Madagascar Arrests Five Generals over Attempt to Assassinate President

Madagascar on Sunday announced the arrest of 21 people, including five generals and some high-ranking police officers, after a failed attempt to assassinate President Andry Rajoelina.

Last month, six people, among them a French citizen, were arrested on suspicion of participating in the plot, following a month-long investigation according to officials.

Madagascar’s Attorney General, Berthine Razafiarivony, told a press briefing on Sunday that “to date, 21 people have been arrested and investigated”. He added that among the latest arrests were 12 “active military and police personnel, including five generals, two captains and five non-commissioned officers.”

Razafiarivony, a senior prosecutor, did not, however, give their identities.

Five other civilians and four retired foreigners were also arrested, some of whom were being held in police custody, the prosecutor said.

“The physical evidence in the hands of the investigators is tangible and made it possible to identify the main instigators of the operation,” Razafiarivony said.

Authorities have also seized a gun and $250,000 (£180,000), local media said.

Madagascar has a history of political violence. Rajoelina, 47, first seized power in the deeply impoverished former French colony of 26 million in a March 2009 coup, ousting Marc Ravalomanana.

He remained in control at the head of a transitional government until 2014. In the 2018 elections, Ravalomanana challenged Rajoelina, lost, and cried fraud.

Madagascar has been under a lockdown since the Covid-19 pandemic hit last year and its southern region is in the grips of a famine.

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