Madagascar's Exiled President Confident Of Return

Published January 21, 2012 7:18AM (EST)

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Madagascar's ousted and exiled president is confident he will return to his Indian Ocean homeland Saturday.

Security officials in Madagascar say Marc Ravalomanana will be arrested if he returns. Ravalomanana says arresting him would be unlawful and would destabilize Madagascar.

Ravalomanana collected boarding passes for himself, his wife and two aides 90 minutes before his commercial flight was scheduled to leave Johannesburg. His wife, Lalao, gave a subdued thumbs up as they headed to a car to take them to a VIP lounge to complete departure formalities.

Ravalomanana, exiled in South Africa since being toppled in 2009, tried to return last year. Then, he was stopped at the Johannesburg airport after aviation authorities in Madagascar wrote to say he was not welcome.

By Salon Staff

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