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Ravalomanana: I just want to go back home

12th December 2012
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President Jakaya Kikwete sees off former Madagascar President Marc Ravaromanana shortly after talks at State House in Dar es Salaam yesterday. (Photo: Omar Fungo)

Ousted President of Madagascar, Marc Ravalomanana has said he is ready to return to his homeland and would not vie for the presidential elections to be held next year.

Ravalomanana was overthrown by President Andy Rajoelina in 2009 and is currently exiled in South Africa.

Speaking to editors in Dar es Salaam yesterday, Ravalomanana said he has lived in exile for a long time and now wants to return to his country to cooperate with other people in building the nation.

He was accompanied by President Jakaya Kikwete who is the chairperson of SADC’s political, defense and security committee (Troika).

“I have relatives in Madagascar, many of who I have not seen for a long time. I need to join them and live a peaceful life,” he said.

He declared that upon his return he would not participate in politics or contest in the coming Presidential election scheduled to be held in May next year.

“I was a businessman before engaging in politics and then becoming President, but now I want to return to my normal life,” he said.

Returning home is one of the conditions set by the SADC security meeting which was held recently in Dar es Salaam and chaired by President Kikwete.

In a joint communiqué, the SADC instructed the Madagascar government to allow Ravalomanana to return to his country without any condition.

The SADC meeting also instructed the Madagascar government to provide him with enough security when he goes back.

Ravalomanana said he respected the decision taken by the SADC Troika and he wants to return back and help improve peace and security.

“I trust SADC and I am sure that they would do what has been agreed in order to bring development to our country,” he said.

For his part President Kikwete said the Troika decided at a summit that Ravalomanana should be allowed to return to Madagascar from exile in South Africa.

But they also decided that neither he nor the man who ousted him, the current self-appointed leader should run for president in next year’s elections.

“The main idea was to make sure that we create conducive environment, bring peace and harmony so that no violence occurs during the elections,” he said.

President Kikwete said SADC want to help the country and its people lead a normal life.

“We have instructed the Madagascar government to provide him with security, contrary to that we will guarantee him with security,” he said.

President Kikwete has promised to meet with the President Rajoelina to tell him resolution passed by SADC members.

Last week SADC meeting in Dar es Salaam discussed among other things, deteriorating political developments in the DR Congo, Zimbabwe and Madagascar.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN