secondary work

A. S. Kanya-Forstner, The Conquest of the Western Sudan

(Cambridge University Press, 1969).

in the University of Delaware library.
Notes © 2002 by Jim Jones , Ph.D.

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IV. The Occupation of the Niger, 1880-83

(p84) French advance continues as Jauréguiberry authorized the construction of a fort at Kita and ordered Brière to occupy the Upper Senegal as far as Kita. In September 1880, Admiral Cloué replaced Jauréguiberry as Minister, but Brière de l'Isle remained as the Governor of Senegal. Cloué continued Jauréguiberry's policy and envisioned Kita as the base for further expansion. He also ordered the destruction of Dio to avenge the ambush of Gallieni.

(pp84-85) All of this cost money--more than the 1,300,000 alloted in July. Cloué reintroduced the railway project and asked for 8,500,000 francs for the railroad project to enhance security at Bafoulabé, whose fort was essential to protect the surveying missions that had already been approved. The Budget Commission feared making a decision that would jeopardize the security of Senegal, but Cloué had a hard time in Parliament. Instead of arguing for the railroad to promote commerce, the debate in parliament centered on how the railroad would guarantee the supply of the fort at Bafoulabé, without which, the French would have to withdraw, lose prestige, and become the object of attack. The final vote was 315 to 120 with over fifty abstentions, and the Senate held it up until the end of February 1881.

(p86) The ministry abandoned the idea of a punitive campaign in Beledugu [against Dio]. Cloué ordered Brière to call off the advance beyond Kita. When Brière resisted, he was recalled on 11 March 1881.

(p87) Although Brière was gone, the aggressive policy continued under the leadership of Lt. Gov. Gustav Borgnis- Desbordes.

Borgnis-Desbordes and the advance to the Niger

(p87) The creation of the position of Commandant- Supérieur du Haut-Fleuve opened the era of conquest in the Sudan. Although legally under the authority of the Governor of Senegal, the Commandant Superior was responsible for all aspects of Sudanese policy including exploration, railway construction and defense. He commanded a new battalion of tirailleurs sénégalais and had a forward position from which to operate at Kita. Brière aided him by promoting him to Lt. Col. so he would outrank the head of the survey mission, and giving him the powers of a commandant d'arrondisement, making him in effect a Lt. Governor.

(p87) Desbordes was a graduate of the école Polytechnique and the école d'Application at Metz. He served as a captain of the colonial marine artilelry in India and as an administrator with the inspection générale de l'armée.

(p87) As a career military officer, Borgnis-Desbordes favored military solutions. He quickly announced his intent to capture the Tokolor fortress at Murgala, march on Bamako, seize a piece of land and begin to contruct a fort. When Brière, responding to Cloué's instructions, reined him in, he complained.

(p88) Although an outbreak of typhoid fever in Saint-Louis disrupted the arrival of the expeditionary force, Desbordes pushed ahead to occupy Kita. Two weeks after receiving the order to halt at Kita, he destroyed the village of Goubanko, fifteen kilometers to the east.

(p88) After Brière was recalled, Desbordes became the government's expert on the Sudan. He returned to Paris in the summer of 1881 to address a minmistry that had grown more cautious. When the Ministry propsoed to erect sotrage facilities in Saint-Louis, improve the railhead at Kayes, complete navigation improvements on the Senegal and finish the topological surveys, Desbordes argued that "The Peaceful conquest of the Niger is an illusion." [Source: Desbordes, report 1880-1881 (6 July 1881), in ANFOM Sénégal IV 73 (bis).]

(p89) Thanks to Desbordes' personal intervention, the Ministry agreed to permit the construction of a new fort between kita and the Niger, although it continued to reject his call for a fort at Bamako.

(p89) Senegal was still a dangerous place. After the typhoid outbreak ended, a yellow fever epidemic started and preparations for the 1881-1882 campaign had to be suspended in July.

(pp89-90) Desbordes quickly marched his force through the Lower Senegal region and avoided the worst effects of yellow fever. He sent a flying column that reached the Niger in ten days, crossed the river, and attacked forces of Samori that were besieging Keniéra. He was reprimanded, but Desbordes was indispensable, especially after Brière's first replacement, Rear-Admiral Delanneau, died of yellow fever after only four months, and his replacement, Col. Canard, ws unable to restore order following the epidemic.

(p91) Egged on by local commercial interests, Canard became critical of the Ministry's policy. He began to complain in November 1881, declined responsibility for the Upper Senegal project in March 1882, and was recalled in May 1882.

(p91) Thanks to the epidemics, as of January 1882, no railroad track had been built beyond Kayes. The Ministry asked for a new budget in 1882 that was twice as high as the original-- 7,500,000 francs. The new credits for the railroad were approved in Marhc 1882 without serious opposition, despite the lack of progress to date.

(pp91-92) Things improved further for the Colonial Department when Jauréguiberry return as the Ministry of the Navy. He replaced Canard with a new governor, Captain Vallon. Desbordes called again for the occupation of Bamako, although Jauréguiberry was hesitant since he thought that they needed to make serious progress on the railroad if they expected to continue receiving money from parliament. Under-Secretary Berlet was even more cautious and wanted to limit French activity to the area west of Kita. But Desbordes was supported by the Minister's advisors, Lt. Col. Bourdiaux (Bureau de Haut-Fleuve) and Desbordes' close friend Paul Dislère (Director of Colonies). Even Legros advocated a fort at Bamako to make the protectorate effective.

(p93) Desbordes made another personal trip to Paris in summer 1882 to argue his case. At the end of their talks in August, Jauréguiberry canceled his previous instructions without consulting Vallon, the governor of senegal, and ordered the occupation of Bamako.

(p93) That effectively made Desbordes independent of Senegal. He forced Vallon to recongize that in writing and to reduce the garrison in Senegal to provide reinforcements for the Sudan. Vallon resigned by early October 1882, and was followed by René Servatius, the discredited former attorney general of Martinique.

(p94) Jauréguiberry's return as minister of the Navy confirmed the autonomy of the military government in the Sudan from civilian control. That enabled Desbordes to proceed. While waiting for supplies to reach him at Kita, he send an expedition to destroy the Tokolor fortress at Murgala in late 1882. After his supplies arrived, his forces advanced and captured Daba in Beledugu. They finally reached the Niger in February 1883 and built a fort at Bamako. After repelling an attack by Samori's forces in April 1883, he set out on a punitive expedition along the left bank of the Niger and negotiated new treaties of protection with a number of eladers in Beledugu.

(p94) The construction of the fort at Bamako made Desbordes a hero in France, and achieved a portion of Faidherbe's dream of an empire on the Niger. He was promoted to colonel and saluted in Paris.

The military view of Islam

(p95) The Ministry under Cloué fully expected to gain control over Ahmadu's empire, but gradually, in the future, and not through conquest. Desbordes, on the other hand, desired a preemptive attack against the Muslim states of Ahmadu and Samori. In January 1881, he called for a preemptive attack even though Galliéni and his group were still at Segou/Nango. He also condemned Galliéni's treaty because it would have opened the way for the British by requiring the French to withdraw from Kita and Bafoulabé.

(p96) Once Desbordes realized that his superiors would not authorize direct conquest, he resorted to the use of treachery with his diplomacy. Convinced that he needed a tleast 1200 troops to conquer Murgala and fight his way to Bamako, he bided his time while seeking support from Ahmadu's enemies.

(p97) As a soldier on active duty, Desbordes was more interested in fighting than making treaties. He distrusted Ahmadu who, at the end of 1881, closed the markets in Guidimakha and cut off the trade between Koniakary and Médine. That made it more dificult for the French to obtain supplies for their expeditionary columns. Desbordes also thought that Murgala was a threat and that it provided refuge to deserters from the tirailleurs.

(pp97-98) Throughout all of this, Desbordes ignored the fact that Ahmadu tried to avoid war with the French. He merely protested the destruction of Goubanko, the conquest of Murgala and the occupation of Bamako. Desbordes knew that Ahmadu would not fight as he reported in December 1881.

(p98) Samori posed the greatest danger to the French. [brief biography of Samori, born in 1830, the son of a Mande trader who began to organize his forces in the 1870s.]

(pp98-99) Samori's conversion to Islam was sincere. He began his studies under a local cleric, Konyan-Morifin, and later took the Qadirriyya Alfa Uthman as his spiritual advisor. Unlike Umar, Samori considered Islam as additional glue to hold his empire together. [desription of Samori's army, organized into corps of 4-5000 composed of conscripts (10% of able-bodied men in peacetime; as much as 50% in war) led by 200-300 sofas]. His small personal bodyguard was armed with repeating rifles by 1887. The armies trained for six months a year and worked the land the other six. All of this was financed by trading farm produce, gold from Buré and other trade. They also sold slaves in Futa Toro and used the proceeds to buy guns from the French.

(p100) Desbordes believed that Samori was simply a military adventurer who would eventually join the French against Ahmadu once he understood the power of French arms. Ahmadu's Muslim state was more dangerous and because of that, the French could not enter the Niger Valley without conquest. This was a clear restatement of the principles laid down by Faidherbe twenty years ago.

The Sudan and French West African policy 1880-1883

(pp100-102) Authorities in Paris began to reconsider the high priority given to the French advance to the Niger. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Quai d'Orsay) still wanted to beat the British to the Niger, but they also wanted to arrange an exchange by which to acquire the Gambia. Over at the Ministry of the Navy (Rue Royale), Jauréguiberry prepared a statement to the Senate that "We have [in Africa] ... implacable rivals who are constantly challenging the influence we already exercise in Senegal. They seek to hinder us in every way they can. They wish to reach the Niger before us, and from what I have learned they have already sent out an expedition of 200 men ... from Bathurst ..." [Source: J.O. Déb. Parl. Sénat (17 February 1881), 107.]

(p102) The French fears of the British were greatly exagerated. Administrator Gouldsbury of the Gambia signed a comemrcial treaty with Futa Toro in March 1881, but reported that the prospects for profit were slim. The French sent their own mission and signed a treaty with Futa Toro in July 1881.

(pp102-103) By the time that Jauréguiberry returned to the Ministry of the Navy in 1882, the Compagnie du Sénégal and the Compagnie française de l'Afrique équatoriale were on their way to obtaining 55 trading posts along the Senegal in 1883, and the military was preparing to move beyond Kita. In September 1882, Jauréguiberry authorized the construction of steam boats to patrol the Niger as far as Bussa and to "show the flag" at Timbuktu. In January 1883, he called on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to ratify Mattei's treaty with King Ahmadu of loko on the Benue River. He also advocated for other treaties designed to give the French influence on the Lower Niger River.

(pp103-104) By examining their actions in the Lower and Middle Niger Valleys, it is clear that the Ministry of the Navy desired an interior empire. In April 1882, Jauréguiberry and Minister of Commerce Maurice Rouvier persuaded the Minister of Foreign Affairs to declare a protectorate over Porto-Novo. In September, Jauréguiberry rejected any concessions to the British on the eastern border of Côte d'Ivoire. In January 1883, he urged the Minister of Foreign Affairs to send a garrison to Porto-Novo and to extend the protectorate along the Slave Coast.

(p104) In addition to the protection of French commerce and coastal trade, Jauréguiberry wanted to exploit the "riches" of the African interior. The Benue treaties were designed to give France a route to Lake Chad, Bornu and Adamawa.

(pp104-105) In general, it was the Minister of the Navy, not the Minister of Foreign Affairs, which took the lead in extending French influence in Africa. The exception was in the Congo, where the MFA ratified the de Brazza treaty in November 1882. De Brazza and his supporters roused public opinion which forced the Prime minister Duclerc to subbmit his treaty to the Parliament. Many of de Brazza's supporters in 1882 were part of the same group that supported the trans-Saharan railroad in 1879.

(p105) Jauréguiberry's initiatives did not constitute a well-integrated plan, but their outline was already well-known and the similarity could not have been a coincidence. Faidherbe was the first to propose a Sudanese empire in 1860. In 1876, Soleillet proposed to make Chad French. In 1879 and 1882, Rouvier proposed to make Chad French again.

The balance sheet of the first campaigns

(p106) During the period from 1880-1883, the French Marines dictated a Sudanese policy of total political and military domination of local political leaders. By 1883, the French were committed to military expansion, and viewed the railroad valued for strategic reasons rather than commercial reasons. Railroad construction served as a cover for increased military expenses. The original proposal called for the expenditure of 12 million francs to build the railroad, with 1,300,000 francs set aside for route surveys and the fort at Kita. By 1883, Parliament had appropriated 16 million francs, and of the 13,500,000 francs spent, only 7,000,000 francs went to the railroad itself. The rest was spent on surveys, diplomatic missions and military construction. Instead of 300,000 francs, the forts had cost 3,000,000 francs, but the route was secured by forts at Médine, Bafoulabé, Badumbé, Kita and Bamako. Meanwhile, railroad had advanced only 17 miles.

(pp106-108) There was almost no opposition in the Chambre, since unlike other overseas military actions, the Sudan did not draw troops away from the defense of France, there was no evidence of profits for speculators, and the security argument was persuasive. It became impossible for a deputy to attack the work of those "brave men fighting for the glory of French" without appearing to be a coward or a traitor.

(pp108-109) The French victory was expensive thanks to natural calamities that interfered with military campaigns and railroad construction. The 1880-1881 expeditionary force reached Saint-Louis during the typhoid fever campaign that incapacited thirty percent of the French force, killing fifty-nine Frenchmen and rndering another sixty seriously ill. The fall in the level of the Senegal River plus opposition from Abddul Bubakar in Futa Toro delayed the expedition so that by the time Desbordes reached Bafoulabé in January 1881, he had only two days of food left. His rush to Kita produced the same problems and by February 1881, they were out of food again.

(p109) Similar problems reoccurred in 1881 when yellow fever struck Saint-Louis, delaying the departure of the 1881-1882 expeditionary force and the resupply of the forts on the Upper Senegal. In October, Governor Canard recommended the evacuation of Bafoulabé and Kita, and in December, Desbordes set out from Kayes without any supplies. His successful march to Bamako was due to his extraordinary luck rather than his overwhelming force.

(pp109-110) Railroad construction went even more poorly, as materials did not arrive and as much as thirty percent of all materials were lost during the first campaign. [Source: Leroy, report (9 June 1883) in J.O. Doc. Parl. Chambre, no. 1964, 934.] Records were poorly kept or lost, there were not enough tools for the Moroccan laborers, and the French administrators at the work site could not speak Arabic. By December 1882, only four kilometers of track were completed.

(p110) Although Desbordes reached the Niger, the rest of the project was a shambles since transport on the Senegal was uncertain, epidemics threatened all operations, and the French military expansion destroyed any economic potential of the region. In 1881, Governor Delanneau grudgingly extended the arms trade, since it was the only commercial activity that earned a profit. In 1882, Governor Vallon condemned the entire railroad project and vowed that the Sudan would never produce a profit. Jauréguiberry was angered and set up a Board of Inquiry to refute Vallon's charges. The Board ruled that the project had merit, but condemned the rampant mismangement.

(pp110-111) All of this upset the Ministry's plans. In April 1883, the new Minister of the Navy, Charles Brun, told parliament that the project would cost 24 million francs, twice the original projection of 12 million francs. The security argument no longer worked, since Bafoulabé survived without the railroad. The only justification he could find was that since parliament had already appropriated 16 million francs, and it would go to waste if they withheld the last 8 million francs. Afterwards, private enterprise could finish the railroad from Bafoulabé to the Niger.

(p111) This time, the earlier railroad cost overruns made parliamentary approval of financing no longer automatic. The Budget Commission eventually gave its approval, but its report fueled criticism by describing the railroad as running "from an entirely desolate plain, Kayes, across a complete wilderness to an absolute desert, Bafoulabé." [Source: Speech by Lambert de Saint-Croix in J.O. Déb. Parl. Sénat (1 August 1883), 1183-1184.] A motion to adjourn the debate was defeated by the narrow margin of 241 to 216, as was another motion to investigate the railroad's finance by a vote of 286- 182, and only after Ferry himself spoke against it. In the end, the Ministry's request of 4,677,000 francs was approved by a vote of 273 to 101 with 126 abstentions.

(pp111-112) Meanwhile, the French lines to the Niger were overextended and Samori's empire was still intact and ready to fight. By 1885, Samori's sofas had attacked in the vicinity of Bafoulabé.

(p112) By the end of 1882, Desbordes realized that before there could be any further French advance, the existing gains had to be comnsolidated and that meant finishing the railroad. He was not prepared to lead the marines in garrison and resupply duty. At the end of the 1882-1883 campaign, typhoid hit Saint- Louis again, killing Governor of Senegal Servatius. His temporary replacement, Le Boucher, quaratined Desbordes and his men on the Isle de Todd in June 1883. Housing was inadequate and Desbordes used this alleged mistreatment of his men as a pretext to resign. Rather than lose his most valuable Sudanese expert, the Minister reprimanded Le Boucher, refused Desbordes resignation, and instead ordered him back to Paris to take a position in the Colonial Department.

V. The Problems of Occupation, 1883-86

(p113) The French occupation of Bamako ended further expansion, and instead, they concentrated their efforts on railway construction, and rejected Desbordes proposals to enter the gold-producing region of Buré.

Uncertainties on the Upper Senegal

(pp113-114) The Marine Ministry asked parliament for the second installment of the funds for railroad construction as part of the "Extraordinary Estimates" submitted in July 1883. This was a new situation, since the first installment had come out of a surplus in the Public Works Estimates of 1881, while this would have to be debated as part of a general request for 265,000,000 francs which could only be raised by floating a state loan. When the Minister of Finance submitted this unpopular request, he commented that the process of requesting Extraordinary Credits needed to be tightened up. The Sudan request was a good place to start. The Budget Commission recommended approval, but the Chamber rejected the Sudan request by a vote of 234 to 197. The Senate restored it, however, thanks to the intervention of General Faidherbe, now a senator, who warned of the disaster that would occur in France abandoned the Sudan. The new Minister of Marine, Admiral Peyron, added that if the request was rejected, it would be more expensive to liquidate existing contracts than to complete the work. By this time, members of the Budget Commission had become skeptical, and even the railroad's supporters talked about liquidating the project. The budget request passed, but with restrictions that required ninety kilometers of track to be laid by year's end, and that the money would only be used to pay off existing bills.

(pp114-115) Meanwhile, the situation in the colony was equally chaotic, thanks to Desbordes policy of attacking Colonial Governors in order to establish his own independence, and the debilitating effects of epidemic disease. Since Brière was recalled, two more governors had died of fever and two more resigned in disgust. "After the quaratine incident," Le Boucher was sent as governor, but he refused to serve, not even until his replacement, Governor Seignac, arrived. The Marine Ministry sent Col. Bourdiaux from the Upper Senegal to act as interim governor, but his enthusiasm for additional military conquest alienated the St. Louis merchants who were essential for resupply effort.

(p115) The vacancy in the Sudan left by the departure of Desbordes was filled by Lt. Col. Boilève. He was a capable man with a great deal of experience, but he had been in the Sudan too long and asked to be relieved. The Ministry refused, so he was forced to carry on, but he was not as capable as Desbordes.

(p115) Under the circumstance, Boilève did fairly well as Commandant-Supérieur, keeping the political situation under control and focusing on the railroad and the supply of the French forts. But Boilève faced a series of obstacles including poor planning and a lack of support from Senegal. Money and supplies arrived late, transport was disorganized, and there was not enough storage facilities. For once, there was no serious outbreak of disease, but a severe fire struck Kayes in May 1884 and destroyed most of the supplies for railroad work. [Source: Boilève, Report ... 1883-4 (8 August 1884), Caps. I, IV, ANFOM Senegal IV 79 (bis)(a).]

(pp115-116) By February 1884, the Marine Ministry was no longer interested in continuing the railroad, and Admiral Peyron told the Budget Commission that the work continued only to prevent the waste of the money that had already been spent. Peyron was only interest in making sure that the military occupation of the Sudan continued. In June, he agreed to the demand by the Budget Commission to suspend work on the railroad in exchange for approval of the budget appropriation (1,800,000 francs) needed to maintain the forts. In July 1884, the Budget Commission approved the supplementary credit, and a month later it showed that the occupation of the Sudan was permanent by transferring the budget for military operations from the 1885 Estimates to the Ordinary Budget.

(pp116-117) By abandoning railroad construction, the parliament put the Marine Ministry in a bad position because the military had used the railroad budget to disquise how much it was spending on the conquest. The Budget Commission accepte dthe need to provision the forts, but with the railroad removed from the budget, it cut the annual appropriation in half from 3,110,000 to 1,600,000 francs. But the military costs could not be controlled and the 1883 deficit of 350,000 francs grew by another 1,100,000 francs in 1884 and another 800,000 in 1885.

(p117) Even Desbordes recognized that without money, there could be no campaign, so he instructed the forces in the Sudan to maintain the existing facility, preserve French prestige, and avoid provocation. That was difficult because the transportation problem was still acute and the resupply column did not leave Kayes until the end of December.

(p117) Meanwhile, there was new turmoil in the Bakel area due to Abdul-Bubakar of Futa Toro. The population of the areas around Médine, Bafoulabé, Kita and Namako all refused to supply either labor or provisions. The Tokolor in Kaarta continued their ban on trade with the French, aggravating the supply problem. The forts were unable to protect caravans and trade declined. Railroad construction came nearly to a halt, adding only four kilometers that year. [Source: Chief engineer's report (15 October 1886), in ANFOM Sénégal IV 81(b).]

(pp117-118) The Ministry sent instructions in November 1883 to avoid war and limited action to fomenting unrest in Ahmadu's empire and seeking a treaty with Samori. The Ministry continued to issue the same instructions after Boilève was replaced by Major Combes in 1884.

(pp118-119) Unlike Boilève. Combes was an ambitious officer who, like Desbordes, saw conquest as the key to professional advancement. He revived the argument that inactivity threatened French prestige and hence, its security, while a decisive victory would end all opposition. He argued that Ahmadu's empire was crumbling and Samori was distracted by his siege of Sikasso. His report added that Ahmadu had just sent a most insulting letter, and concluded that action could not be delayed. Combes requested permission to launch a punitive expedition and received the full backing of Governor Seignac.

(p119) When Peyron received Combes request, he replied non- commitally that he should act energetically if the occasion presented itself, but only if he was sure of victory, and he could not count on reinforcements from France.

(pp119-120) In November, Combes decided not to reply to Ahmadu's letter and ignored the advance of Ahmadu towards Nioro. Instead, in February 1885, Coombes launched an assault against Samori by building a fort at Niagassola between the Bakhoy and Niger Rivers. In March, he led an "offensive reconnaisance" through the region of Kangaba and Buré on the left bank of the Niger, and built a second fort at Nafadié. The fort at Niagassola proved indefensible, as did the fort at Nafadié, and the garrison had to be rescued by a "flying column." After they departed, Samory reasserted his control in the region and sent forces after the French to the gates of Bafoulabé. The Governor was extremely critical of Coombes' "absurd attack against Samori" which undermined French security on the Senegal River.

French priorities in West Africa

(pp120-121) The French marine officers switched their attention to obtaining control of the Niger River. In October 1883, Jauréguiberry's order for the construction of a gunboat on the Middle Niger was confirmed, and on Desbordes' recommendation, instructions were added to sail as far as Timbuktu to show the flag. They even made plans to follow it up with an overland expedition if the boat trip succeeded.

(p121) The mission was doomed from the outset. For a boat from Bamako to reach Timbuktu and return before the dry season lowered the river too much, it had to leave in May, but construction of the boat was not completed until September. The gunboat Niger was unseaworthy and its Captain (Froger) became ill, so a shorter trip to Sansanding was also out of the question. In November, Lt. Davoust replaced Froger, but he quarreled with Delanneau in April 1885. The Niger finally set sail in September 1885.

(p121) In the meantime, al-hajj Abd el Kader arrives in St.Louis posing as an emissary of Timbuktu's Grand Council. He requested French protection against the Muslim state of Macina, and offered France exclusive commercial relations with Timbuktu. The French convinced him to travel to Paris where he became a social hit and entered into negotiations with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Colonial Department, even though he had no authority to sign a treaty. He retruend to Saint-Louis in January 1885 to await a mission led by the interpreter Angeli which was to take a draft treaty of friendship to Timbuktu.

(p122) The French never proved that al-hajj Abd el Kader had any real connection to Timbuktu, and once in Saint-Louis, he was preoccupied with getting out of town, refusing to wait for Angeli's mission. Angeli seems to have been a fake as well, and in April 1885, the Under-Secretary canceled the mission.

(pp122-123) The French suffered even worse stebacks on the Lower Niger River. A French warship stoped at Bonny in March 1883 but failed to obtain a treaty. Consul Mattei was equally unsuccessful on the Brass River in August 1883, and the Emir of Nupe refused him access. He did get a commercial treaty with Ibi on the Benue, but no political advantages. Meanwhile Jauréguiberry's initiatives got the British moving, and their gunboats shelled Abo and Idah on the Niger River in October 1884 because they cooperated with the French. In May 1884, "Too Late" Hewett "set out on his famous treaty-making expedition" and obtained a chain of protectorates from the Oil Rivers to Benue with the help of Vice-Consul McIntosh.

(p123) At the same time, Goldie's National African Company easily outspent and undercut both the Compagnie du Sénégal and the Compagnie Française Africaine Equatoriale, and the French sold out their interests in June and October 1884, respectively.

(p123) By 1884, the French position in West Africa seemed to be under attack by the British. Samori and Ahmadu each began to talk with the British, and there was trouble along the border of Sierra Leone despite the Sierra Leone Boundary Agreement of June 1882. Governor Blondiaux blamed it on British agents.

(p124) The failure of Jauréguiberry's imperialist scheme forced the French to reassess their position in West Africa, and in the end, they gave only toekn support to Mattei's treaty expedition and none to the French firms on the Lower Niger River.

(pp125-130) Discussion of French priorities at the 1885 Berlin Conference. In brief, Bismarck tried to separate the French from the British. Ferry was unwilling to risk an Anglo- French crisis over Egypt, and certainly not over the Niger. The English felt they had suffered enough of their own reverses in Africa, and were therefore willing to compromise. One of the results was an amiable division of control of navigation on Niger.

Upper Senegal crisis of 1885-86

(p130) Ferry's decision to focus on the Upper Niger Valley came at a time when the French military establishment in the region was unraveling. Then, in March 1885, Ferry's government fell following the ignomious retreat from Lang-Son over Indochina. The 1885 elections produced an anti-colonialist Chambre which eliminated the funding for the Tonkin operation.

(pp130-131) In February 1885, the Budget Commission demanded a strict accounting before considering the Supplemental Estimates, but neither the Under-Secretary nor the head of the Bureau du Haut-Fleuve was able to comply. The Commission eventually approved 1,100,000 francs because of its urgency, but condemned the department's bookkeeping methods "as criminally negligent." Following a "violent debate," The Chamber followed suit but forced the new Under-Secretary Armand Rousseau to admit that his department no longer effectively controlled Sudanese expenditures.

(p131) The Ministry submitted an artificially low request in 1886, but the Budget Commission renewed its condemnation and the request was lucky to pass. To save further embarassment, the Minister of the Navy submitted a request for a crédit de liquidation of 1,480,000 francs to pay off all remaining Sudanese debts. The Budget Commission was still skeptical and asked for more details, which were not forthcoming, so the debate was delayed until after the Dissolution of Ferry's government. By the time it resumed in November 1886, the new Chamber was much more hostile to the Ministry and colonial expenditures. (Ferry was replaced by the Radical Brisson; Admiral Galiber became the new minister of the Navy.)

(p132) Under-Secretary Rousseau lost his seat at election and for three months (November 1885 to roughly February 1886), his position remained vacant, relegating colonial affairs to the level of a simple Directorate under M. Portier. Admiral Galiber ordered than the Sudanese operation maintain its current status without exceding the budget, and under no circumstances were French forces to cross the Niger River.

(p132) Local officials advocated a more aggressive policy. Governor Seignac refused to accept responsibility for the new campaign after his funding requests were rejected, while the new Commandant-Supérieur, Lt. Col. Frey, (appointed, not a volunteer) requested 1000 men so he could drive Samori's sofas back across the Niger.

(pp132-133) The Ministry rejected Frey's request, but agreed that Samori's advance into the Bakhoy Valley posed a threat to the French positions. Frey moved to stop Samori's advance by intercepting caravans bound for Samori's territory and by easily conquering Samori's sofa headquarters at Galé on 17 January 1886. Although he wanted to continue south into the heart of Samori's empire, Frey made peace on 4 February and even recognized Samori's sovereignty over the provinces of buré and Kangaba, because he faced another threat in the west.

(pp133-134) In February 1886, rebellion began on the Upper Senegal led by a marabout, al-hajj Mahmadu Lamine. He was a disciple of Umar who attempted to claim succession to his empire and was consequently imprisoned in Ségou. After he got out, he returned to the Upper Senegal and used the prestige from his pilgrimmage to rally followers. By February 1886, Lamine's followers had taken over Bondu and Guoy, and were strong enough to burn villages around Bakel, and the French garrison at Médine was too weak to stop them.

(p134) Frey immediately sent a small force back towards Médine, but the rest of his force did not arrive in Kayes until the beginning of April. In the meantime, Lamine's forces successfully ambushed a contingent of tirailleurs and captured their cannon. They cut the telegraph line and besieged the fort at Bakel. Frey's forces eventually drove the besiegers south towards the Gambian border, but then embarked on a string of reprisals throughout Guidimaka, creating tension between the French and Ahmadu (Segou).

(pp134-135) French relations with Samori had deteriorated to the point that in 1885, Paris instructed Frey to conclude a treaty with Ahmadu against Samori, since there was not enough money for a military campaign. By January, Frey was convinced that war with Ahmadu's empire was inevitable, and launched his campaign in Guidimakha to move things along. In May, he urged the Ministry to allow him to occupy southern Kaarta in hopes of provoking an attack.

(p135) Ahamdu was anxious to avoid a confrontation. The 1884 Bambara rebellion in Beledugu forced him to move his capital to Nyamina, and at the end of 1884, he moved it again to Nioro to overthrow his brother Muntaga and to restore order in Kaarta. After a six-month siege, he was too weak to force his way back through Beledugu to Segou. When the gunboat Niger returned to Bamako in November 1885, Delanneau reported that Segou was on the verge of revolt. Ahmadu did not interfer with it,e ven though it sailed as far as Diafarabé, well beyond the Tokolor border.

(pp135-136) By the end of 1885, Ahamdu's attitude had hardened, especially after Delanneau got Nyamina to sign a treaty of protection and expell its Tokolor garrison. Ahmadu responded by blockading the trade routes and according to the French, seeking anti-French alliances with Abdul-Bubakar in Futa Toro and Lat Dior in Cayor. After Frey's expedition through Guidimakha, he broke off relations with the French. Frey's annual report called for a declaration of war at the beginning of the 1885-1886 campaign to reopen the trade routes.

(pp136-137) The ministry refused. When Capt. Monteil returned from surveying the Bafoulabé-Bamako route in December 1885, his report explained the error in pushing conquest ahead of railroad construction--their supply lines were inadequate. Inspector Legros agreed, and Pérard of the Upper Senegal Bureau suggested that the French wihdraw from the Sudan to save roughly four million francs per year. By April 1886, the new Minister of the Navy, Admiral Aube, called the situation a "crisis whose end is not yet in sight."

(p137) The crisis led to a reexamination of French policy with respect to the major Muslim states. Minister Aube urged the signing of accords with Muslim states as the only powers that could ensure tranquility in the area.

(p137) The French also reconsidered its efforts to control the Niger River. The new Ministry of the Marine, Galiber, ordered the destruction of the gunboat Niger, but in April 1886, it was saved by the order of the new minister, Admiral Aube, a brother-in-law of Faidherbe, although he ordered its movements restricted to save money and personally vetoed a request to send it to Nyamina in June 1885.

(p138) Charles de Freycinet, Brisson's new Minister of Foreign Affairs and then Président du Conseil, saved French Niger policy. Like Ferry, he was willing to abandon the Lower Niger, but wanted to concentrate on the western Sudan.

(p138) In June 1885, the British declared a protectorate over the Lower Niger. Freycinet broached the possibility of declaring a French protectorate over the Upper Niger Valley, but the Ministry of the Navy refused to cooperate. After two months, the Ministry of the Navy finally agreed, but they were still angry that the government had abandoned the Lower Niger to the British.

(p139) Tension continued between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Marine over plans to create a French protectorate to resist British incursions in the Upper Niger region from Sierra Leone. The Under-Secretary for Colonies, Amédée de la Porte, objected to strict wording that seemed to limit French claims to Macina and not Timbuktu. Finally, in September 1885, Foreign Minister Rousseau followed suit for the French and defined the protectorate over the region between the Algerian Sudan and the Samori states. Samori signed a treaty recognizing it, and the French had their protectorate in the quadrilateral between Cape Blanc, the borders of Gwandu and King, and the sea.

(pp140-141) Due to poor communications between the Sudanese officers and Paris, the French government was unable to locate the treaties that defined its sphere of influence, or answer the British request for the limits of their protectorate. The treaty with Samori was regarded as a disaster. Freycinet grew frustrated and angry, but could do nothing to change it. Only on 13 October 1885 was Freycient able to inform the other Great Powers about the French protectorate. That made the French position permanent in the Sudan, on in December 1885, the new parliament approved the crédit de liquidation without debate. Afterwards, the Sudan question became inactvie for the next six years.

(p141) This period ended with a reduction of tension. Only Mahmudu Lamine continued to make trouble. Frey was not reappointed, and instead, Lt. Col. Joseph Gallieni was sent to replace Frey.

VI. The Consolidation of the Sudan and the New African Policy

(p142) By fall 1886, things began to look better for colonial affairs. The new rapporteur for the colonial budget was Eugène Étienne, the Algerian deputy who was pro-African expansion, and he gladly approved the Ministry's 1887 budget estimates. The Chambre accepted his recommendation to continue building the railroad with the materials that were already on hand.

(p143) By 1886, Brière was the Deputy Inspector General of the Marine Infantry, and Desbordes, now a brigadier general, was the Colonial Department's Sudan expert. They arranged for the appointment of Galliéni.

(pp143-144) Galliéni's first task was to restore French prestige, which had been badly damaged by Frey's failed military efforts, and to crush Mahmadu. Desbordes instructed Galliéni not to overburden the budget, but instead to concentrate on restoring the forts and transportation system.

Gallieni's successful campaigns

(pp144-145) Galliéni's first task was to subdue Mahmadu Lamine, who had become more aggressive during the rainy season. During the summer, his agents murdered the French ally, Umar Penda of Bondu, and in September, they attacked Sénoudébou. On Christmas 1886, Galliéni's forces captured Mahmadu's capital at Diana, although he escaped.

(p145) During ten week campaign to reprovision the forts along the Senegal-Niger line and make repairs at Kita, Badumbé and Koundou, Galliéni's troops suffered no casualties.

(p145) Galliéni also made impressive progress with the railroad using material that was already on hand. "Once he persuaded the local chiefs to provide labour, work proceeded rapidly; by the summer of 1887 the Railway had reached kilometre 94" (near Bafoulabé). [Source: Galliéni to Gov. Senegal (9 May 1887), in ANFOM Sénegal IV 87(b).] He also brought order to the financial records of the Sudan.

(pp145-146) He also improved commerce by refusing to destroy the lands through which his troops marched during their campaign against Mahmadu Lamine. To stop the flow of trade from Bambuk to the Gambia, he encouraged the development of Bafoulabé as a trading center, and produced results by May 1887.

(p146) In the summer of 1887, Galliéni proposed to finish the railroad to Bafoulabé and to construct a single new fort at Siguiri. The Colonial Department accepted his plans.

(p146) In July 1887, Mahmadu Lamine threatened once again in Ouli province. Galliéni sent troops in pursuit and on 8 December 1887, they captured his stronghold at Toubakouta, klling him the next day.

(p146) By the beginning of April 1888, the forts were resupplied and Siguiri was completed. At the end of May, the railroad reached Bafoulabé. [Source: Gov. Sen. to Min. Marine & Colonies (31 May 1888), ANFOM Sénégal IV 90(bis)(c).]

(pp146-147) After Mahmadu lamine was killed, Galliéni recognized Bubakar Saada's son Usman Gassi as the ruler of Bondu as long as they traded exclusively with the French. Trade continued to improve, surveys were completed, and by May 1888 Galliéni reported that Médine was a "thriving commercial centre with a population of 7,000, increasing daily." [Source: Galliéni, Deux Campagnes, 573-603.]

Franco-Muslim relations, 1886-88

(pp147-148) Relations with Samori continued to improve thanks to his need for French acquiescence during his campaign against Tiéba of Sikasso. In February 1887, a French mission reached Samori's capital at Bissandugu, and after Capt. Péroz made threats to break off the talks, Samori yielded his rights to everything on the left bank of Niger.

(pp148-149) Negotiations with Ahmadu were also simple. He had defeated Muntaga in Nioro and wanted to return to Segou, but his talibes were reluctant to move further from Futa Toro and the rebellious Bambara of Beledugu still blocked his way. Ahmadu needed the French to resume selling him arms, so he lifted the trade ban, asked for a new treaty based on the terms agreed upon at Nango (rejected by Galliéni), and helped them against Mahmadu Lamine. The French lifted the ban on the sale of munitions, and exchange for the right to sail on the Niger, agreed not to invade the Tokolor empire. They signed a treaty on 12 May 1887 and relations remained generally good for the next year.

(pp149-150) None of this indicated a fundamental change in French policy. The French viewed the treaties as a way to maintain peace while they consolidated their position. They continued to support dissenters in the Tokolor Empire as well as Bambara rebels. Galliéni successfully split the Tokolor empire in two and trapped Ahmadu in Nioro.

(p150) Galliéni pursued the same approach against Samori, refusing to come to his aid against Tiéba of Sikasso, selling arms to both Samori and his opponents, and concluding a treaty of protection with Tiéba in June 1888. In August 1888, Samori abandoned the siege of Sikasso and returned to Bissandugu, his army greatly weakened.

The Upper Niger Empire

(p151) Gallieni's success encourages French to rethink their plans. In September 1886, Minister Aube ordered his Under- Secretary to draw up new plans, and on 1 July 1887, Lt. Caron left Bamako for Timbuktu by gunboat. He arrived on 18 August at Timbuktu's river port of Koriume, but despite orders to sign treaties with Tijani of Macina and the Grand Council of Timbuktu, he returned empty-handed and the inhabitants of the river bank refused to sell him wood or food. Next, they sent the gunboats south into the Upper Niger tributaries that went into Samori's empire, but produced no results there either.

(p151) The French redirected their efforts towards the south where they feared British encroachments from Sierra Leone.

(pp152-153) In 1887, French expansion efforts were aimed at area between the Senegal and Niger Rivers, and Fouta Djallon. A French protectorate over Fouta Djallon was signed with Agibou, Ahmadu's brother and the ruler of Dingiraye, at the end of March 1888 by Lt. Plat. [Source: ANFOM Senegal IV, nÝ90(b). Gallieni to Gouverneur General de l'AOF. 3 April 1888]. By the end of 1886, the French military occupied commercial forts in Ivory Coast. Capt. Audéoud completed an overland journey from Siguiri to Benty, opening the road from the Niger to the Atlantic. His report urged the Colonial Department to forgo the expansion of trade along the Senegal River in favor of the shorter route through richer territory to the Southern Rivers.

(p153) Étienne left the Colonial Department in December 1887 and his replacement was the more cautious de la Porte in February 1888. He rejected the southern rivers strategy and the request to authorize a fort at Timbo (in Futa Jallon), and instead instructed the new Commandant-Supérieur, Archinard, to reassure the almamys that the French had no designs on their territory.

(p153) When Étienne resumed control of colonial policy in arch 1889, he overrode the objections of Archinard and Gov. Senegal Clément-Thomas, and authorized the fort at Timbo with a French Resident.

(pp153-154) During the early 1880s, the French posts on the Côte d'Ivoire were under the control of the La Rochelle trader Verdier, but at the end of 1886, Jean Bayol, Lt. Gov. of the Southern Rivers, sent a force of tirailleurs to put down an uprising. His true goal was to establish a new base for French access to the Sudan. He was supported by Faidherbe's officier d'ordonnance, Capt. Louis-Gustave Binger.

(pp154-155) In December 1886, Binger asked the Ministry of Marine for permission to explore the interior of Côte d'Ivoire. While Aube wa supportive, de la Porte cited budget limitations. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was mor favorable and matched Aube's 17,500 francs with its own money for the expedition. The Under-Secretary merely asked Binger to submit a rport on his trip, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs instructed him to sign treaties. Binger left Médine in May 1888, met Samori at Sikasso, visited Kong, tied unsuccessfully to sign a treaty in Wagadugu, travelled through Gurunsi, Mamprusi, Salaga, Kintapo and Bonduku, and then returned to Kong, where he met Treich-Laplène, one of Verdier's agents. They traveled together to Grand Bassam and established protectorates over Djimmini and Anno.

(pp155-156) During Étienne's first administration, the French were willing to exchange territory in Côte d'Ivoire (Assinie and Grand Bassam) with the British in order to obtain the Gambia, but Binger's trip altered the situation. The Anglo- French Boundary Commission met in March/April 1889 and discussed the exchange of Gambia for other West African territory, but considered Côte d'Ivoire too valuable to give away. [Source: ANFOM Afrique VI nÝ73(a). Étienne to Ministrère des Affaires Etrangères. 25 April 1889] They signed lesser boundary agreements that established a French Niger empire, while permitting the British to retain Sierra Leone, Gambia and the Lower Niger.

Development of the Chad Plan

(pp156-157) Undersecretary of State for Colonies Eugène Étienne authorized the conquest of Segou and the advance of gunboats to Tombouctou in Feb 1890. [Source: ANFOM Senegal I nÝ80(c). Étienne to Gouverneur de Senegal. 15 April 1890] After Segou's capture, he authorized expeditions into Macina, Yatenga and Mossi, and sent the gunboats as far as Timbuktu. In April 1889, he reinforced the garrison at Cotonou and sent out expeditions to annex new territory in Dahomey. When the Fon attacked Dahomey in March 1890, Étienne informed parliament that he was prepared to launch a war.

(p157) In the summer of 1890, negotiations opened in response to German protests at a map in Le Tmeps showing the Binger expedition with an an apparent extension of French claims into the previously neutral area (from a European standpoint--Anglo- German Neutrality Agreement of 1887) south of the Black Volta- Burrum line.

(p158) The French treated this as evidence of German interest in Timbuktu, and proceeded with caution to define their sphere of influence in diplomatic terms.

(p158-161) [Discussion of the negotiations between France, Germany, and Britain over their respective spheres of influence in Africa. Although Tunisia was the most important area under negotiation, West Africa received a great deal of attention as well.]

(p161) Throughout the first half of 1890, the French Ambassador Waddington negotiated with the British. In the end, he exchanged French rights in Zanzibar for the protectorate of Madagascar and control up to the Niger bend. That laid the foundations for a French empire from the Mediterranean to the Congo and the Atlantic. The Say-Barruwa line divides British/French interest.

The Chad plan and public opinion

(p162) By the summer of 1890, the French public became seized with "empire fever" comparable to the trans-Saharan excitement of a decade earlier.

(p162) In 1885, Paul Leroy-Beaulieu wrote: "I count myself among those who believe that the future of France lies ... in Africa, and that with Algeria linked to Senegal, we shall one day dominate and civilize the whole north-western portion of this continent, that is to say all the territory between Tripoli and the Atlantic, between the Mediterranean in the north and the Gambia and the Equator in the south, including the whole course of the Niger and its affluents and the lands bordering Lake Chad." [Source: Paul Leroy-Beaulieu, De la colonisation chez les peuples modernes, 3rd. ed. (Paris, 1885), 447.]

(pp162-163) In 1888 the Trans-Saharien railroad debate reopened in the newspapers, and in March 1890, the Congrès colonial national passed a resolution supporting the construction of a strategic railroad across the Sahara, and the simultaneous advance into the Sudan from Senegal and the Congo. In July 1890, the government set up an interministerial commission to reexamine the trans-Saharan railroad project, and it August it recommended building a line from Biskra to the Niger Bend. By the end of October, the French ambassador to Spain, Paul Cambon, called for the occupation of the Tuat oasis as the first step on the way to Timbuktu.

(p163) This popular fervor was led by a new generation of colonialists, whose leader was François Deloncle, a former member of Freycinet's cabinet and currently a deputy from Castellane in the Basse Alpes. His cousin Jean-Louis worked closely with Étienne in the Department of Colonies. Deloncle wrote editorials for the Paris newspaper Le Siècle in support of expansion.

(p164) Under-Secretary Étienne was also an influential supporter of French expansion in Africa. His speech to parliament on the Dahomey crisis in March 1890 defined the French idea of what was rightfully theirs in Africa (everything west of a line drawn south from the Tunisian border through lake Chad to the Congo).

(pp164-165) When news of the Anglo-German negotiations reached France in June 1890, there was outrage, and government opponents accused Foreign Minister Alexandre Ribot of selling out the French empire to the British with the Anglo-French agreement of 1890.

(p166) Meanwhile, there were also private efforts to extend the French empire. In 1889, the Syndicat Francais du Haut Bénito was formed to explore the region between Lake Chad and the Congo. By the end of the summer 1890 parliamentary recess, this group transformed itself into the Comité de l'Afrique Francaise to support Étienne's Chad plan. That laid the foundations for the parti coloniale.

The nature of the new African policy

(pp166-167) Although public opinion was favoralbe to the new, expansionist Africa policy, the policy was formed independently by the politicians and civil servants at the Ministries of Foreign Affairs (Ribot) and Marine (Étienne). Their goal was to create a vast empire with control over the interior, and to protect commercial interests for the long-term future.

(p168) Relations between Colonial Office (Ministry of the Navy, Rue Royale) and Foreign Ministry (Quai d'Orsay) were bad, beginning when the new Foreign minister consulted the Ministry of Marine instead of the Under-Secretary Étienne concerning the Sierra Leone border in 1889. Étienne felt slighted and took offense. A year later, Étienne failed to inform the Foreign Ministry about the capture of Segou, and they learned about it from the newspapers. In retaliation, the Foreign Ministry kept Étienne in the dark about the Anglo-French Agreement until a week after it was signed.

(p169) Thus, Étienne promoted his Chad Plan using unofficial allies rather than the Foreign Ministry. On 19 July 1890, Henri Hippolyte Percher (commonly known as Harry Alis), the future secretary-general of the Comité de l'Afrique française (CAF), asked Étienne if the French could challenge the British on the Lower Niger. Paul Crampel was already enroute from the Congo to Lake Chad, and Alis proposed to send an expedition up the Lower Niger River to the Benue under Lt. Mizon to seek treaties with Bornu and Baghirmi. The CAF would pay for the mission, which would be "unofficial," if the Under-Secretary would provide his "blessing" and 50,000 francs. Alis also suggested implementing Monteil's February 1890 plan for an expedition to Lake Chad from the Sudan.

(pp169-170) Étienne supported both projects and got the Conseil des Ministres to do the same on 12 August 1890. In September 1890, Étienne instructed Monteil to proceed via Sikasso, Sansanding, along the demarcation line to Barruwa, to Bornu and Kanem, and to establish French protectorates. Lt. Mizon reached the lower Niger in October 1890. Étienne kept the true purpose of his mission hidden from the Foreign Ministry.

The reorganization of the Sudan

(p171) Sudan policy was reformed within the larger policy scheme outline din the previous chapter. Now, instead of "right of conquest," further expansion was justified in terms of economic development.

(pp171-172) To become profitable, trade from the Sudan needed an outlet to the sea. Étienne favored the Southern Rivers, which made the existing line of forts between Kayes and Bamako irrelevant. By the end of 1889, Étienne created a departmental commission on French policy in West Africa to reexamine traditional objectives in the region. It was instructed to consider whether annual military columns were necessary, iof all of the forts should be maintained, if the railroad should be extended beyond Bafoulabé or abandoned, and if French influence should extend further north to Timbuktu or south to Futa Jallon.

(p172) The Under-Secretary created the commission with the assumption that the French needed to reduce costs, and appointed commission members who generally opposed the military expansion in the Sudan, including Admiral Vallon (deputy from Senegal), Deloncle, and Étienne's chef de cabinet, Jacques Haussmann. Galliéni served as the commission's military expert.

(p172) The commission recommended sweeping changes that bode poorly for the military administration of Upper Senegal. Although they accepted Galliéni's recoomendation to create a troop of tirailleurs Sudanais and to place the Upper Senegal region under an autonomous military command, they declared that the era of conquest was over. They recommended major cuts in the number of European troops in the Sudan, to be replaced by Africans, and called for the closing of Koundou, Bamako and Siguiri, the reduction of Médine, Badumbé, kita and Niagassola to storage depots or telegraph stations, and the designation of Bafoulabé as the area's political capital and military headquarters. They recommended against extending the railroad, and instead replacing it with a narrow gauge line. Galliéni also submitted a special report calling for the French to advance into Futa Jallon.

(p173) Nevertheless, the military won the battle since the only commission's administrative recommendations were implemented. Although the commissioners were generally hostile to the military and supportive of commercial interests, they recognized that military occupation remained essential to commercial stability. The government formed a new battalion of tirailleurs and gave the Sudan its own military government, with a separate budget from that of Senegal, effective 1 January 1891. But no forts were abandoned, the railroad was not terminated, and military expansion did not end.

(p173) Although the policy makers in Paris proposed good ideas, they forgot that without the military commanders, no other part of the policy could succeed. They assumed that Galliéni sufficiently represented the views of the military, and did not take into account the views of Commandant Supérieur Archinard.

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