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World News

TIMELINE: Madagascar feuding leaders still talking

(Reuters) - Madagascar’s political rivals will meet in Mozambique on Tuesday to discuss how to allocate jobs in a power-sharing government they agreed to set up to end months of turmoil.

Below is a timeline of events this year in Madagascar:

January 27, 2009 - Opposition leader Andry Rajoelina calls for more anti-government protests.

February 3 - The government fires Rajoelina from his post as mayor of the capital Antananarivo.

February 7 - Security forces kill at least 25 people at an anti-government protest near the presidential palace.

February 21 - Rajoelina meets President Marc Ravalomanana for talks to resolve the power struggle.

February 25 - Rajoelina pulls out of the talks after Ravalomanana fails to attend.

March 8 - Mutiny breaks out in a military camp outside Antananarivo as Rajoelina spends a second day in hiding after a crackdown on his anti-government movement.

March 14 - Rajoelina emerges from hiding to tell his supporters he is giving Ravalomanana four hours to step down.

March 16 - Soldiers seize the presidential palace and the central bank in a show of force, further isolating Ravalomanana.

March 17 - Rajoelina takes power with the support of the army after Ravalomanana is forced out following opposition protests. At least 135 people killed in protests. The African Union says the military should not hand over to Rajoelina.

March 18 - Madagascar’s Constitutional Court issues a statement endorsing the takeover.

March 19 - Mozambique, Angola and Swaziland, from southern African bloc SADC, which includes Madagascar, refuse to recognize the new leader. Norway, which gives about $14 million a year in aid, says it has frozen funding.

March 20 - The African Union suspends Madagascar and says it has six months to call an election. The United States says it is moving to suspend all non-humanitarian assistance.

March 21 - Rajoelina is installed as army-backed new leader.

March 30 - SADC suspends Madagascar.

April 3 - An agreed roadmap envisages changes to the constitution and electoral code followed by a parliamentary election in March 2010 and a presidential vote in October 2010.

May 8 - The IMF says it has frozen aid.

May 27 - Rajoelina says he refuses to allow ousted leader Ravalomanana to return from exile.

June 3 - Ravalomanana is sentenced in absentia to four years in jail for abuse of office in buying a presidential jet.

June 14 - The government quits internationally mediated talks.

June 21 - Southern African leaders say they will speed up efforts to help restore order. SADC says it has appointed former Mozambican president Joaquim Chissano to lead the dialogue. June 24 - Police arrest eight men suspected of attempted bomb attacks, which the government linked to Ravalomanana.

June 26 - Government celebrates Independence Day. Foreign envoys snub the ceremony.

July 6 - The EU says that Madagascar has failed to convince it to unfreeze aid as the island was not moving toward constitutional order.

August 5 - Discussions start between Ravalomanana and Rajoelina, the first time the two had met face to face since the coup.

August 8/9 - In a new a power-sharing deal, the feuding leaders say elections will be held within 15 months. Ravalomanana says he will return, but not personally take part in the process.

August 25 - A new round of talks start in Maputo.

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