Southern African leaders urged Madagascar’s president, Andry Rajoelina, to meet his exiled predecessor “as a matter of urgency” to advance plans to end a political stalemate in the Indian Ocean island nation.
The Southern African Development Community ordered its mediator for Madagascar, former Mozambican President Joaquim Albert Chissano, to convene the meeting, the 15-nation bloc said in a statement on June 2 after a leaders’ summit in Luanda, Angola’s capital.
Rajoelina, with the help of the Madagascan military, ousted elected President Marc Ravalomanana in 2009, setting off the political crisis. Ten political parties in September agreed on a plan to set up elections by November to end it.
Ravalomanana, who fled to exile in South Africa, tried to fly back to Madagascar on Jan. 21 and was forced to return after Rajoelina’s government closed the island’s airspace. SADC criticized both men for their actions.
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