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Letter from the Turk Family in Madagascar

February 19, 2009

Madagascar update

Dear Friends,

Four ministries were taken today without bloodshed by Mr. Rajoelina’s people: public security, amenagement du territoire, education, and interior. Dan saw footage from VIVA TV. At the ministry of public security, they broke into the building with a crowbar. At the interior ministry, they used a chisel and hammer to break open locked doors. At another ministry they broke a chain with lock cutters. At the public security and interior ministries they kept breaking open locked doors until reaching the minister’s office, where they took down president Ravalomanana’s picture. Our understanding is that Mr. Rajoelina’s people will be staying the night at the ministries to keep the Ravalomanana security forces from getting them back. Mr. Rajoelina’s people say they will continue to take other ministries tomorrow.

Mr. Rajoelina’s minister of interior security (which President Ravalomanana called the Ministry of Public Security, essentially the ministry of national police) said that he was giving the police 48 hours to report for duty.

Please join us in praying for the Malagasy people. Friday could be a day of conflict if Mr. Rajoelina’s people continue their attempt to take over ministry buildings and the government tries to stop them.

Please pray

  • That the government will be able to address the ministry building takeovers wisely.
  • For all parties (church leaders, national and international leaders) who are trying to help in this crisis to deal with it effectively and wisely.
  • That a way be found for the crisis to end quickly and for the government to address the concerns of the people. Every day the crisis continues it hurts people, as businesses stop, the economy stalls, and prices go up.

Here is a statement that the United Kingdom’s Foreign Office Minister, Lord Malloch-Brown, issued yesterday on the unrest in Madagascar:

I have been following the situation in Madagascar with growing concern and have been particularly disturbed by the loss of lives in the current unrest. The atmosphere of confrontation and the disruption it has caused will serve only to worsen the lives of the majority of Malagasy people. Any attempt to remove a democratically elected Government through unconstitutional means is unacceptable. President Ravalomanana and his administration were elected through Presidential and Parliamentary elections that were endorsed by international monitors. Their democratic legitimacy should be respected, and all parties in Madagascar should abide by the normal electoral process.

We continue to feel safe. We will be avoiding downtown tomorrow. 

Peace in Christ,

Elizabeth and Dan

The 2009 Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 48

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