History of the Sahara

Historical overview:

 1912: Start of french protectorate in the Morocco. Battle of Sidi Bouatmane: The French army crushed the revolt of Ahmed El HIBA. A man stands out in this battle: Sidi Mohamed Ould Sidi Khalil. He realized very early that in front of the French army with its aircraft and its tanks, the bouchfars and the rudimentary guns, are not enough to stop the French occupation, disguised in protectorate. He uttered a famous phrase, prescient, to the surviving, animated by their faith but exhausted: "the plane is the best mount and the best mortar weapon!

1913, sidi Mohamed Ould Sidi Khalil, sets a course for Timbuktu, thinking that the french are not have feet yet. He developed a prosperous caravan trade between the mythical city and me hamid El Ghozlane. Before the Kasbah of Sidi Khalil, twice a year, the 1000 to 2000 camel caravans gathered to perform a 2 month journey to reach Timbuktu with their merchandise from Fez and Marrakech: tea, sugar, fabrics, copper and European products. Back with sub-Saharan goods, salt from Taoudenni especially, but also gold and slaves sometimes.

1920-1930: reign on me hamid and control of the caravan trade:

Ramco becomes the master of the caravan trade and even managed to ensure the exclusivity of the salt trade in the two axes: Taoudenni-Timbuctu and Taoudenni-me hamid.

Flanked by a formidable and effective caravaneer, Idir, they organise this trade in the 1920s, and Sidi Mohamed became one of the notable respected and feared in Timbuktu.

A me hamid, it restores the old Kasbah de Sidi Khalil, challenge to the sand and wind, are building a Citadel overlooking the Palm Grove of me hamid. The Summit of this citadel bordj, look shaved the great desert Hamada South, before crashing on the small Errich chain, near the Oasis of Zair.

1927: The Caid of Taoudenni, Sid El Mohktair, runs at point-blank french Lieutenant excited: Aurélien de Sèze. It is the first act of resistance to the french in their grip on Western Sahara

1928: Idir murdered an officer french, too sure of him, at his trial for weapons smuggling and insubordination to Taoudenni in the french

1930: Assassination of Sidi Mohamed Ould Sidi Khalil to me Hall by a commando of 5 persons belonging to the tribe of Aït Kankuri wishing to occupy me hamid by eliminating his master

1930-1932: fierce civil war between Aït Kankuri, supported by a large part of the tribe of Arib (Nouaji and Leguassem, inter alia) and the Sidi Khalil family supported by Oulad Bouden and Lebbadine.

Leguassem, the pious and Warrior of the Arib, allied to the Aït Khabbache. A fearsome Warrior El Guassmi Hammadi Ould Abdulai, encyclopedia of the desert, controlling the gun, the nomadic way of life, astrology, natural medicine, and all dialects of the nomads in the Sahara, distinguished himself in this war which represented to him a resistance to the french first. His alliance with the Ait Kankuri who fought the french Tafilalet and Jbel Saghro is justified to prevent the last lock in southern Morocco, me hamid, do not fall into their hand thus opening their domination in the Sahara, the last confines of the Anti atlas, southern-Sahel and Mauritania. Reducing the space of freedom to the ancestral nomadic lifestyle. However, he was unaware as all other allies of the Aït Kankuri the real motive of these, pandering to a looting and a hand placed on properties of the peaceful inhabitants of me hamid. Everything behind the praiseworthy pretext of fight against the french.

1932: Intervention by the french for the conquest of me hamid and the pacification of the Hamada d Draa. Defeat of Ait Kankuri and their allies

El Guassmi Hammadi Ould Abdul Rahman decided to leave with his family I hamid to go to Western Sahara and Mauritania. His daughter Lehjeila, born in 1926, followed him like his shadow, thirsty for knowledge and curiosity about everything…

Hammadi Ould Abdul Rahman settled near Smara, large nomadic centre

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