Madagascar Public Announcement
Issued by US Department of State
Feb 11, 2002
The Republic of Madagascar is currently in the midst of a difficult
electoral season. Supporters of the primary opposition candidate have
called for a general strike and have held daily demonstrations and rallies
with crowd sizes averaging from 100,000 to 500,000. This situation could
continue through mid-April when the final results of an expected second
round of voting should be announced. Demonstrations and general strikes are
also occurring in other towns throughout Madagascar, although not on the
same scale. While there has not been widespread violence accompanying the
demonstrations, a few isolated incidents have taken place.
The strike has affected key sectors of the economy such as transport,
banking, and retail. Transportation disruptions due to workers
participating in the strike effectively closed Antananarivo's airport on
January 28th. Local ground transportation was nearly brought to a
standstill with very few buses or taxis available. Financial institutions
have also been closed intermittently making transactions difficult. Stores,
if open, have been keeping irregular hours as they try to let their
employees attend the demonstrations.
Americans planning travel to Madagascar should monitor media reports for
current information about interruptions to transport or other services.
Americans traveling or resident in the country should avoid large public
gatherings. There have been no reports of injuries to U.S. citizens, and
demonstrations have not been aimed at foreign visitors or residents.
American citizens in Madagascar are urged to register with the U.S. Embassy
and to obtain updated information on travel and security in Madagascar. The
U.S. Embassy is located at 14-16 Rue Rainitovo, Antsahavola, Antananarivo;
telephone  (20) 22-212-57.
Americans traveling and residing abroad should monitor closely the
Department of State's Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov. For
further general information regarding travel to Madagascar, please consult
the Department's latest Consular Information Sheet for Madagascar, which is
also available on the Department's web site.