Prison of the Annamites

Prison of the Annamites (French: Bagne des Annamites or Camp Crique Anguille) is a former prison in the commune of Montsinéry-Tonnegrande in French Guiana. The prison was built for Annamite prisoners who had revolted against French rule. The purpose of the prison was to develop the Inini territory.[1] The prison was in operation between 1931 and 1944.

Prison of the Annamites
Camp Crique Anguille
Annamite prison cell.jpg
Prison cell
Prison of the Annamites is located in French Guiana
Prison of the Annamites
Location within French Guiana
General information
Town or cityTonnegrande
CountryFrench Guiana
Coordinates4°49′33″N 52°30′59″W / 4.82587°N 52.51642°W / 4.82587; -52.51642Coordinates: 4°49′33″N 52°30′59″W / 4.82587°N 52.51642°W / 4.82587; -52.51642
OpenedApril 1931[1]
Closed6 December 1944

BackgroundEdit

On 10 February 1930, Annamite soldiers, in what is nowadays called Vietnam, revolted against French rule during the Yên Bái mutiny.[2] 13 soldiers were guillotined,[3] and the remainder were to be exiled.[2] In February 1931, circa 100 political prisoners and circa 400 common law convicts, boarded the Martinière [fr] for French Guiana. The prisoners were first put in a prison in Cayenne, but revolted again.[2]

On 6 June 1930, the territory of Inini had been established to develop the interior of French Guiana separately from the coastal area.[4]

OverviewEdit

In April 1931,[1] it was decided to move the Annamites to three camps: a forest camp in Apatou, Petit Saut, and Camp Crique Anguille. Of the 535 prisoners,[5] 395 were sent to Camp Crique Anguille.[2] to serve as a labour force for the Inini territory.[5] Senegalese Tirailleurs were brought in to guard and oversee the prisoners.[6] When the prisoners arrived, there was nothing at the site, and they had to built the prison themselves.[7] The camp measured 414 hectares (1,020 acres), and the main purpose was the construction of a railway line linking all three camps.[2]

In 1937 the prisoners revolved.[8] In 1940, the Senegalese troops were replaced by French Guianan soldiers.[2] On 6 December 1944, the camp was closed, and the prisoners were moved to the normal prisons. The first group was released in July 1946, however some had to wait until August 1953.[9]

Current situationEdit

 
Entrance to the camp

In 2012, a 202 hectares area around the camp was designated as a protected area, because it is home to bactris nancibaensis, a rare palm, and the Amazonian royal flycatcher.[10] The site has an IUCN category IV status,[11] and is administered by Conservatoire du littoral.[10]

The camp was difficult to access. In 2013, a trail was built linking the camp to the RD5 road. The camp has been opened for visitors.[1]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d "Visitez les vestiges du Bagne des Annamites". Jumbo Car (in French). Retrieved 25 March 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Le bagne des Annamites". A la croisée des chemins (in French). Retrieved 25 March 2021.
  3. ^ Rettig, Tobias (November 2002). "French military policies in the aftermath of the Yên Bay mutiny, 1930: old security dilemmas return to the surface". South East Asia Research. 10 (3): 316. doi:10.5367/000000002101297099. S2CID 144236613.
  4. ^ "Création de territoire en Guyane françaises". Journal officiel de la Guyane française via Bibliothèque Nationale de France (in French). 6 June 1930. Retrieved 25 March 2021.
  5. ^ a b Donet-Vincent 2001, p. 215.
  6. ^ Donet-Vincent 2001, p. 217.
  7. ^ "Prison Railways in French Guiana, 2014". International Steam. Retrieved 25 March 2021.
  8. ^ Donet-Vincent 2001, p. 218.
  9. ^ Donet-Vincent 2001, p. 220.
  10. ^ a b "Bagne des Annamites". Conservatoire d’Espaces Naturels de Guyane (in French). Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  11. ^ "Bagne Des Annamites". Protected Planet. Retrieved 25 March 2021.

BibliographyEdit