anfom document

Lieutenant Governeur Terrasson de Fougères, "Rapport Politique Annuel, Année 1924"
(Koulouba, March 6, 1925)
in ANFOM Affaires Politiques, Carton 160

Notes © 1999 by Jim Jones, Ph.D.

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The French created posts at Tessalit and Tabankort in the desert north of Gao. They also installed a peloton (detachment) of Algerian nomads at Araouan and a garrison of tirailleurs at Lake Faguibine (southwest of Timbuktu). All of these succeeded in preventing a repetition of last year's rezzous (raids).

Coordination between the northern Soudanese defense forces and those of southern Algeria was improved, particularly due to the installation of a new radio-telegraph connection.

During the recuitment period between January 2 and March 20, 40,081 men were examined. 2,010 were drafted into the military, 10,275 weree drafted into the forced labor service, and 12,387 were dismissed. Of the 2,010, there were 252 volunteers.

This table gives a summary of the written contracts between Africans by type, number and total value in francs:

Type of contract Number Total value (francs)
Personal credit transactions (ventes mobilières à credit) 8 1,510
Personal cash transactions (ventes mobilières au comptant) 5 1,674.67
Other personal transactions (ventes mobilières) 11 61,876
Marriage contracts (conventions matrimoniales) 217 31,341.90
Rental contracts (contrats de louage) 29 21,805
Transport contracts (contrats de transport) 32 8,897.80
IOUs (Reconnaissances de dettes 171 86,275.50
Inheritance (successions) 8 22,154.60
Other (divers) 39 11,278.50
Total 520 246,812.97

Near Bafoulabé, the Diawanbé people provided their contingent of soldiers without any problems for the first time.

The migration of the population towards the Gambia slowed somewhat because farmers could sell their own products.

The Malinké of Bambuk do not want to raise crops because they are too interested in looking for gold.

The Arrêté de 7 Fevrier 1924 created the subdivision of Bamako in the Cercle de Bamako. This reformed the administration and opened the way for civic improvements.

The results of 1924 census showed that Bamako had 1,032 more taxable inhabitants and Maramandougou had 2,035 more. The Koulikoro census is the only one in the Cercle de Bamako that is still incomplete.

The report from the Cercle de Ségou indicates that even if the local people show no enthusiasm for work on the plantations, the Compagnie Cotonniére du Niger and Docteur Forbes have enough laborers.

The annual census reports that there are 130,000 people living in the Cercle de Bougouni. The population is described as "apathetiques, enclines à l'inertie" (apathetic and inert).

In the Cercle de Koutiala, the Bambaras, Miniankas and Markas who live there remain isolated from the neighboring populations.

In the Cercle de San, the Bobos are quiet now, despite their active participation in the 1916 revolt.

The Habés from the Cercle de Dédougou in Haute Volta were refused permission to move to the Cercle de San by the administrator de Dédougou. They responded by moving into the area betwen the two centers so that they were not clearly in either jurisdiction. The two commandants du Cercle plan to meet shortly to discuss the situation.

The Cercle de Macina was created by the Arrêté de Gouverneur-Général de 16 Novembre 1923 from villages that formerly belonged to Mopti, Segou and Nara. A residence for the commandant was under construction at Ké-Macina. The Police de fleuve (river patrol) established a new escale (stop) in the 324 kilometers of the Niger River between Ségou and Mopti.

There were problems in the Cercle de Mopti with English agents who attract large numbers of young men to work in the Gold Coast.

The Resident de Djenne reports that the Moslem inhabitants are still hostile and distrustful even after 30 years of occupation. There are total of 6,000 inhabitants.

Numerous tours of inspection have finally pacified the Habés who live along the Bandiagara cliffs. Habé nobles still encourage resistance, but roughly 7,000 people have moved down to villages in the plain.

The Ouled Nacer people (nomads) are still experiencing a power struggle since the death of theeir leader, Amar Ould Habie. The two contestants for power are Cheik Ahmed and Ousman Ould Bokar.

A battle between the Laklal and Tanouaziou peoples over the reciprocal theft of animals resulted in deaths; eight, according to one side. An inquest is underway, and in the meantime, the two groups were sent to different cantons (au nord d'Amaké et au nord de Korkodio) under the surveillance of former goumiers paid by the Commandant du Cercle de Nioro.

At the beginning of July, there was an exchange of blows between Sarakolais (non-Muslims) and Moors (followers of Chérif Hamala) over religious practices. The French administrator warned Chérif Hamala that he will be held responsible for futrue disturbances.

A large number of young men continue to go to Senegal to plant peanuts, and as a result, "Beaucoup ne se présentent pas lors des recrutements et demeurent introuvables" (many do not report for military conscription and cannot be located).

In the Cercle de Nara, the Peuls avoid labor recruitment. 3,000 oxen and their drivers were recruited from among the Moors to transport material for the construction of the telegraph line from Nara to Nema. Among the nomads, the groups of Yadan and Lagaff were reconciled after years as enemies. People from the Cercle de Nema also contributed drivers and animals for the telegraph line from Nara to Nema.

The administrator in Timbuktu reported that there was relative peace after the disturbances of 1923. Salt transporters have added camels and reestablished relations with the oases of Touat, where they sell the camels for good prices. Tessalit and Araouan (north of Timbuktu) serve as supply posts for two pelotons de méharistes. There is also a new post at Tabankort for the protection fo the trans-Saharan route. There is a plan to install a radio (TSF) station at Araouan. The banks of Lake Faguibéne are occupied in October during the raiding season.

In 1922, groups of partisans were organized among the Bérabiches and the Ifoghas at Kidal to be used as auxilliaries for regular troops. The Chambaas who were recruited for the "peloton Algéro-nomad" were poorly disciplined and set a bad example for other auxilliaries, so they were returned to Algeria.

In the Cercle de Timbuktu, the participants in the Azalaï received excellent prices for their salt. They imported fewer barres of salt (19,000 vs 23,000 in 1923) and since no foreign salt reached the market, they got 50 to 75 francs per barre. Salt was traded in neighboring cercles for grain, or sold at Djibo, Dori or Ouahigouya.

The population of Timbuktu was in decline. Ten years ago, there were 12,000 inhabitants, but by 1924, there were only 6,000. This decline appears to be the result of the disruption of commerce. In particular, Mauritanian and European salt has interfered with the salt trade. Thus, the salt from Taoudénit is transported to Gao rather than Timbuktu and the Dioulas go to Gao to buy it. Another reason is that many young men have gone to Diré to work for the Ciconnig - Compagnie Cotonniére du Niger (Note: Diré is on the river southeast of Goundam.)

This report includees the names of some of the leaders of the two groups of Bérabiches. Akaouatta leads in the west and Mahmoud Ould Dahmane leads in the east. Akaoutta is the brother of Abdallah Ould Sidi Ali (also spelled Ely), a collaborater with Ould Mehmed who, assisted by dissident Bérabiches, has conducted raids against the western Bérabiches.

The Tuareg appear to have undergone big changes in the last two years. The Imrads transport grain and harvest gum, and the marabout tribes engage in the commerce of animals. Only the Imochars continue to conduct raids. The government collected 10,000 francs in taxes from the Kountas in the subdivision of Bamba. Only the Regagda resisted taxation.

In Goundam, the rival nomad chiefs Cheboun (Tengueregif people) and Attaher (Kel-Antessar people) appear to have settled their differences, but the commandant believes that true peace will only happen when both are gone.

A group of méharistes left from Ménaka (east of Gao).

The marabout Mohamed Ahmed passed through the Cercle de Hombouri during the hivernage, but provoked no anti-French incidents despite the overt displays of affection (gifts, etc) by the local people.

There were quarrels between the Kel Gossi and the Kel Khéris, between the Kel Bourem and the El Bakaoni, and among the Mididagons, but nothing serious.