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Ban calls for responsibility in transition

ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar, March 18 (UPI) -- The head of the United Nations is calling for leaders in Madagascar to use restraint to ensure security as the country transitions to a new president.

Andry Rajoelina took power in Madagascar after President Marc Ravalomanana resigned. On Tuesday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on all parties to act responsibly and use restraint to prevent more violence during the power transition, the United Nations reported.

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"This peaceful path can only be the result of transitional arrangements arrived at by consensus and enjoying wide support," his spokesperson said in a statement.

A dispute between Ravalomanana and Rajoelina, the former mayor of Madagascar's capital Antananarivo, resulted in widespread tension and violence that led to the death of almost 100 people during protests since January.

Ban specifically called on Madagascar's military and police to "ensure the security of the population and work together toward a non-violent resolution of the crisis," the statement said.

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