RIOTS IN ANTANANARIVO
Clashes between security forces and members of the three main opposition movements (Ravalomanana – Ratsiraka – Zafy) increased yesterday.
Few days ago, the three movements filed an official request before the municipality of Antananarivo and police prefecture to use the MALACAM stadium located in Antanimena (MALACAM stadium is known for its rugby contests) as Ambohijatovo square “Democracy place”, the skyroof theater of Antsahamanitra and Mahamasina stadium, are definitely forbidden for them. After negotiations, the president of the special delegation for the urban district of Antananarivo, Edgard Razafindravahy, allowed them to use the MALACAM stadium which is just across MAGRO Behoririka, the headquarters of Marc Ravalomanana’s supporters, for the date of November 10th and 12th. Monja Roindefo, the former prime minister of the transition (he still claims to be the prime minister) also filed a request to use this stadium for November 13th and he succeded. Their common point is that they both denounce the November 17th referendum.
Last Tuesady, the prime minister, General Camille Vital, after a meeting with the high officers within the Joint Body of Conception, decided (after municipality’s decision) to ban all the political public events which are not directly linked to the electoral propaganda in order to instaure a global quiet climate during the electoral propaganda and the referendum. Consequently, the police commissioner for the urban district of Antananarivo, Odilon Francis Rasoanaivo, rejected the requests from the three movements and from Monja Roindefo.
Tear gas reply
Nevertheless, yesterday noon, the three movements insisted “peacefully” to have access to the MALACAM stadium. The stadium was already “heavily” occupied by security forces early in the morning. In the afternoon, in order to make people scatter (because the supporters of the three movements who stayed all around the stadium became too numerous), the security forces launched several tear gas. Panic in Antanimena.The three movements withdrew to MAGRO BEHORIRIKA.
Despite the police blockades, the students of the university of Antananarivo could manage to join Antanimena. Security forces who kept MALACAM stadium were immediately reinforced and started to run after the protesters.
The three movements and the Ankatso students put many blockades in Analankely, Behoririka, Ankadifotsy, Antanimena, Soarano and Ambohijatovo. They were all forced by security forces.
Many advertising hoardings, bus shelters and cars were destroyed by protesters. As far as I could see by myself, the “vandals” were very young, teenagers. I now remember what a friend journalist told me yesterday when I asked him about these vandals: “It’s the Play Station generation!” Nevertheless, I could notice that in each “team” of young vandals, there was at least one adult who gave instructions.
At least three cars were vandalized by these protesters:
One 407 Peugeot sedan vandalized and set on fire near Ramaroson building Behoririka;
A Mazda van who transported Indo-Pakistanese children, vandalized and set on fire near BFV bank agency Behoririka: one of the kids was severely injured at the head.
A Kangoo Renault, vandalized and set on fire near Notre Dame school, Antanimena.
Racism and Xenophobia
While listening to the vandals/protesters (are they really part of the three movements or Ankatso students?), I was just wondering if the “cause” was not completely mislead. It really turned out to be operations against Indo-Pakistanese, Chinese and White foreigners …. The protesters stoned all the shops who belonged to Chinese and Indo-Pakistanese and even tried to force their doors. I heard something like “Let that shop down man … I know the owner, he’s just a poor broke looser …” All the cars with White foreigners who passed by Behoririka , Antohomadinika and Ankazomanga (all popular districts) faced sporadic stonings.
In the evening, after these young vandals destroyed a bus shelter in Behoririka, just below the bridge of Antaninandro (that belonged to TELMA), I clearly heard: “Now, it is the turn of Supreme Center!” I don’t knwo if it was a joke but I heard some laughs as reply …
Yesterday was a hot and hard day … Antananarivo population are bored of all of that mess … We have already suffred a lot with all the lootings and abusive and senseless destructions during the orange revolution of Andry Rajoelina in 2009. I do understand that each political movement has to be respected with its right to express its opinion in public and to make public meetings in places which fit them, but I will never accept and be part of these wild and intellectualy poor scenes of looting and public destruction.
If the three movements want to have a chance to count on public’s eyes, they should first of all, master their stupid elements. Why the hell did they let these young teenagers destroy these cars and bus shelters? The place of teenagers is either at school or at home!