Offical Tells Security Council of Urgent Need for Dialogue in Madagascar

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RAPAPORT… A top UN official has called the political and economic situation in gem-rich Madagascar “untenable,” and called for immediate dialogue to prevent further strife. Unrest in the country resulted in the resignation of President Marc Ravalomanana several weeks ago amid a dispute with Andry Rajoelina, the mayor of the capital Antananarivo, who now leads the country.

Haile Menkerios told the UN Security Council that the current situation calls for urgent attention. “The council members expressed serious concern about the unconstitutional means of taking power by the former mayor, and urged that there be a quick return to a constitutional order through a transitional process that is based on consensus reached through wide participation of all stakeholders in Madagascar,” he stated.

“A return to constitutional order can only come by organizing quick elections, where the people of Madagascar will decide,” he said. Six UN agencies and three nongovernmental partners in Madagascar called for $35.7 million to help 2.5 million people living mainly in Madagascar’s main cities, and an additional 880,000 living in the drought-affected south.

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