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#521
Madagascar
Keymaster

Of all the cousins ​​of Radama I, only Prince Ramanetaka survives the “witch hunt” that ensues at the death of the king. Governor of the Boeny, he can flee before the arrival of the envoys of Ranavalomanjaka. According to information obtained by Benoît Joachim Dayot, informant of the governor of the island of Bourbon, a great fright seizes the capital sparked by General Ramanetaka, Berora and the French. The queen’s entourage is looking for ways to trap them and “proposes the Prince of Betanimena (Coroller) to serve his needs in order to pull the chestnuts out of the fire.”
Concerning the French and Berora, “they will be flattered and caressed to attract them”. Berora is the son of Fiche (Fisa), prince of the Betsimisaraka, and at the time, he continues his studies in France.
As for Prince Ramanetaka, his fate is sealed! According to Dayot, it only remains for him to seize the crown by destroying everything that thwarts his project. Indeed, at the moment when the queen ascended the throne, Ramanetaka, according to Dayot, sent a protest against Ranavalona I. He treats her as usurper and asserts to him “that he has enough authentic documents to prove to all the princes, his equals in Madgasse, that his cousin Radama had named him his successor to the throne. Provided that Raketaka, the legitimate daughter of Radama and Rasalimo, his favorite wife, would marry Rakotobe and succeed him at his death. ” At the same time, Prince Ratsimandresy, his son-in-law, formed a very strong party in the shadow of the mystery.
Unfortunately for them, four officers attached to Radama were decapitated – “or rather slain with the last barbarity” – on the spot, for wanting to support the cause of Rakotobe, others the Ramanetaka. Prince Ratsimandresy and six of his companions are also wise. Ramanetaka then runs away. “It is said that, being protected by the king of the Comoros Islands, he will go there to discipline his people and then use them in need later. “
There are rumors that Prince Ramanetaka, after sending his protest to the queen, immediately takes flight, “on a species of Arab bridged ship,” to sail towards the coast of Africa. Other rumors assure him that he embarks on an American brig which was in the roadstead of Bombetoka. His three women accompany him and he takes with him “all his wealth in various currencies for a very large sum, and weapons in large numbers, with barrels of powder.” All his officers and partisans who did not want to leave him and all his slaves embarked on Arab ships. “This small division headed towards the north of Madagascar, from which it is presumed that they are on one of the islands of Anjouan. “
Some claim that Prince Ramanetaka has gone to America. It is also rumored that he leaves behind him 30,000 oxen, which the queen takes for her own account. According to Dayot, “this quantity is exaggerated.” Besides, he declares himself well acquainted with Ramanetaka. “He loves the French singularly, and has a strong aversion to the English. He has a male character, intrepidity with caution and is very courageous. That is why he is so much feared. Counting on “the intimacy that existed between this prince and himself,” Dayot thinks he can exploit these relations – for “Ramanetaka still exists” – in the interest of the French sovereign in “this beautiful country so great and rich in production of All species “.
As he fled, Prince Ramanetaka tried to drag his brother, Prince Ramananolona, ​​governor of Fort-Dauphin. But he refuses. He also claimed the crown and placed himself at the head of the people of the South against the queen. Thus the chiefs of this region of the island, Rabefantsio and Rafarantsa, raise their people and send a cartel to the queen. But Ramananolona is less fortunate than his brother and dies murdered.