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Monday, 10 June, 2002, 01:40 GMT 02:40 UK
Plan to end Madagascar crisis
Marc Ravalomanana (centre), flanked by Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo (left) and General Secretary of African Union Amara Essi
The Dakar talks aim to resolve the presidential crisis

The latest round of talks on Madagascar have ended without agreement in the Senegalese capital, Dakar.

But African heads of state trying to mediate between the two main political rivals - Marc Ravalomanana and Didier Ratsiraka - have drawn up a plan aimed at ending the political crisis on the island.

The document released at the end of the Dakar talks calls for legislative elections to be held before the end of the year and for a balanced transitional government.

Mr Ravalomanana and Mr Ratsiraka were not on hand at the end of the talks to give their own opinions on what had been discussed.

Instead, it was left to Senegal's Foreign Minister, Cheikh Tidiane Gadio, to present a plan aimed at finding a way out of Madagascar's crisis.

Power-sharing plan

The document is a revised version of the failed accord which was signed in April.


Widening divisions:

16 December 2001:
Presidential election, incumbent Didier Ratsiraka challenged by capital's mayor Marc Ravalomanana
7 January 2002:
Opposition claim rigging, begin daily protests
25 January:
Run-off ordered after inconclusive result
27 February:
Violent clashes in capital, days after Ravalomanana declares himself president
18 April:
Rivals sign peace deal in Senegal
16 May:
Ravalomanana sworn in after recount awards him victory


It provides for power-sharing arrangements.

Mr Ravalomanana names the prime minister, but Mr Ratsiraka designates three other key ministers.

The plan calls for an end to all violence on the island and urges international donors to step in with financial assistance so as to help a transitional government repair the physical damage left by months of political conflict.

Parliamentary elections are identified as a key priority and should be held by the end of the year.

But mediating heads of state called on the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) to convene a special meeting on Madagascar in advance of the OAU's forthcoming summit in Durban, South Africa.

Senegalese President Abdulaye Wade warned reporters not to expect instant solutions to highly-complex problems, but said he was confident the violence in Madagascar would now come to a halt and a new dialogue was under way.

Dakar Two

Mr Ravalomanana and Mr Ratsiraka have been invited to offer their own commentaries on the plan and come up with additional suggestions.

After the resounding failure of the first Dakar agreement which was signed by the two main protagonists, some observers are already highly sceptical about the prospects for what is being called Dakar Two.

We consider this to have been a success, said Gabon's president, Omar Bongo, who was one of the heads of state involved in drafting the plan.

But the mediators accept that much will now depend on internal developments in Madagascar.

All previous peace initiatives have failed to resolve the main problems.


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See also:

31 May 02 | Africa
27 May 02 | Africa
18 Apr 02 | Africa
08 Jun 02 | Africa
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