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POLITICS – [INTERVIEW EXCLUSIVE] – MADAGASCAR – Fanirisoa Ernaivo, a politician and activist committed to the rule of law and respect for democracy

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Fanirisoa Ernaivo is a Malagasy politician. Candidate in the 2018 presidential election, she is president of the (RMDM Diaspora Rassemblement militant pour la Démocratie à Madagascar) an opposition platform that brings together members of the opposition and Malagasy members of the diaspora. Currently exiled in France, very committed, it fights for the establishment of the rule of law in Madagascar, the strengthening of democracy, the consolidation of good governance, economic development and the eradication of corruption. According to her, “The problem for African leaders is corruption that makes them unable to make the right decisions. Political honesty means thinking first of your country before thinking of your own family, your personal interests, your private interests, but rather of the general interest.” Ze-AfricaNews went to meet him for this exclusive interview.

Ze-Africanews: Hello Mrs Fanirisoa Ernaivo, can you introduce yourself?
Fanirisoa Ernaivo: My name is Fanirisoa Ernaivo, former president of the union of magistrates of Madagascar. I was also a candidate in the 2018 presidential elections in Madagascar and currently I am president of an opposition platform called RMDM Diaspora Rally for Democracy in Madagascar and which brings together the diaspora from abroad.

Ze-Africanews: In 2018, you ran for president in Madagascar? For what purpose?
Fanirisoa Ernaivo: There was a project around but mostly to make my contribution to good governance and the rule of law in my country.

Ze-Africanews: How did the elections go?
Fanirisoa Ernaivo: Like all elections in Africa.Elections in Madagascar were full of frauds.Normally in some countries, we suspect that there was fraud, we imagine how it happened, in our country, we have, I, with a whole team, we were able to discover, the evidence of fraud perpetrated during these elections in 2018 and therefore; we gathered all the evidence, we had documents authenticated by bailiffs by the National Independent Electoral Commission of Madagascar, we presented them before the high constitutional court which also served as electoral courts, but all this was rejected.

The exclusive full interview to watch here:

Ze-Africanews: With your candidacy as a woman, how have you been welcomed by the Malagasy?
Fanirisoa Ernaivo: Malagasy people have always known men in the presidency, but before the colonization, there were queens in Madagascar, it was a monarchy. So there were queens who ruled Madagascar. I think that the Malagasy population is not too reluctant to have a woman in charge of the state.Decision-making was especially difficult enough to juggle between a professional and a political career. You had to choose between the two, that was rather the dilemma, to stand by your professional career to enter a political career.

Ze-Africanews: How did your colleagues in the judiciary react to your participation in the presidential election and the consequences it has had in your life?
Fanirisoa Ernaivo: My fellow magistrates, there are some who have understood and others who have not understood especially at the level of the intellectual class. In Madagascar, intellectuals were not encouraged to enter politics and that is a shame because since then, we have been governed by people who were not graduates.We’ve had DJs, actually it’s an old wild record.I think it’s also time that the intellectuals really take the lead in order to have governments of technicians not only of politicians but of technicians who each know their respective fields to be able to bring out this country of 60 years of stagnation and regression in poverty. It is a pity for a country full of natural resources like Madagascar where there are huge economic, demographic and land potential that can still be developed to advance the country.

Ze-Africanews: What concrete actions are you taking here in France to help your country?
Fanirisoa Ernaivo: Since I arrived in France, we have set up with some associations that share the same ideologies as us, with which we already have a wish for good governance for Madagascar, a wish to see our country come out of misery, a wish to be proud of an emerging country. We have found that this country cannot get away with bad governance from a regime that has no legitimacy.

Ze-Africanews: Tell us about your platform?
Fanirisoa Ernaivo: We are in a platform of opposition of the regime in Madagascar. It’s the Militant Rally for Democracy in Madagascar. This platform brings together political associations, Malagasy citizens, there are also supporters of other nationalities who join our cause and support us in our actions.Since 2019, we have taken steps to denounce and frame the democratic excesses, abuses of bad governance perpetrated by the government and exacerbated by the pandemic crisis and currently exacerbated by climate change. Because we all know that in Madagascar, part of the south of the country is suffering from drought and famine. We sensitized the Malagasy but also the international to take all our responsibility with regard to what is happening because especially the state which has a large part of responsibility in governance, to govern is to provide, it was necessary to provide that these peoplethere were going to be starvation.

Fanirisoa Ernaivo – Politician

Ze-Africanews: What are your proposals to combat this failure?
Fanirisoa Ernaivo: Already for Madagascar we would have to have leaders truly elected in a credible electoral system. Secondly, the rule of law, good governance can only be established by an effective rule of law in a country, it does not exist in Madagascar. As long as there is impunity among the leaders, as long as there is no recognition of the fundamental rights of the population that should be enshrined in the constitution, there will be no development possible. And so these two things are the first fundamental bases of solution in Madagascar. A credible and transparent election free of fraud in a redesigned electoral system. An effective rule of law by talking about the law as a fight against impunity and the right recognized to the citizens and the Malagasy population but not only the rights of the leaders and also a collective awareness of the intellectuals who must now work to to move this country forward and not leave this country in the hands of the only politicians who have no other training than to occupy political positions.

Ze-Africanews: How do you organise your events in Paris?
Fanirisoa Ernaivo: There have been many demonstrations since last year. Concerning denunciations for the construction of a colosseum in a national heritage. There are currently demonstrations against Kiré, famine in the south and they are also being held in other cities in France and in conjunction with the RMDN Diaspora de la Réunion and other European cities. Knowing that we are in Switzerland, in Germany, in Belgium also at the Reunion, in the United States, in several European countries of Africa, in Saudi Arabia and in Asia. So the ideal would be to do simultaneous demonstrations in all these places at the same time but it would be yet another organization.

Ze-Africanews: Do you have a message to send?
Fanirisoa Ernaivo: The message I would like to convey to the Malagasy people in general and also for the African youth is that we should not wait for others to do it. Everyone should take responsibility, each in his own way and in his own little bubble, we must dare to step out of his comfort zone, to help move our country forward. And this is for the African diaspora. We can’t just stay in our adopted countries but think about doing something in politics in this country to move it forward, because you can’t wait for the people in this country to do it, and you’ll wait another 60 years to see that nothing has been done, to see that the country has regressed. So I would like to take the example of the Rwanda of Angola of Ethiopia, which went through periods that touched the bottom but managed to get up because there was a collective awareness. You have to tell yourself now, we have to make sure that we take our country to heart and bring it to the concert of nations so that we know a pride of belonging to our country as Malagasy as an African and as an emerging country that we have more to say to each other because of the colonization, it is because of this, it is because of this, but we have taken our responsibilities and we continue to do so. There will be pitfalls, there will be difficulties, there will be disappointments, there will be betrayals, there will also be joys, there will be encouragement but in any case, we will manage to align ourselves, we will manage to get out of our torpor of misery. We will be able to do something good and put our country where it should be. To add to that, I would also say to anyone who wants to get into politics the first thing is to have honesty and integrity. The problem for African leaders is corruption, which means that they can no longer make the right decisions because of what they have done as corruptions, and that honesty is to think first of the country before thinking of its family, to his private interests, to his private interests but to think of the general interest, by saying that what I am going to build today, it will remain for generations and I and my children will be able to enjoy it. That is what would make a good policy in Africa rather than thinking here, I am going to take this sum which will make me three generations sheltered from need while it would have negative impacts on the future of the country as it is currently happening. By selling everything that is for sale in the country instead of making them grow for the nation and being able to benefit everyone.

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A LA UNE

MALI – Musician Salif Keita appointed Councilor Head of the Junta

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Malian music star Salif Keïta has been appointed advisor to the head of the junta, Colonel Assimi Goïta, says a decree issued Monday, August 14, 2023.

The artist is part of a list of five people named “special advisers” to the Malian head of state, says the decree dated August 11. The text does not specify the role of Salif Keïta.

The great name of afropop and World Music, Salif Keïta, 73, also stands out for his political commitment and, since the advent of the colonels following a putsch in 2020, for his support of the junta.

He was appointed one week after the announcement of his resignation from an assembly set up by the military as a legislative body.

“I will always remain the undisputed friend of the military of my country,” he said in his letter of resignation read in the gallery.

Mr. Keïta publicly expressed his support for the sovereignty discourse of the authorities. He openly called a few months ago for the departure of the UN peacekeeping mission (MINUSMA), since officially announced by the UN Security Council.

Since 2012, Mali has been plagued by jihadist expansion and a deep multidimensional crisis. Violence from the north has spread to central Burkina Faso and neighbouring Niger.

Salif Keita et Assimi Goïta
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SENEGAL – Investigative journalist arrested!

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Senegalese investigative journalist Pape Alé Niang was arrested on 6 November at his home and taken into police custody. He is the director of the news site Dakar Matin critique du pouvoir in Senegal. Pape Alé Niang is a journalist famous for his regular chronicles of the news that Senegalese listen to.

Collateral damage on collateral damage! The «Sweat Beauty» case has not finished creating surprises. For this umpteenth arrest, it is around investigative journalist Pape Alé Niang to pay the costs, he was arrested on Sunday, November 6 and detained at the central police station of Dakar. He is accused of having an investigation report from the gendarmerie on the file between the pastef leader Ousmane Sonko and masseuse Adji Sarr. According to one of his lawyers, Mr Ciré Clédor Ly, the police arrested him on the orders of the Public Prosecutor.

In addition, a videographer from the Buur News website on behalf of Fatou Dione was the victim of “police violence” on Saturday, 5 November during a banned demonstration in Dakar. She “fainted when the police came to evacuate her with unprecedented brutality”. This demonstration was the initiative of a collective formed especially of activists. They demanded the release of “political detainees” most of whom are close to the opposition.

About 20 arrests took place during the demonstration and the arrested persons are still detained according to the local press.
Senegal is ranked 73rd out of 180 countries in the 2022 World Press Freedom Index compiled by the NGO Reporters Without Borders.

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A LA UNE

IVORY COAST – Alpha Blondy supports Nathalie Yamb: “Nathalie Yamb is for us a calming factor that helps us rebuild”

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It is through a video of more than five minutes that the international reggae artist Alpha Blondy spoke on his facebook page this Saturday, November 4, 2022. He ruled on France’s decision to ban Nathalie Yam on its territory because of her hostile ideas towards the metropolis, according to the French authorities. The Ivorian singer did not go there with half words: “In France there are people who despise us, who speak ill of Africans, who insult us with their insolence, their arrogance… They have the right, but why not Nathalie Yamb. It’s not fair! It’s worse than FrançAfrique. Get your act together, let’s get our act together; let’s not push people to make decisions like the Algerians do: “the suitcase or the coffin”. For us, Nathalie Yamb is a sedative that helps us rebuild! Africa needs it! This economic slavery, this slavery, has only lasted too long, it must stop! Mr. Macron, please correct the tire, please! Thank you. I’m Alpha Blondy.”

The transcript of his full message can be read here:
I would like to speak today about the sanction taken by the French government against my sister Nathalie Yamb. I find that unfair and illegal for a country like France where there is freedom of expression. Nathalie Yamb has the right as an African to defend her continent and her people, a people that needs to be rebuilt. Nathalie Yamb is among those who are rebuilding the African mentality that has been deconstructed for more than 5 centuries, I am not talking about Arab-Muslim slavery, so we are going towards 1200 years.

When Charlie Hebdo was a victim of what we all saw, you took steps to defend freedom of expression, so why doesn’t Nathalie have the right to defend her people, to help her people regain confidence in themselves, to have a little dignity, To call the heads of state to raise their heads even if they are victims of false blackmail.

She is right that Mali has the right to choose its friends. It is not up to France to dictate to French-speaking African countries which ones they must attend or not. Your history with Russia is none of our business, we don’t have to follow your lead. Mali is an African country and Nathalie Yamb is an African who speaks to Africans. When she criticizes Alassane Ouattara, it is her right as an African to speak to her African brother. When she criticizes Mr. Macky Sall, she also has the right to criticize…. Nathalie Yamb has the right to say what she says and you don’t have the right to forbid her to go to France, don’t push too hard. We need her words, it heals us! It heals our wounds. We must not gag her. She did not say to attack the embassies of France, she told the Africans that to take dignity, to take a thickness, she has the right to say that.

In France there are people who despise us, who speak ill of Africans, who insult us with their insolence, their arrogance… They have the right, but why not Nathalie Yamb. It’s not fair! I would like to ask Mr. Macron, you said that FrançAfrique is over, but what is this story about bagging Nathalie Yamb? It’s worse than FrançAfrique. Get your act together, get our act together! Let us not push people to make decisions like Algerians do: “the suitcase or the coffin”. For us, Nathalie Yamb is a sedative that helps us rebuild! Africa needs it! This economic slavery, this slavery, has only lasted too long, it must stop! Mr. Macron, please correct the tire, please! Thank you. I’m Alpha Blondy.

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