Open main menu
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
643
SENEGAL

had by 1880 made himself master of a large area in the upper Niger basin. In 1887, and again in 1889, he was induced to recognize a French protectorate, but peace did not long prevail either with him or with Ahmadu. The struggle was resumed in 1890; Ahmadu lost Segu; Nioro the capital of Kaarta was occupied (1891); Jenné was taken in 1893. Samory proved a veritable thorn in the flesh to his opponents. Wily and elusive, he made and broke promises, tried negotiation, shifted his “empire” to the states of Kong, and after numberless encounters was finally defeated on the Cavalla to the north of Liberia, and taken prisoner in September 1898. He was deported to the Gabun, where he died in 1900. Timbuktu was occupied in December 1893, in defiance of orders from the civil authorities. Colonel Bonnier, who went to the relief of the advance party, after having effected that purpose, was slain by the Tuareg (15th of January 1894), whom he had pursued into the desert. In the meantime France had signed with Great Britain the convention of the 5th of August 1890, which reserved the country east of the Niger and south of the Sahara to Great Britain.

Determined to profit by the convention, the French government dispatched Colonel P. L. Monteil to West Africa to visit the countries on the Anglo-French frontier. That officer, starting from St Louis in 1891, traversed the Niger bend from W. to E., visited Sokoto and Zinder and arrived at Kuka on Lake Chad, whence he made his way across the Sahara to the Mediterranean. In the following years French expeditions from Senegal penetrated south-east into the hinterland of the British colonies and protectorates on the Guinea coast and descended the Niger (February 1897) as far as Bussa, the limit of navigation from the ocean. These actions brought them into contact with the British outposts in the Gold Coast, Lagos and Nigeria. A period of tension between the two countries was put an end to by a convention signed on the 14th of June 1898 whereby the territories in dispute were divided between the parties, Great Britain retaining Bussa, while France obtained Mossi and other territories in the Niger bend to which Great Britain had laid claim. In the same year it was determined to send an expedition to Lake Chad, which should co-operate with other expeditions from Algeria and the Congo. The Senegal expedition was entrusted to Captains Voulet and Chanoine, officers who had served many years in West Africa. Reports of the misconduct and cruelty of these officers reaching St Louis, Lieut.-Colonel Klobb of the Marines was sent to supersede them. Colonel Klobb overtook the expedition at a spot east of the Niger on the 14th of July 1899. Voulet, fearing arrest and punishment, ordered his men to fire on Klobb and his escort, and the colonel was killed. Thereupon Voulet, joined by Chanoine, declared his intention to set up an independent state, and with the majority of his troops marched away, leaving the junior officers, who remained loyal to France, with a small remnant. Within a fortnight both Voulet and Chanoine had been killed by their own men, who returned to the French camp. Lieut. Pallier assumed command and led the force to Zinder, reached on the 29th of July. Here, in the November following, they were joined by F. Foureau and Commandant Lamy, who had crossed the Sahara from Algeria. The combined force marched to Lake Chad, and, having been joined by the Congo expedition, met and defeated the forces of Rabah (q.v.). Thus was accomplished in fact the linking up of the French possessions in Africa, an object of French ambition since 1880, and theoretically effected by the Anglo-French convention of 1890.

In 1904, in virtue of another convention between Great Britain and France, the Senegal colony obtained a port (Yarbatenda) on the Gambia accessible to sea-going vessels, while the trans-Niger frontier was again modified in favour of France, that country thereby obtaining a fertile tract the whole way from the Niger to Lake Chad. During 1905–1906 the oases of Air and Bilma, in the central Sahara, were brought under French control, notwithstanding a claim by Turkey to Bilma as forming part of the Tripolitan hinterland.

At first the whole of the conquered or protected territories were either administered from Senegal, or placed under military rule. Subsequently the upper Senegal country and the states included in the bend of the Niger were formed into a separate administration and were given the title of “French Sudan.” Administrative divisions.As the result of further reorganization (October 18, 1899) the colonies of French Guinea, Ivory Coast and Dahomey were given their geographical hinterlands, and in October 1902 the central portion was created a protectorate under the style of the Territories of Senegambia and of the Niger. A further change was made in 1904 (decree of the 18th of October) when this central portion was changed into “The Colony of Upper Senegal and Niger.” The new colony was placed under a lieutenant-governor.

Soon after the reorganization of the country in 1902, the effective area of French control was increased by M. Coppolani, secretary-general of French West Africa, who in February 1903 induced the emirs of certain Trarza and Brakna Moors inhabiting a fertile region on the northern bank of the lower Senegal to place their country under the direct supervision of French officials. In the following year these regions were formally constituted the Territory of Mauretania, being placed under the direct control of the governor-general of French West Africa represented on the spot by a civil commissioner. In 1905 M. Coppolani, the commissioner, was murdered by a band of fanatics at an oasis in the Tagant plateau. During 19081909 a force under Colonel Gouraud, after considerable fighting—the natives receiving help from Morocco—made effective French influence in Adrar Temur.

For the history of the native states in this vast region, see Timbuktu, Jenne, Mandingo, Guinea, &c. Consult also the article Nigeria.

The general oversight of both colonies is in the hands of the governor-general of French West Africa. Senegal proper has been the subject of special legislation, its government being modelled on that of a department in France. GovernmentThe lieutenant-governor, who controls the military as well as the civil administration, is assisted by a secretary-general and by a privy council (conseil privé) consisting of high officials and a minority of unofficial nominated members, but he is not bound to follow its advice. This council corresponds to the prefectural council of a department. There is also a council general (conseil général) with powers analogous to those of the similar councils in France. The Senegal council, however, does not share the right, possessed by the councils of other French colonies, of voting the budget, which is fixed by the governor general of French West Africa. The inhabitants of “communes with full powers” (i.e. St Louis, Dakar, Goree and Rufisque) alone have the right of electing the council-general. The same constituencies—in which no distinction of colour or race is made—elect (law of April 1879) to the French chambers one deputy, who is also a member of the superior council of the colonies, a consultative body sitting in Paris. The communes named have the same municipal rights as in France. There have been, in addition, since 1891, “mixed” and native communes with restricted powers of local government. The judicial system applied to Europeans resembles that of France, and the judicature is independent of the executive. Native laws and customs not repugnant to justice are respected. Education is given in village, commercial and technical schools, all maintained by the state. Arabic is taught in all Mahommedan districts. The colony of Upper Senegal and Niger has a more rudimentary constitution. Its administrative council contains three “notables,” unofficial members nominated by the lieutenant-governor.

Bibliography.—Une Mission au Sénégal (Paris, 1900), by Dr Lasnet, A. Chevalier, A. Cligny and P. Rambaud, is an authoritative scientific memoir, as is still M. Adanson's Histoire naturelle du Sénégal (Paris, 1757); M. Olivier, Le Sénégal (Paris, 1908), is an official monograph; A. de la Salle, Notre vieux Sénégal (Paris, 1909) is a general survey of the country and its resources. Sur les routes du Soudan (Toulouse, 1902), by E. Baillaud, deals with travel, communications, &c.; maps of the country are issued by the Service géographique de l'armée, Paris, on the scale of 1·100,000 (19051909); “Étude sur le Sénégal,“ by Courtet, in the Revue colonial, new series (Paris, 19011902 and 19021903), deals with economic