President Philibert Tairanana of the Malagasy Republic appointed a military governor of Tuesday (16 May) following three days of violence in which an estimated 34 people were killed and 170 injured.
President Philibert Tairanana of the Malagasy Republic appointed a military governor of Tuesday (16 May) following three days of violence in which an estimated 34 people were killed and 170 injured. But the island capital was relatively calm on Tuesday after the weekend's clashes between students and police and demonstrations by about 100,000 people on Monday (15 May) who were supporting the student's demands.
The students had been on strike since April 4, demanding a thorough revision of the education system and a new look at the cultural subjects in Madagascar's cooperation agreement with France.
On Friday (12 May) police arrested about 350 youths who were described as ringleaders of the student strike and sent them to an island penitentiary. The weekend clashes erupted as a result.
During the rioting, the town hall was burned as were the offices of a pro-government newspaper. A number of vehicles, including fire engines, were burned-out and windows in the city's radio building were broken by rioters.
In an effort to ease the tensions, the government promised to releases the arrested students, and a first group of 134 returned to Tananarive by air on Tuesday. They were welcome by a large crowd of friends and relatives as they arrived at the capital's airport.
To calm the unrest, the President ordered on Monday that the Republican security forces, who were at the forefront of weekend clashes with students, be confined to barracks. The island's other police force, the Gendarmes, have taken over all police duties, and on Monday they patrolled the streets.
It was reported on Thursday (18 May) that General Gabriel Remanatsoa, chief of the Malagasy armed forces' staff, had taken over all executive power in Madagascar. President Philibert Tsiranana will reportedly remain head os state.