UN to investigate 'mass killings' in Madagascar By RIVONALA RAZAFISON in Antananarivo | Friday, November 30   2012 at  10:18

Madagascar army
Madagascar's army on parade. A special unit tasked with flushing out criminal networks in the country's south has been accused of killing civilians.   FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The United Nations together with the Malagasy Government will investigate allegations of widespread killings of civilians over cattle theft in the southern region of Anosy, an official has said.
The decision was announced on Wednesday afternoon after a meeting between senior governmental officials and diplomats at the office of the Prime Minister in the capital Antananarivo.
This follows claims by Amnesty International that the ongoing ‘Operation Tandroka’, which started in September, had seen 40 cattle thieves killed and 76 arrested in Anosy.

In September, Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina launched a special army unit to neutralise the bandits who had been terrorising residents in the area.

According to a press release sent to newsrooms, officials from the UN, the European Union (EU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) also attended the meeting.
The international community is now worried that the insecurity in the region could affect next year’s General Election and other donor projects.

“The situation could affect projects funded by donors. We hope a solution will be found soon,” The EU envoy to Antananarivo, Mr Leonidas Tezapsidis said in the statement.
Prime Minister Jean-Omer Beriziky assured the diplomats that investigations would be launched into the allegations.

“Probes will be conducted in the regions prone to banditry,” he said.