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Madagascar: More than 25 killed in march to presidential palace

See our special coverage page on Madagascar's Power Struggle.

At least 25 people were shot dead today in Madagascar's capital Antananarivo during a march to the presidential palace called by the city's mayor Andry Rajoelina after he declared himself the leader of a new transitional government at a political rally. In the past weeks, a power struggle between the mayor and the president Marc Ravalomanana has led to both violence and looting.

The political gathering took place in downtown Antananarivo around noon local time. Rajoelina announced the creation of a new transitional government, with himself as its leader, in spite of the fact that the current government is still in place. He asked his supporters to march to the presidential Palace in Ambohitsorohitra.

When the massive crowd arrived at the palace, a delegation entered the palace at 14:46 local time. This is when shots were fired. The local twittersphere and other bloggers reported:

Preliminary reports indicate that dozens of bodies are laying on the streets. Among the casualties, is said to be a cameraman from the RTA TV station (official confirmation still pending).

As of 15:40 local time, shots were still being fired. Rajoelina asked the armed EMMONAT forces, a military entity accepted by both parties and created during the crisis, to intervene and protect the crowds.

News releases (Reuters, Al Jazeera) report up to 25 deaths as images are currently streaming on national TV. BBC and AFP only reported 5 casualties so far. Live online reports can also be found in French here.

This is a live search of Twitter for “#madagascar”, which is the tag people have been using throughout the past weeks of political tension and occasional violence.


8 comments

  • Pingback: more violence

    […] Lova at Global Voices has been covering the story from the beginning. […]

  • Pingback: Tgoose’s Blog

    […] GlobalVoicesOnline with some more description and some times […]

  • Janine

    Sad news, Lova. I really hope the political situation gets resolved soon – and peacefully.

  • I fear that political eruptions like the current will happen over and over again if people are not better integrated into decision making. Mialy Andriamananjara (http://globalvoicesonline.org/2009/01/27/madagascar-history-repeats-itselfas-a-farce-in-recent-unrest/)has shown that history is repeating itself again and again.

    She quotes sources that indicate it is the malagasy history and lack of education.

    An aspect not mentioned so far is particpation in political processes letting the sovereign, the people, better control the parliament and the malagasy government.

    Like in most other countries voters are heavily involved in politics when it comes to casting the ballot. Politicians interest for their voters needs very often diminish after they have been elected.

    Madagascar has an almost free press (shutting down VIVA-TV is a counter-example), but no serious communication between the people and the parliament and the government after the elections. This has of course something to do with costs – but also with not enough interest on side of politics.

    In Germany people have a possibility to communicate with parliamentarians and ask questions by internet (WWW.ABGEORDNETENWATCH.DE – winner of Top 10 Who Are Changing the World of Internet and Politics http://www.politicsonline.com/content/main/specialreports/2008/top10_2008/vote.asp). It is known, accepted and questions being put up by citizens are being answered because politicians know that http://www.abgeordnetenwatch.de has a reputation and leaving to many questions unanswered looks like they are not taking their work seriously.

    Madagascar needs a new way of a better participation of people into political processes. Internet can be one of the solutions because it is almost free of cost and decentralised.

    Barack Obamas presidential campaign has shown that it is possibly to involve supporters financially and logistically.

    –> WHY NOT TRYING TO INVOLVE MORE MALAGASY INTO POLITICS BY INTERNET?

    (sorry for capitalisation of central messages…)

  • Everyone there is in our thoughts. Please stay safe.

  • […] Saturday, February 07 was an even bloodier day. Dubbed “Red Saturday” by some, it saw the presidential guard fire upon a crowd of protesters who had gathered outside the Presidential palace of […]

  • […] berdarah. Dinamakan “Sabtu Merah” oleh sekelompok warga Madagaskar, di hari itu terjadi aksi penembakan para demonstran yang berkumpul di luar istana negara Ambohitsirohitra oleh garda […]

  • […] ra ny andron'ny Asabotsy 07 Febroary. Tononin'ny sasany ho “Asabotsy Mena” koa noho ny nitifiran'ny mpiambina ny filoha ny mpanao fihetsiketsehana nifamorivory teo ivelan'ny […]

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