En Moman avek Prezidan-President explains Seychelles’ role in efforts to solve Madagascar crisis


30-July-2012

In the En Moman avek Prezidan programme on SBC yesterday evening, Mr Michel talked about the meeting he hosted last week on Desroches Island between the two Malagasy leaders – the President of the Transitional Authority of Madagascar Andry Rajoelina and former President Marc Ravalomanana.

Seychelles, as president of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), hosted the meeting to boost effort to find a solution to the Malagasy political stalemate but it was SADC (Southern African Development Community) which assumed the leadership role in the talks.

Mr Michel explained that SADC, is a regional block of 15 members including Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles which are also members of the IOC, a sub-regional organisation of only five members, thus the difference in power the two bodies exert.

He noted that since the beginning of the crisis the international community had asked SADC to take a leadership role in efforts to defuse the crisis and the IOC has provided its backing and support.

But in spite of all the negotiations through the troika SADC had set up, Mr Michel explained that not much has been achieved even though there was an accord in Maputo, but instead the situation is getting worse.

He pointed out that when an important partner in a regional organisation is in difficulty, this has an impact not only on the organisation but it also affects the region as a whole.

“Therefore in view of the persisting stalemate I see it as my duty as president of the IOC and Seychelles’ head of state to adopt a proactive role in helping effort to find a solution to the crisis. This is when I offered Seychelles as neutral grounds for the two Malagasy leaders to meet and try and find a solution for the stalemate in their country,” Mr Michel said.

But he noted that he could not have done that alone because the SADC troika had already conducted previous talks and that is why South African President Jacob Zuma, who also chairs the troika, had been invited to chair the Desroches talks, Mr Michel said.

He stressed that SADC and IOC are working together to try and find a solution to the Madagascar crisis.

Mr Michel said progress has been achieved during the talks which saw the two leaders meet, shake hands and start talking.

“Progress has been achieved because thing are moving now and countries of the region, the regional bodies and the international community have all welcomed Seychelles’ initiative to help resolve the crisis,” he noted.

He added that the two Malagasy leaders had agreed to meet here because they see Seychelles as a friendly and neutral country.

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