anfom document

Lieutenant Governeur Terrasson de Fougères, "Rapport Politique Annuel, Année 1925"
(Koulouba, February 20, 1926)
in ANFOM Affaires Politiques, Carton 160

Notes © 1999 by Jim Jones, Ph.D.

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In the course of a long passage about numerous small raids during the year, the author describes the path of a typical rezzou. The raiders enter the Soudan from the northwest after having penetrated Mauritania or having touched the Ksa‹b. Afterwards, they complete a circuit around the Lake Faguibiné in the region of Azaouad and the Aklé.

The posts at Tessalit and Tabankort, established to protect the automobile route of the Compagnie Générale Transafricaine, had no defensive use at all against rezzous and so were evacuated. Instead, the troops, plus those from Bamba, were stationed at Bourem.

The radio (TSF) post opened at Araouan in October 1925. There were three stationary TSF posts in the north of the colony (but the author did not name them. Probably Timbuktu, Gao and Goundam).

In the western part of the colony, a marabout named Chérif Hamallah was expelled to Saint Louis on December 25, 1925.

33,569 men were examined by recruiters. 2,013 were taken into the army of whom 146 were volunteers. 8,133 were sent to forced labor and 9,486 were rejected. In adddition, 652 eligible men were unaccounted for, so their neames were added to the list for 1926.

Inspecteur des Affaires Administratives Henri sent an inspection mission to Toukoto during the period from May 11 to May 25 Mai to ivestigate the strike by African workers in the railroad work shops there. The strike was settled in 24 hours. He sent another inspection mission that lasted from October 21 to October 28 and examined the conditions of manual laborers on the Chemin de Fer Thiès-Niger.

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) 4 6,331
Personal cash transactions (ventes mobilières au comptant) 16 5,000
Other personal transactions (ventes mobilières) 13 5,950
Marriage contracts (conventions matrimoniales) 126 33,824.5
Rental contracts (contrats de louage) 11 4,880
Transport contracts (contrats de transport) 20 8,897.2
IOUs (Reconnaissances de dettes 142 131,303.2
Inheritance (successions) 22 67,560.75
Other (divers) 32 15,215
Total 386 278,962.15

The author reported that in the western part of the colony, there was trouble among the Toucouleurs of Kayes who oppsed their "chef de canton." Their spokesman was Cheif Sadio Samballa Diallo. [See: Rapports en Conseil de Gouvernment 21 Mars to 1 Avril 1925 and the Arrêtés #1395 du 20 Juin and #2073 du 10 Septembre 1925.

The entire population of the village of Nayes-Soudan (located on the border between Senegal and Mali) left for Senegal without any warning. This migration was described in dispatch #156 dated April 11, 1925. At the time this report was written, the people had returned to their village.

Marabout Hamallah traveled from Nioro to Bamako via Kayes and was the object of great festivities by the Africans.

The people of Bafoulabé are not much good as workers, but prefer to spend their time talking (palabres).

The author noted that French rule was rendered less effective because local tradition gives the office of chief to old and incapable men who are "demi courbés sur la tombe" (nearly in their graves).

Yellow fever reappeared in the Cercle de Kita.

"Le cercle de Ségou continue à être l'un des cercles les plus laborieux et les plus productifs" (The Cercle de Ségou continues to be one of the most industrious and productive cercles.

The number of young people from Bougouni who leave continues to increase.

The people of the village of Lougouani left for neighboring Côte d'Ivoire, but returned later and now ask only to find work.

There were some disturbances in Koutiala during the first months of 1925 at Toro-Yorosso, Bangadina and Ménamba. The unrest was solved by the conviction of two protagonists and the suicide of a third at the moment that he was arrested.

On March 25, 1925, the commandants of the cercles of Koutiala and Bobo Dioulasso concluded a treaty concerning indigenous fishing rights on the marigout N'Golorokon.

The Cercle de Macina was created by Arrêté du Gouverneur-Général de 10 Novembre 1923. Note that this is not in agreement with annual political report for 1924, which gives the date of the law as November 16, 1923.

The subdivision of Djenné has been closed since the end of July 1925 because the former resident administrator went on vacation and there is no replacement.

The town of Mopti continues to attract Syrian merchants who, despite causing occasional problems for the French (par l'esprit particulier des ces protéges français), motivate the Africans and aid local commerce. The village of Sofara (south of Mopti on the road to San and the Bani River) is located at a main intersection and has grown quickly so that in two years, 11 new "quartiers" (neighborhoods) have been constructed. A road was constructed from Sévaré (east of Mopti) to Konna and Korientze (north along the Niger River). A road from Mopti to San received two 60-meter bridges - one at Kombaka and the other at Siragourou.

The administrator in Timbuktu reported that the Azalaï (salt caravan) of the summer consisted of 2,000 camels. It was protected by 40 partisans led by Cheikh Ould Baba Ahmed. An additional 50 muskets were distributed among the camel drivers. They left on April 14 and returned on May 16 with 7,846 barres of salt. The winter Azalaï left with 2,048 camels on October 30 and returned on the morning of December 18 with 10,115 barres of salt.

The leader of the western Bérabiches, Arouatta Ould Sidi Ely, will soon be replaced by Cheikh Ould Baba Ahmed. The Bérabiches lost nearly all of their camels to raids during the years 1914-1920.

The administrator from Timbuktu also provided comment on the problem of the Tuaregs. In brief, the Targui (their former slaves) will not work for them anymore. Instead, they head for urban centers or sedentary villages.