Initiated by Pety Rakotoniaina and some Malagasy politicians, the Fanjakana Gasy movement aims to create a “State within the State” in the southern part of Madagascar. Stake experts reviews the chronology of this short-living proto-secessionist movement.

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The action of the “Fanjakana Gasy” and its political outcomes

It was carried out in two stages: first, a declaration in August 2018 affirming the separation of southern Madagascar from the rest of the territory through a political movement called “Hetsika mijoro amin’ny faritany roa: Fianarantsoa and Toliary” (Movement from the two provinces: Fianarantsoa and Toliary); then a name change in October 2018 by labelling these two provinces “Fanjakana gasy”. In addition to creating a new constitution, the movement aimed to boycott the 2018 presidential elections. Based on the chronic underdevelopment of the South Island, the first victim of the central government’s inability to implement a redistributive policy, the movement has held some demonstrations in Antananarivo since June 2018, but has received little public support. Indeed, the movement was almost unanimously rejected and condemned by the population. The lack of a real popular base, the perceived illegitimacy of the leaders and the vagueness surrounding the claims (and the very concept of Fanjakana Gasy) contributed to this failure.

The two main leaders, Pety Rakotoniaina and Rainidina Rajoharison, were jailed for breaching state security. They are serving 12-month firm and 18-month conditional sentences, respectively.

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