/ 18 October 2010

Madagascar security forces tear-gas protestors

Security forces in Madagascar on Monday used tear gas to break up a demonstration staged by supporters of the island's ousted president.

Security forces in Madagascar on Monday used tear gas to break up a demonstration staged by supporters of the island’s ousted president, Marc Ravalomanana, in the capital, Antananarivo.

According to an Agence France-Presse correspondent, security forces fired tear-gas canisters to disperse a crowd of about 1 500 protestors in front of the headquarters of a firm owned by Ravalomanana.

The demonstrators had earlier gathered in front of the high court, where 53 suspects — including close Ravalomanana allies — accused over violent incidents against the current regime were due to appear.

“We want to express our discontent in the face of the total lack of justice currently prevailing in Madagascar,” said Hery Raharisaina, a former lawmaker from Ravalomanana’s party who was among the protestors.

The vast Indian Ocean island has been in political limbo since Andry Rajoelina, a former disc jockey, ousted Ravalomanana with the army’s backing in March 2009.

The young leader has failed to secure international recognition for his transitional administration and foreign mediation attempts have so far stalled. — AFP