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Military


Madagascar Army

Madagascar’s armed forces are not considered to be accountable, disciplined or independent as the army and gendarmerie have been used as pawns in political power struggles. Regular forces are ill-equipped and underpaid with too many high-ranking officers.

The military in Madagascar is a critical partner in neo-patrimonial networks but has not been a principal driver of change in Madagascar. Rather than dominating the state as in other African countries, the military is a source of potential changes of coalitions. The relative instability of the military is the result of long-standing politicization, which has undermined its organizational capacity over time. The military can be characterized as bloated, under-equipped, and divided.

Order of Battle

not terribly reliable
1 SF company
1 Marine infantry company
2 intervention forces RGTs
9 military RGTs
1 field artillery RGT / BN
1 anti-aircraft artillery RGT / BN
1 support/service RGT
1 - 3 engineer RGTs
1 signals RGT
5 construction RGTs
1 public disaster protection RGT
Military strongmen have not dominated the political landscape. Government troops suppressed a military rebellion led by Colonel Rajaonarison on December 31, 1974. President Ramanantsoa dissolved the government on January 25, 1975, and Colonel Richard Ratsimandrava took full control of the government on February 5, 1975. Colonel Ratsimandrava was assassinated by members of the Groupe Mobile de Police (GMP) on February 11, 1975, and the 18-member National Committee of Military Direction (Comite National de Direction Militaire-CNDM) headed by General Gilles Andriamahazo took control of the government on February 12, 1975. The military directorate declared martial law on February 12, 1975. Government troops attacked members of the GMP in Antanimora on February 12-13, 1975, resulting in the deaths of 16 members of the GMP and six government soldiers. Government troops suppressed a military rebellion on August 18-23, 1992.

Madagascar’s military played a major part in the 2009 political crisis, as it supported present leader Andry Rajoelina in ousting then President Marc Ravalomanana. In March 2009 Ravalomanana handed over power to the military, which then conferred the presidency on opposition leader Rajoelina, who subsequently pledged to hold presidential elections. Madagascar’s military agreed to remain neutral during the upcoming presidential elections, but these had been consistently delayed.

An unelected and illegal civilian regime assumed power in a March 2009 coup with military support. Andry Nirina Rajoelina adopted the title of president of the transition, at the head of a loose coalition of former opposition politicians, and intends to remain in this position until elections are held. Former president Marc Ravalomanana, democratically elected in 2006 is in exile, and the parliament has remained suspended since then. In defiance of a negotiated agreement with the African Union (AU) and local political leaders, the regime failed to establish a legitimate transitional administration that would oversee free and open elections for the restoration of a legal government.

The military was fractured horizontally and especially vertically, with virtually all flag officers removed from power under extreme intimidation from armed enlisted men, often literally at the point of a gun; colonels remained in tenuous charge of those beneath them. The media is being intimidated by the same armed men not to report accurately on current reality.

Military leaders continued to assert their autonomy from the current political leadership, despite their tacit support of Rajoelina's de facto government. On 17 November 2010, the de facto regime held a unilateral and internationally unrecognized constitutional referendum that sparked an attempted coup by a small group of military leaders, which was resolved after almost three full days of negotiations. There were instances in which elements of the security forces acted independently of civilian control.

On 20 November 2010, pro-regime forces arrested a group of military officers who had led an attempted coup that started on November 17. A few days after their arrest, it was reported that most of the attempted coup leaders showed signs of physical abuse and two of them, General Raeolina and Colonel Coutiti, were in critical condition after beatings.

Madagascar's army said 22 July 2012 that it had regained control of a military camp close to the airport in the capital Antananarivo after several soldiers earlier staged a mutiny. The military said the group of mutinous soldiers who stormed the camp were eventually driven out in an assault by government forces. The leader of the rebellion was killed. "The situation is under control. Corporal Koto Mainty, alias Black, has been killed," General Raphael Ramasy, chief of staff of the defence minister, told the public television station TVM. Mainty was the bodyguard of former defence minister Noel Rakotonandrasana. Rakotonandrasana was arrested after taking part in another mutiny back in 2010.

Army Equipment

1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2013 2015 2020 2025 2030
Personnel ,000 - - - - - - - - - -
Active -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Equipment Source Inventory
Light Tanks -20 tons .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..
mm PT-76 -- -- -- -- 12 -- -- -- -- --
Armored Vehicles .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..
mm AMF FR -- -- -- -- 3 -- -- -- -- --
mm BRDM-2 RU -- -- -- -- 35 -- -- -- -- --
mm Ferret UK -- -- -- -- 10 -- -- -- -- --
mm M3A1 USA -- -- -- -- 20 -- -- -- -- --
mm M8 Country -- -- -- -- 8 -- -- -- -- --
Artillery .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..
122mm D-30 towed arty RU -- -- -- -- 12 -- -- -- -- --
105mm M101 towed arty USA -- -- -- -- 5 -- -- -- -- --
120mm M43 mortar -- -- -- -- 8 -- -- -- -- --
82mm M37 mortar -- -- -- -- 8 -- -- -- -- --
106mm M-40A1 RCL -- -- -- -- + -- -- -- -- --
73mm RPG-7 Knout RU -- -- -- -- + -- -- -- -- --
14.5mm Air defence gun : ZPU-4 mm Country -- -- -- -- 26 -- -- -- -- --




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Page last modified: 13-10-2016 19:38:24 ZULU