Times Wire Reports

Madagascar's bitter political rivals signed a power-sharing deal, agreeing to create an interim government to end months of violence.

The Indian Ocean island has become increasingly isolated since Andry Rajoelina claimed the presidency in March in a widely denounced coup that sent Marc Ravalomanana into exile.

The two sides signed an accord after four days of talks mediated by former Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano.

According to the agreement, a transitional government will be established for 15 months, leading to fresh elections. Details of how the parties will share power are still being worked out. The new administration is expected to be in place by September.

Rajoelina's role, and whether he will lead the interim government, is not yet clear. Under the accord, Ravalomanana was granted amnesty for any charges that might arise.

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