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the uniform success of the French attacks was considerable.
The effect of the projectiles of the Lebel rifle especially
terrified them. Although there were only thirty of these
weapons in Colonel Humbert's column, yet, placed in the
hands of picked marksmen, they created a profound demoraliza-
tion throughout the ranks of Samory's army. Colonel Humbert,
on returning to Kayes after this campaign, found that the
Peuhls had again risen in the north of the Soudan against the
rulers placed by the French in charge of Sansanding and
Ségou; but in less than two months Commandant Bonnier,
whom he despatched against the insurgent tribes, succeeded,
after some sharp fighting, in extinguishing this insurrectionary
movement, which, if allowed to make way, might have seriously
threatened the French possession of the Upper Niger.
In 1892 the Under-Secretary of State, M. Jamais, gave to the
French Soudan a political autonomy, a necessary consequence
of its administrative autonomy, which had, in fact, existed
since 1887; and he confided the direction of affairs to Colonel
Archinard, whilst the conduct of active operations in the field
was delegated to Colonel Combes, under whom a Soudanese
native regiment was now newly organized. The first task of
Colonel Combes was to cut off the communications of Samory
with Sierra Leone, from whence he obtained arms and ammuni-
tion, as well as from the Fouta-Djallon, where he was able to
exchange slaves for oxen and provisions.
Colonel Combes concentrated his small force on the line
from Kita to Siguiri by the end of the year, and marched on to
Kankan, finding all the villages ruined and burnt, but meeting
with no opposition, although the outposts of the Sofas were
constantly visible on the crests of the neighbouring hills. On
reaching Ouomi, an important strategical point on the left
bank of the Milo, the commander divided his expedition into
two columns,—one under Commandant de Gasquet to guard the
fords and communications on the Milo, and another under his
own orders to follow up Samory's marauding bands, whose onl
object was now to escape from any encounter with the French
troops. Colonel Combes himself led his lightly-equipped
column into the Nafana country, a region hitherto unexplored
by Europeans, and respecting which only the vaguest informa-
tion was obtainable. In this thickly-wooded Nafana region,
inhabited by a savage black race, impassable except by narrow
paths through the bush, and intersected everywhere by deep
streams, the fighting was incessant. During this trying
campaign the French troops fought in 14 actions, marched
550 miles, crossed 172 “marigots, with steep banks and full of
Wol. 179.-No. 357. T water,

water, 13 large rivers, and re-entered the post of Kerouané on the 33rd day (March 10, 1893), without having lost a single European. They lost 4 Tirailleurs and Spahis killed, and brought back 2 of the Foreign Legion and 15 natives wounded. It was a remarkable exploit. Ably seconded by his subordinates, Colonel Combes had broken up the Sosas into small bands, driven them across the river Milo, and established French posts far south of Kankan. Whilst these important results had been achieved in the southern regions of the French Soudan, serious events were happening in the valley of the Niger, where Ahmadou had succeeded to the throne of Macina on the death of the Sultan Mounirou. The Moors of the Ouled Nacer tribe also became troublesome, but were reduced to terms by the stoppage of their supply of millet from the Kaarta at Nioro. Colonel Archinard placed a French officer at Ségou, and, at the head of two companies of tirailleurs and four companies of Soudanese auxiliaries, with two guns, he himself marched on Djenné, the commercial centre of Macina. Although the garrison of Djenné was not anxious to resist, the fanatical inhabitants of the town, which is celebrated for its Mussulman schools, induced the Toucouleurs to hold the place against the French, who, after a smart bombardment, entered the place on April 22, 1893. Aguibou, a Toucouleur chief, although a brother of Ahmadou, was placed on the throne of Macina by the French Governor, with a French resident and escort to control his proceedings. This occupation of Djenné, together with the establishment at Mopti of the gunboat flotilla, was a notable indication to all the sedentary populations along the banks of the Niger that the French influence was now preponderant in the Soudan. As soon as Djenné had been subdued, the merchants of Timbuctoo sent emissaries to Colonel Archinard, protesting their desire to be at peace with France," recognizing that they were dependent for all their supplies on Macina. From this date it was only a matter for calculation when the propitious moment should arrive to enter the great metropolis of the West Sahara. But the Under-Secretary of State in Paris insisted that no further advance or unauthorized annexation should take place in this direction. Already, in fact, the Soudan itself had become too unwieldy an acquisition to hold without an excessive expenditure of men, material, and, above all, money, which the French Chamber showed an extreme unwillingness to vote for such a purpose. In this attitude they represented the views of the mass of the French people, who, with the exception of the Colonial party, were absolutely indifferent to West African affairs. For some ten years past, indeed, the frontier line between Sierra Leone with Liberia and the French Soudan had been the subject of negotiations between France and Great Britain. But an agreement had been arrived at in 1891, which determined the line of demarcation from the remarkable mountain of Tembi Komba, where the most remote source of the Niger takes its rise, along the watershed on the left bank of its highest affluent, the Faliko, as far as the 10th degree of latitude which formed the northern limit of Sierra Leone. As we have seen, many of the Sofas, driven off French territory by the spirited exertions of Colonel Combes, had taken a southern course and were devastating and plundering the Konno country within the sphere allotted to the British. It was to drive back these intruders and to protect the tribes within the Sierra Leone boundaries that Colonel Ellis advanced from Freetown, with some companies of the 1st Battalion West India Regiment and the Frontier Police, through the Konno country, in search of Poro-Kerri's" warriors at the end of last November.

* Lieut. Mage states that the “Touaregs' from Timburtoo had signed a treaty of commerce with the French at Saint Louis previous to 1863. (Op. cit., p. 4.)



‘The Sofas under Poro-Kerri were simply slave-hunters. With or without pretext they attacked in succession the surrounding tribes, taking the rice and other crops for their own use, slaughtering the men and seizing the women and children as slaves. Once em. barked on this career, they were obliged to continue it, for they grew no food for themselves and could only subsist upon what they seized from others. The traffic in slaves was carried on by Mahommedan dealers from Porto Lokko, the Susu country and Fouta-Djallon, and the majority of the slaves were sent out of the sphere of British influence. In exchange for the slaves the Sofas received arms and gunpowder from Freetown, which were sent through Porto Lokko to Bumban, and forwarded on by Suluku, Chief of that town. I was informed that several of the Mahommedans of Freetown were engaged in this traffic; and when it is remembered that Nalfu Modu, a leading Sofa, had been for some months residing in the house of the Chief Interpreter of the Department of Native Affairs, himself a Mahommedan, it can scarcely be doubted that some of the officials of that department were privy to the arrangement, even if they did not profit by it.”f

It was solely on interpreters that both the French and English expeditions could rely for information. It is not wonderful, therefore, that, by collusion of Sosa agents, the regrettable collision at Waima was brought about on December 23, when Lieut. Waritz made his night attack on the British camp under the belief that it was a Sofa post. This unfortunate affair has been thoroughly explained. The purely accidental nature of the occurrence has been so clearly proved, and the explanation has so completely satisfied the Powers interested, that we need not further discuss the circumstances.” The history of the French Soudan was now about to enter upon another phase. Hitherto, as we have seen, the administration of this country had been entirely under military chiefs, who reported to the Under-Secretary for the Colonies, but, at the same time, looked to the Ministers of War and of Marine for their approval and promotion. At last, after continual but ineffectual remonstrance, the French Government, in order to check the annual expenditure incurred by these numerous expeditions, to control the too rapid strides of annexation which followed in their wake, and to limit the increase of auxiliary native battalions, determined to put its foot down on such proceedings in future by placing a civil governor over the French Soudan and organizing the administration on a civilian footing. It was accordingly notified to the authorities in Senegal and the Soudan that in December a civil governor, M. Albert Grodet, would be sent from France with special instructions to undertake the government of the Soudan under new auspices. At this date, however, it happened that the Commandant at Kayes, who had only been waiting for the cool season to go to the relief of Ténétou (where Samory had been for some time past operating with his horde of plundering Sosas), had already organized another important expeditionary force at Bamakou, whilst with a light column he first proceeded on a brief campaign against his old antagonist on November 17, 1893. Ténétou, after a long blockade, had now fallen into the hands of Samory, who, with his usual tactics, at once retired towards the south before the French advance. But, tracking his route by the ruin and destruction which always marked the progress of the Almamy, Colonel Bonnier succeeded in catching him up and inflicting severe punishment on the Sofas, the Almamy himself narrowly escaping during the last action, when his ‘griot, or personal attendant, was captured. Instead, however, of continuing the pursuit, to the surprise of his men Colonel

* Poro-Kerri seems to have been one of Samory's lieutenants. The name does not appear in any of the French accounts. f Official Despatch of Colonel Ellis.

T 2 wonderful, * The inquiries necessary to verify the geographical position of Waima had not been concluded, when Sir E. Grey was questioned on the subject, in the House of Commons, on May 7, 1894.



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Bonnier hastened back to Bamakou by December 17. The
fact was that he had heard of the impending arrival of the new
civil governor, who, as he well knew, was despatched from
France for the express purpose of putting a stop to his intended
expedition, and he had resolved, whilst still in independent
command, to gain additional reputation by a rapid advance on
Timbuctoo before his project could be interfered with.
The advance on Timbuctoo had in fact been adroitly pre-
concerted. Supplies and boats had been previously collected,
so that when M. Grodet reached his head-quarters at Kayes and
telegraphed the news of his arrival to the various officers in
charge of districts, he found to his surprise that the senior
Commandant, his second in command, the entire staff, and all
available troops had departed on an expedition towards an
unknown destination, which, however, could hardly be doubted
to indicate Timbuctoo. M. Grodet's message seems to have
reached Colonel Bonnier as he was leaving Ségou, for he
acknowledged its receipt from that station, but gave no further
clue to his movements. Two divisions had been organized.
One, including the Commandant himself, his staff, a battery of
mountain guns, and most of the infantry (tirailleurs), embarked
on flat lighters and boats to descend the Niger. The other,
under Colonel Joffre, comprising all the cavalry (Spahis,
regular and irregular) and the horses, battery mules and
baggage animals, was ordered to march across country, at some
distance from the inundated banks of the Niger, on the north
bank, and timed to reach its destination eight days behind the
infantry division, which proceeded down the stream, leaving
Ségou on December 26, 1893.
Meanwhile the ambitious Commandant had himself been
anticipated in his advance on the Saharan capital. Lieut.
Boiteux had been strictly enjoined by Colonel Bonnier to stand
fast with his flotilla of gunboats, the ‘Mage, the ‘Niger,’ and
their attendant launches, at his station, Mopti, and there await
the arrival of the expedition; for hitherto the naval lieutenant
had been permitted by Colonel Bonnier's predecessor, Colonel
Archinard, to convoy trading vessels from Djenné to Kabara,
the port of Timbuctoo.
But, in the Soudanese atmosphere, as M. Casimir-Perier
afterwards remarked in the Chamber of Deputies, ‘certaines
ardeurs ont été excessives et certains courages irréguliers.'
Lieut. Boiteux did not hesitate, in his turn, to refuse com-
pliance with the orders of his superior officer. Hearing that he
was to be superseded by Lieut. Hourst (who was about to leave
France destined for special hydrographic duty on the Niger,

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