Madagascar’s ousted leader to head back home

Ousted Madagascan president Marc Ravolamanana will fly back to his home country on Saturday, he said on Friday.

“It has taken a year of hard negotiation to get back to the point where I am confident that I can now return to my beloved country, ending three years of exile,” Ravolamanana told the media in Johannesburg.

Ravolamanana was unseated from power in 2009 after a military coup led by Andry Rajoelina.

“I am going back to make peace, not war. I am going back as a citizen, as a person who believes absolutely, absolutely and fundamentally, in democracy.”

He described as baseless the allegations that he had killed opposition members and said he had been tried by a kangaroo court of an illegal regime.

“Any independent investigation will show that the charges are utter nonsense.”

He said any attempts to arrest him when he landed in Madagascar would be met with resistance.

“It would be a huge act of folly for the regime to try and arrest me and I do no believe that the institutions of the transition or the Malagasy people will allow such a course of action.” — Sapa

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