Southern Africa leaders to meet March 30 on Madagascar

andry_rajoelina.jpgAndry Rajoelina Southern African leaders will meet on March 30 in Cape Town to discuss the political crisis in Madagascar and economic aid for Zimbabwe, South Africa's foreign ministry said Sunday.

The 15-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC) has refused
to recognise Andry Rajoelina as Madagascar’s new president after the
army swept him to power last week, and threatened to impose sanctions
on his government.

SADC’s executive secretary Tomaz Salamao was sent to the vast island
nation this weekend to see what action can be taken to restore
constitutional order.

South African foreign ministry spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa told the SAPA
news agency that the summit would consider sanctions against Rajoelina
and the people who helped bring him topple president Marc Ravalomanana.

The leaders will also consider proposals to help Zimbabwe’s economic
recovery, after the new unity government asked its neighbours for two
billion dollars (1.5 billion euros) in loans and aid.

Zimbabwe’s long-time President Robert Mugabe and the new Finance
Minister Tendai Biti last week laid out an economic recovery plan that
will require a total of five billion dollars in aid.

An International Monetary Fund team is also due to wrap up a two-week
mission to Zimbabwe on Monday, as the unity government seeks to return
to the global lenders’ good books after years of estrangement.

Africasia/Agence France Presse (AFP)

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