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Former Madagascar President Accuses France of Backing Coup


Ousted Madagascar President Marc Ravalomanana has accused France of supporting the coup that drove him from office.

In comments made in South Africa and broadcast to supporters in Madagascar Tuesday, Mr. Ravalomanana said France is lobbying French-speaking countries to recognize what he called the "putschist" regime of current leader Andry Rajoelina.

Mr. Ravalomanna accused the French of wanting to re-colonize Madagascar and enslave the people. A former French colony, Madagascar regained its independence in 1960.

After weeks of political turmoil earlier this year, Mr. Ravalomanana was driven from office and Mr. Rajoelina was installed as president by the military.

The United Nations is sponsoring talks in an effort to stabilize the Indian Ocean island nation.
Mediators announced a breakthrough in the talks last Friday, saying the feuding parties had agreed to form an inclusive government. However, one delegation has since quit the negotiations and the talks were suspended.

Mr. Ravalomanana has had a tense relationship with France. Last July, he expelled the French ambassador Gildas Le Lidec, who had been in the country only a few months.

Madagascar's current leader, Mr. Rajoelina, is not recognized by either the African Union or the Southern African Development Community. Both groups have suspended Madagascar's membership.


Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.


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