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AU denies giving ultimatum to Madagascan president
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11:16, March 07, 2009

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The African Union (AU) denied the report that it gave a 15-day ultimatum to Madagascan President Marc Ravalomanana to restore peace and security in his country.

Ramtan Lamamra and Pascal Yao, heads of an African Union delegation which arrived here last Tuesday, said on Friday through a private Radio, Antsiva, that AU never gave any time limit to Ravalomanana to restore peace and order in Madagascar, which has been in a political crisis since last December.

Midi, a French-language daily, reported on Thursday that during his meeting with Ravalomanana soon after his arrival, Lamamra asked the president to restore peace and security in the capital city within two weeks, and, if not, the scheduled AU summit here in the coming July, would be held elsewhere.

Antsiva quoted Lamamra as saying that they arrived in Madagascar not to mediate but to encourage Ravalomanana and the opposition leader Andry Rajoelina to return to the negotiation table.

The sacked Antananarivo mayor proclaimed in charge of the national affairs early last month and challenged the authorities of Ravalomanana with frequent anti-government demonstrations in the capital and elsewhere.

The armed forces and the police have sealed off since Wednesday the roads to and from the city center where the opposition normally called mass gathering.


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