News24

Rajoelina heads for talks despite mutiny

2012-07-23 16:46

Antananarivo - Madagascar's strongman Andry Rajoelina left on Monday for face-to-face talks with his ousted rival Marc Ravalomanana, despite a weekend mutiny at a key military base near the main airport.

Three people were killed on Sunday in the mutiny that was put down by paramilitary police and soldiers near the airport in the capital Antananarivo.

The mutiny forced the cancellation of flights on Sunday, but Rajoelina appeared there early on Monday to head to Seychelles for critical talks with Ravalomanana, the elected leader he ousted in 2009.

"This time, for this meeting in Seychelles, SADC has reduced the number of members in the delegation, so this will be a face-to-face with Marc Ravalomanana," he told reporters before departing.

The 15-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC), which is mediating in the crisis, is expected to bring the two men face-to-face on Wednesday.

The two last year signed a "roadmap" toward elections, but the deal has yet to be fully implemented. SADC has imposed a 31 July deadline for the two rivals to settle their differences, so that a timetable for elections could be unveiled next week.