THE prosecutor general’s office in Madagascar has said it foiled an assassination attempt on President Andry Rajoelina, and arrested several “foreign and Malagasy” suspects.
Two French people are among several arrested in the Indian Ocean island nation on Tuesday “as part of an investigation for undermining state security”, diplomatic sources said.
“Several foreign and Madagascar nationals were arrested on Tuesday, July 20, as part of an investigation into an attack on state security,” said prosecutor Berthine Razafiarivony, in a statement released overnight.
“At this stage of the investigation, which is ongoing, the prosecutor-general’s office assures we will shed light in on this case,” she added.
During the country’s Independence Day celebrations on June 26, the gendarmerie announced that they had foiled an assassination attempt on their boss who is also the president’s right-hand man, General Richard Ravalomanana.
Rajoelina was sworn in as president of the Indian Ocean island country in 2019 after a hard-fought election and a constitutional court challenge from his rival.
He won the last vote in December 2018 beating his main rival and predecessor Marc Ravalomanana in an election beset by allegations of fraud.
The 44-year-old first seized power in March 2009 from Ravalomanana with the backing of the military and remained president of a transitional government until 2014.
The former French colony has had a long history of coups and unrest since gaining independence from France in 1960.
The island is internationally famed for its unique wildlife and vanilla but is heavily dependent on foreign aid. Nine out of 10 people live on less than $2 a day.
The country has been under a lockdown since the Covid-19 pandemic hit last year and its southern region is in the grips of a famine.
- Source: AFP / Al Jazeera