Colonial troops are often discarded by their masters when this is expedient. This was the case in late 1944, when De Gaulle did not want France to be perceived as dependent for its victory on non-white colonial subjects.
When victory was close for the Free French forces de Gaulle ordered a “whitening” of the troops and replaced 20,000 Africans at the front with white Frenchmen.
The African servicemen were grouped in French centers to await the journey back home. However, they faced discriminatory treatment, and shortages of food, shelter, and other resources. In December of 1944 a protest at a camp in Thiaroye in Senegal involving the first group of ex-POWS to be sent back to West Africa resulted in 35 Africans killed, hundreds wounded, and many sentenced to jail terms. This protest, sometimes known as the “Thiaroye Massacre,” stemmed from French mistreatment and failure to provide back pay.
Material about this event in the database
Number of related articles: 3 Number of related maps: 0 Number of related audio/visual clips: 0 Number of related quotations: 0
To refer someone else to this item, use this URL:
A disclaimer applies to this page.
This page is not part of the official UCC website.
This page is part of a research database of opinions on Palestine and
related topics which is maintained by members
of the UCC Palestine
Solidarity Campaign, which comprises a group of students and
staff in the university. The emphasis in this research project is on
provenance -- we aim to provide as much
information as possible on the background of the people whose
opinions are in the database, so that readers can make up
their own minds on the credibility that they wish to attach to