Thursday, March 12, 2009

Madagascar: Rebel soldier takes command of Madagascar's army

A rebel soldier declared himself head of Madagascar's army on Wednesday, ousting the general who had given the island's feuding leaders a three-day ultimatum to resolve the political crisis, Reuters informs.

Army chief General Edmond Rasolomahandry had on Tuesday asked President Marc Ravalomanana and opposition leader Andry Rajoelina to unite within 72 hours to end weeks of troubles that have killed about 135 people and damaged the economy.

Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, who mediated in a previous political crisis in 2002 from which Ravalomanana emerged as president, said both he and Rajoelina had requested mediation, and invited the pair to peace talks in Senegal.

Colonel Noel Ndriarijoana, the mutineers' leader, appointed himself on Wednesday in the office of his predecessor, who walked out without comment, according a Reuters witness.
"Discussions proceeded without problems between brothers. From now on, the army is behind me," Ndriarijoana said.

Source: FOCUS Information Agency
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