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Tuesday, 9 July, 2002, 22:42 GMT 23:42 UK
New Madagascar leader asserts control

The President of Madagascar, Marc Ravalomanana, has been moving to assert his authority over the whole island after the fall of Tamatave, the last place loyal to his predecessor, Didier Ratsiraka.

Mr Ravalomanana said a commission would be set up to investigate allegations of human rights violations made against militias loyal to Mr Ratsiraka.

A BBC correspondent in Madagascar says Mr Ravalomanana's forces have been welcomed in most of the territory they have taken; the task now is to re-build the economy.

Thousands of jobs are said to have been lost during the past seven months of turmoil in Madagascar, the end of which was signalled by the departure of Mr Ratsiraka last Friday.

Our correspondent says that with many foreign countries now recognising Mr Ravalomanana as president he should be able to find the resources necessary to revive Madagascar's economy.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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