Coup in Madagascar

This item appears on page 21 of the May 2009 issue.

After experiencing escalating political demonstrations in Madagascar since early January, with more than 100 people killed and residences and businesses looted and burned, on March 16 the army stormed the presidential palace in the capital, Antananarivo, while President Ravalomanana was in a palace outside of the city.

The president stood down the next day, and power was handed to 34-year-old opposition leader Andry Rajoelina. Rajoelina dissolved Parliament and the Cabinet and modified the constitution.

On March 28, a reported 30,000 people protested for Ravalomanana’s return, and demonstrators later were fired upon, resulting in seven deaths. Protests continue.