anfom document

Lieutenant Governeur Terrasson de Fougères, "Rapport Politique Annuel, Année 1929"
(Koulouba, March 8, 1930)
in ANFOM Affaires Politiques, Carton 160

Notes © 1999 by Jim Jones, Ph.D.

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From December 1929 to early 1930, the French organized an automobile rally across the Sahara to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the French occupation of Algeria.

The French continued to maintain posts at Tessalit, Tabankort, Kidal and In Emzel. The "poste grenier" (food and water storage) at Timetrin was moved somewhere to the north of Tessalit where there was more water.

The only area open to desert raiders is in the Cercle de Goundam. Timbuktu is protected by roving groups of Méharists, and Gao is protected by the posts mentioned above.

The harvest in the north was very good in 1929.

50,782 men were examined by recruiters. 2,891 were taken into the army of whom 625 were volunteers. 8,603 were sent to forced labor, 22,511 were rejected, 644 received pardons and 10,621 were exempted. In addition, 309 eligible men were unaccounted for. As usual, 500 of the forced laborers went to the Chemin de Fer Thiès-Niger and 1,000 went for the Service Temporaire des Travaux d'Irrigation du Niger.

Yacouba Sylla was convicted of inciting seditious chants among the partisans of Chérif Hamallah in Nioro. He had already been expelled from Gorgol for the same kind of thing. He was given two months in prison followed by two years prohibition within the cercle and there is discussion about expelling him from the colony.

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) - -
Personal cash transactions (ventes mobilières au comptant) 7 11,807
Other personal transactions (ventes mobilières) 3 3,750
Marriage contracts (conventions matrimoniales) 53 33,603
Rental contracts (contrats de louage) 8 8,262.50
Transport contracts (contrats de transport) - -
IOUs (Reconnaissances de dettes 68 201,375
Inheritance (successions) 1 16,710
Money orders (mandats) 29 6,190
Other (divers) 1 255
Total 170 281,952.50

The harvest in Kayes was below expectations.

Bougouni contains a large number of former tirailleurs and men returned from Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire and Gold Coast. These people tend to resist the orders of the "chefs du canton" and cause unrest.

There was unrest in the villages of Mandjakuy and Tioutiou (Cercle de San) due to the programs of the "Pères Blancs" (White Fathers, a Catholic religious order) that drew young people away from their families. In particular, their neophytes cut down a sacred tree.

The religious chief of the 1916 revolt, El Hadj Adama Dembele, died in Feb 1929

Permission was granted to rebuild the village of Salsalbé (Cercle de Mopti) destroyed by Amadou Cheikhou in the late 19th century.

Migration from Bandiagara to Gold Coast increased over previous years. The author estimated that 400-500 people migrated each year.

Grasshoppers caused serious damage to crops in Issa-Ber and in Macina.

The École préparatoire de Nema opened with 60 students, two-thirds of whom came from local tribes, including five daughters of local nobles.

Taoudenni salt has hit the lowest price ever, due to the importation of marine salt.

Timbuktu's administration was totally reorganized in 1929 to do away with the subdivisions of Tombouctou-nomad and Tombouctou-sédentaire.