C O N F I D E N T I A L ABUJA 001849
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/20/2012
TAGS: PREL PGOV MA NI LI OAU
SUBJECT: NIGERIA RESPONDS TO MADAGASCAR DEMARCHE
REF: A. STATE 119427
Â¶B. ADDIS ABABA 2193
CLASSIFIED BY CDA ANDREWS. REASON: 1.5(B)
Â¶1. (C) Summary: Nigeria dislikes the way Ravalomanana came
to power but likely will not oppose acceptance of his rule.
Nigeria is not a member of the OAU Central Organ. End
Â¶2. (C) Because all GON officials (Presidency and MFA) able
to discuss Madagascar were unavailable June 20, CDA could not
make ref A demarche until June 21. MFA Under Secretary for
Africa Femi George took essentially the same position as
Ethiopian State Minister for Foreign Affairs Tekeda (ref B).
Clearly unhappy with Ravalomanana, George said, inter alia:
-- Ravalomanana had "committed an illegality in the face of
-- The "OAU Convention cannot be set aside just because we
-- "He should not have taken power by force; he should have
exhausted the Constitutional process."
Â¶3. (C) George went on to assert that the OAU was trying to
examine how to contend with the fact that Ravalomanana now
controlled 80% of Madagascar. Taking on board our point
about Ratsiraka's departure, George opined that, as a result
of this action, "we would probably see some movement" in
Addis. While Nigeria was not a member of the OAU Central
Organ and not directly involved in the discussions, it was
possible that consultations were taking place at the Head of
Â¶4. (C) Comment: George also alluded to fighting in Liberia,
worrying that whatever decision the OAU took might set a
precedent that would affect Liberia, much closer to home and
more central to Nigeria's foreign policy than Madagascar.
Given Nigeria's importance on the continent, it is unlikely
that Nigeria is not being consulted. Despite his lengthy
expression of annoyance at Ravalomanana's rise to power by
means other than a clearly Constitutional transfer of power,
George indicated that Nigeria would not block an eventual
acceptance of his government.