Madagascar: Andry Rajoelina changes tactics, orders arrests in Ravalomanana camp

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The Malagasy war of leaders continues unabated. Andry Rajoelina will not give up without a fight. The President of the High Transitional Authority has resorted to a new tactic of intimidating the three main opposition leaders — Marc Ravalomanana, Albert Zafy and Didier Ratsiraka. Arrests are now the order of the day. Randrianatoandro Raharinaivo, Marc Ravalomanana’s spokesman, has been arrested after he was accused of fomenting unrest between police and protesters that left two dead and one seriously injured Friday in Antananarivo.

Marc Ravolomanana’s spokesman was arrested and jailed Wednesday night, indicates Sylvain Ranjalahy, the editor of L’Express de Madagascar, a local newspaper. Randrianatoandro Raharinaivo was arrested following official accusation that he instigated clashes between police and protesters. Pro and anti Andry Rajoelina protestors clashed Friday, during an unauthorised demonstration, organised by the three political movements led by Didier Ratsiraka, Albert Zafy and Marc Ravalomanana, Friday. The clashes, according to some, caused the death of two and seriously injured one person.

According to Sylvain Ranjahaly, police summoned representatives of the three leaders after the protests. However, the other two were released whilst Anadrianatoandro Raharinaivo was detained and later handed over to the police Investigation Brigade the following Tuesday. “After investigation, he was held on a detention order on Wednesday,” said the journalist. This is not the first arrest in Ravalomanana’s camp since last Friday. According to the Tribune de Madagascar, Senator Naika Eliane, a close ally to the ousted president, was beaten during her arrest after which she was thrown into the Majakandriana prison.

By multiplying arrests, Andry Rajoelina hopes to silence the opposition. But from the look of things, the battle is far from over. Determined, Marc Ravalomanana, Didier Ratsiraka and Albert Zafy have revealed that they will organise another demonstration next Saturday.

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