07 February 2009

More bad new out of Mada

Thanks to LaPaube for this piece from the New York Times

JOHANNESBURG — Security forces in Madagascar fired on a crowd of protesters outside one of the country’s presidential palaces in the capital city on Saturday, with several reports saying that more than 20 people were killed.

The violence was yet another deadly episode in a struggle for power between President Marc Ravalomanana and Andry Rajoelina, the elected mayor of Antananarivo, the capital. A week ago, Mr. Rajoelina declared that he was taking over the government of Madagascar, an island nation of 20 million.

Not good times. If the conflict was close to ending a few days ago, this will probably re-ignite it. It's tough to say who is in the wrong here; if the security forces felt threatened and were outnumbered, then firing on the protestors was understandable, especially if they didn't have any other options (tear gas, bean bag guns, etc.).

But on its face, it sure looks like a terrible move on their part.

They might end up pulling the missionaries, after all. The latest news I've gotten out of the mission office is that they are still there and planning on staying put. We'll see.


LaPaube said...

It was really disheartening to read that, not only because of those who were hurt or killed yesterday, but also because it appeared that things had settled down. Looks like they may be in for a longer haul.

Jeremy said...

I was doing my daily digg check and there was a link for wall street journal's "Picture's of the day". About two thirds of the way through was a picture from the most recent protest rally in Madagascar. 10,000 gathered in support of the mayor I guess. Pretty sad all the conflict and unrest.