AFRICA/MADAGASCAR - An investigation into alleged violence of the soldiers in the south has been announced

Monday, 3 December 2012

Antananarivo (Agenzia Fides) - The government of Madagascar has announced the opening of an investigation to see if the soldiers involved in the "Tandroka" operation committed violence against civilians. "Authorities deny but humanitarian organizations continue to support their accusations, and the controversy is not subsiding pending investigation" says to Fides Agency Fr. Luca Treglia, Director of Radio Don Bosco in Madagascar.
The controversy appeared as a result of a report by Amnesty International that accuses the army of "acts of mindless violence" against civilians during the crucial phases of the "Tandroka" operation in September. "The authorities argue that the author of the report did not go to the south of Madagascar, but merely limited himself to gathering evidence in the capital, Antananarivo," recalls Fr. Luca.
The missionary explains: "The theft of cattle has always existed. I have been here for 27 years and I can testify. Even at the time there were several gangs, but the current ones are very well organized and equipped with weapons of war."
"An evolution seems to have occured, and it is believed that there is a political connotation in the crimes committed. In particular, there are allegations by the police against former President Ravalomanana to finance these gangs both to destabilize the country and to provide funds, through the sale of stolen cattle, for the next election. But these allegations have so far found no proof, " concludes Fr. Luca. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 03/12/2012)