Madagascar's army chief negotiates with mutineers

21:34, November 19, 2010      

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The chief of general staff for the Madagascan army (CEMGAM), general Ndriarijaona Andre, entered the Ivato naval base on Friday morning to negotiate with mutineers holed up there since two days ago.

A Xinhua reporter on the ground affirmed that Ndriarijaona entered the gate of the naval base at 10:30 a.m local time (0730 GMT) to talk to his military colleagues, including the former Highest Transitional Authority (HAT) defense minister, general Noel Rakotonandrasana.

The visit to the naval base by the army chief came after an appeal by Madagascar's Defense Minister Rakotoarimasy Andre Lucien to the civilians living closer to the Ivato naval base to move away for safety.

On Wednesday, a group of senior officers declared near the Antananarivo International Airport that "all public institutions had been suspended and that the military committee which they had established was now in charge of national affairs."

A few hours after the declaration, the transitional prime minister, general Camille Vital, announced that "measures have been put in place to counter the disgruntled group."

The commander of the capital's regional brigade of the national gendarmerie (CIRGN), Richard Ravalomanana, wanted to negotiate with the mutineers on Wednesday and Thursday, but they refused to receive him.

Source: Xinhua


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