The 1958 Referendum in French Sub-Saharan Africa

In most of France’s colonial territories in sub-Saharan Africa there was a massive ‘yes’ vote, with over 90% of those who turned out to vote voting in favour of joining the French Community. The two exceptions were Guinée, where over 95% of those voting voted ‘No’ to the Community, and Niger, where the turnout was low (only 37%) and just 78% of those who turned out to vote voted ‘Yes’ to the Community. Here a prominent Nigerien historian says that, if the elections had been free and fair, ‘No’ would have won.

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