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#354
Madagascar
Keymaster

Several personalities holding high office in the government of royalty, were brought to trial in 1868. They had been the instigators, at least accomplices, in the conspiracy against Rasoherina and especially Rainilaiarivony. Of all the social origins, the twenty persons accused are for the most part general officers, specifies the RP Callet which quotes several names. Among others, of the noble caste Andriamasinavalona: Andriantsitohaina, Ratsimihara, Rasata and Ravahatra; Of the caste hova Tsimahafotsy: Rainimanonja; Of hova Tsimiamboholahy: the former Prime Minister Raharo, Ratiaraikely, Rabeaharana, Rainivalitera and Radomparany; Of the Imerinatsimo: Ralaitrimo, Ramahova, Ramanonja and Razeva. Without forgetting Rainimanito, Ramahaiza, Ranatrika, Ingahileda and Zafimanonja …
After the investigation of their case, the “Olom-baventy” declared them all guilty and Rainilaiarivony exiled them to Andoharanofotsy, however minimal the part some took, while he relegated his brother Raharo (Rainivoninahitriniony) to Ambohimandroso. Other defendants are automatically retired. As for the other former Prime Minister Rainijohary, he enjoys royal pardon.
We know that there was a conspiracy, as many historians attest. But if they are unanimous in saying that Raharo and Rasata are recognized as the authors of the coup, their opinions are divided as regards the names of their accomplices. Moreover, the statements of the suspects themselves during their hearings are somewhat contradictory; Contradictions put in particular during the confrontations.
It all begins when Rasoherina moves to Andevoranto, during which she entrusts routine business to Andriantsitohaina, Rainimanonja, Rainiketaka and Rainisoa. On her return while suffering she rested at the residence of Rainilaiarivony in Amboditsiry, the rumors of a coup spread. She then ordered the four great men of the kingdom “to put the irons to the troublemakers.”
A first version of the case says that the decision of Andriantsitohaina and Rainimanonja to arrest Rainilaza, Rainisoa and Rainimboay is only the execution of this royal order. In addition, the same version emphasizes that the two meetings that take place successively at Rainizakamahefa and Andriantsitohaina are merely working sessions to develop the best tactic that will allow to take, without too much vague, the real conspirators . Similarly, it argues that if they send an armed troop to invade the Rova of Antananarivo – which is formally forbidden – it is because it is difficult for them to distinguish among the royal guard the partisans of the insurgents of the faithful of the Queen. And if they are absent in Antsahatsiroa where they were to join the royal emissaries, then to Amboditsiry to respond to a summoning of the queen, it is because both receive a check from the prime minister who enjoins them to stay at the Rova for the defend.
Finally, if some of their men have hidden, it is out of fear of being arrested for having, at the order of their superiors, “attached Rainisoa, Rainilaza, Rainimboay and Rainizaona”. Moreover, this “order given by their hierarchical leaders” is invoked by the majority of the accused who deny any participation in any palace revolution.
Other historians present an entirely different version of the event, based on the delay of Andriantsitohaina and Rainimanonja in giving the Prime Minister the information requested. According to this version, during the two meetings mentioned above, all the participants are complying with a ritual ceremony of taking the oath, vowing to go to the end of the coup d’etat.
Moreover, in spite of an earlier royal order, they were all armed when they invaded the Rova to attack the guard that remained loyal to the queen. In the same way they voluntarily refuse to go to Ambohitsiroa and Amboditsiry. This version relies mainly on the fact that Andriantsitohaina and Rainimanonja, who gave all orders to the insurgents, are former comrades-in-arms of Raharo when he was commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
Like what, the same fact can lend to two diametrically opposed interpretations.