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Thread: Madagascar police defy government

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    UHF JUNKIE UHF Moderator Rank ricklbert's Avatar
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    Madagascar police defy government

    BBC UK:

    Madagascar police defy government


    The head of the military police in Madagascar says his force has stopped taking orders from the government.

    General Pily Gilbain said his men were backing the new head of the army, Col Andre Andriarijaona, who has ousted the commander appointed by the president.

    Correspondents say it means both the army and the military police have now distanced themselves from beleaguered President Marc Ravalomanana.

    He has been in a fierce power struggle with opposition leader Andy Rajoelina.

    In a statement on national radio on Thursday, President Ravalomanana tried to regain control, saying: "Our priority is to restore law and order.

    'Fulfil your responsibilities'

    "I appeal to the security forces to fulfil their responsibilities and protect the people and to do it with dignity."


    CRISIS TIMELINE

    24 January: Opposition protests begin
    26 January: Two protesters shot dead
    27 January: At least 20 bodies found in burnt shop
    31 January: Rajoelina says he is in charge of the country
    3 February: Rajoelina sacked as the capital's mayor
    7 February: Security forces shoot dead at least 20 protesters
    8 March: Section of the army joins opposition
    9 March: Rajoelina under UN protection
    10 March: Defence minster ousted
    11 March: Army chief of staff forced out


    Q&A: Madagascar power struggle

    At least 100 people have died during opposition protests since mid-January.

    Mr Rajoelina, a 34-year-old former DJ, has been trying to establish a parallel government.

    The person he named as his prime minister has met the incumbent premier. Mr Rajoelina went into hiding last week after the security forces tried to arrest him.

    Shops around the centre of the capital reportedly stayed shut on Thursday and streets were unusually empty of traffic.

    The US ambassador to Madagascar warned on Wednesday that the Indian Ocean island nation was hurtling towards civil war.

    Col Andriarijaona named himself chief of staff, ousting Madagascar's top general, who had given the political rivals until Friday to solve the crisis or face military intervention.

    He reportedly said the military was not launching a coup d'etat.

    Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade has offered to host peace talks.

    On Tuesday, dissident soldiers forced the defence minister to resign.

    Mr Rajoelina, who was sacked as mayor of the capital Antananarivo in February, accuses the president of misspending public money and being a dictator.

    Supporters of Mr Ravalomanana, 59, say the opposition leader is a troublemaking upstart who has overplayed his hand.



    Weeks of political chaos have paralyzed the Indian Ocean nation
    Attached Images Attached Images Madagascar police defy government-_45561759_006904918-1-jpg 
    “How is freedom measured, in individuals as in nations? By the resistance which has to be overcome, by the effort it costs to stay aloft. One would have to seek the highest type of free man where the greatest resistance is constantly being overcome: five steps from tyranny, near the threshold of the danger of servitude.”

    Friedrich Nietzsche

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