Introduction By our Editor: Marc Aupiais
Article by [Fides Service]: as received via email from said service, but with: paragraphing added, and font type changed for uniform text:
AFRICA/MADAGASCAR - Tensions continue in Madagascar as the Southern African Development Community calls the change of power “unacceptable”
Antananarivo (Agenzia Fides) – Tensions continue in Madagascar, where today, March 30, protests were held against the “legal movement” that is calling for the resignation of ad interim President Rajoelina, who was handed over powers from the military leaders who had been appointed by the resigned President Marc Ravalomanana.
“Tensions have increased as a result of the confusion over events that took place on March 28, when police fired on demonstrators in favor of the opposition who were trying to enter May 13th Square in Antananarivo. At first, the news said that there had been a few victims, but then word got out that some thirty people were wounded, 70% of whom suffered minor injuries,” Agenzia Fides was told by sources at Radio Don Bosco, the most prominent Catholic radio in Madagascar.
“In the last 15 days, a paradoxical situation has come about,” sources said. “While at first, Rajoelina's supporters were the ones who were out on the streets demonstrating and calling for strikes, now it is Rajoelina's opponents who are using the same methods to call for his resignation.”
Former President Ravalomanana continues to launch appeals to his supporters, inciting them to protest. “Do not fear. I will return soon. Promote and strengthen the movement until the entire world hears you, because the people of Madagascar will do all they can to reestablish legal order,” the former President said in a message sent on Sunday, March 29.
“The opposition movement is divided, however. Along with the supporters of Ravalomanana, there are also those who call for Rajoelina's stepping down from power but without the return of Ravalomanana. There are many who go to the demonstrations to cause trouble, hoping to transform a peaceful demonstration into a violent conflict,” Fides' sources said. “We'll see if the appeal launched by the opposition movement for a general strike will be acceptable to the majority of the population.”
Ravalomanana has obtained the support of the Summit of Heads of State of the Southern African Development Community, which was opened today in Mbabane, Swaziland and that has ruled the change of power in Madagascar “unacceptable.” “This unconstitutional takeover by the de facto regime in Madagascar violates the basics principles, protocols and treaties and is unacceptable,” read a statement issued by the SADC and proclaimed by Mswati III, King of Swaziland.
The Summit is not being attended by any delegation from Madagascar. (LM) (Agenzia Fides 30/3/2009)Note: while Madagascar is declared illegitimate: Zimbabwe's previous elections according to regulations: were outright won by Tsvangirai: due to postponement beyond the regulatory period in which a runoff could occur(According to South Africa's ENEWSCHANNEL). Swaziland is accused of multiple human rights abuses also.
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