Northern Africa 1906: Conquest of the Sahara

Political map of Northern Africa on 12 Feb 1906 (Scramble for Africa: Conquest of the Sahara), showing the following events: Algerian-AOF line; Karma revolt; Algeciras Conference; Occupation of Agadez; Ottoman intervention in Tibesti; Ubangi-Shari-Chad.

The first French military expeditions crossed the Sahara in 1900, defeating the Ahaggar Tuareg in 1902. However, it was not until 1906 that the French sent a permanent occupation force to Agadez and thereby secured their control of trans-Saharan trade to the west of the Tibesti Mountains.

Main Events

7 Jun 1905 Algerian-AOF line

The French Colonial Office defined the boundary between the Southern Territories of Algeria and French West Africa, drawing a line from Cape Draa in Morocco to the south of the Hoggar Mountains. The delimitation eased the rivalry between the two French colonies, but by specifying Cape Draa, it assumed that this part of Morocco would inevitably fall under French control. Further adjustments would be made during the Niamey Conventions of June and August wikipedia

? Dec 1905–? Mar 1906 Karma revolt

Rejecting French-imposed taxation and the reorganization of native societies in the Niger, Oumarou Karma launched a peasant revolt in the Niger River valley. In an attempt to disrupt French communications, Karma ordered the destruction of telegraph lines and attacked convoys; the French responded with a four-column offensive from Dori, Gao, Tahoua, and Zinder. Defeating Karma’s forces in open battle, the French drove him into the Zarmaganda, where he was killed in March wikipedia

16 Jan–7 Apr 1906 Algeciras Conference

In response to the Moroccan Crisis of 1905, representatives of Germany, France, Britain, the United States, Morocco, Russia, and a number of other European states met at Algeciras, Spain, to discuss the future of Morocco. The conference concluded by confirming Morocco’s independence, thereby rejecting French attempts to establish a protectorate over the country. However, France’s special position in the country was recognized, with France and Spain having rights to advise and regulate the Moroccan wikipedia

? ?? 1906–1 Aug 1907 Occupation of Agadez

French troops occupied the Sultanate of Agadez, securing control of the Aïr Mountains and the route between Algeria and Niger. When Sultan Othman Ben Abdel Qadr proved uncooperative, he was deposed and replaced with the exiled former sultan, Ibrahim ed-Dasouqy, on 1 August 1907. Ed-Dasouqy’s new reign would only last into 1908, when the French lost patience and replaced him in turn with Abd-Er-Rahman wikipedia

1906–1911 Ottoman intervention in Tibesti

Concerned about the growing French presence in the Tibesti, the Ottoman governor of Tripolitania met with Derde Chai of Tibesti in 1906–1907 and re-established the kaza of the Toubou Reshada, granting Chai a monthly payment as administrator. A token force of two Ottoman soldiers and a flag was sent to Bardai; this presence was expanded in around 1910 as Ottoman garrisons were established in both Bardai and Zouar. Responding to a Senussi request, more Ottoman troops were sent to the region in wikipedia

11 Feb 1906 Ubangi-Shari-Chad

The French colony of Ubangi-Shari was merged with the French Military Territory of Chad to form the Ubangi-Shari-Chad colony. The amalgamated colony would last until 1916 when—having joined French Equatorial Africa in 1910—Ubangi-Shari and Chad were again wikipedia