Madagascar parties reach out to UN in bid to resolve differences
|Publisher||UN News Service|
|Publication Date||9 February 2009|
|Cite as||UN News Service, Madagascar parties reach out to UN in bid to resolve differences, 9 February 2009, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/49aff79d3.html [accessed 18 December 2014]|
President Marc Ravalomanana of Madagascar and the Mayor of the capital, Anatananarivo, Andry Rajoelina, have declared that they are committed to start a United Nations-facilitated dialogue and to resolve their differences peacefully, a spokesperson for the world body announced today.
Close to 100 people have been killed and many more injured in the Indian Ocean island nation over the past week amid a dispute between the two leaders.
The latest incident occurred on Saturday when nearly 30 people were killed and dozens wounded during anti-government protests in Anatananarivo, which is also the country's largest city.
Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Haile Menkerios, who was dispatched last week by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to assess the situation and explore how the UN could help, met today in the capital with President Ravalomanana and Mayor Rajoelina.
"Both parties deplored the loss of lives and agreed to put an end to the violence," UN spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters.
"They declared that they are committed to start a UN-facilitated dialogue and to resolve their differences peacefully."
She added that Mr. Menkerios will continue consulting with all stakeholders and exploring how best the UN can support this dialogue process and contribute to national reconciliation.
Mr. Ban, in a statement issued yesterday, had condemned Saturday's tragic events and called on all concerned parties "to resolve their differences through peaceful and democratic means and through the exercise of responsible leadership."