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


The king of the Boina (Boeny) Andriantsoly is very against the governor merina, Ramanetaka, and his men because of their brutality. When, in January 1825, he took possession of thirty slaves who had fled from his home to seek protection from him, he entered into a violent rage (see previous note).
That same evening he assembled the chiefs who remained faithful to him, Mari Ben Roussi and Raivala, reminding them of the outrages and vexations with which he had to suffer. He concerted with them on the means to be employed “to shake off one day the intolerable yoke.” They agree that while pretending the most absolute submission, they will prepare a general uprising. They foresee that, at the moment when they think fit, they will gather enough people to take Anfihaonana first, then to march on Mahajanga, the garrison of which is then very much reduced by fevers.
“It was during these preparations that the envoys of Ramitraho, about thirty of them, came to Andriantsoly and joined them to put his plan into execution” (Jean Valette, archivist, paleographer).
On 1 March 1825, the entourage of Andriantsoly, aided by the emissaries of Ramitraho, rushed to the post of Anfihaonana. “The garrison attacked thus unexpectedly, could not make resistance. Manjakatompo who commanded it, and its soldiers were massacred by the Sakalava. “
An Antalaotra, Faki Mouiaka, informs Ramanetaka of this coup. He immediately sent an important contingent to Anfihaonana to reconnoitre the situation and to help, if there is still time, to the garrison of this post. At the same time, he dispatches a courier to Antananarivo to inform Radama about what is going on and ask for reinforcements.
As for him, he hastily executed some work to ensure the defense of the Mahajanga camp where he expects to be soon besieged by the insurgents.
The Mahajanga merina, situated on the top of the hill of Saribengo, is only an assembly of falafa huts on a small area. It is surrounded by a palisade of bamboo in which are arranged two openings of entrances. One looks at the village, the other looks on the opposite side.
In the first are placed three pieces of large calibres, of which only one is mounted. To defend this position, Ramanetaka has only 500 to 600 men, a part of which is already very weakened by diseases and fevers.
“His courage and energy, however, did not abandon him on this difficult occasion. He had the stakes of the palisade doubled, and raised within it a rampart
In earth about four feet high. One piece of artillery was placed at each of the openings. When these arrangements were over, he calmly awaited the enemy.
Andriantsoly, master of Anfihaonana, gives orders to all the Sakalava gathered in the neighborhood to join him. On March 3, the insurgents set out for Mahajanga. Their column is about 500 strong, but as it advances, numerous groups join it, and “it soon found itself more than doubled. But his movements were slow and undecided. “
Indeed, instead of rushing to forced march on the merina camp of Mahajanga, which they can reach in two days and a half at most, the Sakalava advance “in small days” in order to gather more people. A commitment with the reinforcements sent by Ramanetaka also contributes to delaying the movement. And the column did not arrive before Mahajanga until the 9th of March.
The day before, the Sakalava, numbering about 2,000 men, stop at Amparihingidro and divide into four corps. They must attack simultaneously on four fronts. In
Arriving, each of them will take the position assigned to him.
The first, under the command of Mari ben Roussi, is placed to the north. The second with Raivala and Fianhouna takes position in the east. The third is commanded by Anangha and Andakafotsy in the west.
The fourth, at the head of which are two Antalaotra, Tsimba and Moussa, goes south between the town of Mahajanga and the merina camp. The attack begins on the 10th of March on the four fronts, and ends with the attack of the assailants.