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Yearbook 2011

Madagascar. After another year without a solution to Madagascar's political stalemate, the most important political leaders in September signed an agreement to hold general elections within one year, tentatively in March 2012. 2009, had indeed promised elections several times before, but this time the turnout was broader.

2011 Madagascar

According to Countryaah official site, the agreement, mediated by South Africa's regional cooperation organization SADC, would also allow former President Marc Ravalomanana to return from his exile in South Africa. Earlier in the year, he had again refused to board an airplane to Antananarivo since the leadership of the country's security forces opposed his return. The ex-president Didier Ratsiraka also returned after nine years of country escape. The agreement meant that a new unity government could be formed with the participation of parties that have so far refused to cooperate with Rajoelina.

The new cooperation climate gave hope for mitigated UN sanctions. The UN's special envoy on issues relating to everyone's right to food, Olivier De Schutter, had raised alarms that the barriers to the public subjected the population to difficult trials. He said that more than three-quarters of residents live below the poverty line and that 35% of rural people do not have enough to eat.

The political vacuum has also caused parts of the judiciary to collapse, which has led to, among other things, extensive forestry. In an attempt to curb the illegal timber trade, the transitional authority tightened the penalty for attempts to smuggle out rosewood and ebony. The authority's ability to put the power behind the words was unclear.

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