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Vol 43 No 7

Published 5th April 2002


City under siege

Tension is rising as the standoff between the country's parallel presidents continues, veering between good-natured though fervent protest (especially by Marc Ravalomanana's supporters) and violent attacks on the opposition (particularly by President Didier Ratsiraka's supporters). Four people died in such an attack at Fianarantsoa, capital of one of the six provinces, on 26 March and a soldier was reported dead on 3 April after Ravalomanana's supporters tried to instal their man as Fianarantsoa Governor. Both men have painted themselves into corners and even the Organisation of African Unity envoy, Senegalese ex-minister Abdoulaye Bathily, has said the OAU mediation has failed and warned of ethnic conflict.

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