PEACE AND SECURITY COUNCIL 181ST MEETING

Date | 20, March 2009Addis Ababa

COMMUNIQUE OF THE 181st MEETING OF THE PEACE AND SECURITY COUNCIL

The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU), at its 181st meeting held on 20 March 2009, adopted the following decision on the situation in Madagascar.

Council:

1. Recalls communiqués PSC/PR/COMM.(CLXXIX) and PSC/PR/COMM (CLXXX) adopted at its 179th and 180th meetings held on 16 and 17 March 2009, respectively;

2. Also recalls the communiqué of the Extraordinary Summit of the Troika of the Organ on Politics, Defense and Security Cooperation of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), held in Ezulwini, Swaziland, on 19 March 2009;

3. Notes that, following the resignation of President Marc Ravalomanana, under pressure from the civilian opposition and the armed forces, the transfer of power was made in violation of the relevant provisions of the Malagasy Constitution, and that the subsequent decisions to confer the Office of the President of the Republic to Mr Andry Rajoelina constitute an unconstitutional change of Government. Council strongly condemns this unconstitutional change of Government, which marks another serious setback in the ongoing democratization processes on the continent and reinforces the concern over the resurgence of the scourge of coups d’Etat in Africa, as expressed by the 12th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union held in Addis Ababa from 1 to 4 February 2009;

4. Decides, in accordance with the Lomé Declaration on Unconstitutional Changes of Government and the Constitutive Act of the AU, to suspend Madagascar from participating in the activities of the AU until the restoration of constitutional order in this country. Council also expresses its determination to impose all the measures provided for by the Algiers Decision of July 1999, the Lomé Declaration of July 2000, the Constitutive Act of the AU and the Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council, including sanctions, on the perpetrators of the unconstitutional change and on all those who contribute to the maintenance of the illegal status quo , if constitutional order is not restored;

5. Calls upon all Member States of the AU and the international community at large to reject their unconstitutional change and to refrain from any action likely to comfort the illegal regime in Madagascar. Council requests the Chairperson of the Commission to work closely with SADC and all AU partners, notably the United Nations and its Security Council, the European Union and the International Organization of la Francophonie, to contribute to the rapid restoration of constitutional order, and to take all the initiatives he deems necessary to this effect;

6. Reiterates its request for all necessary measures to be taken to ensure the safety and dignity of President Marc Ravalomanana and his family, as well as those of his associates, respect for individual and collective freedoms, to prevent any act of violence or intimidation, and protect property;

7. Invites the Chairperson of the Commission, in accordance with decision Assembly/AU/Dec.220 (XII) adopted by the 12th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union held in Addis Ababa from 1 to 4 February 2009, to present at the next Ordinary Session of the Assembly concrete recommendations to better prevent and punish unconstitutional changes of Government. Council requests the Chairperson of the Commission to submit to it an interim report on this issue;

8. Decides to remain seized of the matter.