Nosy Be killings of tourists seen as severe setback for Madagascar tourism

TOURISTS KILLED BY ANGRY MOB

(Posted 05th October 2013)

The French government’s reaction was swift and sharp, warning against all travel to Madagascar’s resort island of Nosy Be, after one French citizen was tortured and burned to death by angry mobs of villagers, which had apparently accused him, another European tourist visitor and a local man of being responsible for the death of a boy and for being ‘organ traders’. The boy’s mutilated body was found at a beach and the three chased down and then mercilessly beaten, dragged through nearby villages, made to ‘confess their crimes’ under severe torture before being set alight and burned to death.

France was joined by other western nations immediately issuing travel warnings while their diplomatic missions in Antananarivo demanded urgent explanations from the government over the incident. According to some information was riot police and the military deployed in the area where the incident happened and several arrests were made of villagers thought to have been involved in the attack.

Madagascar’s tourism industry in recent years was hit hard when first Air Madagascar was blacklisted by the EU for a while and then as political riots and fights swept the island following a coup, leading to sanctions by the African Union and embargos by western countries.

With a part recovery underway in more recent months, Madagascar is part of the Vanilla Island Organization and as such supported by fellow island states, and elections finally due on 25th of October which are to restore a legitimate government accepted by all citizens, this latest development is seen as a huge setback for the tourism industry, on which recovery many banked to spur economic growth once again. Besides the national parks on the main island, renowned for their Lemur populations, Nosy Be is a popular resort island which has of late again attracted growing numbers of foreign visitors, a flow now likely to come to a grinding halt as tourists fear to be targets of similar mob attacks. For more details on Madagascar’s tourism attractions visit www.madagascar-tourisme.com/en

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