BEIJING (AP) – The Chinese Embassy in Madagascar on Sunday expressed shock at a deadly riot at a Chinese-run sugar plant and criticized the island nation’s government for failing to protect Chinese interests.
The statement came four days after local workers looted the sugar plant in Morondava and clashed with Madagascar security forces, leaving two people dead.
The embassy said the staff evacuated the factory because of fears for their safety.
According to the embassy, the workers have been causing trouble after their “unreasonable demands” were turned down. The statement does not say what the demands were.
Starting in early November, the disgruntled workers began to block the factory, cutting off utilities, harassing employees and sabotaging equipment, the embassy said. They attacked the plant on Nov 26, and clashed with security forces on Wednesday after their leaders were detained.
The official China News Service said Madagascar military forces killed two people after they opened fire on the rioters, who were armed with axes, slingshots and rocks. It said some seasonal workers at the sugar plant had hoped for full-time contracts.