Madagascar ousted from African Union

21Mar09

The African Union suspended Madagascar Friday in response to what’s being called a military coup that forced President Marc Ravalomanana (above) to resign this week. Ravalomanana stepped down and left the job of governing the country to the military after months of street protests and an armed military showdown at the presidential palace in Ravalomanana’s office. The military later announced on Tuesday that it was making Andry Rajoelina, a 34-year-old DJ and former mayor of the capital city, the African island nation’s new president. He is expected to be inaugurated Saturday.

Nearly 100 people were killed in recent weeks as a result of violent political confrontation, leading up to Ravalomanana’s ousting. Rajoelina, however, is too young to serve as Madagascar’s president, according to the country’s constitution.

Madagascar was once an independent kingdom, but became a French colony in 1896, until it regained its independence in 1960. France is the country’s biggest donor. The United States, for its part, has cut all non-humanitarian aid to the the country.

Madagascar is the world’s 4th largest island with over 20 million citizens and is located off the southeastern shore of the African continent, near Mozambique in the Indian Ocean.

Speak your peace.



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