anfom document

Lieutenant Governeur p.i. Court, "Rapport Politique Annuel, Année 1930"
(Koulouba, March 31, 1931)
in ANFOM Affaires Politiques, Carton 160

Notes © 1999 by Jim Jones, Ph.D.

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There were no raids against cattle or villages this year, but there was a raid against the French outpost at Arouan (sic: Araouan) on August 3, 1930. A second raid took place on September 19, 1930 at Bar Chalé, along the salt route from Taoudenni to Timbuktu.

The "Rallye Saharien Méditerranée-Niger" lasted from February 5 to March 25. It covered 650 kilometers of piste from Tessalit to Gao and Tabankort to Zin Zaouten, which doesn't make sense since Tabankort is between Gao and Tessalit. In any case, 11 teams took part. Security was handled by motorized machine-gun carriers and airplane flights from Gao. A radio-telegraph station (TSF) was installed at In Emzel for the event.

There was plenty of evidence that Africans were no longer docile servants. The author attributed this to tirailleurs who returned from France, workers who returned from the coastal colonies, plus communist propaganda. The report refers to "esprit individualiste." The most serious manifestation of this spirit is the tendency of villages to resist their chiefs by leaving. This is strong, not only around Ségou and Mopti, but also near Bamako, Bougouni and along the railroad. In each case, the villages divide into two or more factions that successively disappear into the brouse (brush, i.e. countryside). Pages 7-9 of the report cover material that is cited in the article on forced labor in Senegal by Babacar Fall and Mohammed Mbodj.

47,128 men were examined by recruiters. 2,004 were taken into the army, of whom 404 were volunteers. 7,956 were sent to forced labor, 19,208 were rejected, 674 received pardons (dispensés) and 12,165 were exempted. In adddition, 146 of the eligible men who were unaccounted for in the previous year were recruited this time. 2,000 of the forced laborers were sent to work for the Chemin de Fer Dakar-Niger and the Service Temporaire des Travaux d'Irrigation du Niger.

Yacoub Sylla was exiled to Côte d'Ivoire for eight years.

Agriculture was threatened by acridiens (possibly some sort of insect) and insufficent rain. The problems were especially acute at Kayes, Bandiagara, Goundam and Satadougou.

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) 1 600
Personal cash transactions (ventes mobilières au comptant) - -
Other personal transactions (ventes mobilières) 1 750
Marriage contracts (conventions matrimoniales) 9 2,470
Rental contracts (contrats de louage) 1 100
Transport contracts (contrats de transport) - -
IOUs (Reconnaissances de dettes 26 29,668.05
Inheritance (successions) 1 55,000
Money orders (mandats) - -
Other (divers) 1 3,550
Total 40 92,138.05

From November 29, 1929 to February 4, 1930, M. Cheruy led a mission d'inspection to Gao to examine the work on the Saharan piste. From February 24 to 28, the government studdied the possibility of extending the Cheminde Fer Thiès-Niger and the Chemin de Fer Abidjan-Niger to the Bani River. From November 7 to 13, there was a mission d'inspeection of working conditions on the Chemin de Fer Thiès-Niger at Dinguira and Tintiba.

The authority of French-appointed chiefs in Kayes, Bafoulabé and Kita was particularly weak. This is where the villages suffer the most from depopulation, augmented by the large number of people who go to Senegal as navétanes.

The millet harvest in the Cercle de Kayes was down by one-third from 1929. Only the canton of Diomboko had a normal harvest. On the other hand, the peanut crop was good.

After mentioning the conflicts in Bamako (already noted above), the report cites the Chef de Naréna for sending his nephew Simba Keita (son of the previous chief) to work in the office of the Chef de la Subdivision after he finished school at the École Régionale de Bamako. The report says this is an example of the proper way to train a successor for the position of chief.

Ségou received many new buildings in 1930 - docks, the port, a dispensary, new residential quarters, large boulevards, parks and promenades. While all of this was happening in Ségou, the cantons in the extremities of the Cercle de Ségou were largely ignored, permitting their inhabitants to avoid paying taxes.

There was another good harvest at Sikasso.

The political unrest in Koutiala quieted a bit. However, grasshoppers disturbed part of the rice harvest south of Koutiala. The harvest was especially good around N'Pésoba (Koutiala).

In the Cercle de San, several catechetics students of the Pères Blancs refused to obey their local chiefs, despite support from the French administration. A slightly reduced harvest was caused by grasshoppers.

In the Cercle de Macina, the rice harvest was good, but millet was in short supply in the west and northwest parts if the cercle.

In the Cercle de Nioro, the nomad group Oulad Nacer remains a source of trouble for the French. The harvest was good in both nioro and Nara.

In the Cercle de Nema, the defense of the area was provided by a military detachment from Hodh who were equipped with a portable radio ("poste émetteur et récepteur de T.S.F."). Last year's report mentioned a group called "Onze Grains," and this year's report says that a list of members has been completed, but efforts to convince them to return to the cercle do not appear successful. The two schools in the cercle have 145 pupils. One Moslem chief, Sidi Ould Souere (chief of Oulad Mellouk) sent his son to the school at Nema, while the chief of the Tijar Oulad El Faghi sent his nephew the school at Tin Bédra.