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How to pronounce the name of Madagascar's new president: Hery Rajaonarimampianina

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — The election of Hery Rajaonarimampianina as Madagascar's new president sets the ultimate challenge for radio and TV newsreaders around the world: properly pronouncing his name.

Rats, locusts and hungry children: Can elections save Madagascar from the abyss?

JOHANNESBURG — With swarms of hungry locusts destroying crops, and rats spreading bubonic plague, the crisis in Madagascar is becoming almost biblical in its devastation.

Travel warnings after 3 killed in mob attack on Madagascar island

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — The US government has warned against travel to a popular tourist island in Madagascar after reports of rioting and the mob killings of two European men. A French national and a man with both Italian and French passports, as well as a local man, were attacked by a mob that reportedly suspected them of organ trafficking after a young boy's mutilated body was found on a beach on Nosy Be island, off the northwest coast of Madagascar.

Madagascar hit by locust plague

According to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the billions of insects could cause hunger for 60 percent of the country's population.

Soldiers mutiny in Madagascar proves unsuccessful

Soldiers at a Madagascar army military camp attempted an ultimately unsuccessful mutiny today, the Wall Street Journal reports, taking over a barracks located near the airport in Madgascar's capital city of Antananarivo.

Lemurs declared most endangered vertebrates on Earth

Habitat loss is the main reason for the disappearance of the lemurs, Conservation International said in a statement, according to CNN.

Scientists: thirty Indonesian women colonized Madagascar over one thousand years ago

While the theory that the island was settled by Indonesians is not new, a genetic analysis suggests just 30 women of childbearing age comprised the first human inhabitation of Madagascar. 93 percent of Malagasy genes were tied to Indonesia.

Brookesia micra, world's smallest chameleon, discovered in Madagascar

The tiny lizard, native to Madagascar, measures less than 30 millimeters fully grown – making it small enough to stand comfortably on a fingernail.

Madagascar News: Exiled former president sent back to South Africa

Marc Ravalomanana's attempt to return to Madagascar have been thwarted for the second time.
Madagascar president marc ravalomanana returns 2012 1 23Enlarge
Police cordons off a crowd of people gathered outside the airport of Antananarivo waiting for the reported arrival of Madagascar's ousted leader Marc Ravalomanana on Jan. 21, 2012. (Gregoire Pourtier/AFP/Getty Images)

NAIROBI, Kenya — The hopes of Madagascar's ousted former President Marc Ravalomanana to return triumphantly to home soil from South African exile were dashed — again — at the weekend.

Just an hour before his plane was due to land at the airport in the capital Antananarivo it was turned around due, it seems, to "security concerns" at the airport where a large crowd of his supporters had gathered and were being kept at bay by riot police.

More on GlobalPost: Marc Ravalomanana, former president, denied entry

On board the flight was Niren Tolsi, a journalist for South Africa's weekly Mail & Guardian newspaper.

Below are parts of his report he wrote about "the theater of the absurd" on board:

"At around noon, Ravalomanana was informed by the airline's security chief, who was on board the flight and identified only as Heinrich, that the plane had turned around and was now heading back to Johannesburg. But information was scarce — unlike the anger and disappointment welling up inside Ravalomanana and his entourage, or the general chaos in midair.

"Ravalomanana's attempt to set foot on Malagasy soil was thwarted an hour before it was due to happen. According to the airline's security chief, the pilot had been informed by ground control at Ivato International Airport that it had been closed due to 'security concerns.'

"News filtering through suggested that large crowds — estimated between 20,000 and 30,000 — had gathered at Ivato in expectation of Ravalomanana. No one would say who had given the order to close the airport down, but Ravalomanana's aides suggested that it must have been an executive order from someone in the government of Andry Rajoelina (who had deposed Ravalomanana's democratically elected government in a 2009 coup)."

This is the second time that Ravalomanana's attempts to go home have been thwarted by his ouster and opponent Rajoelina.

Now it is being reported that Rajoelina has had a change of heart, saying he'll even send a private plane to collect the former president ... and then have him arrested on arrival.

More on GlobalPost: Madagascar's former president plans return, risks arrest

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Madagascar: Marc Ravalomanana, former president, denied entry

“All the talk yesterday evening was that his return was good and they were going to arrest him,” Patrick Gearing, a Ravalomanana spokesman, told the New York Times. “I don’t know why the change of heart now.”
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