Madagascar’s new regime in Addis talks – ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AFP)

April 29th, 2009 Print Print Email Email

A high-level delegation from Madagascar’s transitional regime, which is not recognised by the international community, is in Addis Ababa for talks, diplomats said Wednesday. (more…)

A high-level delegation from Madagascar’s transitional regime, which is not recognised by the international community, is in Addis Ababa for talks, diplomats said Wednesday.

“A delegation led by the High Transition Authority’s foreign minister, Ny Hasnia Andriamanjato, arrived in Addis Ababa on Monday for consultations with various diplomatic representations,” an African diplomat told AFP.

Former Madagascan opposition leader Andry Rajoelina ousted the Indian Ocean island’s elected president, Marc Ravalomanana, with army backing on March 17.

His takeover was described as coup by neighbouring nations and the international community, which has so far refused to recognise the transitional administration and called for the return of constitutional order.

A source close to the African Union, which is headquartered in the Ethiopian capital, said the Madagascan delegation had meetings with “various representations such as Uganda’s and probably with AU officials, as would be customary in such circumstances.”

“The idea is to maintain channels open and ensure that both sides talk to each other,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

Rajoelina’s rise to power in Madagascar, where the AU had been scheduled to hold its summit in the summer, has left the country in a state of utter institutional confusion.

Ravalomanana has recently upped his counter-offensive from exile, claiming to still be the island’s only legitimate leader despite resigning and forming a parallel government to challenge Rajoelina’s administration.

An AU diplomat said only that the transition authority delegation had requested to meet various officials.

“It is also likely that Ravalomanana will come to Addis because the AU is hosting a meeting of the international community’s contact group Thursday on the crisis in this country,” the official added.

Another official said the Southern African Development Community, which was the first regional grouping to condemn Rajoelina’s takeover and suspend his country as a result, had exerted pressure for his delegation’s visit to be boycotted.

The 53-member AU has also suspended Madagascar.

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