Madagascar's defence minister has resigned after being confronted by a group of soldiers in his office. On Sunday, a section of the army announced they would no longer obey the government and would instead follow opposition leader Andry Rajoelina. Mr Rajoelina is understood to have taken refuge at the French embassy in the capital Antananarivo.

Dissident troops in Madagascar say they have moved tanks into the capital amid a violent power struggle between the president and opposition leader. President Marc Ravalomanana issued a radio appeal urging civilians to help defend the presidential palace.

Madagascan riot police fired tear gas on Wednesday to disperse protesters gathering for a banned rally in the capital as the island's president vowed tougher measures to counter a drive to unseat him. The police action prevented supporters of opposition leader Andry Rajoelina from gathering in Antananarivo's main thoroughfare, but drew a hail of stones from angry youths.

I believe that the Malagasy should try to at the political level and without the intervention of the Churches or of the tradition i.e. fihavanana. It's time for them to judge the person in power on the basis of their political agenda. Otherwise the people will be always at the periphery of state and in the case of Madagascar this sounds like to go back to the French presence that established her power on the DIVIDE ET IMPERA.

cc President Marc Ravalomanana and beleaguered mayor of Antananarivo Andry Rajoelina – the two protagonists in the Malagasy crisis – have finally met. Thus the crisis that escalated into violence and which has left hundreds dead since 26 January seems to be headed for a negotiated settlement. But for Malagasy writer Jean-Luc Raharimanana, the blood that has been shed must more