Ruth Schachter Morgenthau
Political Parties in French-Speaking West Africa
Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1964. 439 p.
From the French standpoint, Senegal was a pilot colony politically and Ivory Coast economically. Guinea, too, was a pilot state, but from an African standpoint. It pointed the way for the other French speaking West African states by being the first to achieve total in dependence from France. An extraordinary conference of some 600 leaders of the Parti Démocratique de Guinée on 14 September acted upon General de Gaulle's declaration on 25 August 1958 that “independence is at the disposal of Guinea”. “Considering there cannot be for a dependent people the slightest hesitation in choosing between Independence and the proposed Community,” the PDG decided “to choose independence by voting no in the referendum of 28 september” 1. So certain were the PDG leaders of their following, they did not even campaign. The vote was 1,130,292 no against 56,959 2. This result was made possible because the PDG was thoroughly rooted in town and countryside.
The PDG burst into power only after 1953. Before, Guinea was rather a sleepy backwater, as is evident from some statistics. The number of educated Africans in 1945 was tiny. For a population estimated in 1958 at 2.5 millions 3 (and probably nearer 3 million) in 1937-8 less than 8,000 were in state elementary school and less than 200 in state primary school 4. By 1947, in both state and private elementary schools, the number was only 11,000 5 while in upper primary and secondary schools there were but 540 pupils or under half the number in Ivory Coast and about one-sixth the number in Senegal 6. Even in 1957, just before Guinea became independent, not even 10 per cent of the school-age children were actually in classes; the total number of primary school pupils, state and private, was still no more than 37,400 7 only 21 took respectively the first and second parts of the baccalauréat examination; and in each only 15 passed 8. Thus an acute shortage of modern cadres characterized Guinea.
The money economy also was rudimentary at the end of the Second World War. There was no African planter class as in Ivory Coast; and even after the resumption of world trade in 1947 the total value of exports from Guinea was one-fifth that of Senegal 9. The number of inhabitants living in the towns was quite low—even Conakry, the capital and largest city was in 1945 estimated to have no more than 26,000 10. In 1947, the 35,206 wage earners was less than half the number in Senegal; roughly one-third were trade union members 11.
Against the background of economic stagnation, limited education, and African inexperience with modern politics, it is understandable why the reforms of 1945 did not immediately precipitate great changes in Guinea. There were only stirrings of discontent, leading, for example, to incidents in the “holy city” of Kankan inhabited by a Malinke Muslim majority and a Fulani minority 12. These incidents were isolated, however, and in the absence of any organized parties had little meaning beyond the level of local politics 13. Only limited changes followed the reforms in Guinea. For the first few years, “elections were prepared and directed by the ethnic groups while none of the candidates could pretend to represent the entire territory” 14.
The principal ethnic bloc in Guinea is Fulani 15; a little more than a third of the total population is Fulani proper if those assimilated with them are counted together 16. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries Fulani invaders came from the region of Macina in the present Republic of Mali, and in the name of Islam declared war on the diverse peoples most of whom now inhabit upper and Lower Guinea. As victors, the Fulani occupied the plateau of the Fouta-Djallon, concerned themselves with cattle, and lived in an almost feudal society 17.
Their differences with their neighbours caused them on the whole to welcome the arrival of the Europeans. Hence French rule came fairly peacefully to the area, and disturbed the traditional political structure relatively little. There was not much modern economic development and therefore the goals of the French administration were confined to keeping the peace and keeping up French prestige. A proud history, an aristocracy whose authority was reinforced by Islam and resistance to European education also served to set the Fulani somewhat apart from other Guineans.
[Erratum. — It is inaccurate to suggest that the Fuuta-Jalon welcomed the Europeans. For no people or country surrenders to foreign conquest openly. Nor do they embrace an occupying power somewhat cheerfully. Indeed, Fuuta-Jalon resisted French occupation and rule—diplomatically and militarily. Hence, reacting to protectorate proposals by Governor-general Louis Faidherbe's envoys, Almami Ahmadu (1873-1894) told them: “Leave France to the French, and Fuuta to the Fulɓe”. Ultimately, the French had to battle armed opponents, and win, at Poredaka, in 1896. That's how they imposed themselves upon Fuuta-Jalon. The 2017 top French Academy laureate, Tierno Monenembo, relates the combat in an epic style in the history novel Le roi de Kahel. Back in 1937, an anonymous ajami writer echoed widespread resentment of French presence. Named explicitely “Allah, Ittan men Porto e Fuuta-Jaloo” (Lord, Expell the French from Fuuta-Jalon), his poem expressed defiance and rejection, not acceptance and submission. — T.S Bah]
Among the educated Fulani, there existed in 1943 the only really flourishing ethnic association. It was called the Amicale Gilbert Vieillard (AGV) after a French administrator of socialist leanings who studied and worked among the Fulani from the time of the Popular Front 18, and who spoke of it as “the land of sterile stones, of famine, hunger and the badly dressed” 19.
[Note. The above self-deprecating words are compensated by this uplifting formula: Fuuta-Jalon, Land of Waters, Fruits, Faith, and Dignity. (Leydi Di'e, Dime, Diina e Dimaagu). — T.S. Bah]
The AGV was the successor in Guinea to the Fulani club Voix du Montagnard which existed among students at the Ecole Normale William-Ponty. Founded as a mutual aid and cultural group, the AGV took on political functions as well 20. Its members discussed, for example, difficulties under Vichy, in their home villages and towns. The chiefs required total obeissance and would not recognize the special qualifications of Africans educated in French schools or in the French army. The AGV members complained that in 1945, “arbitrarily expelled from their region by the chiefs in connivance with the former administrators, almost all the Fulani intellectuals were living in the coastal region of Guinea and particularly in Conakry.” 21.
There were less than a hundred educated Fulani in the AGV when they first heard of the prospect of elections from the Free French General Chevance-Bertin. A founder of Combat 22, he flew to Guinea to solicit, successfully, the first college votes. The AGV decided they represented the biggest bloc of voters in the second college, and wanted their favourite Barry Diawadou to be deputy. The son of the chef de canton at Dabola, Diawadou was then in his early thirties, Ponty-trained, and a government clerk. But the Fulani chiefs considered Diawadou a radical and a threat, and without them the AGV intellectuals could not produce the Fulani votes.
After some heated debates, the intellectuals gave in to the chiefs and designated as candidate in the Constituante elections a man in his fifties, Yacine Diallo, a graduate of Ponty and a teacher. He was a favourite of the traditionalists, perhaps in part because he was older and of low traditional origins. In that first election “the AGV… included all the sons of the Fouta, shoulder to shoulder behind their deputy Yacine Diallo; chiefs and intellectuals worked sincerely in the interests of the country” 23.
Diallo won the election, but by a very narrow margin and because the representatives of the three other regions of Guinea were divided.
There were the predominantly Malinke peoples of upper Guinea, about a fifth of the total population 24 centering around Kankan. Their main representative was Lamine Ibrahima Kaba, a Muslim scholar and educator in his fifties. From the forest region bordering on Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, and Liberia, the favourite son was Mamba Sano, of assimilated Malinke origins, a Ponty graduate and teacher. He came from the historic market town of Kissidougou, one of the bases the French used in the 1890s to launch their forces against the nineteenth century warrior Samory Touré 25. The upper Guinea and forest regions co-operated on these two candidates.
In Lower Guinea, as in most of the West African sea coast, lived people with the longest history of European contact; when the reforms came they felt specially qualified to take the initiative politically. But as elsewhere, their numbers did not match their aspirations for office. One coastal candidate was Amarah Soumah, graduate of the upper primary school in Conakry, a clerk and son of a chief of the Baga fishermen and farmers who owned the land on which Conakry was founded in 1889 26. So popular was he among his kinsmen that in the market of Conakry the women found rice sold better when called after him. The second coastal candidate was Fodé Mamoudou Touré, who had, exceptionally, trained as a lawyer in Paris. He was a Soussou from Forecariah who had been president, in Bamako, of the town association Foyer du Soudan.
During the first eight years of elections candidates in Guinea spoke of tribe or region, not of nation. They “went digging into history to find accusations to hurl against each other” 27, and chose the examples which divided. For example the AGV, at their 1953 congress, took care to freshen people's memories of Fulani victories in war against other ethnic groups in Guinea 28. Only for immediate electoral purposes were the leaders of the regional groups willing to form alliances, which were most unstable. During the 1945 campaign, for example, hoping to reduce the chances of Yacine Diallo who had a plurality on the first ballot, the representatives from the three non-Fulani areas made a pact in favour of Mamba Sano on the second ballot. This seemed to be the first instance of “unity of action” against “regionalism” in Guinea 29, and it was not successful. Lamine Kaba insisted on running, received 1,711 votes, and as a consequence Yacine Diallo won with 5,774 votes against 5,065 for Mamba Sano 30.
During this period of regional politics, only the AGV could point to some formal structure. Three congresses took place in 1947, 1949, and 1953. A youth group existed for a short time, Jeunesse AGV. Briefly after 1951 deputy Yacine Diallo paid for a newspaper, the Progrès Africain. In 1953 the AGV could claim 35 sections, 14 with paid-up dues. Between April 1946 and January 1953, the AGV budget was published as 263,032.50 francs CFA 31. Never good “liaison between the headquarters and the sections progressively diminished until in July 1951 there only were rare exchanges of correspondence when exceptionally important events took place 32. The existence of a formal structure reflected the wishes of the Fulani elite, often thwarted by rural chiefs who were not eager to invite visits from townsmen whom they regarded as disrespectful and interfering. The geography in the Fouta-Djallon favoured control by the chiefs. The density of population was low, people lived scattered rather than in clusters, markets were few, and the chiefs controlled the misiide or mosque area, one of the rare places of assembly. Against the will of the chiefs, there was little the educated Fulani in the AGV could do: without money they could not afford to hire staff or put out a newspaper. As long as they limited recruitment, by definition, to the Fulanis, growth of support for their modern views remained limited by the slow rate of social change in the Fouta-Djallon.
To get the chiefs to produce the Fulani votes which made élus of the educated Fulani, the latter paid a high ideological price. Then AGV policy was best summed up by a chief attending the 1953 AGV congress — “Let us move carefully. No motions, no violence. Let us concentrate on corridor interventions. The administration frequently pays no attention to motions.” 33
The other regional associations were less organized and also concerned themselves with privileges rather than principles. Some French officials referred to the regional associations not as parties but as syndicate de nantis (unions of those who feather their nests) 34. Success or failure in elections depended in large measure upon official chiefs whom French officials had little difficulty in influencing. Until 1954 the administration could and did rule largely in the pre-war manner.
Until 1954 each successful parlementaire was usually a rival of the others, backed by most of the voters from his own region and by an unstable combination from one or several of the other regions. Each election led to an “agonizing reappraisal” 35 of the electoral alliances. For example, deputy Yacine Diallo had only sporadic support from the Foyer de la Basse Guinée. The Foyer was composed of the younger dissidents from Lower Guinea, who in 1946 signed a pact with the chiefs of the Fouta known as “the milk and the salt” or khignè'nou fokhè (in Soussou language) 36. The young men in the Foyer opposed the dominant group in Lower Guinea, Union de la Basse Guinée. It in turn supported Amarah Soumah, usually entered into alliances with Mamba Sano of the forest region, and also combined with the Union du Mandé. It had been founded by several Malinke, including:
The group was also known as the Union Mandingue. On other occasions, however, as in 1953, the Union du Mandé supported Yacine Diallo. The AGV, for its part, supported Yacine Diallo in 1945 and 1946, opposed him and his chiefly backers until 1951, when it supported his rival from the forest region, Mamba Sano. In the election of 10 November 1946, Mamba Sano and the AGV president Barry Diawadou were on the single list 37 of the Parti Socialiste de Guinée. Only Sano won. The 1951 elections saw several other shifts in alliances and in the names of the regional groups. Thus Yacine Diallo created with Fode Touré a Union Franco-Guinéenne, which was a co-ordinating committee in Conakry of his various ethnic backers.
Mamba Sano created a similar group, the Comité d'Entente Guinnénne, which included Amarah Soumah and Bangoura Karim, son of the chief of Coyah, from Lower Guinea, Framoi Berete from upper Guinea and some Fulani chiefs.
The RDA section of Guinea was born against this background of regional associations in which higher African civil servants and official chiefs uneasily co-operated in choosing candidates for successive elections. As in the other territories, educated Africans in Guinea were concerned at the rejection in referendum of the April 1946 Constitution, and discussed the need for unity.
Another party nucleus was born out of the Groupe d'Eudes Communistes (GEC) in Conakry, and took on the name Parti Progressiste de Guinée (PPG). It was “the only political party in Guinea which in framework and programme was conceived so as to group together Africans and Europeans of good will” 38; and it urged unity in the form of a rassemblement.
The AGV, however, true to its socialist origins, spoke of a bloc. In the first Constitutante Yacine Diallo joined the Socialist group, and voted in favor of the April Constitution. Briefly in 1946 the PPG and the AGV worked together for the re-election of Yacine Diallo, while within each respectively French Communist and Socialist advisors tried to win influence. Like the other parlementaires who had become associated with the SFIO, Yacine Diallo signed the call issued by the African deputies for a rassemblement, which became the RDA at Bamako in October 1946. But Diallo decided not to attend the Bamako congress, after the Socialist overseas minister Marius Moutet withdrew his approval.
Some Guineans went to Bamako nevertheless: the GEC contingent in the PPG which included a few Frenchmen and a handful of young Africans, mostly in their twenties, having only primary school education, holding low ranks in the civil service, and some eleven representatives of ethnic groups 39.
Back from Bamako, the Guinea delegates worked together organizing the 1946 elections to the first Legislature of the French National Assembly, but kept to methods, propaganda themes, and structures based on tribe or region. The PPG did not of itself turn into the RDA section of Guinea, but dissolved.
Not until May 1947 was the Guinea section formally created —the Parti Démocratique de Guinée (PDG). The statutes were adopted at the first congress in June. Its comité directeur, where each ethnic group was represented, was then a coordinating committee. Sékou Touré, for example, represented the Union Mandingue. Later he spoke of:
The contradictions which existed in the methods and doctrines of the ethnic groups also existed inside the RDA movement of Guinea, and almost took away its true purpose. This was to unite, in democratic organs and in units geographically defined, men and women of all races of all religions, around a common programme for a common action 40. The fragile and (we must admit it) uniquely electoral bases of our new section did not resist the centrifugal activities of its own leaders, and the elections which followed … ended the myth of political unity theoretically symbolised by the existence of an RDA section… Thus the Guinean section of the RDA broke apart, and only a small minority of democrats, who had resolutely placed their confidence in the future of the movement and defended its flag to prevent its total disappearance, could speak in its name and for its programme 41.
While French officials made clear their disapproval of the RDA, only a tiny minority of educated Africans remained loyal to it and regionalism remained the chief obstacle to its growth.
Initially few people in Guinea shared the interterritorial RDA's disapproval for “opportunism” 42 of the regional associations uniting “chiefs” and their educated allies. Most Guinean Ponty graduates sought to benefit immediately from the introduction of elections in Guinea, and so kept out of the RDA. They held the top civil service posts, and had the most to lose from official opposition to the RDA. This had been clear since the Bamako congress, and became clearer during the official repression between 1949 and 1951. The PDG in Guinea remained tiny, and for the most part simply marked time. Sékou Touré's article in the RDA newspaper, Réveil, “Guinea Stirs” on 14 November 1949, was more wish than reality:
It stirs due to the push of the RDA … After the disastrous failure of all the racist groups which want to keep a perpetual and sterile division, our country understands that the RDA alone merits its confidence and support … 43
A PDG conference in 1951 selected Sékou Touré as candidate for the parliamentary elections. When Mamba Sano won, the RDA claimed there was official pressure. The PDG was then a seed; and in Touré's words, “if a seed is to grow, it must be put in favourable conditions”. 44
To prepare the ground, most loyal PDG men turned to trade union work within the framework of the West African federation in the French Confédération Générale du Travail. The CGT link gave access to funds, travel, training, political experience and metropolitan allies against the local administration. In French law, also, trade unionists had special legal protection. The number of salaried workers in Guinea, though negligible in 1946, had increased rapidly by 1953 45.
By then Guinea surpassed Dahomey as the third richest French West African territory.
Exports which were 17,000 tons in 1944 were 155,000 tons in 1952 and 841,000 tons in 1953 46. Iron mines started producing. In 1952 construction of bauxite installations on the islands of Loos off the coast of Conakry was finished, and production of washed and dried bauxite rose from 325,000 to 500,000 between 1953 and 1955. In the same period crude iron exports from the peninsula of Kaloum off Conakry rose from 400,000 tons to 650,000 tons 47.
More rich iron deposits were soon discovered on the Liberian border. Advance surveys indicated mineral deposits and water power potential in all regions except the Fouta-Djallon.
Studies begun in 1947 of hydro-electric installations at Konkouré, by 1953 established that a 5 million kilowatt annual capacity would probably allow Guinea to produce aluminium more cheaply than the projected Volta River scheme in Ghana 48.
Between 1952 and 1954 officials authorized the installation of 17 secondary industries, as compared with 21 in Ivory Coast 49. The diamond fever of neighbouring Sierra Leone spread to the forest region of Guinea. The official figures, showing a rise from 50,000 carats in 1948 to 300,000 carats in 1955, did not take into account extensive smuggling 50. The number of resident Europeans, sometimes a pointer to economic activity, rose from 4,035 in 1946, to 8,852 in 1955 51. The Korean War brought a general rise in world market prices. As Governor Parisot indicated in his address to the territorial assembly, 1953 was a turning point; agricultural production rose and the exploitation of minerals was under way 52.
Once Guinea's economic future was assured in minerals, the labour movement, though small, assumed new importance.
In response to rumours of immediate wealth, Africans left their villages and came to the cities. Conakry's population rose sharply. Though official figures were 26,000 in 1945 and 34,000 in 1951, the real figures, particularly between the planting and harvesting seasons, were considerably higher. Conakry had a large floating population, including seasonal migrants 53. By 1953 there were many who had come to Conakry but found no work. In the CGT they found an organization willing to help with their problems.
While increased economic activity brought more followers in Guinea to the CGT-RDA leaders, all the African trade unions were involved in disputes with the French government first over the adoption and later over the implementation of the Code du Travail 54. The Guinea workers took the initiative and called for a conférence intersyndicale of all West African unions to meet in Dakar in October 1952. The conference adopted resolutions calling for “vigorous and unified action of all African trade unions, which alone can defeat the forces opposed to the implementation of the Code du Travail” 55.
Workers throughout West Africa went on strike on 3 November, partly to end the long delays in Parliament, which finally adopted the Code on 15 December.
While the Code substituted a forty hour for a forty-eight hour week, the African deputies were unable to secure adoption by Parliament of a corresponding 20 per cent. rise in the hourly minimum wage. The French Government retained the power to determine its relationship to the shorter work week, and did not increase the minimum wage by 20 per cent. Guinea leaders again took the initiative by calling for a second conférence intersyndicale, which met in Bamako in March 1953 to determine “methods and means of action” for a favourable implementation of the Code 56. During 1953 the workers in one or another city were usually out on strike 57. CGT-AOF secretary Diallo Seydou, a loyal RDA man since 1946, saw the unprecedented wave of activities as “the result of accumulated discontent knowingly repressed for too long” 58.
Union protest was most extensive in Guinea; workers throughout AOF sympathized and previously inactive villagers within Guinea became involved in the already legendary strike of 1953. It began on 21 September with the workers in the private sector. The secretary general of the CGT, which grouped most of the workers, was Sékou Touré, who had lost his civil service job because of his union work. He had only elementary schooling, was barely thirty, veteran of the GEC of Conakry and the Bamako RDA congress. He cultivated his talents as an orator by speaking daily in different neighbourhoods of Conakry, giving the news and watchwords, maintaining determination and discipline among the strikers. The themes of his speeches in the daily town meetings were designed to break down ethnic differences, to point out how little tribe counted among workers. People from near-by villayes brought food to the families of the strikers. The strike lasted a record-breaking sixty-six days and ended only on 25 November 59.
In Guinea the impact of the strike was profound. The number of organized union members, only 4,600 at the beginning of 1953 rose to 20,000 in 1954 and 44,000 in 1955 60. The union leaders of Guinea acquired fame and credit for the decree taken by French officials on 27 November, increasing the AOF minimum hourly wage by 20 per cent 61. In Dakar, for example, the workers gave a standing ovation to Sékou Touré as representing the heroes of the workers' movement of Guinea 62. So solid was Touré's support among West African workers that the French CGT feared losing control and changed the statutes to provide for not one but three secretaries of the West African AOF-CGT coordinating committee. At the 1954 CGT-AOF meeting in Abidjan, Sékou Touré was elected one of the three (the others were Diallo Seydou of Mali and Bassirou Guèye of Senegal).
Within Guinea, the strike had most important political consequences, since the trade unionists also led the PDG. After the sixty-six-day strike, they had territorial fame, a recognized leader in Sékou Touré and the party entered a new phase. On the coast, the market women were selling whole loaves of bread as pain Sékou Touré, while cut-up slices, symbolizing the break-up of regional politics, were sold as “pain Amarah Soumah“. Within less than two years the PDG leaders displaced in elected office the leaders of the ethnic and regional associations; within four years they had destroyed also the commandement indigène, particularly the chefs de canton.
The PDG burst into prominence in Guinea during 1954 with a speed rivalling the emergence of the PDCI in Ivory Coast some nine years earlier.
There was, however, a different social and economic base. Guinea's economic development did not take the form of small farms, and the introduction of the cash economy did not mean as in Ivory Coast the formation of a rurally based African middle class. Guinea's wealth was in mining and potentially in industry. Though economic growth was rapid, most of the profits not invested in machinery went out of the country. The Guineans associated with the modern economy were for the most part labourers organized in the trade union movement; like the planters in the Syndicat who launched the PDCI-RDA of Ivory Coast the workers of Guinea proceeded to back their economic fight with a political one. The PDG-CGT leaders wanted Guineans to have a larger share of the wealth, and believed they could achieve this only by ending the colonial relationship. To them, in the first post-war decade, party and trade union were one. And though they achieved their first public successes as trade union leaders, they insisted
the trade union movement… must integrate itself as the nationalist revolutionary and not the reformist force within the context of other progressive political forces. Its role at every instant is political 63.
The trade union experience of many PDG leaders affected their ideas as well as their style of living, speaking, writing, and acting. Since they held jobs low in the administrative hierarchy, they lived of necessity close to the people. Many had but irregular incomes; their housing was bad, few had cars, their clothes were simple. They relied on their colleagues or relations when in need, and made virtues of the labels pinned on them by their adversaries —“illiterates”, “vagrants”, and “badly dressed” 64. The union background meant they prized more highly loyalty, discipline, and collective solidarity, than technical proficiency or job performance. Their union background assured their familiarity with the techniques of mass action and protest, with boycotts, strikes, and demonstrations. The PDG newspaper La Liberté did not err on the side of understatement. This, for example, was how they went about defending the interest of veterans who wanted higher pensions.
Every time a minister visits he pins medals of the Legion d'Honneur or the Etoile du Benin on the chests of old and loyal servants of France—to be certain no one seeks to raise their miserable pension. No Medal Feeds A Man 65.
They said of their adversaries “let us pray for the damned souls who would sell mother and father for a title or an invitation” 66. The French political vocabulary of the PDG leaders bore marked traces of the union experience. The PDG-CGT leaders became revolutionaries; they rejected the privileges the colonial system gave to the Europeans and to the small nucleus of Ponty-trained African élus. They recognized that not only the lower educational qualifications of Africans than of Europeans, but the entire colonial system kept Europeans in the top jobs and prevented Africans from outranking Europeans. The trade union experiences also made the CGT-PDG leaders modernizers, who rejected the traditionalist view that tribe or inherited status made men different. Finally, trade union work in Guinea and attendance at French and international trade union congresses deepened the inclination of the PDG-CGT leaders to seek the goal of equality.
After the strike the PDG burst to popularity as an expression of revolutionary protest in the villages. This kept the PDG-CGT leaders from accepting the Marxist formula that the workers were the vanguard of the revolution. Sékou Touré came to elaborate the thesis that “the first great industry of Africa is agriculture” 67, and to be increasingly reluctant to ask villagers for sacrifices so that the workers in the towns might have high wages. At first the PDG-CGT leaders, using Marxist categories drawn from CGT and GEC pamphlets, spoke largely in terms of “the exploitation of capitalism and colonialism”. As the base of party support spread to the rural areas, they added “chiefs and feudalism” to the list, and began to use words designed to harmonize with Muslim tradition.
The trade unions organized townspeople and these the PDG structure attached to an already existing rural base. As an interterritorial movement the RDA had the advantage not to divide the loyalties of peoples joined for centuries before the Europeans drew the frontiers. The party had dominated Ivory Coast politics since the end of the war and spread naturally across the Forest from the frontier town of Nzo with the migrants who went to vvork on the farms of Ivory Coast, and with the African traders. These dioula regularly travelled the ancient routes of kola nuts, slaves, and Islam 68. In the twentieth century kola and imported goods which entered at Abidjan moved along roads from the port of Abidjan to Man and Danané, through Beyla, Macenta, and Nzérékoré, from there to Bamako by way of Kankan; and sometimes from there through Bobo-Dioulasso back to Abidjan by way of Bouaké. The inhabitants of the Forest, many belonging to “headless” tribes, welcomed the RDA message of protest and change brought by the travellers.
As early as 1947 Macenta elected the first and only RDA representative to the conseil général, Camara Kaman. In the 1952 territorial assembly Nzerekore elected an RDA councillor Gnan Félix Mathos.
Then in 1953 Sékou Touré won in a by-election in Beyla. He defeated, among others, the deputy Mamba Sano, and cited the victory as one more proof that the administration had falsified the elections of 1951. The territorial assembly provided a convenient platform from which Sékou Touré attacked the established ethnic and regional party leaders. He was isolated among the élus and never won the votes within the assembly, but he won support outside. This is how he explained the budget of the territorial assembly, particularly the category of compulsory expenditures.
The white man is made of the same stuff as the black, he has the same blood. He came to us as a brother… and brought gifts as a brother… but lo! how surprising from a rich hrother in Africa, he asked to be paid for his goods… Then he did more. Of every five francs he took, all but 50 centimes went to maintain himsel in style 69.
Touré's lengthy muckraking speeches drew large crowds and he usually supplemented his remarks in the streets of Conakry. He considered himself a representative of the PDG, and travelled “to account for his mandate to each village not of his electoral district, but rather of the entire Territory” 70. On 12 April 1954, Sékou Touré once again opposed Yacine Diallo in the assembly, this time in a heated debate on the issue of allowances for the parlementaires. He claimed the élus already have a “style of living which proved they were not short of money, since some construct new houses costing millions and others buy new cars” 71. Feeling ran high against the increase in Conakry; nevertheless the assembly voted it. Shortly afterwards, Yacine Diallo died, and PDG supporters did not hesitate to point up the coincidence.
To replace Yacine there was a by-election in June. It was the occasion for a political realignment. The PDG launched an all-out campaign to elect Sékou Touré even while they claimed, after the experiences in 1951, to expect falsification again. Fear of the PDG organization, teamwork, methods, territorial structure, and growing popularity caused the ethnic and regional associations to change. In 1954 they unified, into a single party, territorial in scale, the Bloc Africain de Guinée (BAG).
They altered their methods, too, held meetings and even for a while put out a newspaper, la République. For their candidate the BAG chose Barry Diawadou. He thus shifted position from the favourite of the Fulani intellectuals in the AGV, and became the spokesman of the traditionalists and neo-traditionalists. Meanwhile the AGV broke apart, mainly because the PDG attack on chiefs and tribal differences brought into the open issues which had troubled the organization from its beginning. The AGV radicals found they could not on the one hand reject tribal political structure —by saying to the Fulani chiefs that education and merit should count for more than lineage— and on the other hand keep the ethnic principle in recruiting.
Some AGV men joined the BAG and backed Diawadou; others, including the president Diallo Abdoulaye (huissier), Baldé Chaikhou, and Ibrahima Barry dit Barry III founded a new party, the Démocratie Socialiste de Guinée (DSG).
The hope of the DSG founders was to rid socialism in Guinea, until then associated with the AGV and with Yacine Diallo, of its regional origins. The new orientation was partly the work of Jean Paul Alata, a European accountant and treasury official who had previously helped to mount a socialist party in Cameroun. The DSG tried to be socialist in more than the parliamentary affiliations of its élus.
The party published a newspaper, Le Populaire de Guinée, sponsored a marxist study group in Conakry, officially opposed tribe and caste differences, and backed equality for all. The party's candidate in the 1954 election, Barry III 72, set himself directly against Fulani feudalism. His campaign met with some success, since in spite of official disapproval of opponents to Barry Diawadou, he ran up 7,995 votes 73. He did divide the Fulani voters, but had no appeal beyond the Fouta Region. Instead, the existence of the DSG contributed to keeping the PDG weak in the Fouta-Djallon, by depriving it of those who might have been its best spokesmen there.
The PDG was well on the way to becoming a national party. In the coastal Forest and upper regions of Guinea it gained the monopoly of those who favoured an anti-colonial and egalitarian policy. The PDG had acquired local representatives who urged their kinsmen to respond to the anti-tribal message “that the misery which kills Togba of Macenta is the same as that of Samba of Upper Guinea, Soriba of Lower Guinea, or Diallo of the Fouta-Djallon” 74.
Even before the PDG organizers came to the savannah region news of the party spread fast and among receptive peoples.
This region, dominated by Kankan and including Kouroussa and Siguiri, had a long tradition of political, cultural, and religious unity. lt was a base of the Mande ethnic family that spread in the western savannah and down into the Forest, and included among others the Malinke, Bambara, and Dioula groups who lived in Ivory Coast, Guinea, and Mali. This was the tradition inherited by many leaders of the interterritorial RDA:
- Madeira Keita, the first secretary-general of the PDG and later administrative secretary-general of the Union Soudanaise, who came from Kita, a town in Mali on the road between Siguiri and Bamako
- Sékou Touré, who was born in Faranah on the border between the Guinea Forest and savannah. His father's family considered as an ancestor the warrior-trader Samory Touré who organized the Mande resistance to European penetration. Samory Touré delayed European occupation for several decades, before French forces captured and exiled him in 1898, when he was already an old man. There was no scarcity of direct descendants of Samory Touré who made a practice of taking wives everywhere in his extensive travels. The mantle of succession fell upon Sékou Touré at least in part because he consciously emphasized the historical parallel of resistance against alien rule. Contemporary memories of Samory's empire helped the PDG build the sense of unity with which to overcome the separatism of the regional and ethnic political groups.
Erratum. Sékou Touré descends from Samori Touré through his mother. See I. Baka Kaké. Sékou Touré, le héros et le tyran. — T.S. Bah
Skillful use of “Samorism” brought the PDG support from among the descendants of those who had been associated with him. Most of the traders considered Samory one of themselves; he was reputed to have spent the early years of his life trading between Beyla and Macenta; even after he acquired a kingdom much of his wealth was connected with gold, kola, and slaves, and he was at the end of the nineteenth century the single largest buyer and seller in the area. Also associated with Samory were Muslim reformers and teachers, for he made war in the name of Islam; there were those who had been the administrators of his empire, and his soldiers or “sofa” 75, both captive and free, whose numbers grew with each military victory. Though the Samory connexion was on the whole an asset to the PDG, at times it was a liability. In the later phase of his life when his power waned and he was under heavy siege from the Europeans, Samory's victories decreased and his name became associated with acts of cruelty still remembered by the descendants of those Africans who suffered. Similarly descendants of those captured by Samory's wars remained resentful.
— “You will not sell us into slavery?” asked some of the older villagers of Sékou Touré during his first campaign in the Forest.
— “I am against all slavery,” was his reply 76.
This theme brought the PDG peripheral support even in the Fouta-Djallon, in the roundé annexes to the Fulani villages, among “captives” whose ancestors were sold by tradesmen dependent upon Samory. Among them organizers said, If Samory Touré can make you slaves, Sékou Touré can make you free 77. From the roundé came the votes the PDG had in the Fouta even in 1951, and a good proportion of the votes the PDG had there in the 1956 election.
Memory of unity under Samory eased the task assumed by the RDA leaders to demonstrate to villagers, at least 70 per cent. of whom were Muslim 78, “the total identity of the RDA's programme of emancipation … with the liberating principles of justice and hope in Islam” 79. Samory had fought in the name of Islam, and many descendants of the marabouts associated with him still made religion their way of life. The Grand Chérif Fanta Mady, one of the most influential Muslim teacher in the western savannah, belonged to the Cherif family originally from northern Mali, and following the Kunta Quadriyah tradition in Kankan. The Grand Cherif family had an international following; among those who sought his advice was President Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana. During the last decades of his life Fanta Mady was a recluse and a mystic; his sway over his many followers was so great that he was reputed to have received on the average a million francs a day as tribute. This he redistributed to the poor. His father Karamoko Boubacar Sidiki Cherif had been the moral and spiritual guide of Almamy Samory, to whom he taught “the Koran, theology, law” and Muslim philosophy 80. The number of the Karamoko's disciples grew with each of Samory's military victories, since he was chaplain-in-chief of the troops. The woman who became Fanta Mady's mother was given in marriage to his father by Samory, and as a boy Fanta Mady studied with Moctar Touré, one of Samory's sons.
Fanta Mady's religious ideas harmonized with aquiescence to French rule, but his family history explains why he regarded the rise of the PDG with benevolent neutrality. When Fanta Mady died in 1955 the PDG mourned and Sékou Touré praised him “as the living example of a being who believes in God, who has faith in his function, and who treats as equal and brother every man, regardless of his colour or his origins” 81.
The benevolent neutrality of Fanta Mady brought with it valuable backing in Kankan and the surrounding areas. Yet it also involved the PDG in a centuries old local rivalry between the Tourés and the Kabas. Among the Kabas there were several outstanding Muslim scholars who asserted a claim for primacy in Muslim circles of Kankan as soon as the question of succession to Fanta Mady was posed. There were within the Kaba family several feuds which helped explain why one member of the family, al Hajj Ibrahima Lamine Kaba was not only a fervent disciple of Fanta Mady who was usually associated with the Tourés, but also “adopted” Sékou Touré as his son.
Lamine Kaba was an elder, whose education had been mostly in Arabic and who had been during the war director of the Ecole Libre Franco-Arabe in Dakar. There he claimed to be carrying out the wishes of the Grand Chérif by organizing prayers in favour of the Resistance cause. When the war ended Kaba was in his fifties. He returned to Kankan and there incidents occurred, involving Tourés, Kabas, and the various rival Muslim notables, for which the French authorities exiled him to Mauretania. He returned to become president of the Kankan sous-section of the PDG. In the long run the PDG did not accept that Lamine Kaba use his party position to strengthen his claims within the Kaba family. But in the first phase of the PDG's struggle to win elections the leaders ignored the issue, as well as conflicts between Lamine Kaba and the modernizing educated PDG leaders in Kankan. For the PDG leaders deliberately sought an early victory over the instruments of colonialist reaction in the religious milieux. In fact the RDA was presented as anti-religious, atheist, Communist, and the forces of Islam which exercised a profound influence in our country were mobilized by the Administration in a fight against us. Happily, the profound knowledge of democratic principles in this religion, and the abuses of the supposedly religious chiefs, allowed us to alter the balance of forces, and even to identify the RDA with all the concepts of progress, of democracy and liberty even when they are of a religious order 82.
To harmonize their revolutionary message, which they saw primarily in secular terms, with the precepts of Islam, the PDG leaders used several techniques, some of which they abandoned after 1957. Most party meetings included a recital of the Fatiha or opening sura of the Koran. The puritanism of Islam and of the revolution coincided in the refusal of Touré and many of his associates to take alcohol. On Friday, Sékou Touré attended religious services, at a different mosque. He made quite a production of this … chose an impeccably styled boubou and Muslim hat, and often found a supporter with a matching car to drive him.
Muslim reform leaders, trained in north African universities and eager to purify Islam, became associated with the PDG. A frequent member of Sékou Touré's entourage was Chérif Youssouf Nabhaniou, Professor of Arabic at Boke, who was a graduate of the Institut des Etudes Supérieures Islamiques in Algiers. The Chérif, in a letter to the anti-RDA paper La Nouvelle Guinée, answered criticisms which had been made first of his ancestry and right to speak in the name of Islam, and second, of his associations with the RDA. He traced his ancestry back to “Radissa Lalhbara, who founded Fez and upheld the precepts of Islam”, and directly to “Aliou (may the blessings of God be upon him), who is the husband of the daughter of the Prophet Mohammed (may God give him health), Fatouma-Diahrai-Bintou-Rassoulahi”. He also explained that he has been preaching the precepts of Islam in the mosques throughout Guinea; and that he believes those who challenge his views belong “to the camp of those who oppose… the Muslim religion in all its grandeur, the Faith which no man may trample underfoot for political interests” 83.
In the mosques, prayers drew an implied parallel between the community of the RDA and the community of Islam.
God is great It is hard To bring unbelievers Into the brotherhood of believers But we need the die-hards To spur us on. 84
On the coast, in the Forest, and in Upper Guinea, popular support for the PDG was expressed in dance and song. Sily, the elephant, was the symbol of the RDA.
Sily is too strong He does not retreat When he is provoked.
Not all the songs simply praised the PDG and its candidate. One popular Mambo rhythm repeated a racist theme, and hurled insults at all Fulani, as well as at Barry Diawadou. To stop this Touré held numerous lengthy meetings. He spoke to the women:
“Will you do something for me ? I know you are angry at Diawadou. Anger makes us stupid. Use the anger against me and so cure your anger. Do not play the song again. Do not dance the song again. Forget the song. The Fula is your brother. He is the most oppressed, the saddest, the poorest. Diawadou is not Fula. Diawadou is without a country. You are Fula. You are all races.”
The tendency to ethnic division, particularly between the Fulani and the rest, remained a serious problem to the PDG.
To overcome regionalism, the PDG leaders used a variety of techniques: symbols —of the elephant, Sily, “who does not forget”; PDG banners and colours; clothes such as head-scarves, and the grey Muslim hat, somewhat like a fez (it came widely to represent the Guinean political position abroad). The women wore dresses cut of identical cloth. There were party songs, poems, dances, and slogans. To spread the party message, Sékou Touré and his associates used, in their words “auto-suggestion”.
Though the party regularly did publish a newspaper since 1951 85, circulation in 1957 was still no more than 3,000; and there were only 6,000 copies even of the historic 24 (?) September independence issue. The population of Guinea was largely illiterate, and communication was largely by word of mouth. The images and anecdotes of Sékou Touré's speeches were translated and re-translated into the many different languages and spread rapidly. PDG organizers used concrete examples from everyday life to hammer home the ideas that men are equal regardless of tribe or race, the need for unity, for faith in action, for discipline in the PDG. They mentioned often mother, the family, fertility, planting and harvesting, and God. PDG leaders paid special attention to women and children for these social categories cut across clan class, ethnic and regional divisions.
My mother carried me. She carried me for twenty years and five months before my birth. My age is her age. The women are the fire of the RDA. When we want to make a knife we need iron, water and fire. The knife is Africa. We are the blacksmiths. We must use fire to make out knife. Our fire is our women. Our women mold us, carry us.
To point out that all men are equal, only the environment makes a difference, Touré said:
“Man is water. Put fire under the water. What is left at night?” “Steam” answers the crowd. “Take the water and put it into an ice box. What is left at night?” Answers the crowd “Ice”. “Is ice the same as steam?” answers the crowd “No”. “Is the water which made the steam the same as the water which made the ice?” Answers the crowd “Yes”. “Man is like water, equal and alike at the beginning. Then some are heated and some are frozen and so they become different. Just change the conditions, heat or freeze, and the original equality is again clear.” “Do you think you are Soussou, Malinke Bambara ? No, you are water and you are equal. At sunset when you pray to God say over and over that each man is a brother, and that all men are equal.”
The point that men are equal but the environment is not, was repeated:
“Take twins. Separate them at birth and send one to Mecca for his education. He will speak Arabic, have much experience in the world, be accustomed to human society and to machines. Take the other. Put him alone in the Forest. Bring them together when they are thirty and compare. One will know speech and the other not. One will crane his neck in awe when a plane passes overhead, wonder when the electricity is turned on, tremble when a car passes, shout when a pair of glasses is placed on his nose. The other will be perfectly at ease before this wealth of things. Does this mean God made the twins unequal?”
A variant of this theme was:
“Take a peanut. Break it open. Find two seeds inside. Plant one in the ground. Put the other on a table or in a drawer or under a drum or on a stone floor. The seed in the earth will sprout, the other will forever be dead. Does it mean God made the seeds differently, that tiod is unjust? No, the seeds are equal, only the conditions surrounding them vary. A man can be what he thinks he is, a slave is he who thinks himself a slave. Say to yourself, I am Mamadou, boy of the Commandant. I am the same as Vincent Auriol the President of France, as the Governor, as the Commandant. Pinch the Commandant and he is hurt. Do not let Auriol sleep, and he is tired. Give the Governor no food and he is hungry. You are the same. You are equal. If you tremble before the Commandant, before Auriol, before the Governor, then you insult God. He made men equal.”
The technique of making general points through particular anecdotes Sékou Touré developed first in the West African trade union context.
“If I wore a grey boubou and were called Amadou Guèye and spoke Wolof you would think me Senegalese. If I wore a white cloth and spoke Bambara and were called Mamadou Sissoko you would think me Soudanese. If I wore tan wool and spoke Fulani and were called Diallo Alpha you might think me Peul. If I wore khaki trousers and spoke Ewe you would think me Togolese. But I am called Sékou Touré and I am Soussou and I speak Soussou. But I also speak Bambara, and Malinke, and Wolof…. I change my clothes and I change my language. The clothes can change and the language can be learned. I am like you; I am a man like you; my race is African.”
Though the campaign of 1954 gave ample indications of the PDG's popularity, nevertheless French officials declared Diawadou elected. The PDG claimed falsification, and listed the techniques deployed by Governor Parisot and his secretary-general Marchesseau. They made their political preferences public, and administrators in the countryside passed these preferences on at gatherings of villagers and chefs de canton. Diawadou's agents had a decided advantage because at election time they could take leave from their civil service jobs and they received official transport. Officials manipulated the electoral register, still limited to less than half a million.
In 1951 when both ran unsuccessfully, most of Diawadou's votes came from the Fouta and most of Touré's from the Forest.
By 1954, 82,980 new electors were on the electoral register — 72,056 of these were in the Fouta. Furthermore, in the cercles of Nzerekore, Kankan, Guéckedou, Forécariah, and Siguiri, where the PDG was known to be particulatly strong, 10,627 names were stricken from the electoral register. During the elections, the voting cards were not distributed by a commission, as prescribed by law, but mostly by the very chefs de canton who with their associates were also the local agents of Diawadou. Some made only Diawadou's ballot paper available to the voters. Some chefs de cantons also presided at the polls where the secrecy required by law did not exist.
At Kissidougou, for example, Diawadou's agent chef de canton Bendou Leno presided; at Dabola the father of Diawadou, chef de canton Almamy Barry Aguibou, presided.
In many polling stations the PDG representatives though duly accredited were turned away; sometimes they were beaten. Illiterates manned many of the polling stations, men who could not write an official report or record the results. Administrators wrote in the figures as they saw fit, sent them by coded cable to Conakry where they were added under the personal supervision of the governor. Only global figures became public, and the PDG representatives at the time could obtain no official breakdown of the total 141,701 for Diawadou, 85,906 for Touré; 7,995 for the socialists, 5 RPF and 16,000 for various independents 86. Many people refused to accept the official results. During the rest of 1954 and 1955, except in the Fouta-Djallon, there were periodic incidents involving partisans of PDG and BAG. On the coast and in the forest people chased their chiefs out of villages and towns. Administration broke down as officials and the élus lost influence. Barry Diawadou required police protection in Conakry while large crowds acclaimed Sékou Touré as “the real chief”, “the real deputy” 87. The PDG took care to demonstrate its preponderance. Sang the women:
You are a new chief
You are chosen as chief
The people is with you
You are a new chief
Lift up your head
Look at the sea of faces
That answers when you call.
The reasons varied why Governor Parisot and his associates of the “tough” school of French officials, took so active a part in the Guinea elections. Some saw the PDG as subversive because of its potential nationalism, and others because of its supposed Communist sympathies. The latter group argued that the PDG had never accepted the inter-territorial RDA decision to disaffiliate from the French Communists in Parliament, and pointed out that no Guinean was among the RDA parlementarians who took the decision.
The inter-territorial RDA, therefore, stepped in to demonstrate solidarity with the PDG, prevent a repetition of the Ivory Coast incidents, and to undercut in Paris the influence of the French officials in Guinea who opposed the PDG. These tasks fell upon the political director, Ouezzin Coulibaly, then a senator from Ivory Coast. He spent most of the year after the by-elections touring with Sékou Touré and helping to organize the PDG, and occasionally joining in where the PDG came to blows with chiefs and their clients. He used his status and immunity as a parlementaire to press local French officials to pay attention to the law. He prepared the way within the PDG also, for a shift from the tactics and vocabulary of total opposition to those of partial communication with French officials. Then in July 1955 the interterritorial RDA Co-ordinating Committee met for the first time since the RDA parlementaires broke with the French Communists, and deliberately chose Conakry as the place.
This meeting was the occasion Sékou Touré chose to begin breaking the West African trade unions from the French CGT and out of the Communist-dominated international, the World Federation of Trade Unions. A secret session of the Co-ordinating Committee began the pattern leading to the autonomy of all West African union, youth and party organizations from their French affiliates. The move revealed the frankly nationalist objectives of the Guinea RDA leaders, determined to build
nationalist trade unionism… joined to two fundamental principles: nationalism and the unity and solidarity of the various social groups in the countries under foreign domination. The original element in this new trade unionism, which clearly differentiates it from Western trade unionism, is a strong determination to back political action in order to hasten the coming of national independence. This preoccupation with the political independence of the nation takes precedence over all social preoccupations 88.
After the Conakry meeting Sékou Touré was well on the way to becoming, in French eyes, an interlocuteur valable. There had been political shifts in Paris. In June 1954 officials in Guinea were carrying out the “tough” policy of the outgoing French government; but already the Mendès-France government was taking office.
The new Overseas Minister Robert Buron, like the Governor-General of West Africa, Bernard Cornut-Gentille, favoured conciliating African nationalists. When the interterritorial RDA stepped between the PDG and French officials with the hope of avoiding more violence, the French government was receptive. In Octoher 1954 Buron visited Conakry. By previous agreement the PDG organized a giant reception and demonstrated efficiency when the party without the police kept order and directed traffic. PDG women wore white dresses embroidered with Sily, the RDA elephant. Demonstrators carried giant placards which read Vive RDA on one side; Vive le Ministre on the other. The RDA took Buron's visit as a disavowal from Paris of Parisot's policy in Guinea. People taunted the BAG in song:
The RDA is everywhere
The saboteurs always said
That they are the chiefs
But a man is a chief
If he is heard by the people.
Sékou says he is not a chief
But today they wisely gave him power.
Another song recalled that at a reception for Buron in the palace of the governor, there were not enough seats when Sékou Touré and his wife arrived. The Minister and the Governor-General offered their chairs. People sang:
Sékou, your enemies are not yet tired
But they forget
That in Conakry Capital of Guinea
You are the Governor
Is it not true, comrades?
It is as sure
As certain as the world
So true That in Conakry
Sékou is Governor.
Buron's visit did not mean the immediate assumption of political office by the PDG leaders. The French Parliament validated Diawadou's credentials in January 1955, and new incidents broke out in Guinea. Repeatedly during 1955 Sékou Touré publicly thanked Governor Parisot for being against the PDG, claiming “This allowed the PDG to become the organized champion of the people.” 89 The party turned to its own advantage many of the official measures designed to oppose it. Thus when French officials, in order to reduce tension in Conakry, decided to send the unemployed “vagrants” back to the villages, the PDG urged people to take the free rides and use them for party propaganda. Trucks carried people chanting:
They say the elephant does not exist
But here is the elephant
The elephant no one can beat
The PDG used the wave of popular protest during 1955 in order to prepare for the next parliamentary elections.
The leaders were well aware the party was weak among the Fulani. There were few Fulani or even Fulani-speaking people among the PDG. The party leaders tried to link with Sékou Touré on the PDG ticket for 1956 a man who could attract Fulani support though publicly they disclaimed that ethnic considerations entered into the choice.
They first invited DSG candidate Barry III to share the PDG ticket; when he declined, the PDG conférence des cadres of 1955 selected Diallo Saifoulaye for the party ticket.
A Ponty major who had been a GEC member and an early stalwart of the RDA, he became a “martyr” when French officials transferred him out of Guinea to Mali and Niger. He had important traditional credentials as well. He is the son of Alfa Bacar Diallo, dean of the chefs de canton in the Fouta-Djallon. The PDG newspaper la Liberté was able to announce that “like La Fayette on the night of 4 August 1789, Saifoulaye renounced his privileges to join the democratic camp” 90. His name signifies “the sword of God”; one PDG electoral theme was to exploit the Koranic story in which his name figures. This is how Sékou Touré introduced him:
I shall tell you a story, a story you will recognize. I had a dream in which I saw the people of Guinea, in which I saw the people of the Fouta. I saw the chiefs of the Fouta as tyrants. I saw them use and abuse and beat and oppress the people. I saw them decorating and gilding their many wives. Among them there was one chief (the chef de canton of the area where the speech was delivered). This chief had twenty chickens. One day he captured a hawk and put it among the twenty chickens. He chained the hawk, fed the hawk, and treated it as if it were a chicken. Then a stranger came to the village, a man the RDA educated. This stranger knew the hawk was not a chicken. He told the chief. ‘This is a hawk, not a chicken. It is like treating a man like a pack horse; put him among pack horses yet he is still a man.’ The chief disagreed with the stranger, Saifoulaye. A fierce debate took place. To show what he meant Saifoulaye lifted his sword in one hand, the chained hawk in the other. He looked up, the hawk looked at the sun and the sky.
“Prove you are still a hawk, or have you, as the chief says, alas, become a chicken? Choose between servitude and a free sky, your chain and the horizon.” He cut the chain. The hawk chose liberty.
“In the same way a man is not a pack horse. The chief must know as we all know. Man chooses liberty. The chief must accept or the chief will lose.” 91
Through Saifoulaye, whose family opposed his election and backed Diawadou, the PDG pointed out that not ethnic ties but only the family of the like-minded really counted. During the 1956 campaign PDG militants concentrated their voluntary efforts. The youth wing of the party, the JRDA of Conakry, organized dances and other socials to raise funds. Since most of the electioneering came during Christmas vacation teachers in the party had time off. Many other civil servants took vacations without pay to work for the party. Traders and transporters put their cars at the disposal of the PDG. In villages and towns local party representatives fed, housed, and gave gas and oil to a stream of political visitors. It is impossible to estimate the cash value of these gifts in kind. Since Conakry solidly favoured the PDG, and so did the Beyla area, the party leaders did no formal campaigning there. They asked the militants of Conakry to go to their villages and organize there. They asked the women of Conakry who had been among the most ardent supporters of the party to organize the coastal areas, and they asked the men from the coast to campaign in the Fouta-Djallon.
The party leaders wanted to guard against a repetition of the Ivory Coast incidents. They stipulated that never one but at least two party leaders had to be involved in negotiations with French officials. They urged “vigilance” against “saboteurs”, for they feared unwanted incidents. The vigilance at times passed out of the control of the party leaders, and popular fears of plots against the PDG were recorded in song.
You cannot know
In this mass of faces
Who are your friends
Who are your enemies.
Why are they here?
Is it to tarnish the RDA?
Surely this they cannot do.
For God is here.
Is it to perfect the RDA?
Then they have two helpers
You are human.
You cannot tell tho differences
Between your true friend
And your betrayer.
The PDG leaders expected, as in Ivory Coast, the use of bribery and corruption; they provided a simple answer.
“If they offer you money, take it and give it to the party. If they offer you transport to the polls take it and vote for the PDG. Is it not true, il you hear that they beat a man for the dream he had, it is because he explained his dream ? The money they give you cannot buy you. Money can buy cloth, sandals, the work of a man. lt cannot buy a man; it cannot buy his thoughts; it cannot buy his faith. The money was stolen from you. Take it, it is yours. Use it not for yourself but for your brothers, for the PDG” 92.
The PDG leaders remained skeptical about Buron's assurances that the January 1956 elections would be honestly administered; they set up an elaborate party procedure for the watching of the polls. The PDG bureau politique instructed its poll-watchers to show up in good time; to verify that ballot envelopes were empty and corresponded exactly with the number of electors; to see before voting began that the urn was empty, had no false bottom, was fastened by two dissimilar locks, that the keys were held respectively by the president of the electoral commission and the oldest assessor, and signed inside and out; to oppose the presence near the polls of any unauthorized persons, including guards or chiefs, who might unduly influence the voters; to denounce people who voted under assumed names or in the name of people dead or absent; to watch over the voting, the opening of the ballot envelopes and the counting and to require a record of all observations and protests; never to leave the polls without leaving a proxy, so as to prevent the substitution of a fraudulent urn; to avoid replying to provocations since incidents make such a substitution easy; in case of doubt to check that the urn was the originally signed one; to take immediate steps in case of fraud; to telegraph observations and results to the POG bureau politique in Conakry; even to carry a torch in case the lights go out 93.
The 1956 elections were relatively honest. The BAG vote, 131,678, only slightly less than it had been in 1954, was enough to elect Barry Diawadou. But the PDG was the victor. Two of its men became deputies —Sékou Touré and Diallo Saifoulaye. The number of those entitled to vote more than doubled to become almost a million and a little more than half voted. The PDG vote had grown from 14.3 per cent. in 1951, 34.6 per cent. in 1954, to 62 per cent. in 1956. Since then elections were by universal suffrage and the PDG majority grew steadily: it won control of all the municipalities in 1956; 56 out of 60 seats for the territorial assembly of March 1957. (Three from the Fulani area of Pita went to the socialists.) 94
Under the Loi-Cadre reforms, the assembly voted for the first elected African ministry and Sékou Touré became vice-president of the new council of government.
The PDG took control of the legal organs of the state after an interval of struggle that left a legacy. The struggle strengthened the party in Guinea rather than weakened it, as in Ivory Coast. Part of the explanation lies in the different intensity of the repression. In Ivory Coast officials tried to by-pass parliamentary immunity and most of the territorial leaders of the PDCI were among the estimated 3,000 prisoners. The pressure left the PDCI almost without territorial leaders, while at the local level the repression led to a rapid turnover both among official chiefs and local party leaders. In Guinea, however, fewer PDG leaders became “martyrs” and most of these were local. Sékou Touré gave figures to the July 1955 meeting of the RDA interterritorial Co-ordinating Committee: in one year 250 arrested, 118 wounded, and 6 dead 95. The members of the PDG bureau politique remained at liberty even though none had parliamentary immunity.
The struggle confirmed the PDG militants in the conviction that they were on the side of history. It discredited French institutions. The PDG militants came to regard the formal constitution, laws, and decrees as the European, alien façade and only their party as truly African. The struggle helped unify people against the colonial system and propelled the leaders to adopt a frankly nationalist platform. The official record of tampering with the elections gave the PDG a solid moral advantage and made possible a representation of the rivalry between BAG and PDG as between truth and falsehood, nationalism and colonialism. The PDG leaders could claim their adversaries were disloyal to the real African tradition, and so could discredit as un-African both the “intellectuals” who were the BAG élus and the “chiefs” who were the local BAG representatives. The struggle prolonged the period when the PDG was in opposition, and therefore in harmony with the revolutionary forces in the countryside. These forces knew no frontiers. Where the “diamond fever” was spreading, in and around Sierra Leone, the Sily Baga Society took root; the PDG leaders called it RDA 96. Outside the Fouta-Djallon most people, often for contradictory reasons, were against all authority, and as Sékou Touré explained, “anarchy itself served the emancipating movement, to the extent that it was directed against the colonial system” 97. Party finances benefited from resistance against paying taxes, party justice was sometimes acceptable when that of chief or French judge was not. For a few years the PDG could concentrate on building a party organization while free of the responsibilities of keeping order, roads open and telephone lines functioning.
Electoral success by the PDG brought a sense of liberation. The PDG claimed 300,000 members in 1955 98; by 1959 it was 800,000 99, and in 1960, 857,000 100. People volunteered their labour and it was not unusual for villagers to construct a road so that party organizers could reach them, or a shelter so that they might come to the main road to hear itinerant PDG spokesmen. Volunteer labour, dubbed investissement humain, was at the disposal of the new PDG government, which tried to harness the burst of popular enthusiasm to the building of roads, bridges, schools, party headquarters, and mosques 101. Though perhaps not very efficient, voluntary labour indicated how close to the people the party had become.
At the same time the party took within itself the chief problems of Guinea: scarcity of trained leadership, absence of national social structures, ethnic fragmentation, and a very limited modern economy. In the countryside and city there was a turnover of leadership from BAG to RDA and a rejection of the existing authorities. The party was the only national institution people considered their own, and its popularity exceeded its ability to channel support; leaders found it easy to increase opposition but hard to discipline their followers. They preached responsibility of leaders to followers, partly by way of contrast with BAG methods, whose élus the PDG claimed “had no direct ties with the masses, did not represent them, and as a result did not influence them” 102. They emphasized the party was for all, not for the leaders. Therefore no man could nominate himself for office; he had to be nominated.
“A canoe is in the ocean. Ten men are in it. It springs a leak. All are in danger. Two men start bailing out the water. The other eight help. Does it mean the two are the first or most important, and that the eight work for the two? No, each man of the team, works for the whole team” 103.
In 1954 the party structure was rudimentary: the bureau exécutif of Conakry led the party of all of Guinea.
- Sékou Touré as secretary-general
- Diallo Abdourahmane Dalen
- Keita Nfamara
- Camara Bengaly
- Al-Hajji Mamadou Fofana
directed the planting of PDG committees in each village and locality.
After the electoral success of 1957, the leaders set about consolidating their power. They strengthened the party structure, asserted its control over administration, integrated all opposition parties into the PDG. A bureau politique national became elected at regular party congresses; it sent a stream of directives to the village and local committees. There were party conferences of cadres, whenever urgent matters needed discussion. A permanent staff worked at party headquarters, not only in Conakry, but increasingly also at the regional headquarters. The party youth wing, the JRDA, became strengthened and gained control over all Guinean youth organizations; the trade unions, also, unified into a single movement, as the party asserted control.
PDG victory did not simply wipe out ethnic divisions, though the party had for the first time in Guinea history managed to span these differences. The shift from the BAG marked a change in the balance of ethnic groups within Guinea. Fulani influence decreased, and Malinke and Soussou townsmen had greater influence. Incidents which took place in Conakry in October 1956 showed how close to the surface ethnic differences still were. The PDG leaders took care to conciliate Fulani opinion, and blamed colonial rule for the division which still reigned among ethnic groups:
in this world there are but two races, that which dominates and exploits in an inhuman fashion …and that which is dominated and profoundly exploited, which includes all the colonised peoples to which belong the Almamys of the Fouta in the gallés, the Fulani in their foulassos and margas and the matchoubées in their roundés. They should know that today more than ever before if they can have any secular hatred of any race, it is surely against the one which, trampling to the ground the Treaty of Protectorate of the Fouta-Djallon, submitted them to the same system of daily humiliation and exploitation as their Soussou, Malinke, Toma, Guerze, Kissi, Koniaguis, Baga and Landouman brothers 104.
Thus ethnic divisions drove the PDG leaders to greater nationalism. To limit ethnic fragmentation, the PDG leaders adopted several other measures. They refused to recognize or accept ethnic or regional organizations in the party. They insisted — unlike the PDCI leaders of Ivory Coast— that local PDG committees be organized on a strict neighbourhood basis. This meant that in Conakry, where neighbourhoods included people of different origins, the local party structure mixed people. The PDG leaders publicly refused to mention a man's ethnic group or status; their very rigidity on thig principle showed there was a problem. At the same time, the leaders took great care to keep balance within their ranks; the top four leaders reflected the four major regions:
- Sékou Touré, the Malinke
- Diallo Saifoulaye, the Fulani
- Beavogui Lansana 105, the Forest peoples
- Bengaly Camara, the Coastal Soussou
Ethnic divisions also impelled the PDG leaders to weaken further the traditional leaders. In the countryside, defeat of the BAG also marked defeat of the “chiefs” in local politics. As long as the PDG was in opposition, the leaders did not attack the chieftaincy collectively; instead they argued we are not against the chiefs, we are only against the bad chiefs 106. PDG organizers learned it was fruitful to investigate if there was a violation of pre-European tradition in the designation of the official chief, and to seek out his rival.
They did not disdain chiefly backing; indeed during the July 1955 interterritorial RDA meeting in Conakry President Houphouet made it his special task to stretch out the hand of friendship to the chiefs 107. These were but temporary expedients. The close connexion between official chiefs, traditionalists, and the BAG served to discredit them in politics, and most PDG militants shared the ideas of Diallo Saifoulaye:
the chieftaincy degraded by the colonial administration no longer represents the tradition which gave rise to the office. Many chiefs betrayed their functions by making themselves the servile instruments of the state, against the permanent interests of the people. Most were designated illegitimately and hold their posts only because they made themselves spokesmen and defenders of the colonial authorities… Traditional chieftaincy as such no longer exists … and nothing can replace it 108.
In most places it was clear the chiefs had lost their authority, and administrators were troubled. “In each canton there is the problem of relations with the population, the transmission of orders and all the points of detail which are our work; right now we have great difficulty contacting nearly 100,000 people without intermediaries” 109. One of the first actions of the PDG government was to call a conference of administrators to study how to eliminate the chefs de canton from local administration. On 31 December 1957 the change took place, administrators nominated from Conakry took the place of the chefs, and in May 1958 the PDG had a majority of 87.8 per cent. in elections for local advisory councils or conseils de circonscription 110.
These elections eliminated “chiefs” from local administration, but did not wipe out the influence of traditional leaders whose authority people still admitted. The PDG leaders made a deliberate attempt to integrate these into the party. One example was the family descended of Al-Hajji Umar Tall, the Toucouleur emperor who had used Dinguiraye as a base 111. The PDG elected one member of this family, Habib Tall, vice-president of the assembly. Another, also the most important of the African trading community, Baidy Guèye, became president in 1960 of the Conseil économique. The PDG used a related technique with Lamine Kaba. After 1956 they would no longer accept that he use his party position to strengthen his claims within the Kaba family. In 1957 the PDG sponsored his election from Kankan to the territorial assembly, and there elected him a vice-president; but they also undercut his position in Kankan and insisted he remain in residence in Conakry 112.
The local government reforms, designed to consolidate party control over local administration, also increased the need for cadres. The reforms released yet further revolutionary forces in the countryside, and reinforced the pressures for early independence. People flocked to Conakry 113. The PDG leaders knew the party was closer to the people than was the administration, and elaborated the doctrine of party supremacy over the government, with its corollary that party loyalty and ideology were supreme over the technical and seniority standards in the civil service. Yet the French governor still maintained French standards in key sectors of the civil service, while the shortage of African personnel sharply limited the pace of Africanization. The Loi-Cadre framework forced the PDG leaders to pay attention to French criteria for promotion; they knew they could strengthen administration or the party, but not both, for there were not cadres enough. In order to be able to introduce their own criteria for promotion, they had to overcome the limits on their powers. That meant independence.
The division of the educated men between PDG and BAG intensified the conflict between civil service and party criteria for promotion. The shift from BAG and PDG cadres meant a shift from more to less educated, from older to younger. This was a heritage of French pressure against the PDG in 1947 when Guineans with secondary schooling knew they risked their jobs unless they kept out of politics or backed a regional association. Hence the founders of the PDG were primary school products mostly and held low civil service jobs. By 1954 they were joined by the new products of the elementary and upper primary schools who also found little scope in the existing system. Most Ponty men were BAG, and there were only a handful of exceptions:
- Madeira Keita
- Keita Fodéba, a teacher from Siguiri who built the Ballets Africains company of international fame before he became the first minister of interior of Guinea
- Diané Lansana, a veterinary surgeon and cousin of Sékou Touré from Faranah who became general of the Guinea armed services
- Diallo Saifoulaye, was the first president of the National Assembly of Guinea
- Abdoulaye Diallo, Fulani with family both in Mali and Guinea, h built the CGT in Mali, was its first minister of labour, and after he voted against the 1958 constitution went to Guinea to become its first minister-resident in Ghana
- Magassouba Moriba, an African doctor from Siguri who became the first director of Guinea's sûreté nationale
This handful of Ponty men suffered for their politics. Some lost their jobs, were transferred to outlying districts or to other territories, or served jail sentences. Their experience with the elite of 1945 gave to the PDG leaders prior to independence a conviction that self-made men were more reliable to the nation than highly educated ones. Observing that “when a country is betrayed by its elite it dies or it invents another” 114, they prized ideological conviction above diplomas, which they felt Africans obtained only at the cost of their own identity. They held the existence of links with the mass of the population to be far more important than the fact or level of education. One cannot, they observed, judge the quality of a State as a function of the individual qualities of the men who lead it 115.
University graduates were not involved in the competition for political power between BAG and PDG 116. The first generation of university graduates was still studying in France or Dakar during the fighting phase of the PDG. Many students were near the age of PDG leaders. The students backed the PDG against the BAG, but after 1956 they found many grounds for criticism;
- the limited education of the new PDG ministers
- their acceptance of the Loi-Cadre reforms
The uneasy relations with the more educated Guineans propelled the PDG leaders towards independence.
So did uneasy relations with the workers. Briefly workers accepted that there was an identity of interests with the new African PDG government; their leader Sékou Touré became head of the government, and Bengaly Camara became minister of labour. Friction grew, however. The government though African was still the single largest employer of labour. There were some brief strikes in spring of 1958 117. The AOF union organization, UGTAN, called for immediate independence and an elected AOF African executive. Touré was formally the head of that movement, and knew that by ignoring that call he risked forfeiting his claim to lead the workers.
Pressure grew further early in 1958, when the new inter-territorial Parti du Regroupement Africain (PRA) united all AOF parties except the RDA 118, and adopted a radical platform.
In Guinea the PRA branch was born in May 1958 of a union between DSG and BAG. Then in July at Cotonou, the interterritorial congress of the PRA called for immediate independence. If they ignored this, Touré and his associates knew they were vulnerable to attack from left and right, within Guinea and outside. Yet, for some months, though their speeches were sharply critical of France 119, the position of the PDG leaders towards the 1958 constitution was uncertain. When General de Gaulle came to Conakry on 25 August, he was received by a huge demonstration and a sharply worded speech by President Touré 120. On 27 August in Dakar the UGTAN announced for a NO in the referendum. On 11 September Bakary Djibo, union and party leader from Niger, said No. On 7 September Ouezzin Coulibaly died in Paris. It was he who had kept the interterritorial RDA together in spite of internal differences. The break in the RDA remained.
On 12 September Sékou Touré broke discipline with the inter-territorial RDA, disregarded President Houphouet's orders for a Yes, and demanded independence. “We prefer poverty in liberty to riches in slavery” 121. Once the No decision was taken there was remarkable unity within Guinea.
Barry III and Barry Diawadou joined the reorganized PDG government which took over the newly independent state. Their parties dissolved and members became integrated within the PDG.
The French government was not really prepared for the No, and the first reaction was one of anger. French civil servants withdrew but made no provision to transfer files, and French administrators, judges, doctors, and other civil servants left confusion behind. For some months the terms of Guinea's relationship to France remained undefined. Only when the Guinea government made clear that it recognized the Provisional Govermnent of the Republic of Algeria during the Monrovia Conference on 6 August 1959 was the break between Ciuinea and France final.
The uncertainty surrounding the departure of French officials and soldiers added to the problems of the PDG leaders as they became fully responsible. Guinea became a state before it was fully a nation 122. Only the party was truly a national institution, and held people together with the theme of “a common misery and a common destiny” 123.
People expected great things of independence. There was a call for modernization even though there were few modernizers, more justice even though few judges, more administration even though few clerks, more maternities even though few doctors, more roads even though few engineers, more schools even though few teachers. Sergeants became majors, clerks became senior administrators, union leaders became ambassadors as Guinea became the first former French-speaking West African state to become a member of the United Nations.
1. All three citations from the resolution adopted at the conference, La Liberté, 24 September 1958, and reprinted in Territoire de la Guinée, L'Action politique du Parti Démocratique de Guinée pour l'émancipation africaine, by Sékou Touré, Imprimerie du Gouvernement, Guinea, n.d., tome I, p. 206.
2. République de Guinée, L'Action politique du PDG-RDA Guinée pour l'émancipation et l'unité africaine dans l'indépendance, by Sékou Touré, tome 2, Imprimerie du Gouvernement, Conakry, c. 1959, p. 9, see also p. 198.
3. Outre-mer 1958, op. cit., p. 83.
4. Annuaire Statistique, tome 2, 1951, op. cit., p. 83.
5. Ibid., p. 94.
6. Ibid., p. 96.
7. AOF 1957, op. cit., p. 115.
8. Outre-mer 1958, op, cit., p. 835.
9. See Appendix XI.
10. See Appendix IX.
11. Annuaire Statistique, 1951, tome II, op. cit., pp. 410 and 415, n. 1 and 2.
12. Mamadou Barry. “Le Fouta-Djalon”, L'Etudiant d'Afrique noire, April 1957, p. 12.
13. See La Liberté, Conakry, 27 June 1955.
14. Touré, Sékou. “Rapport moral et politique”, Les Assises du PDG, 23-26 janvier 1958, L'Action politique du PDG …, tome I, op. cit., p. 8.
15. See the ethnic groups of Guinea, Map 5.
16. The administrative estimate of the number of Fulani in Guinea was 870,000 out of a total of some 2.1/5 million. Houis, Maurice. Guinée française, Editions Maritimes et Coloniales, Paris, 1953, p. 324. See also Richard-Molard, op. cit., pp. 95 and 99.
17. For brief descriptions of the feudal organization of Fulani society in the Fouta-Djallon, see Barry Mamadou, op. cit., p. 12; Richard-Molard, op. cit., p. 99; Poirier and Leroi-Gourhan, op. cit., pp. 258-9; Abdoulaye Diallo (African doctor), in L'AOF, Dakar, 11, 15, 18, and 22 July 1947; Ba Kamanca Ollida in Réveil, Dakar, 23 September 1946. Gauthier, E. F., in L'Afrique noire occidentale, Larose, Paris, 1943, p. 171 calls the life of the Fulani chiefs la vie de château. A longer description of Fulani feudal leaders is given by Marty, Paul. L'Islam en Guinée, Leroux, Paris, 1921, Chap. I.
18. Most of his essays were printed in the Bulletin du Comité d'Etudes Historiques et Scientifiques de l'AOF.
19. Gouilly, op. cit., p. 67, citing Gilbert Vieillard in 1940.
20. See AGV statutes, mimeographed, 1953, Article 4.
21. Tounkara Cellou, in Le Populaire de Guinée, 15 June 1956.
22. See Climats, 27 December 1955.
23. AGV Bureau directeur, Report of third congress at Mamou, January 1953, Conakry, mimeographed, p. 8.
24. For background see Niane, Djibril Tamsir. “Mise en place des populations de la Haute-Guinée”, Recherches Africaines. Institut National de Recherche et de Documentation, Conakry, April-June 1960.
25. Delafosse in Hanotaux and Martineau, op. cit., p. 209.
26. Dollfus, O. “Conakry en 1951-52. Etude humaine et économique”, Etudes Guinéennes, IFAN, Conakry, no. 10-11, 1952, p. 6.
27. Magassouba Moriba in La Liberté, 2 November 1954.
28. Mimeographed records, AC;V 1953 congress, op. cit.
29. La Liberté article by Cissé Fodé. 27 June 1955.
30. J.O.A.N.C. I, Débats, 21 February 1946, p. 424.
31. Mimeographed records, AGV 1953 Congress, op cit., p. 13.
32. Ibid., p. 9.
33. Mimeographed records, AGV 1953 Congress, op. cit., p. 21.
34. From interviews, February 1956, Conakry.
35. La Liberté, 14 June 1955, editorial citing Foster Dulles' phrase.
36. La Liberté, 27 June 1955.
37. J.O.A.N., Débats, 25 February 1947, p. 471.
38. Touré. “Rapport moral…”, 123-26 janvier 1958, L'Action politique du PDG.
39. Sentence in heavy type in the original.
40. Touré, tome 1, op. cit., pp. 9-10.
41. From typescript of report by an interterritorial RDA mission to Guinea, spring 1947.
42. Cited by Abdoulaye Ly. Publications du P.R.A.-Sénégal sur le nationalisme dans l'ouest africain, no. 1, Dakar, 9 August 1959, p. 24.
43. Sékou Touré. “Rapport de doctrine et de politique générale”, in Le Cinquième Congrès National du Parti Démocratique de Guinée (RDA) tenu à Conakry les 14, 15, 16, et septembre 1959, tome iv, République de Guinée, Conakry, Imprimerie Nationale, p. 44. 44. See Appendix X.
45. See Appendix XI.
46. Annuaire Statistique, 1956, op. cit., pp. 236-7.
47. Moussa, Pierre. Les Chances économiques de la communauté franco-africaine, Armand Colin Paris 1957, pp. 236-8.
48. Annuaire Statistique, 1956, op. cit., p. 230.
49. Ibid. pp. 236-7.
50. Annuaire Statistique, 1950, tome I, op. cit., p. 64 and ibid., 1956, tome I, p. 55.
51. Guinée Française. Assemblée Territoriale, session budgétaire 15 novembre au 14 décembre 1954. Conakry, 1955, p. 5.
52. Dollfus, op. cit., p. 9, also Appendix IX.
53. For further details see Afrique Informations, 15 December 1953-1 January 1954.
54. Afrique Noire, 16 October 1957; Le Prolétaire, newspaper of rhe CGT union of Dakar, October 1952.
55. L'Ouvrier, CGT newspaper in Guinea, 16 March 1953.
56. For a list of the strikes in 1953 see Afrique Informations, 15 December-1 January 1954.
57. Le Facteur, 14 January 1954, CGT postal union newspaper.
58. See Afrique Informations, 15 December-1 January 1954; and Sékou Touré's editorial in the federal CGT-AOF newspaper Le Travailleur africain, c. July 1955. President Touré in his “Rapport Moral…” of January 1958, L'Action politique du PDG…, tome I, op. cit., p. 19, speaks of the 73-day strike.
59. See Appendix X.
60. Afrique Noire, 24-30 November 1953.
61. Citation recorded at trade union meetings in January and February 1956.
62. Diallo, Seydou. La Liberté, 11 December 1956.
63. Ibid., 25 January 1955.
64. Ibid., 2 November 1954.
65. Ibid., 10 May 1955.
66. La Liberté, 27 March 1956, reprinting his maiden speech to the French National Assembly.
67. Cardaire, Marcel. “L'Islam et le terroir africain”, Etudes Soudaniennes, I.F.A.N., Soudan, 1954.
68. Information based on interview, 1956.
69. Touré. L'Action potitique du PDG…, tome i, op. cit., p. 17.
70. Guinée Franç aise, Assemblée Territoriale, Session ordinaire mars-avril 1954. p.v. Conakry, 1954, p. 221
71. Barry III was one of the rare Guineans to become a member of the French civil service elite corps of inspecteurs des contributfons directes. Drame Alioune was another. Both became ministers after independence.
72. Afrique Informations, 15 March-1 April 1955.
73. Savane Moricandian. La Liberté. 18 August 1954.
74. Delafosse in Hanotaux and Martineau, op. cit., pp. 200 f.
75. Information based on interviews.
77. Tam-Tam, March-May 1955, pp. 34-5.
78. La Liberté, 28 December 1954.
79. Lamine Kaba writing in La Liberté, 25 October 1955. Considerably more research is needed on this subject.
80. La Liberté, 13 September 1955. See also ibid., 27 September and 1 November 1955.
81. Touré. L'Action politique du PDG …, tome I, op. cit., p. 18.
82. Full genealogy registered at Kaolack 5 August 1946. Folio 87 Case 979. La Liberé, 9 November 1954. After independence the Cherif became Guinea's diplomatic representative at Jiddah.
83. For the text the PDG songs cited in this chapter I am indebted to M. Gadiri Mangue, who became Guinea's ambassador at Freetown. See my “French Guinea's RDA Folk Songs”, West African Review, August 1958.
84. Before, Coup de Bambou came out occasionally.
85. Figures from special number of 15 March-1 April 1955 of Afrique Informations.
86. L'Essor, Bamako, 15-16 July 1954.
87. La Liberté, 11 December 1956. 88. Citation from interviews.
89. 27 December 1955.
90. Information based in interviews.
91. Citation based on interviews
92. From the mimeographed party instructions, Conakry, 20 December 1955. They were signed by Kouyaté Diely Bacar, permanent employee of the party, and Keita Nfamara, then 2nd secretary. Nfamara, a primary school graduate, worked as a clerk in the judiciary, and drafted the instructions. A Malinke from Kindia, he held a variety of ministerial portfolios in PDG governments.
93. Figures from Direction des Affaires Politiques d'AOF, 1956, op. cit.; and Beaujeu-Garnier, Jacqueline. “Essai de géographie électorale guinéenne”, Les Cahiers d'Outre-mer, Bordeaux, October-December 1958.
94. La Liberté, 16 August 1955.
95. After the citizens of French Guinea had been explled from Sierra Leone in 1956, Sékou Touré and Diallo Sayfoulaye led a delegation to Freetown. A most interesting account of their voyage is in the 15 January 1957 issue of La Liberté.
96. Touré, Sékou. “Allocation de clôture de la conférence des cadres du PDG”, of November 1958, L'Action politique…, tome II, op. cit., p. 237.
97. Afrique Informations, 15 April-1 May 1955.
98. La Liberté, 4 March 1959.
99. Touré, Sékou. La Lutte du Parti Démocratique de Guinée pour l'émancipation africaine, tome VI, République de Guinée, Conakry, 1961, p. 334 (report to Conakry conference).
100. Touré, tome VI op. cit.. pp. 163-97; see also Touré, L'Action du PDG…, tome i, op. cit., p. 52; Touré, Le Cinquième congrès national…, tome IV, op. cit., pp. 136-7 and p. 41; Touré, Sékou. La Planification éonomique, tome V, République de Guinée, Conakry, 1960, p. 68,
101. Touré, L'Action politique du PDG…, tome I, op. cit., p. 15.
102. Information based on interviews, 1956.
103. Moriba Magassouba. La Liberté, 26 October 1956.
104. An African doctor, he became minister of foreign affairs.
105. Citation from interviews.
106. Citation from interviews, 1955.
107. La Liberté, 5 June 1956.
108. Conférence des commandants de cercle, op. cit., Commandant de Siguiri, p. 45.
109. Beaujeu-Garnier, op. cit., p. 317.
110. Conférence des commandants de cercle, op. cit., Commandant de Dinguiraye, p. 27.
111. He died shortly after independence.
112. By 1960 the population was estimated at 112,491 Toure, La Lutte du PDG …, tome vi, op. cit., p. 87.
113. N'Diaye, Edge. La Liberté 24 July 1956.
114. Touré. “Rapport de doctrine…, September 1959, in Le Cinquième congrès national…, tome iv, op, cit., p, 48.
115. In the mid-fifties Me Paul Fabert was almost the only returned student; he led a one-man party, the Union Démocratique et Sociale Africaine, dedicated to building a West African federation of French and English speaking independent states. He became minister of justice after independence. He quit within a couple of years and exiled himself in France.
116. See Morgenthau's article in West Africa, 5 April 1958.
117. And the Mauretanians.
118. See Paris-Dakar, 16 April 1958.
119. Touré. L'Action politique du PDG…, tome I, op. cit., pp. 73 f.
120. Ibid., op.cit., p.94.
121. Touré. La Lutte du PDG…, tome vi, op. cit., p. 429.
122. Touré. L'Action politique du PDG…, tome i, op. cit., p. 14.