Archive for Madagascar
Madagascar will close its embassy in the Libyan capital Tripoli due to lack of funds, the government has said. “Maintaining this embassy to work means a significant financial impact on the public purse and it is advisable to close it temporarily,” said a statement issued at the end of a cabinet meeting. During political events in Libya in 2011, Madagascar decided to evacuate its employees to Tunisia. The ambassador and the accountant continued their work in the Malagasy embassy but in April 2012, the former was relocated. The accountant and his translator then maintained minimum operation of the embassy. Madagascar opened its embassy in Tripoli in 2005.
South Africa’s embassy in Madagascar has granted refuge to two journalists and a technician of a closed-down opposition radio station following “prolonged harassment”. “The South African embassy confirms that it has decided to give refuge to the journalists in question … because of prolonged and incessant harassment of these journalists and of others as well as the closing of Radio Free FM,” the mission said in a statement. It did not name the journalists. Free FM, whose director Lalatiana Rakotondrazafy is one of the journalists, was the main opposition radio station on the Indian Ocean island. The station closed down voluntarily in July citing intimidation by the army following a mutiny. Rakotondrazafy and one of her journalists had been detained in May for broadcasting criticism of strongman Andry Rajoelina’s government. Madagascar’s foreign ministry confirmed to AFP it had been informed the two journalists and a technician of Free FM were at the embassy.
Madagascar’s efforts to gain international recognition seem to be paying off with the report that UK will soon reopen its embassy in the country. New British embassies will be opened in El Salvador, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Somalia and Southern Sudan as part of a radical redrawing ofBritain’s diplomatic map. The report says hundreds of British ambassadors and high commissioners held a meeting on Tuesday with the Foreign Secretary William Hague inLondon. He then revealed that this was the “biggest strategic diplomatic advance byBritainin decades” according to the report. “We want to promote the long-term interests ofBritainas well as to make the right decisions about immediate challenges, and we want to extend and strengthenBritain’s influence overseas… By 2015, we must aim to be a Foreign Office that is lean and efficient, but configured to match the realities of the 21st century,” the paper quoted Mr Hague. Mr Brian Donaldson, the last UK ambassador to Antananarivo (2002-2005) told Africa Review that he was happy with the news. The retired diplomat still lives in Madagascar where he runs a charitable body known as Madagascar Development Fund to assist poor communities. The closure of theUKembassy inAntananarivooccurred under the Labour government of Mr Tony Blair that transferred the whole consulate service to the neighbouringMauritiusislands. Officials at the Malagasy Foreign Affairs Ministry declined to comment, saying they were yet to receive notice fromLondon. Moreover, the Malagasy embassy inLondon– serving the UK, Finland, Denmark, and Ireland– had been transferred toParisfollowing a decision taken by the national authority in January for economic reasons.