Ravalomanana's return stopped

2012-01-21 14:35

Johannesburg - An attempt by Madagascar's toppled president to end his exile in South Africa was thwarted in the air on Saturday when his plane was forced to turn back after authorities on his Indian Ocean island closed their airspace to prevent his return, his spokesperson said.

Peter Mann, a spokesperson for Marc Ravalomanana in Johannesburg, said airline officials told him the plane would refuel in Mozambique before returning to South Africa, where Ravalomanana has been exiled since a populist former disc jockey toppled him with military backing in 2009.

In Madagascar, where thousands of Ravalomanana supporters had awaited him at the capital's airport, a government minister told reporters that Ravalomanana's rival, Andry Rajoelina, had issued a notice closing the country's main airports to prevent Ravalomanana's return.

Earlier on Saturday, Ravalomanana, his wife, two aides, journalists and passengers not linked to him had boarded a commercial South African Airways flight in Johannesburg.

Ravalomanana said he wanted to return to work for peace and democracy in his troubled homeland.

  • Sannie - 2012-01-21 14:51

    Andry Rajoelina is a dictator in the making, another Gadaffi.

  • Anthony - 2012-01-21 14:55

    There is only one solution to this Madagascar nightmare; Take the whole leadership, including this Ravalomanana, put them in a rowing boat, and tow them 3000 km into the Indian Ocean, than cut it loose!!!!!! Only than can the people of Madagascar sort out their problems and elect a new government!!!!!!!1

      crutonuis - 2012-01-21 15:33

      I think you probably mean put Rajoelina on a boat.. Ravalomanana is very well respected in Madagascar by most of the people for his free education policies, infrastructure creation, etc. He may have become a very rich man in Mada but definitely had the peoples wellbeing in mind as well.

      Anthony - 2012-01-21 15:56

      @Crutonuis, Ahhhh, Ooookkkk, that's why Sannie said: "another gadaffi" This gaddafi also had " free education, free water, free lights, free this, free that, and cars below costs....... And still , these "crazy" Lybians went unarmed on the streets,risking being shot dead, by gaddafi snipers, to demand an end TO THIS GOOD LIFE...................................!!!!!!!!!!!

  • jmccaffs - 2012-01-21 16:07

    The Army controls Madagascar,

  • Greg - 2012-01-21 16:51

    Kill Andry Rajoelina like Gadaffi you can talk to me if you have enough money

  • Anthony - 2012-01-21 17:24

    This has now been going on for a number of years, And Again, the AU has shown, what a totally useless organisation it is. But when an European nation want to put an end to this madness, the AU will quickly call a summit, not to sort out Madagascar's nightmare, but to condemn Europe.................!!!!.....????????

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