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Richard Ratsimandrava

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Richard Ratsimandrava
Minister of the Interior of Madagascar
In office
5 – 11 February 1975
Preceded byGabriel Ramanantsoa (as President of Madagascar)
Succeeded byGilles Andriamahazo (as Chairman of the National Military Leadership Committee)
Personal details
Born(1931-03-21)21 March 1931
Antananarivo, French Madagascar
Died11 February 1975(1975-02-11) (aged 43)
Antananarivo, Democratic Republic of Madagascar
Manner of deathAssassination

Colonel Richard Ratsimandrava (March 21, 1931 – February 11, 1975) was a Malagasy politician and soldier who served as the head of state of Madagascar for six days in February 1975 before his assassination in office.


He was born in 1931 and was a Merina from a Merina family. 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. Several senior officers were 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.[1] 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),[2] a counterinsurgency outfit dissolved by his predecessor.[3] 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.[4]

Further reading[edit]

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


  1. ^ OnWar.com, Armed Conflict Events Data, retrieved 9 March 2009.
  2. ^ "Maldives - MADAGASCAR". www.country-data.com. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  3. ^ TIME, 24 February 1975, accessed 9 March 2009
  4. ^ 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

External links[edit]