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Madagascar News Forums The Transformation of Antananarivo Reply To: The Transformation of Antananarivo


On the news of the Sakalava insurrection of Boina (Boeny), Radama dispatches to the rescue of Ramanetaka, an army corps of 2,000 men under Rainimaka (see previous note). Thus strengthened, the governor merina of Mahajanga, after reoccupying Marovoay, increases the means of defense of the fort where it leaves a strong garrison. He then launches in pursuit of Andriantsoly in flight, crosses the Sofia and goes to the village of Langany, on the right bank of the Mahajamba, where the Sakalava king takes refuge.
At the news of the arrival of Merina forces, the Sakalava know that they can struggle with some chance of success and take to flight. Andriantsoly, always accompanied by his faithful Antalaotra, decides “not to wait for the enemy and to settle in the North, in order to get away from the merina operational bases” (Jean Valette, archivist pal√©ographe).
He quickly made arrangements: women, children and luggage were loaded onto dhows. When the Merina arrive in front of Langany, they find the village completely evacuated. The next morning the flotilla sails under Ramanetaka’s helpless eyes. “To take revenge, this one burned the village and returned to Majunga. “
After stopping at the mouth of the Loza, the migrants headed to Anorotsangana where they arrived around 25 July 1825 and settled there, the Antalaotra on the shores of the sea, Andriantsoly on the present site of Rova. The people come to pay tribute to their sovereign, but only the local Sakalava are forced to come to Anorotsangana with their families. “Andriantsoly had thus found a few thousand faithful. “
The Sakalava king finally understands that “regular fires and military tactics” give the Radama soldiers their superiority. He considered it necessary to take advantage of the respite, no doubt passing, which was given to him to work to put as much as possible the Sakalava at the level of their opponents. “He assembled for this purpose 800 men, who, under the direction of some Antalaotra, formerly instructed at Majunga, were well and truly initiated into the use of arms. But Andriantsoly did not long enjoy the calm of his retreat. Ramanetaka reports to Radama of his flight and expresses his fear of seeing him again soon with considerable forces. He insists on the need to actively pursue the fugitive.
Aware of this danger, the sovereign merina sends from Antananarivo an army of a thousand men, still under the orders of Rainimaka, who advances across Sihanaka country to attack the Sakalava in Anorotsangana. Andriantsoly sent a troop of 700 to 800 men, including 200 Antalaotra, under the command of Houssein Faki. In the ensuing encounter, the Sakalava have the advantage, which is doubtless due to the fact that the army of Rainimaka is mostly composed of Betanimena, soldiers far less trained than the Merina. Rainamaka succumbs, shortly afterwards to the disease and the survivors return to Imerina.
This retreat and the arrival of the rainy season ensure Andriantsoly a few months of respite. He took the opportunity to bring his sister Ouantsitsy and Roussi ben Mari to him. “All winter was spent without hostilities on either side and the Sakalava resumed their habits. However, Radama resolves to put an end to them and prepares a serious expedition against Anorotsangana.
As soon as the season returned, he gave Ramanetaka the order to sail to Anorotsangana with a dozen dhows and a large number of canoes. At the same time, he dispatched from Imerina a corps of 4,000 troops commanded by Ramarosandy who will lead the assault on earth. “But either because of lack of co-ordination or hindrance in navigation, Ramarosandy found himself too soon in conflict with the Sakalava. His troops arrived in the vicinity of Anorotsangana in the early days of April 1826. To cover the town, Andriantsoly ordered his troops to meet him.
On the 10th of April, the Merina, surprised by the violence of the Antalaotra assault, seem to make a retreat, but during the night a part of them turns the antalaotra positions north of the mountain. In order not to be caught between two fires, the latter fold back in haste. Renewing their tactics of Langany, they embark with Andriantsoly, their families and their goods. And when, on the 12th of April, Ramarosandy entered the city, she found it evacuated. The next day, Andriantsoly headed for Mayotte.
Since that year 1826 and until Radama turned his back in 1828, the Boina is split in two: Ramanetaka governs the central part, Ouantsitsy reigns more to the North. As for the South, country of marshes, it remains free.