Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

'New York Post' slammed for publishing ISIS execution images

Read more

DEBATE

Back to Square One?

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza: Back to Square One?

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza conflict: 72-hour ceasefire deal sets stage for Cairo talks

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users divided over Darren Wilson

Read more

FOCUS

Spain's El Hierro to become world's first self-powered island

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

A bellwether for what not to do

Read more

ENCORE!

Luc Besson back in action with Scarlett Johansson in 'Lucy'

Read more

FOCUS

Israel's minorities and military service

Read more

  • US forces tried to rescue slain reporter from IS captors

    Read more

  • Thailand coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha voted prime minister

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

  • Deadly street battles hit Ukrainian rebel stronghold

    Read more

  • US attorney general visits Missouri town after fatal shooting

    Read more

  • French village rallies behind besieged elderly British couple

    Read more

  • Brazil’s Silva launches bid after Campos plane crash death

    Read more

  • Netanyahu compares Hamas to IS, Gaza offensive to continue

    Read more

  • Brutal IS beheading video sparks social media pushback

    Read more

  • France’s ex-PM Juppé sets up presidential clash with Sarkozy

    Read more

  • France’s Hollande says global security ‘worst since 2001’

    Read more

  • France urges Iran, others in region, to join fight against IS

    Read more

  • A new view on Normandy landings, 70 years on

    Read more

  • Dozens killed as landslides strike Japan’s Hiroshima

    Read more

  • Suspected Ebola cases in Austria, new drug raises hopes

    Read more

Africa

Southern African leaders suspend Madagascar

Video by Yuka ROYER

Latest update : 2009-03-31

SADC (Southern African Development Community) leaders meeting in Swaziland suspended Madagascar from the regional bloc and called on its new leader, Andry Rajoelina, to vacate the presidency.

AFP - Southern African leaders on Monday suspended Madagascar from a regional bloc and demanded the reinstatement of ousted president Marc Ravalomanana.
   
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) said the vast island nation was immediately suspended from the 15-nation group, until constitutional order is restored.
   
"The extraordinary summit suspends Madagascar from all community institutions and organs until the return of the country to constitutional order," SADC executive secretary Tomaz Salomao told journalists.
   
The summit also "urged the former mayor of Antananarivo, Mr Andry Rajoelina, to vacate the office of the president as a matter of urgency paving the way for unconditional reinstatement of President Ravalomanana."
   
Ravalomanana was forced to resign as president of the troubled Indian Ocean island by Rajoelina on March 17, and SADC warned it would consider further action if its demands are not met.
   
"In the event of non-compliance with the above decisions, SADC shall in collaboration with the African Union and the United Nations consider other options to restore constitutional normalcy," said Salomao.
   
SADC also called on the international community to shun Rajoelina and apply pressure on him to return the country to constitutional order as soon as possible.
   
Ravalomanana's supporters are demanding the return of their leader who resigned after the sustained campaign by his rival Rajoelina who accused him of running a dictatorship while the people starved.
   
Last weekend, the 34-year-old Rajoelina was sworn in as the Indian Ocean island's transitional leader with the backing of the army, but Ravalomanana, United States and the European Union have said his takeover was a coup.
   
The African Union has also suspended the crisis-stricken nation from the 53-member body.
   
The crisis in Madagascar overshadowed talks on rescuing Zimbabwe's economy, and leader put off for two weeks any firm commitments to beginning to meet a request for 8.5 billion dollars in aid.
   
Zimbabwe has sought about two billion dollars in aid and loans as a down payment on its economic recovery scheme, but so far has had little luck in swaying multilateral lenders like the International Monetary Fund or major western donors.
   
Finance Minister Tendai Biti said he remained optimistic that international aid would start flowing once the IMF releases a report following a mission to Harare earlier this month.
   
"I am absolutely positive that they will write a report that says look, Zimbabwe is bankable, there is a new brand that is being created here," Biti told reporters.
   
"They expressed great pleasure with our macroeconomic framework," he said.
   
SADC, which includes some of the world's poorest countries, has not yet made any specific offers other than agreeing to press the IMF and the World Bank to extend loans while urging western countries to end sanctions on President Robert Mugabe and his inner circle.
   
The summit heaped praise on Zimbabwe, where long-time opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai last month joined Mugabe in a unity government.
   
"We continue to be happily impressed by the progress made in the formation and operationalisation of the inclusive government," Swazi King Mswati III said.
   
"However, the greatest challenge Zimbabwe is now facing is the recovery of their economy."
   
Zimbabwe's economy has been in freefall for nearly a decade, with record hyperinflation, unemployment at 94 percent and a collapse of services which resulted in a deadly cholera epidemic.

Date created : 2009-03-31

COMMENT(S)