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Bust of Ratsimandrava
|President of Madagascar|
5 February 1975 – 11 February 1975
|Preceded by||Gabriel Ramanantsoa|
|Succeeded by||Gilles Andriamahazo|
|Born||21 March 1931|
|Died||11 February 1975 (aged 43)|
He was born in 1931 and was a Merina with a less "aristocratic" background and thus was more palatable to the population. 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.
Six days following his taking office, Ratsimandrava was assassinated at 8 p.m. while driving from the presidential palace to his home. 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), a counterinsurgency outfit dissolved by his predecessor. 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.
L'assassinat du prιsident Ratsimandrava, Le Journal La Croix (1975). preview of newspaper article on assassination of Ratsimandrava
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