ANTANANARIVO, July 23 (Reuters) – A French citizen is among six people arrested for involvement in a plot to kill the Malagasy president, the Indian Ocean island’s public security minister said, and a second The official said the president’s security had been tightened.
“One of those arrested is French, two of them are binational – Madagascan and French. The other three are Madagascan,” Rodellys Fanomezantsoa Randrianarison told a press conference Thursday evening.
Madagascar‘s attorney general said on Thursday that police arrested the six people following a months-long investigation according to officials. Read more
Patrick Rajoelina, adviser to President Andry Rajoelina, told Reuters on Friday that two of those arrested had previously worked in the French army.
The French Foreign Ministry said it had been informed of the arrests of French nationals and that they could obtain consular assistance if they requested it.
A spokesperson for the French armed forces told Reuters he had no comment.
Patrick Rajoelina added that unspecified measures had been taken to strengthen the security of the president. “The evidence is tangible and we certainly don’t take it lightly,” he said.
Madagascar has a history of political violence and instability. Andry Rajoelina, 44, was sworn in as president in 2019 after a fierce election and a challenge to his rival’s Constitutional Court.
Rajoelina first seized power in the deeply impoverished former French colony of 26 million in a coup in March 2009, firing Marc Ravalomanana. He remained in command at the head of a transitional government until 2014.
In the 2019 elections, Ravalomanana challenged the lost Rajoelina and said the vote was fraudulent.
Reporting by Lovasoa Rabary; additional report by Matthieu Protard in Paris; written by George Obulutsa; edited by Kevin Liffey and Mark Heinrich
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