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<firstname.lastname@example.org> I hope the kind readers of H-Africa will pardon me for reviving an old discussion thread, but in looking again at Amidu Magasa's recently republished book on forced labor and migration for the Office du Niger in French Soudan,* I was reminded of the discussion on this list of slaveries, slavery in Africa, and the relative roles of Europeans and Africans in the slave trade. Most readers are probably more familiar with this topic than I (who am not a historian), but in retrospect, I'm a little surprised it didn't come up already (at least as far as I noticed). The French formally abolished slavery in their African colonies but instituted "travail force" in order to accomplish certain projects. The use of forced labor was framed in terms of conscription, but descriptions recorded by Magasa evoque those of slavery in many ways (permanent displacement from homes, being tied to the land, very poor food and shelter, high mortality rates [including suicide]). Indeed by the 1930s there was international condemnation of the practice. I realize one could make this discussion even broader by considering the use of indentured labor by colonial powers and even other forms of sevitude like serfdom, but was interested in focusing on whether the perpetration of forced labor in colonized Africa might shed a different light on the relative African and European roles in the history of slavery. Forced labor would not have existed without an explicit European policy to implement it, yet it was implemented through local leaders who were obliged to choose individuals or families to be shipped off to work on some project or settle in a particular area, and sanctions for individuals, families, communities who did not acquiesce were often severe. Was this a sort of continuation of European and African roles in slavery, albeit on a smaller scale, in occupied Africa? * (_Papa commandant a jete un grand filet devant nous: les exploites des rives du Niger, 1900-1962_ [Paris: Maspero, 1978], republished earlier this year by Fondation Yeredon, Segou, Mali)