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“Dead By France”: A Comic Strip Honouring Senegalese Riflemen

To rehabilitate the honor of the tirailleurs of the Thiaroye massacre in Senegal, the comic “Death by France” traces the story. For twenty years, the historian Armelle Mabon has been investigating to restore the truth about the massacre in 1944 of Senegalese tirailleurs who perished in Thiaroye camp.

This comic strip removes any ambiguity on the fight to “rehabilitate the skirmishers killed by the French army,” informs the comics. This book, co-written by Pat Perna and Nicolas Otero, is for them “the most difficult book to make, but the most wonderful too”.

“Murdered, convicted, betrayed … And the fight of a life, that of Armelle Mabon. Without arms, without violence with just his conviction and his ethics. I am thinking of Biram Senghor and his children, Barka Ba, Dialo Diop, Dakar history students, who are fighting to keep alive the memory of their glorious ancestors ”

The release of this comic was made Wednesday, May 2, in the edition the Arena.


“While France is in its last months of war, the French army has just committed the irreparable. French soldiers fired on their brothers-in-arms, Senegalese riflemen, former prisoners of war all just repatriated, who demanded the payment of their balances. The balance is heavy. Thirty-five killed, according to the authorities at the time, “reads the comics.

A dusty colonial episode

Nearly 74 years after this dark episode in the history of France, Pat Perna and Nicolas Otera clear the thunderbolt of the thirsty for truth.

Screenwriter Pat Perna explains that he “had never heard of it like the vast majority of French people”. “Whereas when you go to Senegal and Dakar in particular, everyone knows this story.

It’s really a gaping wound that continues to poison our relationship with many African countries. ” To find out Pat Perna’s motives, he says: “I am thinking especially of Biram Senghor, the son of one of the tirailleurs. He has always been waiting for one thing: to recover his father’s body and to bury him with dignity. It would be wonderful to be able to say to him: “Here it is settled”


Written by How Africa

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