aof document

Grève des cheminots Africans. Compt rendus par département (1947-1948)
in AOF K 379 (26)

© 1999 by Jim Jones, Ph.D.

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Haut Commissaire, Gouverneur Général de l'AOF Barthes to Ministre de FOM, n°795AP (Dakar, November 21, 1947)

28 sapeurs reached the AOF to help with rail service. 130 soldiers with railroad skills were reassigned by the Commandant Supérieur des Troupes. Railroad traffic was partially restored everywhere except on the Chemin de Fer Abidjan-Niger. The Dakar-Bamako train ran twice a week.

Two new diesel-electric locomotives were expected to help. one was already unloaded as of November 21, 1947. The Chemin de Fer Bénin-Niger and the Chemin de Fer Conakry- Niger each operated one weekly passenger thru-train.


"Le Reveil" (November 24, 1947)

Mm. D'Arboussier and Houphouet-Boigny, both of the RDA, called for African deputies to intervene in the strike.


Haut Commissaire, Gouverneur Général de l'AOF Nicolas to Ministre de FOM, n°839 AP/4T (Dakar, December 8, 1947)

The French authorities had not yet identified the culprit in the railroad sabotage that took place near Koulikoro. Stones and wood were found on the rails near Sébénkoro on November 21, 1947, but removed before the train left Bamako.

Ibrahima Sarr's trial on November 27, 1947 was postponed for 15 days.


Copie d'un telegramme addressé à Jules Moch, Ministre de l'Économie Nationale,
FZM LTG 15 (Bamako 70 19 0925)

"En raison organisation sociale grève cheminot africain affecte non seulement grévistes mais nombreuses familles élargées de sorte que consequences aggravantes grève sont presque quintuplées dans population. [STOP] C'est la raison suffisant mettre fin crise dont perturbations purement sociales compromettent avenir plusieurs millieurs familles. [STOP] Tous eléments reprise contact existent suffit les aborder en faisant droit légitimes revendications cheminots."

Roughly translated, this says that as a result of the nature of African society, the strike affected more than just railroad workers. Because of large extended families, the effects of the strike were multiplied by a factor of about five. To avoid social unrest, it is important to end the strike and recognize those worker grievances that are legitimate.


Haut Commissaire, Gouverneur Général de l'AOF Barthes to Ministre de FOM,
n°92H AP/4T (Dakar, December 31, 1947)

This letter refers to Fily Dabo Sissoko's telegram [which called on the strikers to return to work]. Since the strike was illegal and the railroad management had accepted arbitration, there was nothing else to do (but go back to work.)


Procureur de la République de Ravel to Procureur Général de l'AOF,
n°15 PG (Dakar, January 8, 1948)

M. Sarr was sentenced/convicted on December 11, 1947 but continued to appeal. A hearing was held before M. Boissier-Palun on January 8, 1948.