BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Somali Swahili French Great Lakes Hausa Portugeuse
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Africa  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Thursday, 20 June, 2002, 20:45 GMT 21:45 UK
'No amnesty' for Ratsiraka
Fuel blockade
Blockades have devastated Madagascar's economy
Madagascar's newly-proclaimed president, Marc Ravalomanana, has withdrawn an offer of amnesty for his rival claimant, Didier Ratsiraka.

Mr Ravalomanana accused the country's former leader of involvement in an attempt to send a group of French mercenaries to Madagascar to try to destabilise the new government.

Mr Ratsiraka left Madagascar for France last week, and the Ravalomanana government says that if he returns, he will be prosecuted for trying to seek weapons and allies abroad.

The political crisis broke out six months ago, after presidential elections which the two men claimed to have won until Mr Ravalomanana was formally declared the winner and appointed a government.

Talks uncertain

On Wednesday morning, 12 suspected mercenaries flew back to Paris after their plane, reportedly on its way to Madagascar, was intercepted in Tanzania following intervention from the French Foreign Ministry who said the men had "suspicious intentions".

Marc Ravalomanana
Ravalomanana's government says he wants to rid Africa of coups

Mr Ravalomanana's spokesman, Raymond Ramandimbilahatra, said Mr Ratsiraka was the mastermind behind the alleged plot.

Mr Ratsiraka had "sent foreign mercenaries several times to Madagascar to destabilise Marc Ravalomanana's regime and to kill Malagasies," Mr Ravalomanana's office said.

And it appealed to the international community to recognise his presidency, something which continues to elude him.

The BBC's Jonny Donovan in Antananarivo says that for many people in Madagascar, this latest breakdown in relations between the two camps means that Mr Ratsiraka's time is over.

The two rivals were supposed to attend talks brokered by the Organisation of African Unity in Ethiopia on Friday, and it was unclear whether Mr Ravalomanana would attend.

"You will know when the time comes," Mr Ramandimbilahatra said.

An aide to Mr Ratsiraka was quoted by the French news agency AFP as saying that he was due to leave Paris for Addis Ababa on Thursday.


Key stories

Profiles

Background
See also:

20 Jun 02 | Africa
17 Jun 02 | Africa
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Africa stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Africa stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes