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Apocalyptic Scenes in Andranondambo, Madagascar as Villages Fight Over Land

L'Express Mada reports that the entire village of Andranondambo in the South of Madagascar was destroyed [fr] during an inter-village conflict that stems from a dispute over land rights. The civilian conflict, which lasted from May 20 to 22, left no residents of the village alive. One of the military police officers recalls [fr]:

A notre arrivée, un chien errant était en train de dévorer un bras arraché d’ un corps. Dans une maison anéantie par les flammes, nous avons mis la main sur une dépouille. L’air était irrespirable [..] Même l’école publique et l’église d’Andranondambo ont été ravagées. Les toitures en tôle ont été arrachées avec tous les mobiliers.

When we arrived, a dog was eating what was left of a corpse. In a nearby home destroyed by fire, we found more corpses. The stink was unbearable. Even the public school and the church were ravaged. All the materials from houses were taken apart.

The land dispute started in 1991 when an important source of sapphire and mica was discovered in the Andranondambo. The rush of land miners pushed local villagers away to another village Ambato­tsivala. Since then, the two villages have been at odds over land rights but the conflict has never reached such a harrowing level of violence until recently.

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