Conducts research and collects data on the global history of labour, workers, and labour relations

African War Resisters

14 February 1915
Bambara Soldiers

Formal military conscription had started in the French colonies in Africa before the First World War. Unlike Britain, France sent African conscripts to the main fighting front in France as of 1915. There was considerable resistance in Africa to conscription. It was a major cause of revolt in the Bélédougou region in French Sudan (now Mali) in February 1915. When the French expeditionary force occupied the village Koumi, the leader of the revolt, Bambara Chief Diossé Traoré (1840-1915) and his followers committed suicide by disemboweling themselves.

Jonathan Derrick, Africa's 'Agitators'. Militant Anti-Colonialism in AFrica and the West, 1918-1939 (2008) 47