ACCORD has published a Policy & Practice Brief titled The troubled road to peace: Reflections on the complexities of resolving the political impasse in Madagascar which examines and discusses the key factors inhibiting the island nation's efforts to resolve the political impasse which has affected peace and development since 2009, and move towards peaceful elections.
The author, Lesley Connolly, reflects on the role that the international community has played in supporting Madagascar to end the political stalemate. She also provides recommendations for how SADC and the AU, as well as the international community at large, can help the country move beyond this political crisis.
Connolly begins her analysis by looking at the unconstitutional change of power which removed former President Marc Ravalomanana and replaced him with current President Andry Rajoelina, thus beginning the drawn-out impasse. Since 2009, four agreements have been signed to end the deadlock, the latest of which is the SADC Roadmap which was signed in September 2011. Although intended to be a home-grown solution to resolve the conflict, the Roadmaphas been instrumental in inhibiting the country's efforts to move forward due to inherent contradictions present in its implementation. Connolly reflects on these contradictions and explains how they have contributed to thestalling of the peace process at various points.
The brief also reflects on the recent announcements by Ravalomanana and Rajoelina that neither of them would contest in Madagascar's 2013 presidential elections and explains why these actions, although helpful, merely resolve one aspect of the crisis but do not guarantee that the country can achievepeace. Even with a date for presidential elections having been set for July 2013, Madagascar still faces an uphill battle in order to overcome the legacy of coup d'états, uprisings and violent protests which has characterised the country's political landscape for many years.
Connolly suggests that the international community should take a much more active role in the upcoming electoral process in order to ensure that Madagascar is able to break the impasse. Attention also needs to be placed on ensuring that futurechanges of power are legitimate. To do this, it is necessary to address the root causes of the current impasse in Madagascar.
The Policy & Practice Brief is a product ofACCORD's Knowledge Production Department. Policy & Practice Briefs provide succinct, rigorous and accessible recommendations to policy makers and practitioners in order to stimulate informed and relevant debate to promote dialogue as a way to peacefully resolve conflict. Connolly's paper aims to contribute to current debates around peacemaking and to provide insightsthat could inform future negotiation and mediation processes.