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Madagascar: Information on a general strike launched by the coalition of parties known as the Forces Vives

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 1 November 1994
Citation / Document Symbol MDG18960.E
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Madagascar: Information on a general strike launched by the coalition of parties known as the Forces Vives, 1 November 1994, MDG18960.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6ab738c.html [accessed 2 September 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

 

In 1991, Le Comité des forces vives (Hery Velona, known also as Active Forces and Lifeblood Committee) was led by Albert Zafy and was composed of 16 political parties and over 50 socio-professional organizations which opposed the rule of President Ratsiraka (Le Monde 24 June 1991, 1). Inter Press Service, however, states that the coalition consisted of 100 parties and interest groups (22 Feb. 1993).

In 1990 Forces Vives began the organization of a series of mass demonstrations and general strikes in an attempt to force President Ratsiraka to resign (AI 28 Oct. 1991; BBC 20 June 1991; Reuters 15 Aug. 1991). As of 10 June 1991, demonstrations were held daily protesting against the rule of Ratsiraka (Libération 9 July 1991).

Three of the most successful strikes took place in July and August of 1991. The August strike which paralysed the capital, followed the killings by security forces of between 31 and 130 demonstrators, during a march on the presidential palace (Libération 8 July 1991; Le Devoir 9 July 1991; ibid., 12 Aug. 1991; Le Monde 15 July 1991; AI 28 Oct. 1991; AFP 13 Aug. 1991; The Economist 20 Feb. 1993; Inter Press Service 22 Feb. 1993). Le Monde, however, reported 12 dead and 213 wounded as a result of this march (12 Aug. 1991). According to Libération, a second general strike was called in August by Forces Vives in protest against the new government, named by Prime Minister Guy Razanamasy, which did not contain members of Forces Vives (28 Aug. 1991). Approximately 300,000 people obeyed this call to strike (ibid.).

Previous calls by Forces Vives had also resulted in partial strikes throughout the country (Inter Press Service 22 Feb. 1993). In addition, sector-specific strikes by civil servants and various groups were carried out (AFP 13 Oct. 1991). According to AFP, civil servants were on strike for at least four months (ibid.).

For information pertaining to the mass demonstrations organized by the Forces Vives, please consult the attachments.

This response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.

References

Agence France Presse (AFP) [Paris]. 13 October 1991. Stephane Jacob. "Madagascar Crisis Slides into Deadlock." (NEXIS)

. 13 August 1991. "Madagascar Paralysed by Strike, Protests." (NEXIS)

Amnesty International (AI). 28 October 1991. Urgent Action: Extrajudicial Executions. (AI Index: AFR 35/03/91). London: Amnesty International.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. 20 June 1991. "Madagascar in Brief: French Reports on Situation in Antananarivo." (NEXIS)

Le Devoir [Montréal]. 12 August 1991. "La répression fait 31 morts au Madagascar." (DIRB country file).

. 9 July 1991. "Grève générale." (DIRB country file).

The Economist. 20 February 1993. "Madagascar: Start Again." (NEXIS)

Inter Press Service (IPS). 22 February 1993. Barbara Borst. "Madagascar: Zafy Sure of Presidential Win, Now to Save Economy." (NEXIS)

Libération [Paris]. 19 September 1991. "Madagascar: grève." (DIRB country file).

. 28 August 1991. "Grève générale à Antananarivo." (DIRB country file).

. 9 July 1991. Stephen Smith. "L'opposition malgache coupe les ponts." (DIRB country file).

. 8 July 1991. "Madagascar: L'opposition appelle à la grève générale." (DIRB country file).

Le Monde [Paris]. 12 August 1991. "Madagascar: appel à la grève générale." (DIRB country file).

. 15 July 1991. Jean Hélène. "L'Opposition s'est engagée dans la course au pouvoir." (DIRB country file).

. 24 June 1991. Jean Hélène. "M. Ratsiraka face à la contestation: la crise s'aggrave à Madagascar." (DIRB country file).

Reuters. 15 August 1991. "News Highlights." (NEXIS)

Attachments

Agence France Presse (AFP) [Paris]. 13 October 1991. Stephane Jacob. "Madagascar Crisis Slides into Deadlock." (NEXIS)

. 13 August 1991. "Madagascar Paralysed by Strike, Protests." (NEXIS)

Amnesty International (AI). 28 October 1991. Urgent Action: Extrajudicial Executions. (AI Index: AFR 35/03/91). London: Amnesty International.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. 15 June 1991. "Southern Africa in Brief: Madagascar: More Opposition Demonstrations all over Island." (NEXIS).

Le Devoir [Montréal]. 12 August 1991. "La répression fait 31 morts au Madagascar." (DIRB country file).

. 9 July 1991. "Grève générale." (DIRB country file).

The Economist. 20 February 1993. "Madagascar: Start Again." (NEXIS)

Inter Press Service (IPS). 22 February 1993. Barbara Borst. "Madagascar: Zafy Sure of Presidential Win, Now to Save Economy." (NEXIS)

Libération [Paris]. 19 September 1991. "Madagascar: grève." (DIRB country file).

. 28 August 1991. "Grève générale à Antananarivo." (DIRB country file).

. 27 June 1991. S.Sm and Francis Germon. "Madagasscar: le régime passe un cap." (DIRB country file).

. 25 June 1991. "Madagascar: manifestation." (DIRB country file).

Le Monde [Paris]. 12 August 1991. "Madagascar: appel à la grève générale." (DIRB country file).

. 15 July 1991. Jean Hélène. " L'Opposition s'est engagée dans la course au pouvoir." (DIRB country file).

. 24 June 1991. Jean Hélène. "M. Ratsiraka face à la contestation: la crise s'aggrave à Madagascar." (DIRB country file).

La Presse {Montréal]. 8 August 1991. "Madagascar: Sensibilisation." (DIRB country file).

Additional Sources Consulted

Amnesty International Reports. 1990 to 1993.

DIRB "Amnesty: Madagascar" country file.

On-line search of media sources.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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