Thursday, September 3, 2009
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appealed to all sides involved in the political crisis in Madagascar to maintain their commitment to the power-sharing agreement reached last month and to end their deadlock on the composition of a government of national unity.
Mr. Ban "reiterates that there is no alternative to a political agreement and a consensual transition," according to a statement issued on Thursday evening by his spokesperson. "He calls on all parties and all sectors of the Malagasy society to remain calm and allow for a peaceful resolution of the crisis."
The Maputo Political Agreement, reached on 9 August, commits the signatories to devise a government of national unity following months of turmoil and political violence in the Indian Ocean country.
But in the weeks since the pact was struck in the Mozambican capital, the parties have not been able to agree on who should
serve as president, vice-president and prime minister in any transitional government.
In the statement, Mr. Ban appealed "to the President of the Haute Autorité de Transition in Madagascar and other interested parties to adhere to the spirit" of the agreement made in Maputo.
"The United Nations will remain engaged through the Joint Mediation Team for Madagascar and is ready to support the implementation of the Maputo agreements and stand by the Malagasy people as the country returns to normalcy," it added.
The Maputo pact was struck following talks that were mediated by the former Mozambican president Joaquim Chissano and a joint team comprising the UN, the African Union (AU), the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the International Organization of the Francophonie.
It was signed by current and former leaders in Madagascar -- Andry Rajoelina, Marc Ravalomanana, Didier Ratsiraka and Albert Zafy.
Since the start of the year Madagascar has been engulfed by political tensions, which have led to widespread violence and killings and numerous politically motivated arrests. Mr. Ravalomanana resigned as president in early March amid a dispute with Mr. Rajoelina, the mayor of the capital, Antananarivo, and now the leader of the country.