Madagascar's President Marc Ravalomanana has appealed to the army to stay neutral in the nation's political crisis.
president spoke on national radio Thursday, saying it was the priority
of the government to restore law and order. He called on the security
forces to, in his words, fulfill their responsibilities and protect the
Rising tension between the president and opposition
leader Andry Rajoelina has led to divisions within the army, which
replaced its own chief of staff Wednesday.
The U.S. embassy in
Madagascar has urged Americans to consider leaving because of the
instability. An embassy statement late Wednesday said Americans should
think about leaving while commercial airlines are still operating
Meanwhile, peace talks between the president and
opposition leader scheduled for Thursday were canceled, after Rajoelina
refused to participate.
Rajoelina accuses the president of turning into a dictator and has repeatedly called for his resignation.
opposition leader has led weeks of anti-government protests, some of
which turned violent and led to the deaths of more than 100 people.
predecessor had warned on Tuesday of a military takeover unless the
president and opposition leader resolved the country's political crisis.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.