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King Musa Molloh Baldeh of Fulladu
 
Senegambian Kingdoms

Part I 

Introduction:
Musa Molloh was a warrior King of Fulladu and leader of the Fulani independence movement in the Senegambia region in the late 19th century.

At the height of Molloh's reign he ruled over 45 provinces in what later became areas in parts of Gambia, Senegal, Guinea and Guinea Bissau (West Africa). It was skirted by the Gambia River to the north and to the south it extended to the Cacheo River and continued at some points to the Rio Geba in present Guinea-Bissau.

Taking opportunity over the grievances of the Fula living under oppressive Mandinka rule and the leadership gap left by the raids of Fode Kaba on the south bank of the Gambia River, Musa Molloh and his army of 20,000 soldiers moved through Niamina, Tumana, Jimara, Europina then south onto the Portuguese territory of Casamance. Coming back to The Gambia in 1879 he came over with the alliance of 2 leaders of significant Fulani states: Bakari Saada of Bundu and Alpha Ibrahima, Almamy of Timbo. Fighting together they captured Kantora, Niani and Wuli. The majority of the Mandinkas had fled before he reached these areas and as a result the areas now became jointly known as Fulladu.

Colonial Involvement:
Towards the end of the 19th century the British and French were making attempts to get control of the inland area of Senegambia which made Molloh's job of maintaining his authority on his newly acquired lands more complicated.

The French though saw in him a useful ally that they could control to govern vast areas of land by proxy. In 1883 he signed a treaty with the French putting Fulladu under French protection. In 1894 the he agreed to divide half the taxes collected in Fulladu between himself and the colonial government as well as allowing them to build a post on his lands at Amdallai.

Despite the outward appearance of co-operation Musa was playing a game of double dealing diplomacy and was in discussions with the British as well.  He tried to play one side against another.

When the French realised this they coerced him to sign another treaty in 1897 in which they had total control over him and he was answerable to them for all his decisions. However, relations remained strained until in 1903 he was told to go to Saint Louis in Senegal over charges of misconduct. He refused to go and promptly burned down Amdallai's building and took the population with him to today's Gambian part of Fulladu which was under British protection. He later settled in Kesser Kunda near Janjangbureh where he lived for many years.

In 1919 things deteriorated when some of his womenfolk complained to Cameron, the then British Governor about Musa Molloh's mistreatment and even murder of some of them. He was later arrested in Banjul and exiled to Sierra Leone until 1923 when he was allowed back to The Gambia on the condition that he did not get involved in any government business. He died in 1931 at Kesser Kunda.

Part I
 

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