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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'War came from the boma': military and police disturbances in Blantyre, 1902
Author:Morrow, SeanISNI
Periodical:The Society of Malawi Journal
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Malawi
Central Africa
Great Britain
labour force
Imperialism, Colonialism
British Central Africa Protectorate
Historical analysis
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/29778598
Abstract:This paper concerns disturbances in the Blantyre area of the British Central Africa Protectorate, now Malawi, in October 1902, which occurred when units of the Kings African Rifles were on their way to Blantyre to embark for Somaliland. These disturbances were the subject of a judicial enquiry in early November of the same year which caused considerable interest and controversy amongst the settler community, and which was largely concerned with outrages allegedly committed by the soldiers and by the Blantyre police. The enquiry made clear that the origin of the disturbances lay in the struggle over labour supplies between the settlers in the Blantyre area and the government. Labour, for agricultural work and for transport, was the settlers' main concern. But the mobilization of soldiers for Somaliland relied entirely on human porters for transport. The settlers, angered by the use of the State's power to seize labour, and also by the treatment of the villagers, were supported by the missionaries of the Blantyre Mission, notably by its leader, A. Hetherwick. Their opponent was Judge J.J. Nunan, chairman of the court of enquiry, who articulated the anger of the Administration at what was seen as the settlers' hypocritical self-interest in the face of imperial necessity. Notes, ref.