December 1, 1944 – December 1, 2020. Thiaroye massacre. Duty of remembrance and justice.
76 years ago, near Dakar, the Thiaroye massacre took place. On December 1, 1944, the French army surrounded the Thiaroye military camp in Senegal. Senegalese infantrymen await their demobilization there after having fought in French uniforms throughout the war. They are demanding payment of their balance which was not paid to them during the occupation. Tensions are mounting with General Dagnan in command of the army there. The skirmishers are regrouped then surrounded by the soldiers. The army then opens fire. The official toll is 35 dead and 35 wounded, but we know today that the number of skirmishers killed is much higher. The survivors are tried, condemned for mutiny then amnestied in 1947. The amnesty does not exonerate them.
To this day, their innocence remains unrecognized and Thiaroye’s widows have never received a pension.
Even if the President of the Republic François Hollande officially handed over the archives to Senegal in 2012, things have still not changed since.
The French state must recognize this massacre and assume its responsibilities. To do this, he must restore all the archives, give a sincere assessment of the number of dead, reveal the place of their burial, name these men who have been killed, amnesty and pardon those who have been condemned, rehabilitate these skirmishers in paying them a solemn homage.
Today, nothing can be opposed to the exhumation of the bodies, the granting of the mention “death for France”, the lawsuit in revision and the reimbursement of the sums looted.
This dark part of French history remains a sensitive subject that it is time to recognize today.
Do not forget…