FEATURED: Just In: Supreme Court Stops Justice Wuni From Hearing Ken Agyapong’s ...

01.05.2009 Madagascar

Fears For Seized Madagascar 'PM'

By Daily Guide
Listen to article

Marc Ravalomanana Concerns are being raised in Madagascar for the man named as prime minister by ousted President Marc Ravalomanana.

Manandafy Rakotonirina, 70, was seized by heavily armed soldiers and police from a five-star hotel in the capital, Antananarivo, on Wednesday.

His family members say they don't know where he is being held.

Mr Rakotonirina was named prime minister this week by Mr Ravalomanana, even though he has been ousted from power by Andry Rajoelina.

The army helped Mr Rajoelina take over in March.
Violent protests
The ousted leader is now in exile in Swaziland, but Mr Rajoelina's administration accuses him and his supporters of being behind recent violent protests in the capital, in which at least two people died.

A group of around 20 soldiers and police - some hooded - stormed the Carlton hotel in central Antananarivo where Mr Rakotonirina had set up his headquarters.

A spokeswoman for Mr Rajoelina's office told AFP news agency that Mr Rakotonirina was "the mastermind of last week's violence" and an arrest warrant had been issued against him.

The BBC's Jonny Hogg in Antananarivo says the seizure of Mr Rakotonirina - in full public view - is an escalation of the aggressive tactics used by forces loyal to the current administration.

The head of a women's movement opposed to the government was also arrested.

Our correspondent says there are increasing suggestions that sections of Madagascar's armed forces are taking unilateral action to stamp out what they see as potential political threats.

Powered By Modern Ghana