Richard Ratsimandrava

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Richard Ratsimandrava
Buste du president Richard Ratsimandrava, Troisieme president de Madagascar dans l'amphitheatre du lycee.JPG
Bust of Ratsimandrava
President of Madagascar
In office
5 February 1975 11 February 1975
Preceded by Gabriel Ramanantsoa
Succeeded by Gilles Andriamahazo
Personal details
Born(1931-03-21)21 March 1931
Died 11 February 1975(1975-02-11) (aged 43)
Profession military

Colonel Richard Ratsimandrava (March 21, 1931 Antananarivo February 11, 1975 Antananarivo) was President of Madagascar for six days in February 1975. His assassination in 1975 led to a civil war.

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Military career

He was born in 1931 and was a Merina with a less "aristocratic" background [1] and thus was more palatable to the population. [2] A graduate of the French Saint Cyr military college, Ratsimandrava served throughout French Africa before returning to Madagascar when that country gained independence in 1960. He joined the army, attaining the rank of lieutenant-colonel by 1968. In 1972 President Gabriel Ramanantsoa established a military government to replace the independence government of Philibert Tsiranana, and Ratsimandrava was appointed Minister of the Interior. In this position, he was able to manipulate the army, which led to the ousting of Ramanantsoa on February 5, 1975.

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Six days following his taking office, Ratsimandrava was assassinated at 8 p.m. while driving from the presidential palace to his home. [3] His death was announced by the new ruling military committee. It claimed that the President had been killed by members of the Republican Security Forces (Groupe Mobile de Police-GMP), [4] a counterinsurgency outfit dissolved by his predecessor. [5] The event nearly plunged the country into civil war between supporters of the military government and former President Tsiranana. In 2006, on the 31st anniversary of colonel's murder, a conference was held in Madagascar. [6]

Further reading

L'assassinat du prιsident Ratsimandrava, Le Journal La Croix (1975). preview of newspaper article on assassination of Ratsimandrava

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  3., Armed Conflict Events Data, retrieved 9 March 2009.
  5. TIME, 24 February 1975, accessed 9 March 2009
  6. MAD on line Archived 2011-07-14 at the Wayback Machine ., Conference called on the tragedy of Ratsimandrava, 17 March 2006, accessed 9 March 2009