West Africa suffered much cruelty in the hands of the Europeans, but never was a time more dreaded than the days of Paul Voulet and Julien Chanoine. These two French ambassadors were sent on a mission to Africa but ended up fulfilling their evil desires. They perpetrated terrible acts so severe the French government regretted sending them on the mission.
The duo committed several atrocities throughout West Africa which include the burning of settlements to ashes, rape, murdering of local people. When France tried putting them under subjection both ended up killing the appointed French governor sent and proclaiming their territories self-governing with themselves as the only authority.
Paul and Julien continued with their vicious acts and subdued several kingdoms they crossed their path.
But that was until they went for the Azna people. The Azna kingdom was just like a regular kingdom, headed by a woman at that time, and no one thought they would stand a chance against the French troops. But to many amazementz, the queen of Anza put up a fierce fight that the French had to leave these people alone.
Although, some attributed her triumph victory to a sorcerer or perhaps was myopic to acknowledge the power of a determined lady.
Before the French troops arrived, the Anza had faced hostility from their neighbors, especially the Fulani people. The Fulani had taken up Islam, which they wanted to enforce the Anza people to practice it.
When the Fulani realized that the Anza were not ready to accept Islam and that they had no intention denounce their traditional faith, they waged war against them. But under the critical leadership lf Sarraounia Mangou, the Anza emerged victorious and managed to keep the Fulani and their religion at bay.
After the victory the queen sought peace with the Fulani, revealing to them that she had no intent. While the Anza people were warring with the Fulani, the Anza also faced another threat, the Turengs, who was another neighboring tribe. The Tuerags were a nomadic people living in the Sahara Desert.
Again, the queen was able to deal with the Turengs and signed a peace treaty with them, allowing them to trade freely .
The French troops had the intention of taking over the land and ruling as a dictator. They were a foreign force trying to make itself as the only authority in the area.
After a while, Sarraounia thought that as she had managed to make peace with the Turengs and the Anza. Unfortunately, meeting with Julien Chanoine and Paul Voulet did not turn out the way it was planned. Upon meeting the two and their troops made it clear that they intended to attack the people of Anza and establish their authority over them.
In a bid to avoid the war, the queen even went as far suggesting other passages through which they could travel, but the duo refused to listen or change their minds.
Sarraounia, who was weary at first decided to reach out to her neighbors, the Fulani and the Tuaregs for their help of which they turned down the request.
On the 16 th of April 1889, it was reported that the French had a lot of clash with the Anza warriors. The French troops figured that they would find a weak band of warriors only to meet a well prepared army of Azana. The two sides engaged in a fierce battle all they long.
Sundown, the French managed to force a retreat from Azna with that heavy gunfire, after seeing the imminent win of the enemy, Sarraounia commanded her remaining soldiers to retreat to the bushes.
She got lucky due to the familiarity they all had with the bushes. They were able to save themselves from Paul and Voulet.
The next day, Sarraounia reorganized her people and adopted the guerilla formation of attacking when the French least expected it.
History says that the queen would raid the French in the middle of the mid-night. Apparently, she and her soldiers would appear from the thickets and attack, slaughtering every French soldiers and disappearing quickly
Stories of the queen’s magical powers quickly spread abroad through the French camps, causing many of the fighters to abandon in fear. Not long after, the mission against Sarraounia was terminated as troops went home and the Anza were able to live in peace once more.
Paul and Voulet didn’t last long thereafter, the two got assassinated by their own soldiers. As for Sarraounia Mangou, one thing was clear about her. She was a strong woman. Unlike other rulers of the region which quickly gave in to the French, Sarraounia Mangou of the Niger stood her ground and saved her people from oppression. And once again, the black woman had demonstrated the power within her.