© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina attends a gathering to debate the twentieth replenishment of the World Financial institution’s Worldwide Growth Affiliation, in Abidjan, Ivory Coast July 15, 2021. REUTERS/Luc Gnago

By Lovasoa Rabary

ANTANANARIVO (Reuters) -A French citizen is amongst six individuals arrested on suspicion of involvement in a plot to kill Madagascar’s president, the Indian Ocean island’s public safety minister mentioned, and a second official mentioned the president’s safety had been tightened.

“One of many arrested individuals is French, two of them are bi-national – Malagasy and French. The three others are Malagasy,” Rodellys Fanomezantsoa Randrianarison advised a information convention late on Thursday.

Madagascar’s lawyer normal mentioned on Thursday police had arrested the six following what officers mentioned was a months-long investigation.

Patrick Rajoelina, an adviser to President Andry Rajoelina, advised Reuters on Friday that two of these arrested had beforehand labored within the French army. 

The French Overseas Affairs Ministry mentioned it had been knowledgeable of French nationals’ arrests and that they might receive consular assist in the event that they requested for it.

A spokesman for the French armed forces advised Reuters he had no remark.

Patrick Rajoelina added that unspecified measures had been taken to tighten the president’s safety. “The proof is tangible and we definitely don’t take this flippantly,” he mentioned.

Madagascar has a historical past of political violence and instability. Andry Rajoelina, 44, was sworn in as president in 2019 after a hard-fought election and a constitutional courtroom problem from his rival.

Rajoelina first took energy within the deeply impoverished former French colony of 26 million individuals in a March 2009 coup, eradicating Marc Ravalomanana. He remained in management on the head of a transitional authorities till 2014.

Within the 2019 elections, Ravalomanana challenged Rajoelina, misplaced, and mentioned the vote was fraudulent.

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