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Civil war looms in Madagascar

Madagascar. CIA map.

Madagascar. CIA map.

Madagascar has been in crisis for about six weeks the crisis between government and opposition is extremely serious.  President Marc Ravalomanana has been involved in a power struggle with opposition leader Andry Rajoelina since mid-January. The army has split into factions and the country is on the verge of civil war.

(From the International Herald Tribune) “The political conflict involves a rivalry between Ravalomanana, a wealthy businessman who took office after elections in 2001, and Andry Rajoelina, a media magnate and former disc jockey who was elected mayor of the capital in December 2007 and has of late denounced the president as a dictator insensitive to the needs of the nation. More than 100 people have died in civil unrest this year.

At a Jan. 31 rally, Rajoelina proclaimed that he was in charge of the nation, in effect declaring a coup. In response, President Ravalomanana fired his rival as the capital’s mayor. Representatives from both the United Nations and the African Union have unsuccessfully tried to mediate.

On Friday, security officers went to Rajoelina’s home in an effort to arrest him. The 34-year-old maverick slipped away. He remains in hiding.

“At the heart of the current crisis is a political problem,” Defense Minister Mamy Ranaivoniarivo said Monday in a statement, reacting to the mutiny. “The military should not be manipulated and divided by the crisis.”

Link below is to the BBC News web site;

BBC NEWS | World | Africa | ‘Civil war looms’ in Madagascar.

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