Madagascar Justice, Security and Military

By | May 11, 2021

The judiciary in Madagascar is based on the French system. The two-tier jurisdiction, which was valid until the 1970’s, divided into a general jurisdiction for Malagasy people and a local jurisdiction for foreigners, was transferred to one system. The Supreme Court (Cour Suprême) is the highest instance and has its seat in Antananarivo. Other courts are – also based in the capital – the court of appeal responsible for criminal and civil law as well as other, smaller criminal and military courts. The High Court of Justice for civil servants and the Constitutional Court should also be mentioned. Choices of traditional dishes (dina) do not have binding procedural powers, but are certainly used to clarify minor disputes or offenses. During the transitional government in 2010 (HAT), a commission was set up to regulate crimes before, during and after the crisis (CNME = Commission nationale mixte d´enquête). This was later renamed the FIS (Forces d´intervention spéciale) with a similar mandate. These were perceived by the public as organs for suppressing the opposition.

According to ehealthfacts, Madagascar’s 1992 constitution guarantees an independent judiciary. But even this is not free from corruption and can therefore be influenced, especially when it comes to senior officials (police, military, etc.) Many courts are also overloaded or on strike despite the traditional dishes. The problem is the vigilante, “mob justice” and lynching, followed in individuals for small crimes such as theft, tortured or murdered, are without official sources informed or turned on. Unfortunately, there is still corruption in the judiciary. The Malagasy themselves feel little protected by the security apparatus of their country and do not have much confidence in it.

Madagascar recognized the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice, but relatively late. In 2015 the death penalty was abolished. It is seen as a sign of hope for the political stability of Madagascar that the courts have initiated proceedings against former ministers of all parties and officials in recent years. The ability to carry out charges and lawsuits is primarily attributed to the good work done by the anti-corruption agency BIANCO, which can obviously act relatively independently and thus successfully.

The military of Madagascar is divided into the army and the gendarmerie. According to official figures, the armed forces consist of around 12,500 soldiers in the army, 500 marines and a further 500 air force soldiers.

The army has played a major role in Madagascar since independence. The interim government after the Tsiranana era in 1972 was initially led by the military, which then made one of its members, Admiral Didier Ratsiraka, president. Under Rasiraka there was compulsory military service for young men and women, but they could also choose a kind of community service. After the bloody riots in 1991, the military behaved with respect to its opinion in the government dispute between Ratsiraka and Zafy neutral. In 2001, when Didier Ratsiraka and his opponent Marc Ravalomanana fought over the presidency, the military remained calm. In 2009, however, the army split into a wing facing Rajoelina, which wanted to support the ruling mayor in the election of Madagascar’s president. Many military personnel are believed to have been corrupted. Ravalomanana as commander in chief of the military intended for the carnage of 2009 responsible be. However, after Ravalomanana’s resignation in 2009, the military refused to take control of the country. It appointed Andry Rajoelina as President. The relatively high level of political stability in Madagascar at the moment is also due to the military’s increasing reluctance to play in Madagascar in recent years. Reforms in the security sector that began in 2015 (Réforme du Secteur de la Sécurité), in which the AU are also involved, can also be interpreted as a sign of stabilization.

Madagascar Military