African Union Suspends Madagascar

Pressure mounts against coup government
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2009 11:34 AM CDT
Supporters of Andry Rajoelina cheer at a rally Wednesday as they hear that Madagascar's highest court has accepted the army's decision that the toppled president's rival should replace him.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – International pressure is mounting against the new government of Madagascar, installed this week via coup, the BBC reports. The African Union has suspended the island nation’s membership, calling the takeover “unconstitutional,” and South Africa said it might impose sanctions. France likewise condemned the takeover, and the US cut some of its aid. But the new prime minister brushed off the criticism.

“We will explain to the whole world our cause,” he said in an interview. “The people demanded liberty and the military rallied to the popular movement, but it did not seize power.” But French President Nicolas Sarkozy expressed the view of most nations, saying, “Of course, it’s a coup d’etat.”