CrisisWatch

Tracking Conflict Worldwide

CrisisWatch is our global conflict tracker, an early warning tool designed to help prevent deadly violence. It keeps decision-makers up-to-date with developments in over 70 conflicts and crises every month, identifying trends and alerting them to risks of escalation and opportunities to advance peace. In addition, CrisisWatch monitors over 50 situations (“standby monitoring”) to offer timely information if developments indicate a drift toward violence or instability. Entries dating back to 2003 provide easily searchable conflict histories.

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December 2023

Africa

Madagascar

Top court confirmed President Rajoelina’s re-election for third term as opposition insisted it will not recognise result.

High Constitutional Court 1 Dec validated re-election in November polls of President Rajoelina, who was sworn in for third term 16 Dec. Collective of 11 opposition candidates 1 Dec once again rejected election results and called for national protest movement, and 8 Dec announced creation of “crisis unit” aimed at coordinating nationwide action. Police 11 Dec detained prominent journalist Gascar Fenosoa and opposition politician Christian Tabera for allegedly inciting police mutiny during 4 Dec TV interview. Antananarivo court 13 Dec gave senior opposition party official Ny Riana Randriamasinoro two-year suspended sentence for participating in unauthorised demonstration before election. Rajoelina sworn in 16 Dec; ahead of inauguration ceremony, authorities banned protests in capital.

 

November 2023

Africa

Madagascar

Political tensions escalated as opposition boycotted presidential election and rejected incumbent President Rajoelina’s win amid crackdown on protests; authorities accused army officers of inciting rebellion.

Opposition parties rejected results of presidential election held on 16 Nov. Electoral commission 25 Nov announced provisional results of presidential poll, with Rajoelina winning 59% of votes and turnout just over 46%. Collective of ten opposition candidates rejected results, claimed election saw lowest voter turnout on record at roughly 20%; at least one opposition candidate in following days lodged appeal with High Constitutional Court to have election annulled.

Security forces clashed with opposition protesters amid calls for election boycott. Ahead of election, police wielding tear gas and stun grenades 4 Nov dispersed opposition-led protest in Antananarivo, arresting 11 people and leaving around 20 injured. Security forces 8 Nov arrested opposition lawmaker Fetra Ralambozafimbololona at demonstration in Antananarivo, sparking violent clashes with protesters which left 16 people injured. President of National Assembly Christine Razanamahasoa 9 Nov endorsed opposition collective’s demand to postpone election and hold consultations on electoral rules, citing procedural irregularities and ongoing unrest. Interim govt next day condemned “attempted institutional coup” by Razanamahasoa. Collective of ten opposition candidates 13 Nov called on voters to boycott presidential election, denouncing “unbearable” actions of electoral commission, top court and incumbent President Rajoelina. Authorities imposed nightly curfew in capital Antananarivo on eve of presidential vote.

Army warned against destabilisation attempt after plot allegations. Country’s top prosecutor 28 Nov said two senior army officers had been detained and charged with “threatening state security” for allegedly inciting soldiers to mutiny ahead of election. Army next day warned against any attempt to destabilise country, said army committed to respecting election’s outcome.

October 2023

Africa

Madagascar

Authorities violently dispersed opposition rallies denouncing govt interference in electoral process; political tensions could rise further and fuel violence around mid-November presidential election.

Opposition protests left two presidential candidates injured. Opposition coalition of 11 presidential candidates in Oct continued to protest to denounce lack of level playing field and demand disqualification of incumbent President Rajoelina from presidential race, saying he holds dual citizenship. Police and soldiers 2 and 7 Oct dispersed opposition rallies in capital Antananarivo with tear gas and rubber bullets, reportedly leaving opposition presidential candidates Andry Raobelina and Marc Ravalomanana injured. Amid unrest, High Constitutional Court (HCC) 12 Oct ordered one-week postponement of first round of presidential election to 16 Nov. Opposition demonstrations continued on almost daily basis until month’s end.

Tensions engulfed ruling party. Senate President Herimanana Razafimahefa 9 Oct said he had renounced interim presidency in Sept under pressure from govt officials, including death threats. In extraordinary session, ruling party-dominated senate 12 Oct voted to dismiss Razafimahefa on grounds of “mental deficiency”. Razafimahefa same day referred decision to HCC, which 28 Oct rejected appeal; HCC same day named new Senate President Richard Ravalomanana as interim president, reversing previous decision to put PM Christian Ntsay at head of “collegiate govt”. Collective of opposition candidates called Ravalomanana’s installation “very serious breach of the Constitution”. National Assembly President Christine Razanamahasoa 17 Oct highlighted “democratic backsliding”, calling for action from international community to prevent “internecine war”; colleagues in ruling party immediately denounced her remarks.

International community expressed concern over deteriorating political climate. UN Human Rights Office 10 Oct warned of “deteriorating human rights situation” in lead-up to presidential election, saying security forces used “unnecessary and disproportionate force” against peaceful opposition protesters. In joint statement, EU, U.S. and other govts 16 Oct expressed “worry” over “tense political climate”.

September 2023

Africa

Madagascar

Opposition accused President Rajoelina of “institutional coup” in run-up to November presidential election.

Rajoelina 6 Sept announced he will run for re-election in presidential election scheduled for 9 Nov. Opposition parties 8 Sept filed three constitutional challenges to Rajoelina’s candidacy, relating to controversy over his citizenship status. High Constitutional Court (HCC) 9 Sept rejected appeals, confirmed Rajoelina and 12 others as presidential candidates. Rajoelina same day resigned to contest presidential election, as required by constitution. HCC in following days said presidential powers would now be exercised by govt collectively with PM Christian Ntsay as head, after Senate president, Herimanana Razafimahefa (intended interim head of state by law) declined to assume presidential powers citing “personal reasons”. In joint letter to electoral commission, 10 presidential candidates 12 Sept denounced move as “institutional coup” intended to give Rajoelina undue advantages in Nov election; all 10 candidates 22 Sept met with HCC magistrates to discuss matter. Meanwhile, in joint communique, eight countries and international organisations, including EU and U.S., 19 Sept vowed “greatest vigilance” during electoral preparations.

June 2019

Africa

Madagascar

Electoral commission 15 June released provisional results of 27 May legislative elections: of 151 seats, President Rajoelina’s coalition Isika Rehetra Miaraka amin’i Andry Rajoelina won 78 and leading opposition party Tiako i Madagasikara (TIM) of former President Marc Ravalomanana won seventeen; turnout reportedly low at 31%. TIM 31 May denounced campaign irregularities. Police 8 June arrested 27 soldiers accused of killing three civilians same day in extortion attempt in Ambohimahasoa area; soldiers reportedly threatened magistrates handling case.

April 2019

Africa

Madagascar

President Rajoelina 21 April scheduled referendum on whether to change constitution, disband senate and give more powers to regions for 27 May, same day as legislative election, but in face of opposition from judiciary and opposition parties he 26 April postponed referendum without setting new date.

February 2019

Africa

Madagascar

National Assembly 1 Feb passed law enabling President Rajoelina, elected in Dec, to legislate by decree until election of new parliament on grounds that existing parliament’s mandate would end 5 Feb; date of parliamentary polls not yet fixed. Parliament 5 Feb confirmed law in final session. Opposition MPs close to former President Ravalomanana, defeated in Dec polls, denounced break in separation of powers.

January 2019

Africa

Madagascar

Following victory of former President Andry Rajoelina in Dec presidential run-off elections, thousands of supporters of his opponent former President Marc Ravalomanana 2 Jan protested alleged voting fraud in capital Antananarivo; police fired tear gas to disperse them. High Constitutional Court 8 Jan confirmed Rajoelina as winner, rejecting Ravalomanana’s appeal for cancellation of results. Rajoelina sworn in as president 19 Jan.

December 2018

Africa

Madagascar

Electoral commission 27 Dec declared former President Andry Rajoelina winner of 19 Dec presidential run-off vote with 55.66% of vote, beating former President Marc Ravalomanana who garnered 44.34%. Ravalomanana’s team filed complaint with High Constitutional Court asking for cancellation of results, even though he had previously said he would accept results. Some 2,000 Ravalomanana supporters 29 Dec protested in capital Antananarivo, demanding recount.

November 2018

Africa

Madagascar

In 7 Nov presidential elections, no candidate won more than 50% of vote needed for victory in first round; candidates who won most votes, former presidents Andry Rajoelina (39.19%) and Marc Ravalomanana (35.29%), to compete in run-off vote set for 19 Dec. Incumbent President Rajaonarimampianina won 8.84%. Rajoelina and Ravalomanana alleged fraud and malpractice by election authorities. Independent National Electoral Commission and monitoring missions of regional bloc South African Development Community and European Union rejected allegations, saying no major irregularities took place.

October 2018

Africa

Madagascar

Campaigning for 7 Nov presidential elections officially began 8 Oct. 36 candidates competing, including former Presidents Ravalomanana and Rajoelina whom incumbent President Rajaonarimampianina unsuccessfully attempted to block from running in April-May 2018. Unidentified groups 10 and 12 Oct tried to disrupt Rajaonarimampianina’s rallies. African Union 23 Oct said it would send election observers.

May 2018

Africa

Madagascar

Following opposition protests in April against new electoral laws, which critics claim were intended to prevent some opposition candidates including former Presidents Ravalomanana and Rajoelina from running in late 2018 presidential elections, High Court 3 May declared laws unconstitutional. Opposition 4 May reiterated call for President Rajaonarimampianina to resign. Rajaonarimampianina 12 May approved new law lifting provision that would have prevented Ravalomanana and Rajoelina from standing. High Constitutional Court 25 May ordered Rajaonarimampianina to dissolve govt and by 2 June appoint new PM with backing of all parties and thereafter appoint govt that reflects parties in parliament.

April 2018

Africa

Madagascar

Opposition supporters 21-24 April protested in capital Antananarivo against new electoral laws they claim are designed to prevent opposition candidate and former Presidents Ravalomanana and Rajoelina from running in late-2018 presidential elections; two protesters died in confrontations with police. Opposition activists 24 April called on President Rajaonarimampianina to resign.

June 2016

Africa

Madagascar

Grenade attack 26 June in stadium in Antananarivo during Independence Day celebrations killed two and injured 84; President Rajaonarimampianina blamed attack on “political divergences”. Opposition senator René Lylison, under arrest warrant for threats to state security, early-June denied charges.

May 2016

Africa

Madagascar

Rumours of imminent coup persisted throughout May despite appointment of new army and police chiefs to keep in check alleged seditious groups in security forces. Opposition Senator René Lylison 23 May called for general strike to protest govt’s poor governance; call not heeded but security forces next day dispersed protests in Antananarivo.

April 2016

Africa

Madagascar

Presidency 8 April announced resignation of PM Jean Ravelonarivo and cabinet, following months of tension between PM and President Rajaonarimampianina. Rajaonarimampianina 11 April appointed interior minister and ruling party loyalist Olivier Mahafaly Solonandrasana as PM. Mahafaly 15 April named 32-member cabinet including over 60% new members.

January 2016

Africa

Madagascar

Constitutional Court (HCC) 22 Jan published results of 29 Dec senatorial elections; ruling New Forces for Madagascar (HVM) won landslide victory with 34 of 42 seats. Elections allow for first establishment of Senate since its dissolution following 2009 coup. Opposition criticised results and appealed to HCC to annul vote over fraud allegations; HCC rejected appeals.

December 2015

Africa

Madagascar

Senatorial elections held peacefully 29 Dec; electoral commission reported high voter turnout. Administrative tribunal tasked with assessing July municipal election results 18 Dec cancelled election results in Ifanaria community of Ikongo district amid ongoing review of communal poll results. Parliament 14 Dec passed 2016 budget despite initial opposition threats to vote against or boycott session.

November 2015

Africa

Madagascar

President Rajaonarimampianina 6 Nov said he would not reshuffle govt or dissolve parliament despite months of tension between parliament and executive, citing need for political stability. IMF 18 Nov approved $42mn loan.

October 2015

Africa

Madagascar

National Assembly 9 Oct passed bill to establish Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) composed of nine permanent members; CENI inaugurated 29 Oct. Opposition MAPAR coalition and VP-Malagasy Miara Miainga (VPMMM) boycotted vote, said proposed composition is anti-constitutional. PM Ravelonarivo 10 Oct announced plan to reform security sector.

September 2015

Africa

Madagascar

President Rajaonarimampianina and National Assembly deputies early Sept signed Pact of Responsibility intended to stabilise govt amid ongoing tensions: president agreed not to dissolve parliament, parliament agreed not to attack executive. Administrative tribunal tasked with assessing all municipal election disputes 17 Sept rejected all appeals, confirming electoral commission’s 11 Aug results.

August 2015

Africa

Madagascar

Electoral commission 11 Aug published results of 31 July municipal elections: ruling New Forces for Madagascar (HVM) won majority of mayoral races in rural areas; Tiako I Madagasikara (TIM) candidate and former first lady Lalao Ravalomanana won in Antananarivo. Former coup leader Andry Rajoelina’s TV and Radio Viva stations ransacked 7 Aug after his MAPAR party accused ruling HVM of electoral fraud. Electoral observers 6 Aug identified several problems with elections including untrained poll workers and voter list issues; some 800 appeal cases filed to Administrative Court.

July 2015

Africa

Madagascar

Over a hundred MPs 1 July filed motion of no confidence against Prime Minister Ravelonarivo’s govt for failing to resolve country’s socio-economic troubles, among other grievances; motion failed 3 July.

June 2015

Africa

Madagascar

Constitutional Court 13 June struck down parliament’s 26 May impeachment of President Rajaonarimampianina. Impeachment vote followed by crack-down on dissidents: interior ministry 4 June prohibited political gatherings. Police 8 June seized $65,000 from car of Lanto Rakotomanga, MP and ally of former coup leader Rajoelina, claimed money would be used to foster unrest; Rakotomanga’s lawyers insisted money was for political campaign.

May 2015

Africa

Madagascar

Parliament 26 May voted to dismiss President Rajaonarimampianina for alleged constitutional violations and incompetence following growing discontent among parliamentarians, with opposition accusing president of constitutional violations, including his threat to dissolve National Assembly. Constitutional Court set to rule on validity of dismissal of president. President 2 May announced former President Ravalomanana freed from house arrest. Armada opposition alliance and parties allied to former coup leader Andry Rajoelina 10 May raised motion in parliament to replace Independent National Electoral Commission of the Transition, arguing it should have been replaced after transition period ended. Rajoelina mid-May threatened to boycott 31 July municipal elections over disagreements on electoral preparations.

April 2015

Africa

Madagascar

Former President Ravalomanana 14 April withdrew from Malagasy Council of Churches (FFKM)-led reconciliation talks after being prevented from speaking at 11 April rally due to house arrest; 24 April announced return to talks following discussions with FFKM leaders. Talks resumed 28 April, only President Rajaonarimampianina and former Presidents Ratsiraka and Ravalomanana attended.

March 2015

Africa

Madagascar

Malagasy Council of Churches (FFKM)-led reconciliation talks held 20 March between former leaders Ravalomanana and Ratsiraka, and President Rajaonarimampianina; former coup leader Rajoelina and former President Zafy did not attend following their 19 Feb withdrawal from talks. Leaders present agreed to delay planned national reconciliation conference to 28 April. Opposition leader Alain Ramaroson arrested 28 March as security forces blocked planned protests in capital calling on govt to address living conditions, released 31 March.

February 2015

Africa

Madagascar

High Constitutional Court 12 Feb upheld President Rajaonarimampianina’s 15 Jan appointment of PM Jean Ravelonarivo following legal challenge by former coup leader Rajoelina. Rajoelina and former President Zafy 19 Feb withdrew from Malagasy Council of Churches (FFKM)-led reconciliation process; Rajoelina cited continued disagreement with PM appointment and lack of meaningful action toward reconciliation. FFKM 20 Feb insisted reconciliation process would continue with remaining former leaders and current president.

January 2015

Africa

Madagascar

Govt and PM Kolo’s long-expected 13 Jan resignation catalysed by deadly protests over power shortages; President Rajaonarimampianina 15 Jan named former air force commander Jean Ravelonarivo new PM. Former coup leader Rajoelina 16 Jan issued court challenge, alleging appointment anti-constitutional. Second reconciliation meeting between current President and former presidents Zafy, Ratsiraka, Ravalomana and Rajoelina held 13 Jan, little progress.

December 2014

Africa

Madagascar

President Rajaonarimampianina and former presidents Zafy, Ratsiraka, Ravalomanana and Rajoelina 19 Dec met for reconciliation talks led by Malagasy Christian Council of Churches (FFKM). Despite ongoing tensions, Ravalomanana allowed home under house arrest 24 Dec. Following talks president also pardoned three political prisoners 25 Dec. Next reconciliation meeting planned 13 Jan.

November 2014

Africa

Madagascar

Former presidents including Andry Rajoelina, Marc Ravalomanana, and current President Rajaonarimampianina agreed to national reconciliation following Ravalomanana’s controversial return to country last month; Ravalomanana remains in custody. President Rajaonarimampianina 20 Nov said he would take reconciliation lead; other parties disagreed. Process has been unable to secure input of Rajoelina, who mid-Nov said reconciliation must follow justice.

October 2014

Africa

Madagascar

Former President Ravalomanana “secretly” returned 12 Oct after five years exile, signalled intent to challenge legitimacy of President Rajaonarimampianina’s administration. AU, SADC condemned return as reckless, reiterated support for Rajaonarimampianina, reconciliation. Govt forces detained Ravalomanana, reportedly for own protection; crackdown on public demonstrations, police 18 Oct used tear gas to disperse pro-Ravalomanana.

September 2014

Africa

Madagascar

Electoral Commission 11 Sept postponed 2014 local elections citing “insufficient legal framework”, prompting civil society discontent. Three former ministers arrested early Sept for alleged corruption while in office. Several opposition parties 6 Sept signed coalition charter. 36 cattle rustlers killed mid-Sept in clashes with security forces and villagers in southern Amboasary district.

August 2014

Africa

Madagascar

Tensions continued over former President Ravalomanana’s desire to return from exile and President Rajaonarimampianina’s refusal. After arrests of journalists late July, civil society organisations early Aug warned of new cyber law prohibiting insult and defamation of state representative. 15 killed in mid-Aug clashes between armed cattle rustlers and security forces in southern Amboasary district.

July 2014

Africa

Madagascar

PM Kolo 3 July declared 40% of budget lost to corruption, promised reforms. Reassembled Tiako I Madagasikara (TIM) opposition party pushed for return of former President Marc Ravalomanana; return reportedly opposed by President Hery Rajaonarimampianina. 2 journalists arrested 23 July for alleged defamation of minister, 50 journalists same day led protest in Antananarivo; journalists released 25 July.

June 2014

Africa

Madagascar

Inter-communal violence continued in southern Amboasary district, thousands displaced; govt 7 June officially launched “coup d’arrêt” security operation against cattle rustlers. Dispute between opposition parties over status in parliament and nomination of opposition leader continued.

May 2014

Africa

Madagascar

Inter-communal clashes fuelled by cattle rustling early to mid-month killed 22 and displaced 3,000 in southern Amboasary district; additional security forces deployed. MAPAR coalition still divided over role in opposition; 23 May elected former president Andry Rajoelina as leader. IMF, World Bank, EU, U.S. announced full resumption of development assistance.

April 2014

Africa

Madagascar

President Rajaonarimampianina 11 April ap- pointed relatively unknown, non-politically-aligned doctor Roger Kolo as PM, ending 3-month deadlock. Kolo announced govt of technocrats, move welcomed by U.S., EU, AU.