Civil War in Madagascar Interrupts Gem Supply

In case you haven't heard, there's a civil war in Madagascar, and it has shut down the supply of goods from that island nation. "I heard in March that a group of Thais had gotten in, but they couldn't get out of the capital city," says Tom Cushman, an importer of Madagascar gems based in Sun Valley, Idaho. "Fortunately, I bought a lot of rough over the last few years, so I'm lucky." The conflict began Dec. 16, 2001, when Madagascar held its presidential election. When results were finally tallied on Jan. 25, no candidate had received 50% of the vote. According to Madagascar law, that should trigger a runoff election, and Didier Ratsiraka, the incumbent president, declared one. But opposition candidate Marc Ravalomanana—a self-made millionaire and mayor of the capital city of Antananarivo—declared himself the victor, claiming that Ratsiraka had tampered with the votes. Ravalomanan
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