Madagascar, Tana – all is quiet.

5 02 2009

We are sure that you have heard the bad news about the riots in Madagascar lately, and a few countries have already advised people to avoid travelling to Madagascar. However, this is the current report on the Madagascar riots, and we are pleased to report that there has been no violence there recently and everything is calm – the Malagsy people and the military are working hard at maintaining the peace.

Currently the situation in Antananarivo is calm, there have been no reported incidents since last Thursday. Since the 2 days of rioting there has been a curfew in place which has been respected by all inhabitants in Tana.  There have been a few political demonstrations which have attracted many in support – all of them have been peaceful.

All of the major businesses and supermarkets etc are now open and trading/functioning as usual. All government ministries and public service, including the French Embassy, have re-opened. The situation in all the provinces of Madagascar is now calm and the military has remained neutral throughout the past 7 days… they have also stated that they will do their utmost to preserve the peace and ensure the safety of all Malagasy and foreign citizens.

There is an overwhelming feeling amongst the Malagsy people that the violence of the riots was detrimental to the country and the economy of Madagascar.

How it affects people travelling to Madagascar:

Jenman Safaris would like to express our concern at the riots in Madagascar, but we are also cautiously pleased to report that nothing has occurred since last Wednesday. If you are unsure about traveling to Madagascar on your Jenman Madagascar holiday then contact us. Clients who are due to travel in March/April/May or later in the year – we suggest they keep an eye on the situation to see if it has calmed down and decide in the coming weeks if they would still like to travel.

When the riots occurred there were no tourists harmed or any put in danger. Riots WERE only occurring in the Tana centre. The airport hotels are quiet, as well as all tourist highlights, in the inner country and on the surrounding islands like Nosy Be and Isle St. Marie.

What happened in Madagascar to cause the riots?

The Malagasy population had a lot of hope when the current president came into power 7 years ago. He improved the roads, built schools and things started to look positive for the country. But he also became extremely rich as the years went on. His companies flourished and the people say he began to block out ‘fair competition’, he also started to acquire land in ways that some refer to as ‘forceful behaviour’.
Recently, the government shut down the TV station owned by the Mayor of Tana – after they had broadcasted a full interview with the former president (Ratsiraka) of Madagascar who is living in Exile in Paris. This interview contained the former president’s diplomatic opinion about the current situation in the country. The Malagasy people considered the TV station closure as a strike from the president against the Mayor of Tana (who belongs to a different political party). The Mayor then called the people to a demonstration in Tana on Saturday, January 17th. A week later another gathering was initiated by the Mayor asking for the president and government to step down. At this moment the president and the government didn’t seem to be open to any negotiations. On Monday, 26th January, vandals started to loot shops (especially ones owned by the president).

At this very moment the situation is quiet in Tana and talks have been taken up between the mayor and the president to restore the order but no official statement has been made yet.

If you have any questions, concerns or comments please do not hesitate to contact us on info@jenmansafaris.com
To read a more (click on the below link):

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/africa/01/28/madagascar.violence.riots/index.html


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