Madagascar's Political Crisis [July 11, 2011]   [open pdf - 0B]

"The Indian Ocean island of Madagascar has experienced protracted political instability since early 2009, when tensions between the country's president, Marc Ravalomanana, and Andry Rajoelina, the former mayor of the country's capital city, Antananarivo, escalated, culminating in President Ravalomanana's forced removal from office. The unconstitutional change of power and resulting political impasse has had a negative impact on economic growth and development efforts. The political uncertainty has strained relations between international donors and Madagascar, which was the first country to sign a U.S. Millennium Challenge Account compact in 2005, worth an estimated $110 million. That compact was terminated in May 2009, based on the U.S. government's determination that Madagascar had experienced a military coup d'etat. […] Madagascar ranks among the world's poorest countries, with more than two-thirds of the population living below the poverty line. The country is the world's fourth largest island and is extremely biologically diverse, with as many as 150,000 species of flora and fauna that are unique to the island. Madagascar faces a host of environmental pressures, however, and the U.S. State Department reports that illegal logging and endangered wildlife exports have substantially increased since the current de facto government assumed power. Congress has expressed concern with threats to Madagascar's unique ecosystem, as well as with the country's ongoing political and development challenges. The House of Representatives passed legislation in 2009, H.Res. 839, condemning the 2009 coup and the illegal extraction of Madagascar's natural resources."

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CRS Report for Congress, R40448
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