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


After the decisive war of 1895, France considered her general resident in Madagascar, Hippolyte Laroche too indulgent and too weak towards Queen Ranavalona III and the “rebels” who would support her or rather support her actions. In 1896, the French military intelligence service spoke of “the intelligences of the rebels at Antananarivo”. On June 13, the rumor spread “all of a sudden” that he seized the evidence of a great conspiracy, whose chief would have been the secretary-general of the Malagasy government, in this case Rasanjy. The same rumor indicates that the latter is arrested and overwhelmed by unimpeachable testimonies and that he will be shot.
The next day, the head of this service, Lieutenant Peltier, informed Hippolyte Laroche of this important discovery. As he already made a number of arrests and “afraid of going too far if he took it upon himself to do more”, he presented to the French resident general a list of names of the presumed members of the steering committee of the conspirators. Four days later, General Voyron sent him the case file.
According to the document, a search was made at Ratsimba, a horse trainer, who discovered a repeating gun and a revolver. Threatened with death penalty and for his life, this one indicates a house in the eastern part of the city where suspicious meetings would often have been held in the evening. The tenant (or janitor) of the building, Ratsimamonjy, arrested and interrogated, testified that he saw people entering and leaving for apparently “plotting the expulsion of the French,” according to Lieutenant Peltier’s report. The conspirators of Antananarivo would form five groups, each holding two cannons. Two groups would seize the resident general and the commander of the French troops to kill them immediately. Ratsimba and Ratsimamonjy reportedly denounced their leaders.
For Hippolyte Laroche, the list of conspirators is not trivial and he is the advocate of several of them. “The officers who admitted it without laughing, could not more ingenuously reveal the extent to which they are foreign to Malagasy things, to the knowledge of the indigenous staff of Antananarivo. “
What personalities are we talking about? Besides Rasanjy, the first name mentioned is that of Ratelifera, 16 honors. He is the grandson of Rainilaiarivony whom he accompanied to Algiers. On returning to Madagascar, he spent a month in Paris from where he brought back 30 crates, “of arms,
your. What Hippolyte Laroche denies that they contained “50 pants, a corresponding number of waistcoats, frock-coats and ties, a lady’s saddle, an amazon costume, a city and evening toilet for Mrs. Ratelifera, one Velocipede, etc. And to present him as “a very good child, puffed up by a score of years, harmless, desirous of our friendship and without the least aptitude for the profession of conspirator.”
The second name is Prince Rakotomena, 17 years old. A nephew beloved by the queen who treats him as a son, he is also spoiled by his mother Rasendranoro “who never gave him principles or good examples.” Focused on alcohol, it was mostly known before 1895 by adventures not very shining. “Passive, indolent character, without spring! “Concludes the French resident general.
According to him, since his arrival in January 1896, the queen informs him of his desire to send his nephew to France, but he is not very enthusiastic about this idea, “anxious to offer to one Of our lycées this profoundly mediocre subject. ” Ranavalona was only content to ask Ranavalona to keep him at the Palais and watch him closely so that he would not go into the town “doing nonsense”.
In fact, according to Hippolyte Laroche, “Rakotomena never leaves, sees nobody, gets drunk and does not conspire”. And to cut short the suspicions of which the young prince is suspected, he warns the queen that her “beloved child” is free to go to France. She does not tell him twice and sets him on his way!
Third name of the list: Rainianjalahy, governor of the Ambodirano who was sent to Arivonimamo six months earlier as a royal commissioner following the riot in November 1895. He works closely with the French This post “who have always praised him”. And the French resident general said: “The combination of his name with those of Rakotomena and many other conspirators forms an enormous contrast, which is not the least strangeness of the conspiracy discovered. “