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Madagascar: Ban urges leaders to build on momentum for unity government

7 October 2009 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on Madagascar’s leaders to quickly conclude talks on a transitional government following progress made under United Nations-backed mediation in the crisis that led to the President’s ouster earlier this year.

The UN will remain engaged in the process through the Joint Mediation Team on Madagascar, chaired by former president of Mozambique Joaquim Chissano, he said in a statement issued by his spokesperson, urging the leaders to make the necessary concessions to ensure that the transitional process runs smoothly.

“It [the UN] is committed to support the full implementation of the Maputo agreements and a rapid return to constitutional order through credible elections,” he added, referring to the accord reached in the Mozambican capital in August committing the parties to a government of national unity after months of turmoil and political violence in the Indian Ocean island.

President Marc Ravalomanana resigned in early March amid a dispute with Andry Rajoelina, mayor of the capital, Antananarivo, who now leads the country.

Yesterday in Antananarivo, UN Special Envoy Tiébilé Dramé read a communiqué from the International Contact Group on Madagascar supporting the Government’s request that sanctions imposed on the country be lifted.

The communiqué also endorsed Madagascar’s request for international financial aid, backing for the political transition, including preparations for agreed-upon elections, and support for development and other aid projects.

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