response to the developments in Madagascar;

9.     Encourages the Malagasy authorities to learn useful lesson from the conduct of the first round of the Presidential elections, with a view to enhance the organization of the second round, scheduled for 19 December 2018. Council also encourages the AU to take stock of the lessons learned from the experience of Madagascar, particularly with regard to the involvement of the AU and its role in coordinating the regional and international response for a better management of the political crisis situation in Africa. Council reiterates its deep conviction that the unity of the AU Member States constitutes the best tool to find African solutions to African problems while maximizing the benefit from international support;

10.     Appeals to the international community to provide Madagascar with the required material, financial and technical support to meet all the necessary conditions for the smooth running of the second round of the Presidential elections and to consolidate the remarkable progress made in the process aimed at consolidating Constitutional order in the country. Council reaffirms its conviction that, in the long term, the socio-economic development in the country will be crucial to sustaining peace and stability in Madagascar;

11.     Takes note with appreciation of the efforts made by Madagascar to address Security Sector Reform (SSR), with the continued support of the AU since 2014, upon the request of the Government, and encourages the relevant national authorities to continue to proceed in this direction, to strengthen the foundations of the long-term stability of the country. Council encourages the AU Commission to continue its support to the SSR process in Madagascar and calls on the partners to also provide the necessary support, upon needs and priorities set by the country;
 
12.     Expresses the commitment of the AU, in close cooperation with SADC and the GIS-M, to continue to support Madagascar during the post electoral phase, including in relation to the efforts for the socio-economic recovery;

13.     Calls upon the Presidential candidates and their supporters to work for the conclusion of the electoral process and to continue to show scrupulous respect for the institutions, laws and regulatory frameworks applicable at country, within the framework of the relevant provisions of the AU instruments, including the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance. In this regard, Council stresses the need for the CENI and all the Malagasy stakeholders, as well as the AU, SADC and other bilateral and multilateral partners, to ensure that the conditions that led to the successful first round of election be maintained and strengthened for the completion of the electoral process;

14.     Reaffirms the commitment of the AU, particularly the Peace and Security Council, to continue to follow up closely, with patience and vigilance, the pursuit of the electoral process, in particular the conduct of the second round of the Presidential elections, within the framework of all the relevant provisions contained in the AU instruments, including African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance;

15.     Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Posted by Jonathan Doe
Last updated by Lulit Kebede

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