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Madagascan general revokes 72-hour ultimatum
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15:31, March 12, 2009

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The new chief of staff of the Madagascan armed forces Colonel André Ndriarijaona, has revoked the 72-hour ultimatum issued by his predecessor Edmond Rasolofomahandry, a local website sobika.com has reported.

"We did not come here to take power, a coup, State Executive Board or a military, so far as we concerned, there was no ultimatum ... Let the policymakers to take the task of solving the problem, " said Ndriarijaona, installed by generals of the armed forces earlier on Wednesday to replace Rasolofomahandry, who was appointed as one of the top brass of the armed forces early in February, according to the report.

On Tuesday, Rasolofomahandry issued a 72-hour ultimatum to politicians of the island country to end the ongoing political crisis.

Ndriarijaona took office with a brief ceremony at the headquarters of the General Staff here on Wednesday.

He was nominated by his colleagues who refused to obey orders from the regime led by President Marc Ravalomanana to prevent anti-government demonstrations by opposition supporters at the city center.

In Madagascar, Chief of the General-Staff of the army is normally appointed by the president.

Ndriarijaona took office when Defense Minister Mamy Solofoniaina Ranaivoniarivo, appointed by Ravalomanana early last February, was force to sign a letter of resignation on Tuesday.

Media here reported that commanders of nine military barracks over the mountainous capital city joined force with some 600 troops of the Army Corps of Personnel and Administrative and Technical Services, stationed at Soanierana, 6 km from the downtown.

Last Sunday, armed troops at Soanierana announced disobedience to orders from the regime to suppress the anti-government demonstrators.


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