MADAGASCAR:THE MAKING OF A BANANA REPUBLIC


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Madagascar is the idyllic setting for a summer vacation. Its diverse exotic sea life resources are perhaps some of the richest in the world. The world’s fourth largest island’s mainstay is its tourism which is estimated at close to 400 million dollars. But its existence is being threatened, a recent report by an International environmental body announced that due to increasing tidal waves, the consequences of irresponsible environmental practices, the island could be decimated by the year 2050.

However the current political crisis which is subsuming the Indian Ocean Island appears more toxic than any ecological doomsday prophecy. Its nearly 400 million dollars tourism sector is already reeling from the aftermath of the crisis.

Nearly 80% of the year’s planned tourists’ visits to its several resorts have been cancelled, and even its biggest investor, the United States-has issued an amber-alert; warning  its citizens to flee the falling island when the situation still appears normal. Normalcy is a situation that Madagascans would have to define as surreal as the country’s two biggest politicians sheath and unsheathe swords in a supremacy duel-where no one looks like blinking

Deposed Mayor of Antananarivo, and former Disk jockey Andry Rajoelina is riding the tiger’s tail and doing the diabolical mix splendidly well. Since his removal in February after he declared the setting-up of a parallel government, his political sphere has quadrupled. The country’s army is now behind him, the majority of the capital’s citizens, he claims are ready to march him into power-Fidel Castro style-and Rajoelina hasn’t been hitting with kid gloves. A few hours back on March the 17th, two loud explosions complimented with mortar attacks announced the opposition’s invasion of the presidential palace-a facility host presidential state banquets and ceremonies and the Central bank. A few days earlier they had invaded the Prime Minister’s Palace and announced a de-facto PM

On the hand, or rather downhill, the country’s constitutional elected leader Marc Ravalomanana has seen his widespread influence dissipate. First, Rajoelina’s tale of his widespread corruption weaves well judging from the large crowds that have turned as his protest rallies. The only sign of military support are his presidential bodyguards and less than a thousand rag-tag civilians who quickly formed in response to the embattled President’s SOS-the army and the police no longer take orders from Ravalomanana- a recipe for anarchyrajoelina

At the beginning of this week the president threw in his last gauntlet-a call for a referendum. But the DJ is having none of that; he asked the country’s security forces to arrest the president in an acerbic worded response

Madagascar has become the latest metaphor for the fragility and growing ‘bananalizing’ of several African states. The AU is currently meeting on the situation in Madagascar and is expected to issue a joint declaration condemning Rajoelina. However that’s were it ends, critics of the regional body will be quick to point out that similar situations had played out in Guinea, Zimbabwe, Mauritania, Guinea Bissau not forgetting the many warring states in Central Africa-where we have left peace treaties mean no justice and clandestine compromises

Meanwhile President Ravalomanana has said he will fight on to death with his rag-tag band. The painful truth is that he may not get the chance of a heroic last stand with every second counting as he’s been tactfully wedged in-trapped in a cocoon of conspiracy, blackmail and corruption. Political analysts say his best bet will be to heed the call of the Americans-leave now that you have the chance.

Aghogho, CONNECTAFRICA

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4 Responses

  1. [...] one African columnist wrote of Ravalomanana’s future: “His best bet will be to heed the call of the Americans [...]

  2. [...] one African columnist wrote of Ravalomanana’s future: “His best bet will be to heed the call of the Americans [...]

  3. [...] one African columnist wrote of Ravalomanana’s future: "His best bet will be to heed the call of the Americans [...]

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