High-ranking army and police officials have been arrested in Madagascar in connection with a failed attempt to kill the country’s president. The arrested include five generals and several active police officers, meaning 21 people are now being investigated over last month’s foiled assassination.
Several local people and foreigners were arrested last week. Six people, including two French citizens, were initially arrested on suspicion of involvement in the attempt. Four of those arrested are retired national and foreign police and military personnel, and five are civilians. Authorities have also seized a gun and $250,000 (£180,000), local media said. Reports of the assassination plot came after several months of turbulence in the island nation, with threats directed at journalists reporting on the country’s coronavirus pandemic and a burgeoning famine in the south of the country. The attempt on President Andry Rajoelina’s life was among ongoing turbulence rocking the island nation. Authorities announced last month that it had thwarted a plot to “eliminate and neutralise” a number of people, including the president. It came a month after another failed effort to kill the head of the national police force.
Among the latest arrests were 12 “active military and police personnel, including five generals, two captains and five non-commissioned officers”, Attorney General Berthine Razafiarivony said. Mr Rajoelina, 47, initially seized power in 2009 from Marc Ravalomanana with the backing of the military.