The leaders of
Tanzania, Angola and Swaziland, who make up the Southern African Development Community
(SADC)'s peace and security troika, are meeting Thursday in the
Swaziland capital, Mbabane to discuss the political crisis in Madagascar.
On Wednesday, Madagascar's highest court
confirmed opposition leader Andry Rajoelina as the country's acting president
after the military handed him power following the resignation of President Marc
Thursday's SADC meeting comes
as Zambia, one of the troika members called for Madagascar's immediate
suspension from the regional body and from the African Union (AU).
SADC Executive Secretary Tomaz
Salomao told VOA SADC practically considers what
happened in Madagascar as a military coup and the sub-regional body does not
condone military coups.
are aware that the president of the republic resigned yesterday and he hand
over the power to a military directory themselves also transferred the power to
the former mayor of Antananavivo. So in practical terms we have a military
coup. In view of that and because Madagascar is a SADC member state, SADC has
to take a position. That's why the troika of the organ on politics, defense and
security is meeting to assess and to agree on the way forward," he said.
said the SADC position on military coups follows the Constitutive Act of the
African Union which condemns any unconstitutional change of government in
the same in the SADC, AU and UN. Military coups are not accepted because it is
a violation to the constitution," Salomao said.
On Wednesday, Madagascar's
highest court confirmed opposition leader Andry Rajoelina as the country's
acting president after the military handed him power following the resignation
of President Marc Ravalomanana.
Salomao said it makes no
difference the fact that Madagascar High Court played a role in the transfer of
power from the military to Rajoelina.
"The constitution has to be
respected. We are a community of 15 member states, and member states accepted
that within the community military coups are not acceptable," Salomao said.
He would not predict whether
the SADC heads of state would endorse Zambian Foreign Minister Kabinga Pande's
call Wednesday for Madagascar's immediate suspension from SADc and from the
African Union (AU).
"I don't want to anticipate.
Zambia is a SADC member state. I rather prefer to wait until the troika meets
and take a position," he said.
Salomao said SADC played the
necessary role that the parties in Madagascar had asked the regional body to
play in terms of mediation.
"From the beginning the
parties in Madagascar stated that they would like to have a national mediation,
and SADc, AU and UN could be there just to advise, and we accepted that this is
an internal problem and if you agree that the mediation has to be done by
nationals, that's fine. We agreed, and we are there to assist and to advise,"
Salomao said he does not
agree that recent military takeovers in Mauritania, Guinea Bissau, Guinea and
now Madagascar could be a sign that Africa might be returning to the days when
the continent was dominated by military governments.
However, he agreed that
unconstitutional change of governments is a set back to the entrenchment of
democracy and good governance in Africa and that such a practice should not be
allowed to succeed.
"In Africa we have 54
countries. We cannot say because we have coups in Madagascar, Mauritania, and
Guinea that's the trend. The trend is democracy, democracy, democracy. Yes we
have to put a stop on this thing to happen, and the only way to do that is to
send a clear message to those who follow this pattern that this is not
unacceptable in Africa and in the SADC region," Salomao said.