Madagascar: No end in sight to standoff

Published on 19 February 2009

Representatives from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) have arrived in Madagascar to facilitate talks between the feuding president and opposition leader. In the capital, Antananarivo, anti-government protestors marched on ministries for a third day in an attempt to install a new government as heavily armed security forces kept them at bay. The demonstrations on Wednesday 18 February ended peacefully. [...] The political unrest has coincided with the country's annual cyclone season, which is also usually a time food of shortages in southern Madagascar. In the southwestern city of Toliara, looters have targeted food warehouses and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has had to enhance security at its depots throughout the country. WFP warned that the political situation was making it more difficult to operate.

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