Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Madagascar

Delivered in Plenary - 11th February 2010

Mr President

If the African Union aspires to have anything like the authority and respect accorded to the EU in international affairs, then Madagascar is surely a case in which the AU should act decisively. Instead we have seen the usual vacillation and tepid diplomacy following the fall of President Marc Ravalomanana, which is sadly reminiscent of the situation in Zimbabwe. It is time for the African Union to accept its responsibilities with regard to Madagascar, where political tension and chaos have been endemic for some time. If the AU cannot bring itself to sort out this mess, then it is reasonably fair to ask why the EU should do so.

However, we should continue to remain engaged with Madagascar in order to facilitate a smooth return to democratic government and to promote reconciliation. It is vital that those politicians and military officers who have been cited and carried out human rights abuses should be brought to justice. Targeted sanctions against the illegitimate regime of Andry Rajoelina also offer an effective way to punish those who perpetrate the ongoing instability without harming the overwhelming majority of the Malagasy people, who must be heartedly sick of the tensions and sporadic violence in their beautiful country.