Madagascar's former president has been arrested just hours after he returned to the island nation following years in exile.

A public relations company released a statement Monday on behalf of son Tojo Ravalomanana that says ex-president Marc Ravalomanana was detained by government forces when he returned to the country after spending five years in exile in South Africa. The statement says the former president was arrested in his home by scores of heavily armed forces. It is unclear where Ravalomanana is being held.

On his return to Madagascar the former president gave an impromptu address in the capital, Antananarivo.

Ravalomanana fled Madagascar in 2009 after he was removed from office by a coup. The former leader's attempts to return to the Indian ocean island have been blocked several times.