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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

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War In Ukraine: Madagascar Abstains From Voting On UN General Assembly Resolution

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The noose is tightening around the Malagasy authorities following their decision not to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well as Madagascar’s abstention from voting on the United Nations General Assembly resolution on Wednesday. Florent Rakotarisoa, president of the High Constitutional Court (HCC) confirmed yesterday the existence of pressure during an intervention on a private radio in the capital. “The international community and the big countries of Europe are putting pressure on the small countries to support them to express themselves in this Russian and Ukrainian affair,” he revealed.

The pressures have multiplied, especially from the European Union, which, through its acting chargé d’affaires, said it was “disappointed” with the Malagasy position, forcing the Malagasy authorities to rectify their position and clarify its position in an official statement.

The statement, initially issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was relayed and duplicated in several languages by the Presidency during the day before being released in the early evening. It states, among other things, that “Madagascar expresses its extreme concern for the civilian population and expresses its solidarity with the victims and their relatives, and with the displaced persons. It also supports the decision of non-alignment of the Malagasy state. “Madagascar advocates, in all circumstances, the peaceful ways and means to any dispute and this, in attachment to our tradition of non-alignment and in respect of our ancestral value of “Fihavanana”, so that the Indian Ocean area remains a zone of peace and stability,” the statement continued.

This timid demonstration of solidarity of the authorities towards the victims of the war in Ukraine seems however to be motivated by the fear of a degradation of the relation and the cooperation with the international community. The Malagasy expert in international relations, Julien Radanoara believes that “economic and commercial sanctions could be applied on Madagascar, after its neutral position in front of the Russo-Ukrainian crisis”. He believes that the European Union could take the decision to delay or treat with a drip the financial aid that it has planned for Madagascar because of its disappointment with the Malagasy position. The acting chargé d’affaires of the European Union delegation in the country, for his part, affirms that it is still too early to talk about the impact of this Malagasy position on cooperation with Madagascar.

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