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Race and History Forum

Violence in Madagascar

Violence has broken in the east of Madagascar with reports of a number of people being injured and killed in incumbent President Didier Ratsiraka's heartland, the port town of Tamatave.

There has been fighting in the streets between his supporters and those backing self-declared new president Marc Ravalomanana who now controls the country's capital city.

The situation is tense as reports suggest the attacks are becoming increasingly racially motivated.

The violence comes as a visiting mediation group suggests the forming of national unity government to help resolve the political crisis.

This time the trouble broke out over the blockade in the port and another, 70 km (45 miles) away manned by Ratsiraka supporters, which have cut off petrol supplies to the capital.

The mainly coastal Ratsiraka supporters have threatened the Merina, or highland people living in Tamatave. Mr Ravalomanana is from the highlands.

In the capital, Antananarivo, people are starting to go back to work after weeks of a general strike. Also the Organisation of African Unity contact group which has been analysing the political crisis for a week has come up with its report.

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