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16 November 2007
BBC Monitoring Africa
Text of report by Radio France Internationale on 16 November

In Madagascar, 12 peasants have been sentenced to death for not wanting to leave lands on which they had been living for years. Six others were sentenced to 12 years to hard labour.

In August 2006, about 100 residents of the village of Ankorondrano [rural commune in Antananarivo] had clashed with policemen who had come to remove them. Three were killed including two officers of the security forces.

It worth noting that the villagers were not the owners of the land they were farming. But they settled there after the French left. A wealthy real estate developer wanted to buy the land to build an amusement park. This is not an isolated occurrence, the big island is experiencing many land problems which they inherited from the colonization period.

Source: Radio France Internationale, Paris, in French 0730 gmt 16 Nov 07