Madagascar’s army stormed a military barracks near the island country’s main airport in order to quell a mutiny, killing the corporal who led it and arresting a number of mutineers, the army said on Sunday.
The soldiers had seized the barracks located 10km (6.2 miles) from the capital Antananarivo at dawn 16 hours earlier. It was unclear what their grievances or demands were, but the drama escalated dramatically when they shot and fatally wounded an officer who had been sent in to negotiate with them. "The situation is under control," General Raphael Ramasy, the defence minister’s chief-of-staff told the public television station TVN.
"Corporal Koto Mainty, alias ‘Black’, has been killed. The other mutineers gave themselves up or were arrested," Ramasy added. The army said Mainty, the leader of the mutiny, was the ex-bodyguard of a former defence minister. Four civilians had been arrested, and two mutineers and two members of the security forces had been wounded, Ramasy said.
The island nation has been plagued by political turmoil in the three years since then-opposition leader Andry Rajoelina ousted president Marc Ravalomanana, who has been in self-imposed exile in South Africa since then. The rival leaders are due to meet for talks next week in the Seychelles, according to an aide to Ravalomanana, but the meeting has not yet been announced officially.