Southern Africa Weekly Report (10 to 16 September 2013)
According to the media, SADC has rejected Marc Ravalomanana’s request to postpone the 25 October presidential elections. SADC did however recommend that Ravalomanana be allowed to return to Madagascar unconditionally.
Out of the 33 presidential candidates, 22 refused to sign a charter drawn up by the "Filankevitra Fampihavanana Malagasy" (The Council of Reconciliation of the transition), which called on presidential candidates to respect and observe calm before, during, and after the vote.
The signing of the charter took place on 12 September 2013.
The heads of security forces met on 12 September to discuss election security. They committed to take all necessary measures to ensure the elections are peaceful, even if the required funding is not received. However, the Commander of the gendarmerie (local police) said that the gendarmerie cannot provide personal security to the presidential candidates due to a lack of capacity and the need to remain neutral.
The National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) has been activated. Its main role is the monitoring of the overall drought response.
It is still unclear when the Emergency Response Plan, which is to be led by Government with support from humanitarian partners, will be adopted. However, the Government continues to distribute food, despite some logistical constraints. The biggest challenge remains the issue of water stress for livestock and human consumption.
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.