Unexpected unfolding of the Malagasy political turmoil


Since last Sunday, the Malagasy political crisis has faced unexpected rebounds.

SUNDAY

The mutiny of CAPSAT millitaries

CAPSAT is a millitary camp, located in Soanierana (suburb of Antananarivo). CAPSAT is an entity within the Malagasy army which is in charge of storing weapons and ammunition (in general, in charge of logistics and equipments) of the Malagasy army.

Sunday morning, the soldiers from this camp, refused to join the EMMO NAT for its daily operations. They said that they do not agree with the way that the operations were handled. They do not agree with the violence of the operations, the several and unjustified arrests, and the fact that there are “external” elements which are involved in EMMO NAT operations (were they talking about the foreign mercenaries, and the civilians who wear sport shoes during the EMMO NAT operations?) .

In the afternoon, the CAPSAT soldiers were on the go, in Ankadimbahoaka (suburban district next to CAPSAT) heavily armed. The soldiers were aware of an eventual attack of their camp by the GP (Presidential Guard). They made several check-points throughout Ankadimbahoaka, but the GP did not come. Later, the officer in charge of the GP has denied the existence of such operation against CAPSAT. It appears that such information has been conveyed by a local FM radio: Antsiva radio.

In the evening, the CAPSAT soldiers gave a ultimatum of 24 hours to ALL the millitaries to join their camps.

MONDAY

Lootings, barriers and rally at “place du 13 mai” are back

Early in the morning, there were several barriers throughout town. Most of them were kept by pro-Rajoelina supporters.

Anyone who has eye-witnessed the so-called “black monday” (Monday, January 26th, 2009), had the feeling that they re-lived a nightmare. Because all the millitaries refused to go out of their camps, there were no EMMO NAT security forces throughout town. As a direct consequence, many shopping centers were looted. In some cases (for example for SMART Gallery in Tanjombato (suburb of Antananarivo)), the millitaries from CAPSAT intervened only at the end of the lootings.

At 10.00am Madagascar time, the pro-Rajoelina supporters could make their rally at “place du 13 mai” because it has not been kept by the EMMO NAT security forces. Andry Rajoelina was not there. Monja Roindefo, the primeminister of Andry Rajoelina’s transitional administration, announced that ministries will be taken up on Tuesday (yesterday).

At 12.00 noon Madagascar time, the pro-Ravalomanana supporters made also their own rally in Mahamasina (downtown of Antananarivo). They called all the “citizens who want to live in a state of law” to join them there. After their rally, they decided to attack the barriers which have been put by pro-Rajoelina supporters on the road which leads to Tsimabazaza (downtown of Antananarivo). The soldiers from CAPSAT helped the pro-Rajoelina barrier keepers to throw them out.

declaration from the CEMGAM (General Staff in Chief of the Malagasy Army)

The CEMGAM in a press conference declared that it is the only entity of command within the army. The chief of the CEMGAM, General Edmond Rasolomahandry said that they are analysing the “requests” of the CAPSAT soldiers. He also urged the millitaries not to be involved in any political matters.

declaration from the Gendarmerie

The chief of the Gendarmerie,  Brigadier Gilbain Pily in a press conference declared that the Gendarmerie will always protect the people and the “state of law”. The chief of the Gendarmerie is the chief of the current EMMO NAT. Brigadier Gilbain Pily asked all the gendarmes throughout Madagascar to avoid political activities.

declaration from the Police

The General Controller, Talbot Antonin in a press conference declared that “temporarily”, the police forces will suspend its contribution within the EMMO NAT operations.He also said that any policeman does not have the right to be involved in politics.

Andry Rajoelina is under the protection of the UNO

Marc Ravalomanana came to a mediation meeting organized by the FFKM (association of Christian Churches of Madagascar) and the UNO in Ambohimanambola (suburb of Antananarivo). He accepted the request from the UN’s emissary Tiébilé Dramé to put Andry Rajoelina under UN’s protection. Marc Ravalomanana promised that he will not try to arrest Andry Rajoelina.

During the discussion Marc Ravalomanana had with the FFKM and UNO, he accepted the organisation of national assizes which will be aimed to find a sustainable solution at this crisis. These assizes, organized by the FFKM and the UNO, will include the other political parties, the unions, the Army and the civil society. These national assizes will be held from March 12th till March 14th.

Andry Rajoelina and his delegation did not come to this mediation meeting.

TUESDAY

denial from the UN headquarter in New York and Andry rajoelina put under the protection of the French embassy

Yves Sorokobi, spokesman of the General Secretary Ban Kin Moon, has denied the decision of Tiébilé Dramé to put Andry Rajoelina under the protection of the UNO. “The UNO has a duty of mediation, not protection” Yves Sorokobi said.

For a unspecified length of time, Andry Rajoelina is harboured at the residence of the French embassy in Ivandry (downtown of Antananarivo) in order to protect him against any attempt of arrest from the current government.

Clashes between pro-Rajoelina supporters and pro-Ravalomanana supporters

As for Monday, both sides had their own rally. The pro-Rajoelina were in “place du 13 mai” and the pro-Ravalomanana were in Mahamasina.

After their rally in Mahamasina, in order to protest against the French protection of Andry Rajoelina, the pro-Ravalomanana supporters decided to go to Ambatomena (suburb of Antananarivo) to make a sit-in at the French embassy.

Knowing this, the pro-Rajoelina supporters decided to stop them. That created  violent clashes between both parties in Tsaralalàna, Andohan’Analakely, Ambatomena and Ampasamadinika (suburb of Antananarivo). The pro-Rajoelina supporters had knives and sticks. 17 people were seriously wounded. The pro-Ravalomanana protesters were obliged to give up.

The house of the PDS of Antananarivo on fire

Pro-Rajoelina supporters, after their rally in “place du 13 mai” came to Nanisana (downtown of Antananarivo) to burn the house of Guy Rivo Andrianarisoa, PDS (President of Special delegation) of Antananarivo.

Resignation of the minister of defense

The ministry of defense in Amparibe (downtown of Antananarivo) was taken by the millitaries from the CAPSAT at 10.00am and the minister of defense, Vice-Admiral Mamy Ranaivoniarivo, was detained for 02 hours. He has been forced to write his resignation letter and to read it in front of the journalists. After his “forced” declaration, he could leave the premises of the ministry of defense.

Creation of a new CEMGAM

After the “blow” at the ministry of defense, some high ranked millitary officers organized a general assembly for all the millitary officers. These high ranked millitary officers presented the new CEMGAM in replacement of the current one. This new CEMGAM is led by Colonel André Ndrianarijaona. “We have to make many changes within the army” Colonel André Ndrianarijaona said. This colonel declared that the army under his command, will definitely be with the people. He aslo added that the army will not obey anymore to the instructions from Marc Ravalomanana.

Ultimatum of the current CEMGAM

The official and current CEMGAM, led by General Edmond Rasolomahandry, declared that it gives 72 Hours for all the political opponents to settle their problems and to cease all unconstitutionnal and illegal activities. After this deadline, if there are no improvements, the army will “take all the necessary measures to bring back the state of law”. He did not specify the real nature of such measures. Nevertheless, he said to the journalists that the army does not want to establish a “millitary directory” in Madagascar.

Note from the blogger: I’m really sorry for not putting any pictures on this post. Actually I was unable to take pictures due to permanent threats.

2 thoughts on “Unexpected unfolding of the Malagasy political turmoil

  1. you stay safe you are already doing amazingly and all this for the sake of freedom of speeck and freedom of informations.
    there are too many threats towards journalists that you can’t risk getting out there and getting beat up for not showing a press card ,
    take care

  2. I echo Joan’s comment: please watch for your safety too. I think the Malagasy bloggers are doing an incredible job at mobilizing and disseminating the news, and for that I’m truly grateful. It’s pathetic that our mainstream media here in Canada does not even cover the subject.

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