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In order to establish a more or less durable peace in the Menabe region, Radama I obeyed the conditions of his father-in-law and decided to send ambassadors there (see previous note). And to please King Ramitraho, he even sent his wife Rasalimo accompanied by Frenchman Robin and escorted by a thousand men under Andriamihaja. “They will serve as escort to the queen and guard the ambassador.” “
However, Ramitraho refuses to receive his daughter and avoids to keep the promise he made. The Radama envoys, however, have several talks with one of his nephews, Tsimikotokoto. “These talks ended tragically with the death of the latter, during an engagement of which it is difficult to say whether the responsibility lies with the Merina or the Sakalava. “
According to Ellis, Tsimikotokoto would finally have agreed to an arrangement with Andriamihaja. But instead of respecting his promises, he would have advanced with a strongly trooped troop to attack Radama’s envoys treacherously. The latter, perceiving in time the betrayal, would have fired and thus killed the young prince.
Guillain, for his part, relates: “The two parties could not come to an understanding, and came to blows, each of them pretending that the other had acted treacherously. Tsimikotokoto lost his life in this skirmish where the Hova, rightly or wrongly, had been the aggressors. “
However, the incident has no unfortunate consequences, the two adversaries being anxious not to cause an irremediable rupture. Radama revealed how much he regretted the lamentable outcome of this affair and the disappearance of the young man he was preparing to receive in his capital after the negotiations.
Ramitraho, while regretting the death of his nephew, feigned to “reject what had happened on an error of the latter and proclaimed that no fault was attributable to the troops of Radama.” The sakalava king in turn sends an embassy to Antananarivo, “thus procuring rest and security for the next season”.
The hostilities remain there in the Menabe. Moreover, Radama was called on the east coast in 1827 and can not before his death, in 1828, resume the fight against Ramitraho.
The war is much more bitter in the Boina, where the Merina king also dispatches
reinforcements. The situation there is confused. Andriantsoly, who appears to have been subjected in 1824, bears very badly the control exercised over all his actions by Ramanetaka. The latter seems, in several circumstances, to have been wounded by “bad practices,” the pride of the Sakalava king, accustomed hitherto to seeing all those around him, yielding and yielding to his slightest whims.
In addition, the officers and soldiers of the Merina, who still betray the conduct of their general, have, by all sorts of vexations, irritated the neighboring populations against them. “The severe discipline which reigned in the Merina troops, so long as Radama had been among them, and which had so powerfully contributed to its acceptance of authority, had not been maintained in the garrisons left under the orders of Ramanetaka and The exactions committed by them, increased the discontent of the Sakalava. “
They complain to Andriantsoly and incite him to wage war against the Merina in order to free them from the oppression which oppresses them. The fallen king resisted first the
Instances which are made to him, wanting to accumulate more the grievances and increase the hatreds.
“But an act of violence committed against him by Ramanetaka decided him to act. “
After the tragic end of Houssein, governor of Mahajanga, Ramanetaka, appointed by Radama to succeed him, seizes all the slaves who belong to his predecessor in taking his place. In January 1825, some thirty of these slaves escaped to the protection of Andriantsoly in his residence at Anfihaonana, near Marovoay, to escape the ill-treatment they undergo in the service of their new master.
Ramanetaka claims them, but the sakalava king, already irritated against the governor Merina, refuses to satisfy his request. “He argued a sakalava custom according to which, on the death of Houssein, a part of the latter’s slaves should have belonged to him; Then he added that he had not called those who had come to him, but that they had acted on their own. “
That said, he keeps the slaves. Ramanetaka does not hear it thus, and renews his pretensions by supporting them by a detachment of fifty men. Andriantsoly persists in his refusal. The Merina invade his residence and take the slaves by force. The king of the Boina then understands how much he is belittled by this act and resolves to take revenge. The war is imminent.