Madagascar peace-talks: UN accused of bias

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The United Nations envoy to Madagascar Mr. Tiebele Drame has been accused of being biased, partiality and pursuing his own agenda as the ongoing talks, between supporters of ousted president Mr. Marc Ravalomanana and new president Mr. Andry Rajoelina, stall.

The senior spokesman for Mr. Ravalomanana’s supporters concluded that the talks were a waste of time; accusing the UN special envoy to the country of not fulfilling his role as an impartial mediator. Mr. Ravalomanana was ousted in a military-backed takeover.

The neutrality of the UN envoy has long been in doubt as the UN controversially helped protect Andry Rajoelina from arrest just weeks before he overthrew the government. The talks aimed at bringing an end to the ongoing political crisis had aimed at bringing together representatives of Mr Rajoelina and also the country’s three previous presidents but nothing has yet been achieved.

The absence of Mr Ravalomanana in the peace-talks has also been questioned.

Many of his supporters say they will not accept negotiations without him as more than 10,000 people have gathered every day, demanding the reinstatement of the ousted president.

The pull out by pro-Ravalomanana representatives is a development many observers have considered a blow to the country’s hope for peace and an end to the political crisis which continues to hold the country backwards.

While pro-Ravalomanana supporters demand his presence in the peace-talks, the new government under Mr. Rajoelina has sad he (Mr. Ravalomanana) will be arrested if he showed up. This latest incident is seen by many as an insight into the country’s complex and longstanding political grievances.

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