anfom document

Lieutenant Governeur Terrasson de Fougères, "Rapport Politique Annuel, Année 1927"
(Koulouba, February 17, 1928)
in ANFOM Affaires Politiques, Carton 160

Notes © 1999 by Jim Jones, Ph.D.

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The French posts at Tessalit and Tabankort were closed again in November. They were very difficult to resupply because of a shortage of camels.

The Arrêté du 6 Septembre 1927 permitted Africans to possess trade arms (muskets) for the first time since the revolt of 1916.

500 men from the military recrutment class of 1927 were assigned to the Chemin de Fer Thiès-Niger and 1,000 to the Service Temporaire des Travaux d'Irrigation du Niger.

From October 28 to November 10, Mm. Simon and Sicamois directed a mission d'inspection at Kayes, Bafoulabé and Kita into the use of requisitioned labor on the Chemin de Fer Thiès-Niger.

Another mission d'inspection operated at Kayes from March 11 to April 14 to organize the transfer of the village of Kayendi (across the Senegal River from Kayes) to make room for the development of a commercial zone in response to complaints lodged by Macire Doucoure, a PTT worker, and Moulay Haidara, an interpreter.

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) 6 7,692
Personal cash transactions (ventes mobilières au comptant) 6 6,980
Other personal transactions (ventes mobilières) 1 400
Marriage contracts (conventions matrimoniales) 61 15,168
Rental contracts (contrats de louage) 4 6,100
Transport contracts (contrats de transport) 11 2,332
IOUs (Reconnaissances de dettes 82 121,677
Inheritance (successions) 4 3,850
Other (divers) 191 57,533
Total 366 222,002

Refering to last year's uprising led by Fode Keita, the Lt. Gov. asserts that the true cause was the desire of the people of the nine villages to avoid all labor obligations so that they can go look for gold near the Guinea border. (Note: The Lt. Governor seems pretty fixated on the idea that Africans want to look for gold. He wrote this in every reports that refers to the Cercle de Satadougou. Note also that many of the passages of his reports on the western cercles are direct copies of the previous year's reports, as if he had no new information.)

A work site opened at Kayo in Macina, but this report offers no clue as to what they do there.

The year's imports of salt from Taoudenni totaled 25,731 barres valued at 2,315,790 francs.

Some Kounta people from Bourem moved to Gao and on to the territory of Niger in order to avoid being forced by the French to resupply the méharist posts. The increase in trans-Saharan tourism is a problem for Méharists who can barely protect themselves. The Compagnie Générale Transsaharienne organized a regular service from Algeria to Gao.

There are two letters adjoined to the end of the report for 1927. The first is signed "Tigué, Carde" from Koulouba on March 30, 1928. It notes the lack of information concerning social conditions in the Soudan. On page 2, it lists specific items: "réunions des conseils de notables au fonctionnement des services communaux, à la mentalité dont font preuve les tirailleurs libérés soit dans les principaux centres soit au sein de leurs collectivités d'origine, à la propagande pan-nègre ou anticoloniale dont les manifestations - encore sporadiques - ne sauraient sans danger nous laisser indifférents . . ." (this appears to say that in meetings of local leaders with the government, the French heard that African military veterans provided a source of pan-African or anticolonial propaganda that had, as yet, produced only sporadic disturbances, but could become a problem if thee administration ignored it).

The second letter is a response to the first letter. It is addressed to the "Direction des Affaires Politiques et Administratives" on April 20, 1928. It covers lots of things, but the following may be useful. There were several new construction projects in Bamako including a meat market, roads and gutters, and a fruit market. The administration also continued to work on the Service d'Hygiene, the Gare fluviale (river port) and other road construction that was already under way. In Kayes, there was nothing new under construction, but work continued on markets, brick ovens, slaughterhouses, and roads. In Mopti, the administration carried out new work on the docks, sewers and navigation lights (phares). The second letter also mentions that there was no evidence of pan-nègre literature anywhere in the colony.

The annual political rep[ort also includeed a report on the system of Justice Indigène that listeed the number of cases pending and the sentences handed out throughout the territory.