Madagascar rocked by fresh protests

Opposition leader says negotiations with president broken off due to impasse.

    Madagascar's president has vowed to stay on
    until the end of his term in 2011 [AFP]

    He told Le Monde newspaper that he now had 80 per cent of the army behind him, but added: "I am not talking about generals, for them there is also the issue of money."

    'Blood on hands'

    Negotiations were launched last week between Rajoelina and Ravalomanana.

    Riots, looting and clashes with police have left about 100 people dead since the crisis erupted last month.

    The worst incident came on February 7, when presidential guards opened fire on anti-goverment protesters, killing 28 people.

    Rajoelina, who declared himself in-charge of the country in January, said in the Le Monde interview that he would no longer negotiate with someone "who has blood on his hands", referring to Ravalomanana.

    As thousands massed on Antananarivo's streets in support, opposition leaders sought to take up government offices in defiance of the ruling party.

    Madagascar's security forces, however, blocked their entry to government buildings.

    The African Union, meanwhile, has expressed its concern over the situation, urging both sides to "refrain from any action" that could worsen the crisis.

    Over the weekend, Ravalomanana and Rajoelina held rival rallies in Antananarivo that ended peacefully, despite taking place only one kilometre from each other.

    Ravalomanana had told a crowd of about 35,000 that he intended to remain president "until the end of my mandate" in late 2011.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    When somebody dies lonely and alone, Miyu Kojima steps in to clean their home and organise the mementos of their life.

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    The rise of the Orthodox Church in Russia appears unstoppable, write filmmakers Glen Ellis and Viktoryia Kolchyna who went to investigate the close ties between the church and Putin.

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    Much of India's media spurns a scoop about the son of PM Modi's right-hand man. Plus, NFL as platform for race politics.