1. At the initiative of the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr Jean Ping, and as part of the efforts to accelerate the crisis exit process in Madagascar, the International Contact Group on Madagascar (ICG-M) held its 6th meeting in Addis Ababa, on 8 December 2011, under the chairmanship of Amb. Ramtane Lamamra, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security. In addition to the AU, this meeting brought together representatives of the following countries and institutions: Zimbabwe, on behalf of the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC), the African members and the permanent members of United Nations Security Council (Gabon, Nigeria, South Africa, China, France, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and USA), other partners of Madagascar, namely Germany and Japan, the Indian Ocean Commission (COI), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the European Union (EU), the International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF), the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the United Nations.

2. The meeting took place against the background of significant progress in the process of ending the crisis in Madagascar. The participants deliberated in light of the briefing provided by Mr. Marius Fransman, Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa, Chairperson of the Ministerial Committee of the Organ of the Troika of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Special Envoy of President Jacob Zuma for Madagascar, and the communiqué of the 303rd meeting of the PSC, held on 8 December 2011, as well as additional information provided by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Government of National Unity of Madagascar and other international actors. 3. Having reviewed the developments in Madagascar since its 5th meeting, held in Addis Ababa on 18 February 2010, the Group welcomed the positive developments in the situation, in particular the signing, in Antananarivo, on 16 September 2011, of the "Roadmap for Ending the Crisis in Madagascar", followed, on 14 October 2011, by that of the Framework for the Implementation of the Roadmap, as well as the appointment of a consensual Prime Minister, in the person of Mr. Jean Omer Beriziky, and the formation of a Government of National Unity, the establishment of the High Council of the Transition and the Transition Congress. The participants commended the Malagasy parties for the progress made, and appealed to the Ratsiraka and Zafy Mouvances to join, without any further delay, the transition process by each taking the steps required to this end, including with respect to their participation in the Government, the High Council of the Transition and the Transition Congress, as well as in the other Institutions of the Transition. They also commended the SADC Mediation and Troika for their sustained efforts. 4. The Group encouraged the Malagasy parties to persevere in their efforts towards the implementation of all the provisions of the Roadmap, including the establishment, in a spirit of consensus and inclusiveness, of an Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the consensual setting of the electoral calendar, with a view to the holding of free, fair and transparent elections, as well as the implementation of the provisions of Article 20 of the Roadmap. In this context, the participants expressed their approach and readiness to gradually resume economic support to the Malagasy Government as further progress is made in the implementation of the Roadmap, and to urge other members of the international community to do the same. The notion of organising, in due course, a Round Table of the Madagascar development partners, through the facilitation framework provided for in the Roadmap, was agreed upon. 5. The Group recognised the need for sustained support and accompaniment from the international community to facilitate the smooth implementation and successful conclusion of the Transition. The participants expressed readiness to provide technical, logistical and financial support to the INEC and to the electoral process, in general, on the basis of a political and legal framework conducive to credible and transparent elections. In this respect, they look forward to the outcome of the UN evaluation mission of electoral needs, in coordination with other international actors, particularly the AU. They also pledged to strengthen their support for the Malagasy people to mitigate the impact of the crisis on their living conditions. They called on the other members of the international community to actively contribute to this effort. Furthermore, they highlighted the need for the harmonization and coordination of initiatives to ensure a coherent action by the international community in support of the crisis exit process and the economic recovery of the country. 6. In this context, the participants agreed on the importance of close coordination both at the policy level, within the framework of the ICG?M, and the operational level, on the ground, in Madagascar. It was agreed that the ICG?M would meet at least every three months and, should the need arise, more frequently, and in Antananarivo, when appropriate, to take stock of the situation and ensure a coherent and sustained international engagement in support of the crisis exit process. In?between the regular sessions of the ICG?M, the local chapter of the Group will ensure the day?to?day follow?up on the ground under the aegis of the joint AU?SADC Liaison Office that both organizations intend to establish soon. They encouraged all countries and organizations that are in a position to do so, to establish a physical presence on the ground to support the Malagasy Transition. 7. The members of the International Contact Group on Madagascar agreed to continue to work together within the framework of the ICG?M, chaired by the AU, in support of the efforts to promote an early exit from the crisis and the return to constitutional order in Madagascar.

Posted by Lulit Kebede
Last updated by Abraham Kebede

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