Part 1: Setting the Stage
African Yugoslavia: A West African Story



The Beginning and Opening Thoughts



December 1st 1944:
The Thiaorye Massacre was the touchstone that would start a revolution. Senegalese soldiers in French Senegal, staged a mutiny against France, as the nation had neglected to pay its colored veterans of the Second World War. Poor conditions and poor pay by the government caused the mutiny of over 1,300 tirailleurs who were actually a diverse group of soldiers from Guinea, Upper Volta, Sudan, Senegal, Benin, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Central African Republic, and Togo. These former POW’s from the war had placed in a temporary holding camp, and this is when the trouble began. Talks of pay discrepancies and poor conditions around the camp led to a mass mutiny breaking out. The French soldiers, from the 6th Regiment Colonial Artillery, guarding the camp opened fire killing anywhere from an estimated 74 to 300 Colored soldiers.



(This is where the first split in our timeline occurs.)

As the Second World War War is still drawing to a close, the leader of the French Provisional Government, Charles De Gaulle refuses to ensure payment promises and other claims made to colonial soldiers are settled. His focus was that of ending Nazi Germany, and he would not spare any money or time on so called colored soldiers, who many claimed were prone to open revolt anyways.




January 1st 1945: As containment of the massacre continued to spread throughout France’s African colonies, the first protests sprung up in Dakar. Veterans, some enlisted men, and a small colored middle class flooded into the dusty streets, where they clashed with police, and local French colonial forces. Words were exchanged and soldiers claim rocks were throne, prompting them to open fire on the protesters, sending them scattering into alleys and buildings. Whispers throughout the city told of the New Years Massacre, as Dakar experienced a mass exodus of black civilians and intellectuals, and even desertion within their own colonial forces.



One important man who heard the aftermath of the massacres, was Léopold Sédar Senghor, a veteran of the war who had been released for medical reasons, and helped the French resistance felt deeply betrayed by France. Once a relatively moderate African Socialist, and moderately pro-French he turned staunchly against France. He believed that Africa must unite soon, and drive the French out for good. He realized he must return home, Senegal and all of West Africa were and dire straits and he must be there to help guide her.






Explanation and After thought: Hello, Hi, and Howdy, my name is DKing but you may call me DeVante or anything else you wish. This will be my first posting here on alternate history forums, and this has been an idea I’ve had kicking in my brain for a long time now, maybe a year+. This timeline will see a United French West African state (not all of French West Africa mind you) and the development of African socialism, and a truly pan Africanist state. Some may complain about that this is total ASB, and all I ask is that you keep an open mind and try to enjoy. Thank you and have a good evening.
 
Part 2.1: West African War
Part 2: The West African War (1946-1947)





1946-1947:
As word of the French atrocities in West Africa soon began to spread more and more formerly pacified or apathetic African soldiers turned away from France. Some abandoning their posts disappearing in the night with their weapons and clothes.



The worst of the colonies had been Niger and Mauritania. Much of these colonies had been treated as mere military outposts, as exercising civilian control over the deserts of the Agadez, N’guigmi, and Bilma Cercle proved to be impossible in Niger. Mauritania herself had only been recently recognized as a separate appendage from Senegal. France had ceded a lot of nominal rule to local rulers; however, conflicts between tribal hierarchies, French military forces, and civilian government left the colony a jumbled and neglected mess.



It is unsurprising that when things started to go wrong in the region that these colonies would begin to implode first. As word and survivors from the atrocities moved inwards soon more soldiers began to mutiny and desert the army. At this colonial officials response to request from Niger and Mauritania were often a refusal to send more aid, and a refusal to send more men, they were beginning to struggle to hold their own areas together, and they would refuse any more drains on their resources. Thus, slowly through attrition and many soldiers wanting to retire now that the war had ended meant these interior outposts began facing shortages, and then mutiny, followed by entire outposts going dark.



In French Sudan, Modibo Keïta and his Communist Study Groups, would go fully revolutionary, attracting veterans and those disaffected by the war. As their numbers began to swell, attacks on French patrols and outposts to gain more supplies and arms increased. Keïta backed out of French politics fully embracing his role as leader of the largest rebel group in French Sudan.



Léopold Sédar Senghor finally returned to Senegal and immediately began reestablishing ties with local officials and rebels. He quickly positioned himself as an intellectual and leader within the Senegal deserters and the now turned rebels. He used his influence, political acumen, and general popularity among middle class people to bring more money, attention, and experience to the expanding rebellion.



Upper Volta had always been a region hostile to France. Only being pacified in 1912 with the final defeat of the Mossi people and capture of Ouagadougou, Upper Volta as it had been called had been dissolved, redivided and then recreated by the French. Now once again the Mossi people rallied together behind Maurice Nawalagmba Yaméogo, who had originally been moderately pro-peaceful independence, to now full scale uprising. The rebellion began once again in Ouagadougou where the defeat had taken place all those years ago, with the overthrow of a local garrison and collapsing French control over the area.



The French Ivory Coast had originally always been a beacon of stability, the jewel in the French crown right behind Senegal. Large agricultural estates, a pacified native populace, and even popular statesmen, the colony had been a model state. This changed when the rebellions and second world war started. French crackdowns and executions of so called deserters turned more of the populace against them. Even the very pro-French Félix “Le Vieux” Houphouët-Boigny had been accidentally killed when native protests and strikes in Abidjan which he had attempted to become elected to serve in. The death of an extremely respected Doctor and well-beloved rising political star like Houphouët-Boigny only exasperated the situation for France, as the interior become increasingly dangerous for colonists to trek into. The African Agricultural Union, and the Communist Study Groups both merged into one United front led by Tidiane Dem.



Finally, in UN Mandate Togoland and Benin, the instability that now had begun to seep into French control in West Africa, meant that even the relatively quiet colony of Togoland and Benin began to face rumblings as local leaders found French control weakening and wished to seize upon the opportunity.








Afterthought:

Howdy howdy my second post now here on the forums, and as always thank you for reading if you are, I appreciate any and all advice and comments.
 
Keep at this! It's great to see an Afrocentric timeline, and it's always interesting to consider if all of West Africa could've been one super-state.
 
Keep at this! It's great to see an Afrocentric timeline, and it's always interesting to consider if all of West Africa could've been one super-state.
Thanks I appreciate it, I’m not sure if Afro-centrism is what I’m going for. I guess I just always dislike how bare peoples willingness to believe in Alt history Africa. It seems many believe Africa is poor and could only be poor which is just untrue. Thanks for reading though!
 
Not really, it nearly happened after all. Please continue.
Thanks I just like to leave a disclaimer because I know some people like to believe Africa is in a bad shape and only could be. I think by the end of this timeline I’ll have this nation be in a Vietnam level of shape. Sprinkled in with my own beliefs haha
 
Part 2.2: West African War Continued
Part 2.2 The West African War, and African National Meeti



February 1947: By now it was clear France’s hold on Africa was nearing its breaking point, yet none of the various revolutionary groups knew what should happen next? How could one small regionalized revolution appeal to the wider world, and even stand up to France. It was thus decided between the various revolutionary groups that they needed to unify into one singular revolutionary faction. With one common goal.



Invited to this meeting was Léopold Sédar Senghor leading the largest Senegalese Revolution Groups, Louis Lansa Beavogui of the Guinean Democratic Movement, Modibo Keïta of the Sudanese Communist Study Groups, Daniel Ouezzin Coulibaly of the Upper Voltan Bloc, Camille Alliali of the Democratic Party of the Ivory Coast, Hamani Diouri of Niger Progressive Party, Sylvanus Olympio of the Party of Togolese Unity, and finally Hubert Maga of the Dahomey Democratic Rally. Notably, the Arab Socialists of Mauritania and French North Africa would be excluded from invitation. This meeting of the various groups would help formulate an ideological, and national goal for the various revolutionary groups.



Firstly, the unification of the movements. All of various of revolutionary groups would be united under one banner. The People’s Liberation Front of French West Africa would be the name of this new combined rebellion, it would present as one group, make one demand, and present one goal. Secondly, ideology, this new People’s Liberation Front would be greatly influenced by the various leftist ideologies. This Liberation Front would be one leftist unity rebel group, the specifics of ideology would be set for a later date until the French threat could be eliminated. Thirdly, the leadership of this so called Liberation Front. This was the issue that could make or break the entire meeting. Even Louis Lansa Beavogui walked out of the meeting in protest after his bid for the leadership was sunk mid conversation. Eventually, a power sharing agreement a West African Triumvirate would develop. It’s members including Léopold Sédar Senghor as the head ideologue and diplomat, Modibo Keïta serving as the voice of the party, and spokesperson, and finally Daniel Ouezzin Coulibaly helping organize the militia’s within the various groups. The last order of business concerned what the true goal of movement, France leaving was the overarching goal but specifics needed to be hammered out so the movement would be impervious from separate deals by France. A Malian Federation would be the proposed idea, a nation between all the rebel groups and the nations they nearly controlled.




February 1947-December 1950: After this meeting the groups would mobilize into action, across West Africa banded groups of militia would storm armories, infiltrate forts, and turn already mutinous soldiers onto their side. France’s response would be muted, between their soldiers who had just been demobilized not wanting to go back to war, and with almost 200,000 expeditionary forces placed in Indochina. America being hesitant to re-go to war to support French colonial interests which had already been lost in Vietnam. De Gaulle and his conservatives would push for the immediate deployment of soldiers but between defending important rubber resources in Indochina, or West Africa, or Oil in North Africa. France deployed its assets to Indochina and North Africa, while in West Africa their units stayed in Abidjan and Dakar while more and more militia took over the interior. French soldiers clash with the Liberation Front in several major battles as they evacuated personnel and documents. Ouagadougou, Niamey, and Bamako would all see major battles as French units evacuated and pulled out to Dakar and Abidjan. Finally, Soviet officials refused to recognize or support the rebels in West Africa, as Stalin had no interest or belief in African communism, a belief influence and entrenched by casual racism from his foreign ministry.



December 1950: The rapid collapse of France and their evacuation from the interior of West Africa has pushed global attention onto Africa. The United States, France, and Senghor would all sit down to negotiate in New York. Senghor himself arrived in a seized French plane.



Secretary of State Dean Acheson would representing the United States, Minister of the Overseas Jean Letourneau representing France, and Foreign Minister of the rebel government, Léopold Sédar Senghor. The French government wished for status quo though everyone knew that would be impossible. The USA wished to keep Senghor neutral or western aligned, and Senghor wished for independence. After the end of a week long conference a deal would be written up.



France would leave the territories of French Sudan, Upper Volta, Niger, Senegal, Ivory Coast, UN Mandate of Togoland, and Benin. Immediately these lands would be turned over the newly organized rebel group, and it would be allowed to form a National Government. This new national government would promise strict neutrality, and to not join the Soviet Union in any defensive alliances, this new national government would also adopt strict non-interventionism to spread socialism. France would further tack on that this new government could not attempt to influence independence movements in other French colonies, and the new government could not refuse French trade or use of ports. With that, the 1950 Treaty of New York would be signed.


Afterthought: And hello my friends I return, I adopted more of a Yugoslavia policy here for Mali, with 200,000 French soldiers eventually tied up defending Yugoslavia I’d assume they’d wanna keep control over its rubber plantations, than just desert they could barely contain as is. With Mali adopting a pragmatic national policy and with the Soviet Union completely uninterested in Mali, it seems that this nation would shift towards the West much how did Yugoslavia did.
 
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Finally, Soviet officials refused to recognize or support the rebels in West Africa,
Very important, would quiet hardcore communists like Keita and allow charting an independent path.

Senegal, Mali and Burkina is understandable, but how did they kick France out of Niger, Ivory Coast, Togo and Benin?
 
Very important, would quiet hardcore communists like Keita and allow charting an independent path.

Senegal, Mali and Burkina is understandable, but how did they kick France out of Niger, Ivory Coast, Togo and Benin?
Of course they will pursue their own path of communism, but Keïta and the rest of the socialists and communists that make up the Liberation Front, really have no options. Stalin from my recollection wasn’t very interested in any possibilities Africa could supposedly give him. So, they will be forced to compromise with more moderates like the Ivory Coast, and Togoland in order to keep stability. Next post will have power struggles, and purges.
 
Part 2.2 The West African War, and African National Meeti



February 1947: By now it was clear France’s hold on Africa was nearing its breaking point, yet none of the various revolutionary groups knew what should happen next? How could one small regionalized revolution appeal to the wider world, and even stand up to France. It was thus decided between the various revolutionary groups that they needed to unify into one singular revolutionary faction. With one common goal.



Invited to this meeting was Léopold Sédar Senghor leading the largest Senegalese Revolution Groups, Louis Lansa Beavogui of the Guinean Democratic Movement, Modibo Keïta of the Sudanese Communist Study Groups, Daniel Ouezzin Coulibaly of the Upper Voltan Bloc, Camille Alliali of the Democratic Party of the Ivory Coast, Hamani Diouri of Niger Progressive Party, Sylvanus Olympio of the Party of Togolese Unity, and finally Hubert Maga of the Dahomey Democratic Rally. Notably, the Arab Socialists of Mauritania and French North Africa would be excluded from invitation. This meeting of the various groups would help formulate an ideological, and national goal for the various revolutionary groups.



Firstly, the unification of the movements. All of various of revolutionary groups would be united under one banner. The People’s Liberation Front of French West Africa would be the name of this new combined rebellion, it would present as one group, make one demand, and present one goal. Secondly, ideology, this new People’s Liberation Front would be greatly influenced by the various leftist ideologies. This Liberation Front would be one leftist unity rebel group, the specifics of ideology would be set for a later date until the French threat could be eliminated. Thirdly, the leadership of this so called Liberation Front. This was the issue that could make or break the entire meeting. Even Louis Lansa Beavogui walked out of the meeting in protest after his bid for the leadership was sunk mid conversation. Eventually, a power sharing agreement a West African Triumvirate would develop. It’s members including Léopold Sédar Senghor as the head ideologue and diplomat, Modibo Keïta serving as the voice of the party, and spokesperson, and finally Daniel Ouezzin Coulibaly helping organize the militia’s within the various groups. The last order of business concerned what the true goal of movement, France leaving was the overarching goal but specifics needed to be hammered out so the movement would be impervious from separate deals by France. A Malian Federation would be the proposed idea, a nation between all the rebel groups and the nations they nearly controlled.




February 1947-December 1950: After this meeting the groups would mobilize into action, across West Africa banded groups of militia would storm armories, infiltrate forts, and turn already mutinous soldiers onto their side. France’s response would be muted, between their soldiers who had just been demobilized not wanting to go back to war, and with almost 200,000 expeditionary forces placed in Indochina. America being hesitant to re-go to war to support French colonial interests which had already been lost in Vietnam. De Gaulle and his conservatives would push for the immediate deployment of soldiers but between defending important rubber resources in Indochina, or West Africa, or Oil in North Africa. France deployed its assets to Indochina and North Africa, while in West Africa their units stayed in Abidjan and Dakar while more and more militia took over the interior. French soldiers clash with the Liberation Front in several major battles as they evacuated personnel and documents. Ouagadougou, Niamey, and Bamako would all see major battles as French units evacuated and pulled out to Dakar and Abidjan. Finally, Soviet officials refused to recognize or support the rebels in West Africa, as Stalin had no interest or belief in African communism, a belief influence and entrenched by casual racism from his foreign ministry.



December 1950: The rapid collapse of France and their evacuation from the interior of West Africa has pushed global attention onto Africa. The United States, France, and Senghor would all sit down to negotiate in New York. Senghor himself arrived in a seized French plane.



Secretary of State Dean Acheson would representing the United States, Minister of the Overseas Jean Letourneau representing France, and Foreign Minister of the rebel government, Léopold Sédar Senghor. The French government wished for status quo though everyone knew that would be impossible. The USA wished to keep Senghor neutral or western aligned, and Senghor wished for independence. After the end of a week long conference a deal would be written up.



France would leave the territories of French Sudan, Upper Volta, Niger, Senegal, Ivory Coast, UN Mandate of Togoland, and Benin. Immediately these lands would be turned over the newly organized rebel group, and it would be allowed to form a National Government. This new national government would promise strict neutrality, and to not join the Soviet Union in any defensive alliances, this new national government would also adopt strict non-interventionism to spread socialism. France would further tack on that this new government could not attempt to influence independence movements in other French colonies, and the new government could not refuse French trade or use of ports. With that, the 1950 Treaty of New York would be signed.


Afterthought: And hello my friends I return, I adopted more of a Yugoslavia policy here for Mali, with 200,000 French soldiers eventually tied up defending Yugoslavia I’d assume they’d wanna keep control over its rubber plantations, than just desert they could barely contain as is. With Mali adopting a pragmatic national policy and with the Soviet Union completely uninterested in Mali, it seems that this nation would shift towards the West much how did Yugoslavia did.
WHat are the gambians going to do? No confederation. Could this lead to a pedi nori government in Algeria?
 
WHat are the gambians going to do? No confederation. Could this lead to a pedi nori government in Algeria?
Gambia may be a source of tension and crisis in the future especially as the British Empire starts to fracture especially during the Suez Crisis, we’ll have to wait and see.
 
Successful rebellion in French Africa has just changed the entire state of Colonialism. Even hardcore Imperialists of Europe will see the writing on the board, Portugal esp. will have it tough.
 
Thanks I appreciate it, I’m not sure if Afro-centrism is what I’m going for. I guess I just always dislike how bare peoples willingness to believe in Alt history Africa. It seems many believe Africa is poor and could only be poor which is just untrue.
Is just untrue. But with socialists and communists on power on this TL must be poor. That or ASB discussion.
 
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Is just untrue. But with socialists and communists on power on this TL must be poor. That or ASB discussion.
I think I’m struggling to understand what you’re saying but if you’re implying socialism is promising economic ruin then you’re simply wrong and I’d ask you to keep your personal ideological opinions at the door
 
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