President Rajoelina promotes 31 generals By RIVONALA RAZAFISON in Antananarivo | Friday, December 28   2012 at  10:07

A group of Madagascar soldiers. President Andry Rajoelina has promoted 31 army generals. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Madagascar's President Andry Rajoelina has promoted 31 army generals.

Following the promotions, 13 generals de brigade of the Malagasy army and the national Gendarmerie, now become generals de division, while 18 colonels rise to the rank of general de brigade level.

According to the Presidential Press Service, the promotion of the generals featured prominently during a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

Observers say that the beneficiaries of the promotions were the known Rajoelina loyalists.

The Commander in Chief of the National Gendarmerie, Gal Richard Ravalomanana, who rose to the rank of general de brigade in December 2010, was among those promoted.

The Commander in Chief is among the generals and other top-ranking officers of the army who have persistently opposed the return of former Madagascar leader Marc Ravalomanana.

The former president has been exiled in South Africa since he was overthrown in the military-backed coup in 2009.

President Rajoelina has regularly promoted army officers since he took over power.

The last promotions took place in June when he appointed 126 new colonels.

According to Irin Africa news agency, Madagascar has a 12,500 strong army and a gendarmerie of 8,100 personnel.