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Madagascar crisis frightening, says new military PM

By on December 21, 2009

Madagascar faces a “frightening” situation, new military prime minister Col Vital Albert Camille has warned.

He was appointed on Sunday, the third prime minister in three days.

President Andry Rajoelina on Friday sacked Eugene Mangalaza, who had been appointed in October as part of a power-sharing deal with the opposition.

Mr Rajoelina, a former DJ, came to power with military backing in March – a move condemned by Madagascar’s neighbours and donors.

They have been mediating peace talks between him and his rivals, including ousted President Marc Ravalomanana.

This culminated in the appointment of Mr Mangalaza as prime minister.

Donors have frozen aid and say funding will not be resumed until a power-sharing government takes office and new elections held, reports the Reuters news agency.

Madagascar has been deeply divided for almost a year, with Mr Rajoelina taking power after weeks of protests which saw dozens of people lose their lives.

‘Illegal appointment’

“We are in a very difficult, even frightening situation,” Col Vital said after chairing his first cabinet meeting.

In an address broadcast across the nation, he also called on the opposition to work with the government.

He said his priorities were to deliver security and organise elections.

One senior opposition figure has said his appointment is illegal, Reuters reports.

Mr Mangalaza was sacked just a day after Mr Rajoelina called parliamentary elections on 20 March 2010.

He initially said he would appoint Cecile Manorohanta as prime minister before naming Col Vital on Sunday.


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