The French Voulet-Chanoine Mission, or Central African-Chad Mission, was dispatched to Africa by the French government in the late 1800s to terrorize and conquer the territories between the Niger River and Lake Chad and knock together all French territories in West Africa. It was led by captains Paul Voulet and Julien Chanoine.
According to history, after leaving French Sudan in January 1899, they showed their heartlessness and treated the indigenous people inhumanely.
Until they met Sarraounia Mangou, they were unstoppable.
Sarraounia (a title suggesting a female chief or a lineage of female rulers) was the late-nineteenth-century Queen of the Azna, a Hausa subgroup who ruled in the Niger Republic.
Because she was born with yellow eyes like a panther, the panther became the Azna’s symbol.
After her father’s death, she was crowned queen at the age of 20.
Sarraounia, who was said to have sorcerous abilities, had waged conflicts on behalf of her people before the French invasion.
She drove off the Tuareg, who tried to raid her hamlet on several occasions, and subsequently the Fulani, who intended to convert the Azna to Islam.
She asked for their assistance in fighting a common adversary, the French because she had often negotiated peace with both tribes, but they refused.
She then gathered her soldiers and resources to meet the French forces of the Voulet–Chanoine Mission, who attacked her fortress capital of Lougou with ferocity.
The Voulet-Chanoine Mission encountered the biggest army in the Battle of Lougou in 1899, and numerous men were killed in the battle.
Sarraounia and her people also raided the French on a nightly basis, emerging from the practically impenetrable thicket where the Azna defended themselves when facing a superior adversary, according to historians. Following the raid, they vanished into the jungle.
Many soldiers on the French side abandoned the camp when word spread about the Queen’s supernatural abilities. The majority of them were Africans who were compelled to serve.
The raids ended finally, and the expedition commanders Voulet and Chanoine were killed by their own soldiers three months later for refusing to accept orders from France and other atrocities.
However, many people still blamed their deaths on Sarraounia’s magical abilities.
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