Madagascar News- Current Issues and Perspectives

Rajoelina Mutiny Supporters Changing their Minds?

In Uncategorized on May 26, 2009 at 11:24 am

There are signs that the the army is reconsidering its role within the High Authority for Transition (HAT), through interpretation of local media reports. L’express de Madagascar announces the May 27-28 incoming conference of the armed forces and gendarmerie, which ensures internal safety and security. Midi Madagascar echoes by reporting the frustration of some junior officers against the HAT.

If the mutiny has propelled Rajoelina into power, and has ever since been  omni-present at his side in a very ostentacious, if not outrageously threatening fashion, today its seems to have a claim for its own share of power. This does not come as a surprise since Madagascar military is now exemplary in its organization: it has no recognized leader. Its self-imposed leader is a major, Capitaine-commandant Andrianasoavina, who consistently made the news through his outbursts of violence, and his arrests of generals. According to the HAT minister of defense, colonel Rakotonandrasana, the conference will address the issues of hierarchy, discipline, solidarity and unity. 

However, the incoming conference would also consider the amending of the Constitution and would question the role of the President as Commander-in-Chief, according to Midi Madagascar. The same source mentions the CAPSAT frustration. The CAPSAT has been reported for having been the source of mutiny against president Ravalomanana. It has been led by junior officers. 

Madagascar army has been disproprotionnally developped under the repressive Ratsiraka regime, which heavily relied on a large armed forces and intelligence. It counted 125 generals in late 2002, according to the Guardian.  Ravalomanana streamlined the army: he froze promotions causing discontent among junior officers. He also imposed early retirement, and nominated a woman as chief of the army, provoking outrage among senior officers, as noted by the Cyber Observer.

Today, one can say that the crisis in Madagascar is far from being over as all groups and parties dispute their share of power due to lack of state of law. Is Rajoelina going to loose his mutiny supporters? The Capsat declared that they would remain loyal to him but also voiced their frustration. In Madagascar volatile politics, it is never safe to underestimate any involved party.

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