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Madagascar ex-president urged to stay away

ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar, May 2 (UPI) -- South Africa has warned Marc Ravalomanana, the ousted president of Madagascar, that going home might "incite the death of innocent people."

Ayanda Ntsaluba, director of the South African department of foreign affairs, issued the warning Wednesday at a news conference in Pretoria, Allafrica.com reported.

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The warning came as the government of Andry Rajoelina, the new Malagasy president, arrested Manandafy Rakotonirina, Ravalomanana's chosen prime minister, at a hotel in Antananarivo, L'Express de Madagascar reported. After the arrest and the departure of security forces, an angry crowd attacked a member of Rajoelina's administration.

Ntsaluba said the Southern Africa Development Community needs to pave the way for Ravalomanana's return through discussions with the Rajoelina government so the new president and his advisers "see that it is in the interests of Madagascar to find some other solution to the current challenges."

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