April 14, 2002 - Special Report: Unconfirmed Report that Peace Corps is pulling out of Madagascar

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Madagascar: Peace Corps Madagascar : The Peace Corps in Madagascar: April 14, 2002 - Special Report: Unconfirmed Report that Peace Corps is pulling out of Madagascar

By Admin1 (admin) on Sunday, April 14, 2002 - 6:58 pm: Edit Post

Unconfirmed Report that Peace Corps is pulling out of Madagascar





Background

We have a report that as of this weekend, Peace Corps has issued an evacuation order for
all of its volunteers and staff. They are consolidating now, and will evacuate for a "transition conference" before returning to the U.S.

This report has not been confirmed. News is very sketchy coming out of Madagascar. We will call Peace Corps to get confirmation when offices open on Monday.

Fighting has been sporadic for the past several months since the contested election results in the Presidential election held last December 16 and claims by the opposition that the elections were rigged.

Fighting has increased recently. Read this report from CNN on April 12 of a Canadian Missionary who was killed in fighting between government loyalists and the opposition in the country's second largest city.

Read the story at:

Canadian missionary killed in Madagascar*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.



Canadian missionary killed in Madagascar

April 12, 2002 Posted: 12:45 PM EDT (1645 GMT)

FIANARANTSOA, Madagascar (AP) -- Forces loyal to Madagascar's main opposition traded fire with government loyalists Friday, as they attempted to seize the governor's office in the country's second largest city.

A Canadian missionary was shot dead, while two soldiers and a child who was hit by a stray bullet were slightly injured, officials at Fianarantsoa's main hospital said on condition of anonymity.

The attack on the hilltop fortress-like building came after Gov. Emilson, who only uses one name, ignored an opposition deadline to leave. Emilson's officials said they remained in command of the building, although electricity and telephone lines had been severed.

The slain missionary, a Roman Catholic monk, died instantly when he was hit by a bullet fired through a window of the Sacred Heart monastery in Fianarantsoa's Tsaramandroso district, said a fellow monk, who spoke on condition of anonymity

The 76-year-old missionary, Joseph Morin, was originally from Quebec.

The monastery is situated near the governor's office.

The attack on the governor's residence is the latest effort by opposition leader Marc Ravalomanana to take control of the nation in the wake of disputed December presidential elections.

Hundreds of thousand of opposition supporters have already seized control of the capital, Antananarivo, and alternate ministers appointed by Ravalomanana were installed in government offices.

In response, Ratsiraka's government, which has relocated to the eastern port city of Toamasina, has ordered a blockade of the capital in a bid to cut off fuel supplies to the opposition.

Civil rights groups say almost 30 people have been killed since the political standoff began after the government released results from the December 16 election showing no one had won a clear majority and a run off was needed.

Ravalomanana insisted the results were doctored and he had won more than half the vote.



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This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Peace Corps - Country News; COS - Madagascar

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