Postage stamps and postal history of French Sudan

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Stamp bearing Louis Léon César Faidherbe (1818-1889). Note Dahomey imprint at bottom.

French Sudan (Soudan Francais) was established in the late nineteenth century and occupied roughly the same territory as modern Mali.[1] Later, various constituent parts were separated by the French colonial authorities and subsequently rejoined again and the territory became known as French West Africa with stamps marked Afrique Occidentale Française.


A postcard bearing a 5 centime stamp with the Louis Léon César Faidherbe portrait

The French colonial territories federated into French West Africa (AEF) in 1895 issued their own postage stamps until 1943. In many cases the stamps were inscribed with the name of the federation as well as the colony's own name. These included Mauritania, Senegal, French Sudan (now Mali), French Guinea (now Guinea), Côte d'Ivoire, Niger, Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso) and Dahomey (now Benin). In 1943 and 1944, stamps of Senegal and Mauritania were overprinted with new values and valid throughout French West Africa. The first issues printed specifically for the federation were the Eboue common design type and a definitive series depicting colonial soldiers, both in 1945.

A series of 1947 featured 19 scenes and people of the various colonies, then during the 1950s there were about 30 various commemoratives. The last issue inscribed "Afrique occidentale française" and "RF" was the Human Rights issue of December 1958. It was followed by a Stamp Day issue on March 21, 1959, which omitted the federation's name and was inscribed "CF" along with "Dakar-Abidjan".

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References and sources[edit]

  1. ^ Rossiter, Stuart & John Flower. The Stamp Atlas. London: Macdonald, 1986, pp.317-319. ISBN 0-356-10862-7

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