Page images

of the State to which the station is subject, or independent, and temporarily for all other natives in case of imminent danger; to place the population of the first of these categories in a position to co-operate for their own defense; to diminish intestine wars between tribes by means of arbitration; to initiate them in agricultural labor and in the industrial arts so as to increase their welfare; to raise them to civilization and bring about the extinction of barbarous customs, such as cannibalism, and human sacrifices.

2. To give aid and protection to commercial enterprises; to watch over their legality by especially controlling contracts for service with natives, and to prepare the way for the foundation of permanent centres of cultivation and of commercial settlements.

3. To protect, without distinction of creed, the missions which are already or that may hereafter be established.

4. To provide for the sanitary service and to extend hospitality and help to explorers and to all who take part in Africa in the work of repressing the slave-trade.


The powers exercising a sovereignty or a protectorate in Africa. confirm and give precision to their former declarations, and engage to proceed gradually, as circumstances may permit, either by the means above indicated, or by any other means that they may consider suitable, with the repression of the slave-trade, each State in its respective possessions and under its own direction. Whenever they consider it possible, they shall lend their good offices to such powers as, with a purely humanitarian object, may be engaged in Africa in the fulfillment of a similar mission.


The States exercising sovereign powers or protectorates in Africa may in all cases delegate to companies provided with charters all or a portion of the engagements which they assume in virtue of Article III. They remain, nevertheless, directly responsible for the engagements which they contract by the present act, and guarantee the execution thereof. The powers promise to encourage, aid and protect such national associations and enterprises due to private initiative as may wish to co-operate in their possessions in the repression of the slave-trade, subject to their receiving previous authorization, such authorization being revokable at any time, subject also to their being directed and controlled, and to the exclusion of the exercise of rights of sovereignty.


The contracting powers pledge themselves, unless this has already been provided for by laws in accordance with the spirit of the present article, to enact or propose to their respective legislative bodies, in the course of one year at the latest from the date of the signing of the present general act, a law rendering applicable, on the one hand, the provisions of their penal laws concerning grave offenses against the person, to the organizers and abettors of slave-hunting, to those guilty of mutilating male adults and children, and to all persone taking part in the capture of slaves by violence; and, on the other hand, the provisions relating to offenses against individual liberty, to carriers and transporters of, and to dealers in, slaves.

The accessories and accomplices of the different categories of slave captors and dealers above specified shall be punished with penalties proportionate to those incurred by the principals.

Guilty persons who may have escaped from the jurisdiction of the authorities of the country where the crimes or offenses have been committed shall be arrested either on communication of the incriminating evidence by the authorities who have ascertained the violation of the law, or on production of any other proof of guilt by the power in whose territory they may have been discovered, and shall be kept, without other formality, at the disposal of the tribunals competent to try them.

The powers shall communicate to one another, with the least possible delay, the laws or decrees existing or promulgated in execution of the present Article.


Slaves liberated in consequence of the stoppage or dispersion of a convoy in the interior of the continent, shall be sent back, if circumstances permit, to their country of origin; if not, the local authorities shall facilitate, as much as possible, their means of living, and if they desire it, help them to settle on the spot.


Any fugitive slave claiming, on the continent, the protection of the signatory powers, shall receive it, and shall be received in the camps and stations officially established by said powers, or on board of the vessels of the State plying on the lakes and rivers. Private stations and boats are only permitted to exercise the right of asylum subject to the previous consent of the State.


The experience of all nations that have intercourse with Africa having shown the pernicious and preponderating part played by firearms in operations connected with the slave-trade as well as internal wars between the native tribes; and this same experience having clearly proved that the preservation of the African population whose existence it is the express wish of the powers to protect, is a radical impossibility, if measures restricting the trade in fire-arms and ammunition are not adopted, the powers decide, so far as the present state of their frontiers permits, that the importation of fire-arms, and especially of rifles and improved weapons, as well as of powder, ball and cartridges, is, except in the cases and under the conditions provided for in the following Article, prohibited in the territories comprised between the 20th parallel of North latitude and the 22d parallel of South latitude, and extending westward to the Atlantic Ocean and eastward to the Indian Ocean and its dependencies, including the islands adjacent to the coast within 100 nautical miles from the shore.


The introduction of fire-arms and ammunition, when there shall be occasion to authorize it in the possessions of the signatory powers that exercise rights of sovereignty or of protectorate in Africa, shall be

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

regulated, unless identical or stricter regulations have already been enforced, in the following manner in the zone defined in Article VIII: All imported fire-arms shall be deposited, at the cost, risk and peril of the importers, in a public warehouse under the supervision of the State government. No withdrawal of fire-arms or imported ammunition shall take place from such warehouses without the previous authorization of the said government. This authorization shall, except in the cases hereinafter specified, be refused for the withdrawal of all arms for accurate firing, such as rifles, magazine guns, or breechloaders, whether whole or in detached pieces, their cartridges, caps, or other ammunition intended for them.

In seaports and under conditions affording the needful guarantees, the respective governments may permit private warehouses, but only for ordinary powder and for flint-lock muskets, and to the exclusion of improved arms and ammunition therefor.

Independently of the measures directly taken by governments for the arming of the public force and the organization of their defence, individual exceptions may be allowed in the case of persons furnishing sufficient guarantees that the weapon and ammunition delivered to them shall not be given, assigned or sold to third parties, and for travelers provided with a declaration of their government stating that the weapon and ammunition are intended for their personal defence exclusively.

All arms, in the cases provided for in the preceding paragraph, shall be registered and marked by the supervising authorities, who shall deliver to the persons in question permits to bear arms, stating the name of the bearer and showing the stamp with which the weapon is marked. These permits shall be revocable in case proof is furnished that they have been improperly used, and shall be issued for five years only, but may be renewed.

The above rule as to warehousing shall also apply to gunpowder. Only flint-lock guns, with unrifled barrels, and common gunpowder known as trade powder, may be withdrawn from the warehouses for sale. At each withdrawal of arms and ammunition of this kind for sale, the local authorities shall determine the regions in which such arms and ammunition may be sold. The regions in which the slavetrade is carried on shall always be excluded. Persons authorized to take arms or powder out of the public warehouses, shall present to the State government, every six months, detailed lists indicating the destinations of the arms and powder sold, as well as the quantities still remaining in the warehouses.


The Governments shall take all such measures as they may deem necessary to insure as complete a fulfilment as possible of the provisions respecting the importation, sale and transportation of firearms and ammunition, as well as to prevent either the entry or exit thereof via their inland frontiers, or the passage thereof to regions where the slave-trade is rife.

The authorization of transit within the limits of the zone specified in Article VIII shall not be withheld when the arms and ammunition are to pass across the territory of the signatory or adherent power occupying the coast, towards inland territories under the sovereignty or protectorate of another signatory or adherent power, unless this latter power have direct access to the sea through its own territory.

If this access be wholly interrupted, the authorization of transit can not be withheld. Any application for transit must be accompanied by a declaration emanating from the government of the power having the inland possessions, and certifying that the said arms and ammunition are not intended for sale, but are for the use of the authorities of such power, or of the military forces necessary for the protection of the missionary or commercial stations, or of persons mentioned by name in the declaration. Nevertheless, the territorial power of the coast retains the right to stop, exceptionally and provisionally, the transit of of improved arms and ammunition across its territory, if, in consequence of inland disturbances or other serious danger, there is ground for fearing lest the despatch of arms and ammunition may compromise its own safety.


The powers shall communicate to one another information relating to the traffic in fire-arms and ammunition, the permits granted, and the measures of repression in force in their respective territories.


The powers engage to adopt or to propose to their respective legislative bodies the measures necessary everywhere to secure the punishment of infringers of the prohibitions contained in Articles VIII and IX, and that of their accomplices, besides the seizure and confiscation of the prohibited arms and ammunition, either by fine or imprisonment, or by both of these penalties, in proportion to the importance of the infraction and in accordance with the gravity of each



The signatory powers that have possessions in Africa in contact with the zone specified in Article VIII, bind themselves to take the necessary measures for preventing the introduction of fire-arms and ammunition across their inland frontiers into the regions of said zone. at least that of improved arms and cartridges.


The system stipulated in Articles VIII to XIII, shall remain in force for twelve years. In case none of the contracting parties shall have given notice twelve months before the expiration of this period, of its intention to put an end to it, or shall have demanded its revision, it shall remain obligatory for two years longer, and shall thus continue in force from two years to two years.

CHAPTER II. Caravan Routes and Transportation of Slaves by land.


Independently of the repressive or protective action which they exercise in the centres of the slave-trade, it shall be the duty of the stations, cruisers and posts, whose establishment is provided for in Article II, and of all other stations established or recognized by Article

IV, by each government in its possessions, to watch, so far as circumstances shall permit, and in proportion to the progress of their administrative organization, the roads traveled in their territory by slave-dealers, to stop convoys on their march, or to pursue them wherever their action can be legally exercised.


In the regions of the coasts known to serve habitually as places of passage or terminal points for slave-traffic coming from the interior, as well as at the points of intersection of the principal caravan routes crossing the zone contiguous to the coast already subject to the control of the sovereign or protective powers, posts shall be established under the conditions and with the reservations mentioned in Article III, by the authorities to which the territories are subject, for the purpose of intercepting the convoys and liberating the slaves.


A strict watch shall be organized by the local authorities at the ports and places near the coast, with a view to preventing the sale and shipment of slaves brought from the interior, as well as the formation and departure landwards of bands of slave-hunters and dealers.

Caravans arriving at the coast or in its vicinity, as well as those arriving in the interior at a locality occupied by the territorial power, shall, on their arrival, be subjected to a minute inspection as to the persons composing them. Any such person being ascertained to have been captured or carried off by force, or mutilated, either in his native place or on the way, shall be set free.


In the possessions of each of the contracting powers, it shall be the duty of the government to protect liberated slaves, to return them, if possible, to their country, to procure means of subsistence for them, and, in particular, to take charge of the education and subsequent employment of abandoned children.


The penal arrangements provided for by Article V shall be applicable to all offences committed in the course of operations connected with the transportation of and traffic in slaves on land whenever such offences may be ascertained to have been committed.

Any person having incurred a penalty in consequence of an offence provided for by the present general act, shall incur the obligation of furnishing security before being able to engage in any commercial transaction in countries where the slave-trade is carried on.

CHAPTER III. Repression of the Slave-trade by Sea.

SECTION I. General provisions.


The signatory powers recognize the desirability of taking steps in common for the more effective repression of the slave-trade in the maritime zone in which it still exists.

« PreviousContinue »