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Madagascar: a slow-motion coup

March 17, 2009

It seems Madagascar’s slow-motion coup has at last come to a head with the removal of President Marc Ravalomanana, announced almost casually in a text message from one of his aides.

The change has been a long time coming — the first outbreaks of violence were in January — and it’s all rather different from what many would regard as the traditional African coup d’etat.

Over the years that has developed into a familiar formula — the dawn announcement from a little-known colonel on national radio, the setting up of a military council to restore order after the sins of the previous regime, and the vague promise of a return to democracy in due course. The ousted leader may well have been out of the country at the time. The new boys move quickly to consolidate power.

In its final stages, the Madagascar version has been a little slower. Troops announced that they had deployed tanks but initially did not show them on the streets. Soldiers stormed the presidential palace, but the president was not at home. The central bank was seized, but the colonel in command of that operation then announced he had no more orders for the time being.

There is a sense that this is the elite fighting amongst itself for control of an island rich in natural resources and it took a while for the opposition leader, Andry Rajoelina, to gather the support he needed, particularly from the military.

But although the timeline has seemed relaxed, some 135 people have died along the way. Even if the elephants fight slowly, the ants still get crushed.

Comments
 

WETHER ITS A SLOW MOTION COUP OR NOT, WHAT HAS HAPPENED IN MADACASCAR SHOULD BE REPLICATED IN MANY AFRICAN COUNTRIES WHERE ELECTIONS HAVE FAILED TO BRING ABOUT DEMOCRATIC CHANGE. COMPARATIVELY, ITS MUCH CHEAPER THAN WAGING CIVIL WAR AND ATLEAST CIVILIANS ARE IN CHARGE. HOW ELSE ARE ‘LIFE PRESIDENTS’ IN SUDAN, UGANDA, GABON, CHAD, BUARKINA FASO , ERITREA, ZIMBABWE,CAMERON ETC GOING TO LEAVE POWER. IT SHOWS THAT AN ORGANISED AND DERTERMINED OPPOSITION CAN ACHIEVE MUCH. CRITICISM BY THE AFRICAN UNION AND SADC ARE JUST MISPLACED, OTHERWISE REGIME CHANGE IS OVERDUE IN MANY AFRICAN STAES.

Posted by gonzaga mugi | Report as abusive
 

I do agree with the “gonzaga mugi” comment.
Read the time.com link given by the other “comment”

 

I disagree with your point of view:
The international community must banned all coup by every possible means (slow motion or not)if not we never have a political stability.

Here in Madagascar we suspect France helping Andry Rajoelina. sure that the majority is not behind him otherwise he will accept an referendum. But with a foreign aid this sad event was happened

Posted by Lalaina | Report as abusive
 

Dear Gonzaga Mugi,

In case you are not in Madagascar, we do not talk here about a life president. We re-elected President Ravalomanana two years ago. Organized and determined opposition should actually play its role of opposition in a healthy way. In Madagascar, this opposition led by TGV has sacked (and continues to sack) those who publicly express their support to the government. What kind of opposition is that? When your home is burned down by the opposition because you support the elected-government, I believe that is not democracy.

You should not compare what is not comparable. This is again a case where a president-elect is overturn by a minority. The second candidate had fewer than one fourth of his votes.

I should add for your information that one of the key leaders of the opposition, who was also a candidate at the last presidential elections, received only 21 votes, out of millions, at those elections. These people\’s claim of democracy is that when you don\’t win the power through ballot, you could take it through military force. So, in the future, try to get all information you need to know a little about the situation before making such statement!!!!!!

As Lalaina said, the majority is not with him…

Greetings from Madagascar

Posted by Antsa | Report as abusive
 

I share the point of view of Lalaina. Taking the power in the road, with arms utilization, killing a lot people, conveying wrong informations, encouragement to the civilian war. THE WHOLE WORLD MUST BAN THE CONCERNED COUNTRY AT LEAST DURING THE PERIOD THE PUTSCHIST IS “PRESIDENT”. I think also that the international community has to keEp always their position.

Posted by raoera | Report as abusive
 

THE COMMENTS BY THE PEOPLE IN MADAGASCAR, LALAINA AND ANTSA ARE LEGITIMATE IN MANY WAYS. BUT MY ANGER WAS NOT TARGETED AT RAVALOMANANA OR THE INTERNAL MALAGASY POLITICS. MY ANGER IS WITH THE AFRICAN UNION AND THE SO CALLED INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY. THEY CONDEMN COUPS WHERE REGIMES ARE CHANGED BUT SAY NOTHING WHEN DICTATORS ENTRENCH THEMSELVES KILLING PEOPLE, STEALING ELECTIONS AND SCRAPPING TERM LIMITS. STILL RAVALOMANANA DOES NOT ESCAPE BLAME SINCE HE FAILED TO TRANSLATE THE POPULAR MANDATE HE WON TWO YEARS AGO INTO ANTI POVERTY ACTIONS AND MOBILISE TO RESIST THE COUP MAKERS. IF SOMEONE WHO GOT 27 VOTES KICKS YOU OUT OF POWER, THEN THERE IS INCOMPETENCE ON YOUR PART.
WHAT ABOUT GIFTING NATURAL RESOURCES TO KOREANS?

Posted by Gonzaga Mugi | Report as abusive
 

France is the number one terrorist in Africa. In Rwanda, the French military had trained the rebellion before the genocide happened. In Sudan, the French oil Company Total obtained the contract to explore oil in Darfur, but it is required and obliged to pay the villagers and local family who had leave the oil field before the installation of the oil plant. But this process seems expensive for Total. France gave weapon to the Janjui and through the Sudan government to wipe out the people in Darfur. This is the cheapest way to remove the Darfurian from their ancestor land. In Ivory Coast, the French company want to control coltan mining, and help the rebellion to divided the country. Bob Denard and his crew are well known in Africa.

The same thing happened in Madagascar, where the president was not really cooperative with the French government and French companies. France backed the opposition leader with money and mercenary to terrorize the local people and to kick out Ravalomanana.

We should mention that a month before the riot the Malagasy President’s American Advisor died suspiciously in Maroantsetra at a French Hotel during his family vacation. The Owner of this Hotel, Perrieras, was also allegedly involved in the disappearance of a German who advised the assassinated Malagasy President in 1975. And by coincidence, both advisors were dead in the north east of the Malagasy Island.

France is the country of white european so that no northern country condemn its action all over Africa full of black.

Posted by Ranary | Report as abusive
 

Hey , just come to Madagascar and see what really happen , who’s wrong and who’s the criminal ?

But stop intox here , why do you all defend yourself ?
For me it means that U are hiding smth wrong.

Posted by HOPE FOR | Report as abusive
 

Amen to Ranary & Antsa

One doesn’t have to look very far (especially if you live here) to find the roots and money which started and backed the coup d’état…just north to France and the family of the ex-dictator D. Ratsiraka here at home.

Be assured this was not a popular uprising but a well financed attempt to re-colonize Madagascar with a puppet ‘DJ’.

From first to last the blood remains on their hands.

Q:Who was the first and only ambassador to shake hands with the DJ?

A: The French ambassador.

Q: Is Andry Rajoelina’s wife in France at the moment?

A: It seems so.

Happily most of the world doesn’t recognize the DJ but once again the people of Madagascar suffer as a result of the French, their childish jealousy, cruelty and racism.

President Ravalamanana is not perfect, as mankind is not perfect, but he is our President!

Posted by john bogen | Report as abusive
 

just to inform about the release of the book entitled “Madagascar in an endless crisis”, published by L’Harmattan since January 28, 2011.

Posted by toavina | Report as abusive
 

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