The foreign minister was sacked after voting against Russia at the United Nations

An imbroglio at the apex of Malagasy diplomacy. Foreign Minister Richard Randriamandrado was fired on Tuesday, October 18, for deciding to vote in favor of the condemnation resolution. “Russia’s Illicit Connections in Ukraine” On October 12, the UN Since the beginning of the war, Madagascar, like other African countries, has always chosen to stay out of anti-Russian referendum resolutions, camped firmly in a neutral position.

The reversal made last week immediately raised questions in Antananarivo, and the hypothesis of a solo attempt by the minister – without the approval of the head of state Andriy Rajolina – was put forward. Madagascar Express, one of the country’s leading daily newspapers. The newspaper prompted an initial instruction ordering abstentions in the referendum, and then, minutes before the vote, an order condemning Russian links to Malagasy ambassadors in New York. Questioned by RFI on Wednesday, Mr. Rundriamandrado “” took this decision in [s]We are Soul and Conscience »Without “By voting like this, the welfare of the nation is at risk.”.

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The minister, who was to head a delegation expected in Paris on November 2 and 3, however, denied anything in a telephone conversation we had the day before resuming discussions on the future of the scattered islands. “confusion” And promised to vote “The Will of the Government and the President”. “We cannot ignore the military escalation that has been in the works for months, and condemn Russia for failing to respect the principle of territorial integrity by annexing four regions in the east of Ukraine. This is incompatible with our own diplomatic approach, which will, in a few days, lead us to Paris to demand the reinstatement of the scattered islands. under Malagasy sovereignty”, Mr. had justified Randriamandrado. In its dispute with Paris, Madagascar insists that a 1979 United Nations resolution expressly invokes France. “Reunited” A string of lands located on the Mozambique Channel under Malagasy sovereignty.

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equilibrium position

However, this decision, according to him, does not call Madagascar’s neutrality into question: “We have not moved away from a neutral position on the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which is far from our direct and daily concerns for us. We are 10,000 kilometers from the region. Facing the demands of both the EU and Russia, we must face it: these are primarily Europe’s problems. , but not the problems of Africa or Madagascar. Of course, we are suffering the consequences of shortages that promise to be increasingly difficult on wheat, fuel and other raw materials. »

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Did Andriy Rajolina face a breakdown, or did she approve this balancing act before being forced to overrule her minister under pressure from Russia? It’s hard to decide. One thing is certain: the face-off is taking place against the backdrop of rapprochement with Moscow, with the signing of a military cooperation agreement in the spring, a promise to cancel bilateral debt and renewed support from the Kremlin, among other things. On the demand for the recovery of the scattered islands. Russian influence is far from satisfying Western donors on whom Madagascar depends and Mr. Randriamandrato wanted to put it in perspective during our interview: “I do not turn Russia into an obsession, or its presence in Madagascar is not a threat. I deny the idea that Russia will have a certain influence in our country, especially in its political life. » Is it wrong?

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