According to Patrick Rakotomalala, historians and political analysts will probably look at Madagascar’s two-year crisis from the standpoint of internal factors: a cyclical crisis characterised by power struggles between various political and economic interest groups obsessed with the conquest of power and its privileges. On top of this, there is the incapacity of successive governments to define and build a model of sustainable development that would free people from poverty and chronic more

Patrick Rakotomalala

Patrick Rakotomalala

The price of rice, the staple food in Madagascar, has doubled in the past two years, forcing residents in the capital, Antananarivo, to halve their consumption. 'At almost 2,000 ariary (US$1) a kilogramme, rice has become a luxury item,' Tiana Randrianirina, a rice seller at the main market in the capital, told IRIN.

In parts of Madagascar's drought-prone south people have resorted to eating cattle-feed, as successive years of crop failures and the current lean season give food insecurity a firmer grip on the region. 'For some time now people have been changing their eating habits, with many eating red cactus that is usually given to cattle, or tamarind mixed with water and earth,' said Harinesy Rajeriharineranio, southern Madagascar coordinator for Actions Socio-Sanitaire et Organisation Secours (ASOS), more

The United States is worried about a 'considerable deterioration' in press and other freedoms in Madagascar. A sharply worded critique by the US Embassy expressed concern about 'the constant harassment of political dissidents and journalists' on the Indian Ocean island. The statement also referred to reports of arbitrary arrests and mistreatment of suspects linked to a failed military mutiny last month.