Peace Corps Volunteers to Leave Madagascar

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 13, 2002—Following the Department of State notice of an ordered departure for eligible family members of Embassy staff and personnel in non-emergency positions, Peace Corps volunteers are preparing to leave Madagascar. After lengthy discussions with Peace Corps personnel in that country and coordination with the Embassy in Antananarivo, Madagascar, Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez called for the consolidation of volunteers so that departure can take place.

The situation in Madagascar has been watched closely following the December 16, 2001 presidential elections. There have been large demonstrations with occasional violence. The government of Madagascar declared a national state of emergency, and on February 28, 2002, declared martial law in Antananarivo. Deteriorating security conditions and increased logistical difficulties and indications that the political and security conditions could worsen have led to a complex and difficult political situation with no clear resolution in sight.

While there have been incidents of violence and the potential for more violence remains, there have been no incidents involving Peace Corps volunteers, and all volunteers are safe and accounted for. Once volunteers are moved to a central location, they will depart Madagascar.

The Office of Special Services, an office at the Peace Corps that works closely with family members, has notified immediate family members or other emergency contacts to inform them that the volunteers will be out of contact until they depart Madagascar. Families with questions should contact the Office of Special Services at 202.692.1470 for further updates or specific information about the volunteers.

Updates to this departure will be posted as they become available.

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