Potential Hot Spots: April 19, 2002


Madagascar continued to spiral toward civil war and then a possible political solution emerged. On April 15, 37 people were reported hurt when security personnel confronted a pro-Ravalomanana rally in Mahajanga province. On April 16 a Madagascan Army general considered loyal to Ratsiraka was shot and killed by three assassins. The murder took place in a hospital in the city of Fianarantsoa. The general was in the hospital due to wounds he suffered when his troops confronted a pro-Ravalomanana crowd in the city. Gunfire broke out during the confrontation. Two women (both later identified as Ravalomanana supporters) died in that incident. Also on April 16, Ravalomanana and Ratsiraka met in Dakar, Senegal, to try and reach an agreement to end the brewing conflict. On April 19, several reports indicated that Ratsiraka supporters had set up roadblocks around the city of Antananarivo, a Ravalomanana stronghold and site of the Ravalomanana government. The same report said that Ratsirakas government was now located in the eastern port of Toamasina. Also on April 19, Ravalomanana and Ratsiraka reached an agreement of sorts in Dakar. They both agreed to a new vote recount of the disputed December 16 presidential election. If that does not resolve the issue satisfactorily, there will be a new election held sometime in 2002. Stay tuned.


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