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MAYOR AND PRESIDENT FIERCE POLITICAL OPPONENTS
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bloodbath aftermath Malagasy flagged eulogy
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ring tailed lemurs huddle
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Deposed mayor Andry Rajoelina goes into hiding fearing to appear in public and soldiers in Soanierana district mutiny on Sunday 8th March 2009 against the government repression of the opposition. Pro 2:11 Your insight and understanding will protect you
and prevent you from doing the wrong thing.
 
ANTSIRANANA 090309-1
March 9, 2009

[Diocese of Antsiranana - Indian Ocean] Pro 2:10 You will become wise, and your knowledge will give you pleasure.
Pro 2:11 Your insight and understanding will protect you
Pro 2:12 and prevent you from doing the wrong thing. They will keep you away from people who stir up trouble by what they say---
Pro 2:13 those who have abandoned a righteous life to live in the darkness of sin,
Pro 2:14 those who find pleasure in doing wrong and who enjoy senseless evil,
Pro 2:15 unreliable people who cannot be trusted.

AFP SOURCE NEWS.Soldiers at base mutiny against opposition crackdown
Sunday 08 March 2009

A day after opposition leader Andry Rajoelina said he had gone into hiding, soldiers at a major military base on the outskirts of the Madagascan capital reportedly mutinied on Sunday against the government's repression of the opposition

Soldiers at a large military base on the outskirts of the Madagascan capital mutinied Sunday in protest at the government's repression of a three-month-old opposition movement.

Access roads to the camp in Soanierana district, around six kilometres (four miles) from the city centre, were blocked by mutineering soldiers.

"We no longer take orders from our hierarchy, we are following our hearts. We were trained to protect property and citizens, not to fire at people. We are with the people," said one of them, on condition of anonymity.

Security forces had foiled several opposition rallies in Antananarivo and other towns since Wednesday, leading to clashes that left at least four people dead.

An AFP reporter was able to access one wing of the military compound, where soldiers who refused to be quoted confirmed that the base was rebelling in protest at the regime's repression of opposition demonstrations.

"The army chief of staff came this morning in an attempt to sweet-talk us but he quickly had to get back in his car and leave," said one of them.

Several witnesses observed soldiers deploying around the base, apparently bracing for retaliation by the presidential guard, but no shots are reported to have been fired since the mutiny started on Sunday.

Madagascar has a long history of political instability but until now, the Indian Ocean island's military has been reputed for its loyalist tradition.

No official comment was immediately available but the renewed tension comes after opposition leader Andry Rajoelina was forced into hiding following a botched arrest attempt at his residence.

On Saturday, Rajoelina, who late last year mounted a fierce challenge against the regime of President Marc Ravalomanana, told AFP that he could no longer risk appearing in public.

"I am now hiding in a safe location where I cannot be attacked... Until the dust settles, I can no longer physically appear in front of my supporters," said Rajoelina, who had been leading almost daily protests in central Antananarivo.

The 34-year-old opposition leader did not specify whether he was still in the capital Antananarivo or even in the country.

According to several officials and witnesses, security forces on Saturday also stormed the offices of Rajoelina's Viva television network and confiscated equipment.

The opposition leader describes Ravalomanana as a dictator starving his people and late last year mounted a fierce political challenge against the president, who has been in power since 2002.

Rajoelina last week walked out on direct talks with Ravalomanana, accusing his rival of playing down his camp's grievances and pledging to revert to mass street action to unseat the president.

On Saturday, he called for a broad forum representing all sectors of the population to be formed in order to reach a decision on the main sticking points that have derailed talks between the rival political camps.

The United Nations and African Union have dispatched envoys in a bid to defuse the crisis and prevent a resumption of violent clashes that before the weekend clashes, had already killed close to 100 since the start of the year.

Madagascar is one of the world's poorest countries and Rajoelina's criticism of the regime's economic and social policies has struck a chord with large portions of the population.