- Southern Africa
Madagascar riots: Minister resigns, PM prolongs curfew
"As a mother, I do not tolerate this violence..."
Pandemonium continues to plague Madagascar as the government of the African Island is torn between a high profile resignation and restoring normalcy and law for the sake of its struggling economy. A favourite destination for eco-tourism, Madagascar is also popular among foreign companies seeking to exploit oil, uranium, gold, cobalt and nickel.
In a surprise move the Defence minister, Cecile Manorohanta, tended her resignation from the government indicating that she will not have anything to do with a government that could not protect its citizens. According to the AFP, the Minister said in a radio interview that "As a mother, I do not tolerate this violence. It was agreed at government level that the security forces were meant to protect the population and its property."
Extending her "condolences and moral support to the families who suffered losses" Cecile Manorohanta decided to quit the government.
Meanwhile, prime Minister Charles Rabemananjara has announced that a night-time curfew already in force in the capital would be extended for a week to salvage the violent protests that has affected the country’s economy.
Trouble began when the country’s president Mr. Marc Ravalomanana and capital city mayor Andry Rajoelina, who successfully tapped into widespread frustration with the government, got locked in a power struggle, with the mayor asking the president to step down accusing him of misspending public money and being a dictator.
The president responded by shutting down the radio station owned by Mr. Rajoelina, a move that sparked protest from supporters of the Antananarivo city mayor. Last week, the president fired Mr. Andry Rajoelina, as mayor of Antanarivo.
Mr. Rajoelina’s supporters declared him head of a transition higher authority during a rally over the weekend that was attended by about 20,000 people. In an unprecedented move, Saturday, the demonstrators decided to march on the President’s compound on Saturday when police opened fire, killing 28 and injuring more than 200.
In January dozens of people were killed in the civil unrest when anti-government protests turned into rioting and looting.
Now all hell is set to be let lose as Mr. Andry Rajoelina has now called for more protests against the president. There was an uneasy calm on the streets of the capital Sunday as heavily armed security forces patrolled.