The French Flag Hoisted at Timbuktu. Illustration from Le Petit Journal, 12 February 1902. The capture of the remote African trading town of Timbuktu by troops under the command of French Marechal Joseph Joffre in 1894 was deemed an important step in securing control of northern Africa. The figures in the foreground are Tuareg tribesmen, who had formerly controlled the area.
After the scramble for Africa had been formalized in the Berlin Conference, land between the 14th meridian and Miltou, Chad became French territory, bounded in the south by a line running from Say, Niger to Baroua. Although the Timbuktu region was now French in name, the principle of effectively required France to actually hold power in those areas assigned, e.g. by signing agreements with local chiefs, setting up a government and making use of the area economically, before the claim would be definitive. On 15 December 1893, the ...read more