AU lifts Madagascar membership suspension

Source:Xinhua Published: 2014-1-27 18:34:10

The African Union (AU ) lifted the suspension of Madagascar's membership on Monday morning after Hery Rajoanarimampianina elected the president of the Indian Ocean island country in December to end the crisis since late 2008.

Rajoanarimampianina has received de facto invitation to the 22nd summit of the pan-African bloc set for Thursday and Friday in the headquarters in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, a Malagasy diplomat told Xinhua on Monday.

Two days after the presidential inauguration of Rajoanarimampianina, who won the Dec. 20 polls, the AU made the decision at a special meeting of its Council for Peace and Security.

The AU imposed the sanction on the grounds of "unconstitutional change" after March 2009, when Andry Rajoelina, former mayor of the capital Antananarivo, replaced the then president, Marc Ravalomanana, with the backing of the military. Ravalomanana has been in exile in South Africa.

Sources close to the AU also disclosed that the new president of transition of Central African Republic, Catherine Samba-Panza, who was elected last week by the National Transitional Council (interim parliament), has not received the same privilege of invitation for the time being to the summit.

The AU suspended Central African Republic after Djotodia Michel headed rebel Seleka to power in March 2013. Michel stepped down at an extraordinary summit of the Economic Community of Central African States held in Chad from Jan. 9 to 10.

He was held responsible for failing to stop violence after seizing power in a coup on March 24, 2013 and then headed an 18- month transition.

"The new Central African Republic President should be invited," one of observers on the scene said.

A meeting of AU foreign ministers is held in the run-up to the summit with a theme of "Agriculture and food security."

Posted in: Africa

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