MADAGASCAR’S ARMY BACKED GOVT CRITICISE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY, US ENVOY


Madagascar’s new army-backed government has criticised the international community’s refusal to recognise it and singled out the U.S. ambassador for a stinging attack. Months of political instability on the world’s fourth largest island have devastated its $390 million-a-year tourism sector and caused concern among foreign investors exploring potentially vast oil and mineral reserves.

US ENVOYPrime Minister Roindefo Monja said that the African Union and European Union, both of which have refused to recognise Andry Rajoelina’s interim government, had been hasty in branding March’s overthrow of former president Marc Ravalomanana a coup. “You are our technical and financial partners but before saying there had been a coup, before taking decisions, you should have listened to our version of events,” he said late on Sunday.

Rajoelina, a former disc jockey and Africa’s youngest incumbent president, seized power after dissident troops backed his challenge to Ravalomanana’s leadership. Several donors including the United States and Norway, have suspended non-emergency assistance while the International Monetary Fund told Reuters last Friday that it too had frozen aid over the country’s political crisis.

Madagascar is one of the world’s poorest countries and foreign donors make up 70 percent of the Indian Ocean island’s budget. Analysts say the government faces a steep challenge ensuring public sector and military salaries are paid as tax receipts decline.

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