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Ban calls for dialogue in Madagascar

ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar, May 5 (UPI) -- The ongoing violence rooted in a tense political situation in Madagascar has prompted calls from the United Nations to open a dialogue and resolve the crisis.

At the beginning of March, Madagascar President Marc Ravalomanana resigned following weeks of protests and violence. Ravalomanana and Andry Rajoelina, mayor of Madagascar's capital, Antananarivo, were in a dispute that resulted in Rajoelina taking over the presidency with the help of military allies.

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Despite the power shift, tensions in Madagascar continue, and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon again called on leaders in the country to respect the rule of law and hold inclusive talks, the United Nations reported.

"The secretary-general remains concerned with the continuing crisis in Madagascar, which has led to politically motivated arrests, escalating violence and the loss of lives," Ban's spokesperson said in a statement.

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