anm document

Correspondance relative à la protection de la voie ferrée contre le grève (Bamako, 1938-1940)
in ANM K 65 fonds recents

© 1999 by Jim Jones, Ph.D.

Go to Table of Contents Read Disclaimer

Chef de commissariat de police Fouron to Gouverneur du Soudan Français,
"Compte Rendu," n°311/C (Bamako, November 4, 1938)

The French were expecting a strike on November 3, 1938, so during the night of November 2, the police took up positions in the Bamako train station. In the morning, the men showed up for work at 05h45 as usual, but the police took Jacques Konaté, a known ringleader, into custody for questioning. He claimed to have no knowledge about a strike, but admitted that he had received a letter from the Syndicat des Journaliers de Thiès (railroad labor union in Thiès) asking about living conditions and prices in Bamako, as part of an effort to negotiate their contract. He said he planned to ask permission to start a section of the union in Bamako.

La Capitaine Janssens, Commandant la Compagnie Indigéne des Sapeurs du Chemin de Fer
to Chef de l'Exploitation du Chemin de Fer, n°1236 (Bamako, November 9, 1938)

In case of a strike, the Sapeurs were prepared to operate five trains a week and keep 10 stations open along a 250 kilometer stretch. They envisioned three possible strike scenarios: a strike along part of the line, a general strike along the entire line and a localized strike at one or two spots. In any case, they expected the military to provide men to guard stations and provide security for trains.

This report includes an operating plan for trains between Kayes and Koulikoro. By operating in five sections, they planned to run trains between Kayes, Toukoto, Sebekoro, Bamako and Koulikoro.

Gouverneur du Soudan Français p.i. Desanti, "Additif au Plan n°269 BM
du 12 Octobre 1937 établi pour la surveillance et la protection de la voie ferrée DN
en case de grève"
(Bamako, March 1, 1940)

By March 1940, a strike was considered "probable." Targets were workshops, water towers, telegraph offices, warehouses and switches. In all, this document contains 32 pages of instructions included coded orders for troop movements and official "legal" formulas with which to declare martial law, deploy troops and take over public buildings.


This file contains four folders, each of which contains correspondance for a different cercle. These notes are from the folder for Bamako and a second folder contains notes for Dakar. There are also two folders on correspondance concerning Bambouck in 1924 and 1925, but they do not have anything to do with strike preparation. It is unclear why they are included in this file.