A Modern History of the Sudan: From the Funj Sultanate to the Present Day

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A Modern History of the Sudan: From the Funj Sultanate to the Present Day

Table of contents :
Introduction: The Background to Modem Sudanese History
1 The Land and the People
2 Before the Turco-Egyptian Conquest
Part I: The Turco-Egyptian Period: 1820-81
3 The Inauguration of the Turco-Egyptian Regime :
4 Settlement and Stagnation: 1825-62
5 The Era of Khedive Isma'il: 1862-81
Part II: The Mahdist State: 1881-98
6 The Mahdist Revolution: 1881-85
7 The Reign of the Khalifa ‘Abdallah!: 1885-98
Part III: The Anglo-Egyptian Condominium: 1899-1955
8 The Era of Kitchener and Wingate: 1899-1918
9 Revolt and Reaction: 1919-33
10 The Rise of Sudanese Nationalism: 1934-52
11 Self-Government and Self-Determination: 1933- 1955
Part IV: The Republic of the Sudan
12 The Parliamentary Regime: 1956-58
13 The Army Coup and Military Government
14 Culture and Education in the Sudan

Citation preview



SUDAN From the Funj Sultanate to the Present Day

P. M . H O L T Reader in the History o f the Near and Middle East University o f London


1961 by P. M. Holt






Introduction: The Background to Modem Sudanese History




The Land and the People


The territories comprising the modem Sudan— The tribes o f the Sudas—The ancient trade-routes 2

Before the Turco-Egyptian Conquest


The coming o f the Arabs—The Funj sultanate— The Ottoman fringe— Darfur—The establishment of Islam in the Sudan P a rti: The Turco-Egyptian Period: 18 20-81 3

The Inauguration o f the Turco-Egyptian Regim e : 1820-25



Settlement and Stagnation: 1825-62



The E ra o f K hedive Ism a'il: 18 6 2-8 1


Part I I : The Mabdist State: 1881-98 6

The Mahdist Revolution: 188 1-8 5



The Reign o f the Khalifa ‘A bdallah!:1885-98


Part I I I : The Anglo-Egyptian Condominium: 1899-1955 8

The E ra o f Kitchener and W ingate:18 9 9 -19 18



R evolt and Reaction: 19 19 -33


The R ise o f Sudanese Nationalism : 1934-52


ro ii

Self-Governm ent and Self-Determ ination: 19 3 3 1955 v



Part I V : The Republic o f the Sudan 12

The Parliamentary Regim e: 1956-58

17 1


The A rm y Coup and M ilitary Governm ent


Conclusion 14

Culture and Education in the Sudan

19 1




2 13

A select bibliography o f w orks in English






The Land and the "People 1

Ferryboat at D ongola (JPboto: D t J. F. E. Bloss)


Saqia beside the N ile in N ubia (Photo: D r J . F. E. Bloss)


A street in Suakin, die ancient Red Sea port (Photo: M r McBain)


A market scene in Kasala (Photo: M r McBain)


Beja tribesmen o f the R ed Sea H ills (Photo: D r J. F. E. Bloss)


A fam ily o f Baqqara (Photo: D r J . F. E. Bloss)


Ploughing in die Geaita, die plain between the White and Blue N iles ([Photo: M r McBain)


A Fu r fam ily (Photo: D r J . F. E. Bloss)


Shilluk in an atnbatch (reed-pith) canoe (Photo: D r J . F. E. Bloss)

Under Turco-Egyptian Rule

10 The casde of the kings of Shendi 11 Makk Nasr al-Din (176 w . 1837) 12 Sennarini82i ([Photo: Griffith Institute, Aahmolean Museum)


Khedive Isma'il (1830-93) (Photo: Radio Times Hulton Picture Library) ••




General Charles G eorge G ordon (1833-8 5) (Photo: Radio Times Hulton Picture Library)


A ba Island in 1852, as seen by Bayard Taylor, the first American tourist in the Sudan


Muhammad ‘A li Pasha (1769-1849) {Photo: Radio Times Hulton Picture Library)


A slave-raid in southern Kordofan


The Palace o f the Hükümdars, Khartoum . (Photo: Radio Times Hulton Picture Library)

The Mabdta 19

The sole document known to be an authentic auto­ graph o f the Mahdi. It bears his signature as a witness above his seal in the bottom left-hand com er (Photo: The D irector, School o f Oriental Studies, Durham University)


The Battle o f ‘A bu Klea* (Abu Tulayh, 17 January 1885). The sketch was made by a British officer present at the engagement (From Vem er, Sketches in the Sudan)


The K halifa’s House, Omdurman (Photo: Sudan Embassy)


The Mahdi’s Tom b, Omdurman (Photo: Sudan Embassy)


Mahmud Ahm ad (c. 1865-1906), a nephew o f the K halifa ‘Abdallahi (Photo: The D irector, School o f Oriental Studies, Durham University)


Umm D iwaykarat, 24 Novem ber 1899

The Condominium 25

Sir Reginald W ingate, Bt. (18 6 1-19 5 3 ) (Photo: Radio Times Hulton Picture Library)



Palace o f Sultan *Ali D inar, E l Fasher {Photo: The D irector, School o f Oriental Studies, Durham University)


Sir Douglas N ewbold (1894-1945) By courtesy o f M rs K . Terry. {Photo: E lliott it Fry)


The Legislative Assem bly {Photo: Sudan Embassy)


Sir Robert H owe, the governor-general, announc­ ing the signature o f the A nglo-Egyptian A gree­ ment, 12 February 1953 {Photo: Sudan Embassy)

The Republic 50

Independence, N ew Y ear’s D ay 1956. The flag o f die new Republic hoisted át the Palace in Khar­ toum {Photo: Sudan Embassy)


Sayyid ‘A bd al-Rahman al-Mahdi (1885-1959). The posthumous son o f the Mahdi ([Photo: Sudan Embassy)


Sayyid ‘A li al-M irghani (b. 1879), the head o f the Khatm iyya sect {Photo: Sudan Embassy)


President Ibrahim ‘Abbud (b. 1900) {Photo: Sudan Embassy)

Foundations o f the Futuro 34

A nursery school (photo: Sudan Embassy)


Intermediate schoolboys and their teacher in Omdurman {Photo: Sudan Embassy)


The main canal o f die Gezira Scheme {Photo: D r J . F. E. Bloss)


President Ibrahim ‘Abbud opens die new railway­ line to D arfur in A pril 1959 {Photo: Sudan Embassy) be


PREFA CE steps towards the making o f the modem Sudan were taken, nearly a century and a h alf ago, when the soldiers o f Muhammad ‘A li Pasha, the Ottoman sultan's viceroy in E gypt, brought under their master’s rule the Muslim cul­ tivators, merchants and tribesmen o f N ubia, Sennar and K o rdofan. A common administration, the shared glories and disasters o f the Mahdist Revolution, and renewed experience o f alien rule under the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium, welded the Sudanese peoples together, and stimulated the development o f Sudanese nationalism. On N ew Y ear's D ay, 1956, the Sudan emerged into independent statehood. This is in brief die story which the follow ing pages attempt to tell in more detail. Three factors predominate in modem Sudanese history. The first is the indigenous tradition, itself the product o f the interm ingling o f A rab Muslims with Africans» The fusion began over a thousand years ago, and, as allusions to the problem o f the southern Sudan w ill show, is still a continuing process. This lies at the base o f Sudanese nationality, religion and culture. I have therefore dealt at some length with die earlier stages o f the fusion in the Introduction, and have returned to the theme o f the indigenous tradition in the Conclusion. The tw o other factors are the influence o f Egypt, which in its earlier phases was late Ottoman rather than purely Egyptian in quality, and the influence o f Britain. The effect o f these two influences upon the Sudan is seen in its history from the time o f Muhammad ‘A li’s conquests until the present day. Egyptian rule ended with the Mahdist Revolution, British administration w ith the coming o f independence, but the modem Sudan is politically and materially very largely the heir o f these earlier regimes. The cultural influence o f both E gypt and Britain is unaffected by the transformation o f their form er dependency into a sovereign state. The play upon each other o f these three factors is the theme o f this book. T

he f ir st



In the difficult problem o f the transliteration o f A rabic w ords, I have adopted a compromise. F o r the place-names o f provinces and larger towns, I have used conventional form s, e.g. Khartoum , Kordofan, E l Obeid. The conventional Kassala and Bahr E l Ghazal have, however, been slightly modified to the more accurate form s Kasala and Bahr al-Ghazal. Personal names (except for N eguib and N asser, which have a firm ly established conventional spelling) and technical terms are rigorously transliterated, but diacritical marks have been omitted fo r the sake o f simplicity. Ottoman titles which are not purely Arabic in origin, e.g. defterdar, bükümdar, are spelt according to modem Turkish conventions. In conclusion, I w ish to express my gratitude to all those who have helped me in die preparation o f this book; in par­ ticular die General Editor o f this series, Professor Bernard L ew is; my form er colleague, M r A . B . Theobald, and Sayyid Osman Sid Ahmed Ism ail o f the University o f Khartoum . A ll diese read the book in draft, and assisted me w ith their com­ ments and criticisms. D r G . N . Sanderson, also o f the Univer­ sity o f Khartoum , kindly provided information on the diplo­ matic background to the Reconquest. W hile acknowledging their very real help, I accept, o f course, all responsibility fo r die statements and opinions expressed in my book. Material fo r the illustrations was generously provided by D r J . F . E . Bloss and M r F . C. A . M cBain from their private collections o f photo­ graphs, and by M r R . L . H ill from the Sudanese archive o f the University o f Durham. Sayyid Mohamed Kam al E l Bakri, First Secretary o f the Sudan Em bassy in London, was most helpful in making available, or obtaining, further photographic material. I am grateful to the follow ing publishers fo r per­ mission to reprint short passages from copyright w orks : O xford U niversity Press fo r Egypt in the Sudan R . H ill, Messrs D . van Nostrand Inc., N ew Y o rk fo r Diplomacy in the Near and Middle East J . C. Hurewitz, and Cambridge University Press fo r Sudan: Arabic Texts translated by S. H illelson. Lasdy, I am forever indebted to the Sudanese people fo r the many happy and for­ mative years which I spent in their land. p ^ H olt

Great Missenden, 196 1 xu

INTRODUCTION THE BACKGROUND TO MODERN SUDANESE HISTORY *The Sultan o f the Muslims, the Caliph o f the Lard o f the Worlds; who undertakes tin affairs o f the world and the Faith; who is raised upfo r the interests o f the Muslims; who supports the Holy Law o f the Lord o f the Prophets; who spreads the banner o fjustice and goce over a ll the worlds; be by whom God corrects H is servants andgives light to the land; the repressor o f the race o funbeliefand deception and rebellion, and the race o foppressionandcorruption;the mercy o f God (praised and exalted be He!) to the townsman and the nomad; be who trusts in the King, the Guide: the sultan, son o f the sultan, the victorious, the divinely aided Sultan Badi, son o f the deceased Dakin, son o f the Sultan Badi. May God, the Compassionate, the M erciful, gant bim victory by the influence o f the geat Koran and the noble Prophet. Amen. Amen. O Lord o f the Worlds.* From a charter o f Sultan Badi V I (17 9 1)


TH E LAN D AN D TH E PEO PLE The territories comprising the modem Sudan Muslim geographers gave die name o f Bilad al-Sudan> ‘the land o f the Blacks’, to the belt o f African territory lying south o f the Sahara Desert. In the more restricted sense o f the territories lying southwards o f E gypt, which form ed the A nglo-Egyptian Condominium from 1899 until 1955, and which now constitute the Republic o f die Sudan, the term is o f nineteenth-century origin, a convenient administrative designa­ tion fo r the African empire acquired by Muhammad ‘A li Pasha, the viceroy o f Egypt, and his successors.1 The Sudan in this sense excluded the vast regions west o f D arfur which in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were to pass under French and British colonial rule; on the other hand it included territories which did not form part o f the Sudan as traditionally understood—N ubia, the land o f the Beja, and the Ottoman ports o f the Red Sea coast. Traditionally the name o f Nubia was applied to the whole riverain region from the First Cataract to the Sabaluqa G orge, not far north o f the confluence o f the Blue and W hite N iles. It fell into two portions, which had separate histories from the early sixteenth to the early nineteenth century. Low er N ubia, called by the Ottomans Berberistan, ‘the land o f the Barabra’,1 extended from the First to the Third Cataract, and thus included territory both north and south o f the modem EgyptianSudanese frontier. It was, nominally at least, dependent upon the Ottoman viceroys o f Egypt. Upper N ubia, above the Third Cataract, was under the suzerainty o f the Funj rulers o f Sennar. East o f N ubia, in the R ed Sea H ills, were the Beja, recognized by medieval Muslim writers as a distinct ethnic group, not N ubians, nor Arabs, nor Sudan (‘Blacks’). Suakin and its T

he m e d ie v a l



sister-port o f Massawa (which was annexed by Italy in 1884) were the attenuated remains o f die Ottoman province o f Habesb* (Abyssinia) and looked to the Red Sea and Arabia, rather than to the N ile valley, from which they were separated by the barrier o f die Red Sea H ills and the intractable Beja. The area o f the present-day Republic o f the Sudan is very nearly one million square miles— about one-quarter the size o f Europe. Geographically, die greater part o f the country is an immense plain. This may be divided into three zones: in the north is rocky desert and semi-desert; south o f this is a belt o f undulating sand, passing from semi-desert to savanna; south o f this again a clay belt, which widens as it stretches eastwards from the south o f D arfur to the »inlands and semi-desert lying east o f die Blue and main N iles. The Red Sea H ills, a northerly prolongation o f the Abyssinian highlands, separate the great plain from the narrow coastal strip. The Sudanese plain is drained by the N ile and its tributaries. Both the White and Blue N iles rise outside the country. The White N ile enters the Sudan (where its upper reaches are known as Bahr al-Jabal, ‘the Mountain River*) at Nim ule, and after a course o f a hundred miles, passes into the clay plain. Here it is obstructed, and enlarges into an enormous swampy area, known as the Sudd (A rabic: sadd, ‘barrier*). A fter a wind­ ing course o f four hundred miles, it is joined by its western tributary, the Bahr al-Ghazal, which collects the waters o f a multitude o f smaller rivers, draining the south-western plain and originating in the ironstone plateau which form s the N ileCongo divide. About eighty miles further on, it is joined by the Sobat from the east. A broâd, slow river, the W hite N ile emerges from the swamps into a region o f acacia forests which at one time fringed its banks as far as Khartoum , but now the last part o f its journey lies through open, almost treeless plains. From the confluence o f tiie White N ile and Bahr al-Ghazal to Khartoum is a distance o f about six hundred miles. The Blue N ile is a shorter, sw ifter and more beautiful river. Its course within the Sudan covers nearly five hundred miles. The peninsula which lies between the Blue and W hile rivers, as they converge at Khartoum , is known as the Gezira (A rabic: jouira, ‘island* or ‘peninsula*). Once the



granary o f Khartoum , the Gezira is now the site o f the prin­ cipal cotton-growing area o f the Sudan. The main N ile flows in a generally northward direction from Khartoum through increasingly arid country. T w o hundred miles below Khartoum , it receives the seasonal waters o f the Atbara, its last tributary. A bout a hundred and fifty miles further on, at A bu Hamad, it makes a great bend to the south­ west before resuming its northerly course by D ongola to the Egyptian frontier.

The tribes o f the Sudan There exists a broad distinction, which is nevertheless slow ly being modified by the processes o f history, between the northern and southern parts o f the m odem Sudan. The north is, w ith certain important exceptions, Arabic in speech, and its peoples ate largely atabized in culture and outlook. Its indi­ genous inhabitants are universally M uslim ; a m inority o f Arabic-speaking Christians is composed o f die descendants o f immigrants from E gyp t and Lebanon since the Turco-Egypdan conquest. The southern Sudan contains a bewildering variety o f ethnic groups and languages. Unlike the northerners, its peoples are not generally M uslims, nor do they claim A rab descent; although there has been some degree o f islamixadon and arabization. These tendencies were restrained during the Condominium period, when European and Am erican mis­ sionaries effected a limited Christianization o f the region. Three southern tribes w ill appear fairly frequently in the follow ing pages. The Shilluk now occupy a com paratively small area on the western bank o f the White N ile, but form erly their range was much more extensive. A s late as the mid­ nineteenth century their northern lim it was the island o f A ba, thirty years later to be the cradle o f the Mahdia. Until the early years o f die Turco-Egypdan regim e, they raided the A rab settlements down the W hite N ile, and one such raid is said to have led to the foundation o f the Funj kingdom by a band o f Shilluk w arriors. Until the com ing o f firearms and steamers, they were able to meet their northern neighbours on equal terms. The D inka occupy a much more extensive territory than the



present-day Shilluk, but lack their unity: they are a group o f tribes, some o f which dwell on the eastern bank o f the W hite N ile, others, die m ajority, in the grassy flood-plains o f the Bahr al-Ghazal, where they herd their cattle. Further south, on the higher land o f die N ile-Congo divide, live the Azande, now divided by the international boundary between the Republic o f the Sudan and die form er Belgian Congo. The arabization o f the northern Sudan resulted from the penetration o f the region by tribes who had already migrated from Arabia to Upper Egypt. The process w ill be described in the follow ing chapter. W ith certain com paratively m inor ex­ ceptions, those northern Sudanese who claim A rab descent belong to one or other o f two extensive, i f somewhat artificial, divisions : the arabized Nubians, mainly sedentaries o f the main N ile, composed o f the Barabra and the Ja ‘ali G rou p; and the mainly nomadic or semi-nomadic Juhayna Group. The Barabra, as we have seen, inhabit Low er Nubia. Their representatives in the modem Sudan are the Sukkut and Mahas, w ho still speak related Nubian dialects. South o f them are a series o f tribes, inhabiting the old Upper N ubia, who belong to the Ja ‘ali G roup. These tribes claim as a common ancestor an A rab named Ibrahim Ja ‘al. Whether this eponym is his­ torical or not, the traditional pedigree indicates an element common to all these tribes. Since the Arab irruption into this region, A rab descent has been a source o f pride and distinction: hence it is not surprising that stress is laid on a common Arab ancestor. A further genealogical sophistication makes Ibrahim Ja ‘al a descendant o f al-‘Abbas, the Prophet’s uncle. Thus the epithets Ja ‘ali and ‘Abbasi have become virtually synonyms in the genealogies o f the eastern Bilad al-Sudan. In spite, however, o f the anxiety o f the genealogists to provide the Ja ‘ali G roup w ith a common A rab ancestor, it would be more realistic to regard the submerged Nubian substratum as the common ethnic element among these tribes. This hypothesis does not, o f course, reject the undoubted historical fact o f A rab ancestry as such: the result o f intermarriage between Arab immigrants and the older Nubian population. From this interm ingling the present Ja ‘ali G roup derive their markedly A rab characteristics and their Muslim cultural inheritance.



The name o f Ja'aliyin (plural o f Ja'ali) is specifically applied to one tribe o f this G roup, dwelling between the Atbara con­ fluence and the Sabaluqa G orge. The Ja ‘aliyin in this restricted sense form ed from the sixteenth century until die TurcoEgypdan conquest a tribal kingdom , dominated by a royal clan known as the Sa'dab. N orth o f them, the region o f Berber is the homeland o f the M irafab, another tribe o f the Ja ‘ali G roup, who also used to form a tribal kingdom. Further north still are other tribal members o f the same G roup, the Rubatab and Manasir, inhabiting the banks o f the N ile down to and beyond the great bend at A bu Hamad. The reach o f the N ile between the Fourth Cataract and al-Dabba is the homeland o f a tribal confederacy, the Shay­ qiyya, which does not claim Ja ‘ali origin. M any observers have noted what their history confirms, the difference between their character and that o f their neighbours. In the eighteenth century the predatory, equestrian aristocracy o f the Shayqiyya dominated Nubia. In 18 2 1, they alone o f die riverain tribes resisted the Turco-Egypdan invasion. Their subsequent service to die new regime as a quasi-feudal irregular cavalry led to die establishment o f Shayqiyya colonies around the junction o f die N iles and elsewhere. The most northerly tribes o f the Ja ‘ali G roup lie downstream o f die Shayqiyya, between al-Dabba and die country o f die Barabra. Their homeland is the historical region o f D ongola (A rabic: Dmqtäa), whence these tribesmen are known collec­ tively as Danaqla (singular: Dunqtdam), i.e. ‘men o f Dongola*. A m ong them diere is far more consciousness o f Nubian origin than among the tribes o f the southern Ja ‘ali G roup, and a N ubian dialect continues to be spoken. The arabized Nubians are prim arily sedentary cultivators, inhabiting the narrow strip o f riverain land and the islands (some o f which are very extensive) which can be watered by the N ile flood or irrigation. Their territories lie outside the norm al rain-belt. Hence the pressure o f population on the land has always been heavy, especially among die Danaqla and Barabra. This economic limitation, in association sometimes w ith political instability, has made temporary or permanent em igration a recurrent feature o f the history o f diese peoples.



The Barabra have provided E gyp t w ith its ‘Berberine’ servants. In die sixteenth century, Mahas migrated to the confluence o f the N iles and established themselves as religious teachers. Various ruling groups, basically neither Nubian nor A rab, have claimed a Ja ‘ali (or, synonymously, an ‘Abbasi) ancestry. The royal fam ily o f Taqali, a small Muslim state in the pagan N uba M ountains, derives its origin from the marriage o f a Ja ‘ali holy man w ith an indigenous princess. A similar story is told o f the origin o f the Nabtab, the dominant clan o f the Beja Banu ‘Am ir. The royal K ayra dan amongst the Fu r claimed ‘Abbasi ancestry, as did the neighbouring rulers o f Wadai. The rise o f the Shayqiyya in die eighteenth century produced an emigration o f Danaqla to D arfur, which seems to have led to a devdopm ent o f trade between that state and Egypt. In die nineteenth century Ja ‘alijallaba (petty traders) were ubiquitous in southern Kordofan and D arfur, on the southern fringe o f A rab territory, while Danaqla and other members o f the great Ja 'a li G roup played a prominent part in the opening-up o f the White N ile and Bahr al-Ghazal. A l-Zubayr Rahma, the merchant-prince o f the western Bahr al-Ghazal in the reign o f Khedive Ism a'il, prided him self on his ‘Abbasi descent. Mention should also be made o f several tribes, outside the confines o f andent N ubia, which claim membership o f the Ja ‘ali Group. These are probably synthetic tribes, form ed by the accretion o f heterogeneous fragments around Ja ‘ali leaders. It is significant that five o f them have names derived from the A rabic rootjamaba, ‘to collect*. In Sudanese genealogical usage, the term Juhayna is practi­ cally a comprehensive term for all tribes claiming Arab descent but not asserting a Ja*ali-‘Abbasi origin. Arabs o f the Juhayna o f Arabia, who had migrated to Upper E gyp t, played a leading part in the break-through into N ubia in the fourteenth century, and there has been a tendency fo r elements o f varied (and even non-Arab) origins to link themselves w ith this successful tribe. E ven the confused and sometimes tendentious genealogical materials available today make it dear, however, that at least tw o important sub-groups can hardly be linked ancestrally w ith the Juhayna. The R ufa‘a, found on the Blue N ile, preserve some memory o f a distinct origin. Their ancestors lived in



geographical proxim ity to the ancestral Juhayna, both in the H ijaz and in Upper E g yp t; and this has probably led to their inclusion in the Juhayna G roup. In the late fifteenth century an Arab population, probably o f varied origins, became sedentarized at the junction o f the Blue and White N iles under a chief from the Rufa‘a named ‘Abdallah Jam m a‘ . H e and his successors, the ‘Abdallab, became prosperous from the tolls levied on the desert Arabs during their annual nomadic cycle, and were recognized by the Funj rulers o f Sennar (15 0 4 -18 2 1) as paramount chiefs o f the Arabs. The bulk o f die Rufa‘a were almost entirely nomadic until the nineteenth century, when the northern section became partly sedentarized. The town o f Rufa‘a on the Blue N ile was originally a tribal settlement. The southern section, on each side o f the upper Blue N ile, is still largely nomadic. A second sub-group which can hardly belong to the Juhayna by descent is the Fazara. This term, now obsolete in Sudanese usage, included until the last century most o f the camel-nomads o f northern Kordofan and D arfur. The historical Fazara tribe w as o f north-Arabian origin, whereas the Juhayna were southArabian. Am ong the numerous tribes o f the Juhayna G roup, tw o have played a sufficiently important part in Sudanese history to be given specific mention. The leading tribe o f the southern Butana (i.e. the quadrilateral bounded by the main N ile, the Atbara, the Blue N ile and the Abyssinian foothills) is the Shukriyya, camel-owning nomads. They rose to importance during the eighteenth century as Funj power declined, under the leadership o f the A bu Sinn fam ily. Ahm ad A bu Sinn (circa 1790-1870) lived on good terms with the Turco-Egyptian regim e, was given the rank o f bey, and fo r ten years was governor o f Khartoum . Their territory included the grainproducing rainlands o f the Qadarif, where a tribal market developed. This place, originally called Suq A bu Sinn (‘A bu Sinn’s M arket’) has now taken over the name o f the region, anglicized as Gedaref. Another importent nomadic tribe is the Kababish. These inhabit a region suitable fo r sheep and camel rearing in the semi-desert north o f Kordofan. They are a synthetic tribe,



form ed from diverse elements by a common w ay o f life, which is reflected in their name (from A rabic: kabsb, ‘a ram*). Their wide range, across the north-western trade-routes, made the tribe a factor o f some importance in the commercial and political history o f die Sudan, especially during the nineteenth century. A n important sub-group o f tribes claiming origin from the Juhayna is the Baqqara o f southern Kordofan and D arfur. A s their name (from A rabic: baqar, ‘a cow*) im plies, these ate catde-nomads: the frontier-tribes o f Arabdom , inhabiting regions where camel nomadism is clim atically impóssible. The route by which they arrived in their present habitat is a subject o f controversy, but broadly speaking they seem to be a south­ ern offshoot o f the great A rab irruption into the lands w est o f the N ile. The furthest w ave o f these immigrants was carried as far west as Lake Chad, whence a return-movement towards the east deposited the ancestors o f the modem Baqqara tribes. Between the Baqqara in the south and the camel-Arabs o f the north were enclaves o f non-Arab sedentaries. From one o f these, die Fur, protected by the mountainous bastion o f Jab al M arra, developed the important M uslim sultanate o f D arfur (‘the land o f the Fur*). The non-Arab tribes to the south o f the Baqqara country were frequently raided fo r slaves, and inter­ marriage has considerably modified the physical type o f the Baqqara, although they have preserved their Arabic speech and tradition. T w o tribes played a particularly important role in the history o f the last century: the powerful Riaayqat o f southern D arfur, athwart a principal route from the Bahr al-Ghazal region to the north; and the Ta'aisha, an unimportant tribe until the Mahdia, when they were used by their kinsman, the K halifa ‘Abdallahi, as an instrument o f his domination in the Sudan. The Beja are Hamitic-speaking tribes, now inhabiting the R ed Sea H ills and parts o f the plains sloping down to the main N ile. Their ancestors confronted and, to some extent, inter­ married w ith the Arab immigrants into Upper E gyp t in the early Middle A ges. They are camel-nomads, although there has been some degree o f sédentarisation, especially in connection with the modem agricultural development o f the Gash and



Tokar deltas. Like die riverain Nubians, die Beja became Mus­ lim s, and have undergone varying degrees o f arabization. In its lightest form , this amounts to little more than claiming an A rab pedigree; the early Muslim heroes, K halid ibn al-W alid and al-Zubayr ibn al-‘Awwam being preferred as adoptive ancestors. The most northerly o f die modem Beja, the ‘Ababda, now divided between Upper E gyp t and die Sudan, are, however, Arabic-speaking. A s protectors o f the route across the Nubian Desert, from Sudanese territory to the N ile at Kurusku, a clan o f the ‘Ababda played a part o f some importance before the construction o f die railway, and their chiefs were in close rela­ tions w ith the Turco-Egyptian administration. The more southerly and less arabized Beja underwent a period o f expan­ sion in the eighteenth century, m oving south-westwards from their mountainous habitats towards the plains o f the Atbara and the Gash. The most aggressive o f these tribes, the Hadendowa, had established itself in die Taka, the region o f the G ash, by die early nineteenth century. O f the other non-Arab peoples o f the northern Sudan, the Fu r have already been mentioned. Although surrounded by a flood o f immigrant A rab tribes, they succeeded in establishing a dynastic Muslim state which was not finally extinguished until 19 16 . Between D arfur and the W hite N ile, the hilly region o f the N uba Mountains provided a refuge fo r another indi­ genous people as A rab tribes gradually occupied die plain o f Kordofan. The name o f N uba is applied in Arabic both to these people and to the historical Nubians o f the main N ile. The nature o f the relationship between these tw o homonymous groups has long been a matter o f controversy. Here it is enough to note that the hill-Nuba never succeeded in asserting them­ selves against the Arabs, as did the Fur. Their hill-top com­ munities were divided and isolated. They remained fo r the most part pagan, although the greater security o f the present century has opened the w ay both to organized Christian missionary activity and the more amorphous but effective influence o f con­ tact with Muslims. In the north-eastern foothills lay die king­ dom o f Taqali, whose rulers encouraged the immigration o f settlers and established their suzerainty over a considerable



area. The kingdom continued to exist in semi-autonomy after the Turco-Egyptian conquest; and was integrated into the local governm ent system o f the Condominium.

The ancient trade-routes The territories which now form the northern Sudan were traversed by a number o f trade-routes. These found their outlet through Upper E gyp t and the Red Sea. The commerce o f the eastern Bilad al-Sudan, extending to D arfur or a little further west, was thus quite distinct from that o f the central Bilad al-Sudan, which found an outlet by w ay o f the Fezzan to N orth A frica. The routes o f the eastern Bilad al-Sudan lay along tw o main axes. One, running roughly from south to north, linked Sennar w ith Egypt. The other, roughly from west to east, linked D arfur w ith Suakin. Commercial relations existed be­ tween Sennar and western Abyssinia, centring on Gondar. From Sennar a route ran along the western bank o f the Blue N ile through the Gezira to the ancient market-town o f A rbaji.4 Further to the north, the river was crossed, and the w ay con­ tinued along the eastern bank o f the Blue and main Nües by al-‘Aylafun and Halfayat al-M uluk (‘Halfaya o f die K in gs’), the later capital o f the ‘Abdallab chiefs. Beyond Q arri, the old ‘Abdallabi capital, there were alter­ native routes to the north. The western route was apparendy the more used in the earlier Funj period. The N ile was crossed near Q arri or al-Dirayra (i.e. either above or below the Sabaluqa G orge), and travellers then struck across the Bayuda Desert in a north-westerly direction, cutting off the great bend o f the N ile and avoiding the country o f the predatory Shayqiyya. Before the rise o f the Shayqiyya, in the late seventeenth century, caravans may w ell have follow ed the river all the way. The desert route met the N ile again at K u rti, and continued along its western bank, through the vassal-kingdom o f Dongola, to the frontier-post o f Mushu, some w ay south o f the Third Cataract. Here the caravans turned into the desert. A t the Salima Oasis, the N ile route was joined by the great artery o f trade between D arfur and Egypt, the Darb al-arba'in (‘the Forty D ays’ Road’). This began at Kubayh, the principal



commercial centre o f D arfur, ran to the frontier-post o f Suwayna, and thence went north-eastwards across the desert to Salima. From Salima the route went by w ay o f the alumproducing watering-point o f Shabb to the K harja Oasis, which w as an outpost o f Ottoman Egypt. Thence it ran to the N ile at A syut. The eastern route seems to have developed during the eighteenth century, in consequence o f increasing political in­ stability in the riverain territories downstream o f Berber. From Q arri it went along the eastern bank to Shendi and E l Darner, and over the Atbara into the territory o f Berber. It then left the river, and crossed the Nubian Desert until Ottoman territory w as reached in the neighbourhood o f Aswan. A fter Muham­ mad ‘A li’s conquests, a shorter desert-crossing was usual, from A bu Hamad, at the great bend o f the N ile, by die wells o f al-M urrat to Kurusku in Low er Nubia. The line o f the modem railw ay, between A bu Hamad and Wadi H aifa, is the latest variant o f this historic route. The routes o f the west-east trade axis were also liable to vary in accordance w ith political conditions. Kordofan was a debatable land between the rulers o f Sennar and D arfur, and die situation o f the untamed Shilluk on the W hite N ile com­ bined to render unsafe the direct route from Kubayh to Sennar via E l Obeid. Caravans therefore took a more northerly route from E l Obeid to Shendi. From Shendi caravans went to E gypt by the desert-crossing described above. Merchants travelling from Shendi to Suakin went up the river Atbara to Quz Rajab, a market-town ruled by an ‘Abdallabi chief. A direct route from Sennar also ran to Quz Rajab, but this was rendered dangerous by the Shukriyya nomads. From Quz Rajab, one route went direct to Suakin, while another made a diversion into the Taka. B y the early nineteenth century, Shendi, the point o f inter­ section o f the tw o route-axes, had become the principal com­ mercial centre o f the eastern hilad al-Sudan. In the years imme­ diately preceding the Turco-Egyptian invasion it was under the strong autonomous rule o f M akk N im r,® the Sa'dabi chief. Its populace was composed o f indigenous Ja ‘aliyin and merchant settlers from Sennar, K o rd o fm , D arfur and D ongola, the last being the most numerous. In spite o f the commercial activity


over which they presided, neither the Sa'dab nor any other Sudanese dynasty coined their own money. M illet and dammur, the local cotton cloth, the staples o f local commerce, form ed the media o f exchange, while foreign silver coins (in Burckhardt’s time* the Spanish dollars o f Charles IV ) were used fo r larger transactions. Shendi was a centre both fo r die internal trade o f the various regions o f the eastern Bilad al-Sudan, and fo r external trade. Am ong the principal commodities produced and consumed within the region were millet and dammur, while slaves were o f pre-eminent importance, both in internal and external trade. The slaves were not, o f course, taken from among the Muslim peoples, but were obtained chiefly by raiding the pagan fringe o f Abyssinia and the tribes to die south-west o f D arfur. A certain number o f them came from servile families settled in the neighbourhood o f Sennar. Although many slaves were retained permanently in the Sudanese territories, as domestic servants, field w orkers and armed bodyguards, there was a considerable export trade to E gyp t and Arabia. A smaller, more specialized trade, was in horses from D ongola, which were exported to the Yem en. Although there was little commercial intercourse between die eastern Bilad al-Sudan and the countries west o f D arfur, a steady stream o f M uslim pilgrim s, known genetically as Takarir, or Takam a (singular, Takruti), passed from the central and western Bilad al-Sudan into D arfur, where their numbers were still further augmented from the local peoples. From D arfur they went eastwards by a variety o f routes. Some went north, to A syut and Cairo, where they joined the Egyptian Pilgrim age Caravan. Others made their w ay to Sennar and Gondar, and thence to the seaport o f Massawa. The most favoured route in the early nineteenth century was how ever die great commercial artery, by w ay o f Shendi to Suakin. This pilgrim age-route, linking the central and eastern portions o f Bilad al-Sudan, can hardly have been older than the sixteenth century, when Muslim dynasties were established in Sennar, D arfur and Wadai. M any o f the pilgrim s were excessively poor, and depended on charity or earnings from manual labour to complete their



journey, which in some cases lasted fo r years. Their successors in the present century, now generally called Fallata, have pro­ vided much o f the labour force fo r the cotton-fields o f the Gezira, and are a semi-permanent element in the population o f the modem Sudan. A t some time, probably in the early nine­ teenth century, a colony o f Takarna established a vigorous frontier-state in a district o f the Abyssinian marches known as the Qallabat. The name o f their territory is perpetuated in the m odem frontier-town o f al-Qallabat, anglicized as Gallabat.



B E F O R E T H E T U R C O -E G Y P T IA N C O N Q U EST The coming o f tbt Arabs W h e n t h e Muslim Arabs under ‘A m r ibn al-‘A s invaded and conquered the Byzantine province o f E gypt, between 639 and 6 41, the Nubian territories south o f the First Cataract form ed tw o Christian kingdoms. The more northerly, itself the com­ bination o f the tw o older kingdoms o f Nobadia and M akuria, is generally known as al-Maqurra. Its capital was O ld D ongola, and it extended to a point on the main N ile south o f the Atbara confluence. Beyond it lay die kingdom o f ‘A iw a, which ex­ tended southwards up the Blue and W hite N iles fo r an inde­ terminate distance. The capital o f ‘A iw a was the town o f Suba, on the right bank o f the Blue N ile, some miles upstream from its confluence w ith the main N ile. Frontier raiding south o f Asw an began at once, and in 6 5 1-2 die Arab governor o f E gypt, ‘Abdallah ibn Sa‘d ibn A b i Sadi, led a M uslim arm y to besiege Dongola. He did not succeed in effecting a conquest, i f this had been his intendon, but withdrew after concluding a treaty which established fo r some six hundred years trading relations and a modus vivendi between Muslim E gyp t and Christian N ubia.1 This forbade the permanent settlement o f Nubians in Muslim territory, or o f Muslims in Nubia. It provided fo r die maintenance o f a mosque in D ongola, and required the payment o f an annual tribute o f 360 slaves to the Muslim governor o f Aswan. B y a convention, not expressed in the treaty, the Nubians received gifts o f cereals and other goods from the Egyptian authorities, and diese at times exceeded die value o f the slave-tribute. The transient m ilitary success o f ‘Abdallah ibn Sa‘d’s ex­ pedition set a pattern which was to recur in die follow ing



centuries. Until the time o f Muhammad ‘AH Pasha, no expe­ dition from E gypt succeeded in making any extensive perma­ nent conquest in the Sudan. The threat to Christian N ubia came less from the remote Muslim rulers in Cairo than from the nomad A rab tribes, im perfectly controlled by the administra­ tion, which gradually penetrated into Upper E gypt, form ed w ith indigenous groups an arabized frontier society, and ulti­ mately, as Nubian defences weakened, infiltrated into the region o f the Cataracts and beyond. M any o fth e details o f this historical process are forever lost, but medieval A rabic sources preserve a few records o f the main stages. A rab imm igration into the region o f the First Cataract seems to have become poUtically significant about the time o f die autonomous governor o f E gypt, Ahmad ibn Tulun, in the last third o f the ninth century. A n A rab adventurer, named al-‘Umari, w ith follow ers from the tribes o f Rabi*a and Juhayna, made an expedition into N ubia but then turned his attention to the eastern desert. Here, where opposition came only from the less sophisticated Beja, existed mines o f gold and emeralds, beyond the reach o f settled administration. Subsequently R abi‘a intermarried with the Beja o f the desert, and w ith the Nubians o f the region o f the First Cataract Between the eleventh and fourteenth centuries, the Banu Kanz,* as the ruling dan o f this mixed Arab-Nubian sodety were called, were powerful marcher lords, virtually autonomous o f the rulers o f E gypt. A part from the expedition o f al-‘Umari in 969, and another commanded by Turan Shah, brother o f Saladin, in 117 2 , direct hostilities between the rulers o f E gyp t and o f N ubia seem to have been unknown between the time o f ‘Abdallah ibn Sa‘d and that o f the Mamluk sultan o f E gypt, al-Zahir Baybars (1260-77). Baybars’s intervention in Nubian affairs may have been partly due to mistrust o f an autonomous pow er on the upper N ile, a recurrent fear o f Egyptian rulers, but partly also to a desire to turn the activities o f the insubordinate A rab tribes o f E gyp t into channels less dangerous to his administration. The expeditions sent by Baybars and his successors in the late thirteenth and the fourteenth centuries into al-Maqurra, usually w ith the object o f installing a puppet ruler, sapped the poUtical



and m ilitary strength o f the Nubian kingdom . The northern part, at least, fell under the control o f the Banu Kanz. The Juhayna immigrated southwards, intermarried w ith the local dynasts and, ow ing to the Nubian custom o f matrilineal succes­ sion, took over their territories in the next generation. Settled governm ent disintegrated and, when Ibn Khaldun wrote in the late fourteenth century, Juhayn^ were masters ‘from Asw an and beyond it as far as the land o f the Nubians and that o f Abyssinia*. Ibn Khaldun’s phraseology im plies that in his time there were still Nubian territories outside A rab control. The name o f Berber8 suggests an ancient linguistic frontier, or an enclave o f non-Arabic speech, o f which now no memory remains. Sudanese tradition has however preserved the recollection o f the fall o f the southern kingdom o f ‘A iw a. Unlike al-Maqurra, ‘A iw a, or at least its metropolitan region, did not disintegrate as a result o f gradual infiltration but was conquered by an A rab confederation under a leader named ‘Abdallah Jam m a‘ (i.e., ‘Abdallah ‘Gatherer*).4 It is noteworthy that, whereas O ld D ongola continued to be a leading town and was the residence o f a vassal-king in the Funj period, Suba completely lost its importance, and the descendants o f ‘Abdallah Jam m a‘ made their capital on die main N ile at Qand. Sudanese tradition also asserts that the Nubians largely abandoned this conquered region: this is borne out by the persistent report, in later times, that H ajar al-‘A sal, north o f Q arri, was the southern fronder o f Nubia. From die later fourteenth to the early sixteenth century is a dark age in Sudanese history. A t the end o f this period, how­ ever, new political groupings appear. The Funj rulers o f Sennar established their hegemony over the Gezira and the main N ile. The Ottoman conquest o f E gyp t was follow ed in due course by the establishment o f a frontier-province against the Funj in Low er Nubia. Ottoman rule was also established on the R ed Sea littoral, in the province o f Habest. A t a rather later date die indigenous M uslim sultanate o f D arfur came into being.

The Fm j Sultanate The Funj were a mysterious people, who appeared suddenly in


history in the Muslim year 910 (i.e., a .d . 1504-5) when their first ruler, ‘Am ara Dunqas, founded his capital at Serinar on the Blue N ile. O f their origin, perhaps the only thing that can be said w ith certainty is that they were neither Arabs nor, at first, Muslim s, and even this has been obscured by later genealogical legend, which, follow ing a common pattern am ongst the M uslim fringe-peoples, sought to ennoble the new ly islamized rulers by deriving their pedigree from an A rab, in this case an Umayyad refugee. T o die Sudanese, their dynasty is traditionally known as the Black Sultanate. The Scottish traveller, Jam es Bruce, w ho visited Sennar in 1772, records a tradition that the Funj were by origin Shilluk raiders from the White N ile. This is not inherently improbable. Bruce’s tradition has been criticized by recent writers, and various alternative hypotheses have been proposed. A rigorous investi­ gation o f the problem o f Funj origins has yet to be made. A t die time o f the com ing o f the Funj, die hegemony over the A rab tribes in the northern Gezira and around the con­ fluence o f the Blue and White N iles was held by a sedentary d an , the ‘Abdallab, whose chief resided at Q arri on the main N ile. There are many obscurities around the person and date o f the eponymous ancestor o f the clan, ‘Abdallah Jam m a‘, but the early relations o f Funj and ‘Abdallab appear to have been hostile. The ‘Abdallabi chief, *Ajib I, who ruled from about the middle o f die sixteenth century, was appointed by the Funj ruler and bore the non-Arab tide o f monjilor mtmjilak, conferred b y die Funj on their prindpal vassals. According to ‘Abdallabi tradition, however, he revolted against his overlord and tem­ porarily drove die Funj into the Abyssinian marches. The Funj regained their lost dominions under K in g Dakin who ‘came from die east’ and is remembered even in the meagre chronide o f die period as an administrator and law giver. M any years later, ‘A jib revolted again and was killed in the batde o f K arkuj (1607-8) on the east bank o f the Blue N ile, near its confluence w ith the White. This time the ‘Abdallab ruling fam ily were expelled from their territory and sought refuge in D ongola. U ltim atdy a setdement was effected through die mediation o f a celebrated religious teacher, Shaykh Idris ibn



A rbab, whose disciple the reigning Funj monarch was. The status quo was restored, and the descendants o f ‘A jib ruled as hereditary, and virtually autonomous, princes o f the Arabs. The patronymic Wad 'A jib (‘ Son o f ‘Ajib*) was used almost as a tide fo r these chiefs.* When Bruce passed through the kingdom in 1772, the ‘Abdallabi chief ruled as far north as Ha jar al-‘A sal on the main N ile. Below this point, to the frontier o f Ottoman N ubia, above the Third Cataract, was a succession o f tribal chieftaincies, strung out along the banks o f the river. O f these riverain tribal states, the most important were those o f the Sa‘dab Ja*aliyin, w ith their capital at Shendi, the Majadhib theocracy o f E l Darner, the M irafab o f Berber, and the kingdom o f D ongola in the far north. D uring the sixteenth century, the Shayqiyya confederacy had asserted their independence o f the Funj suzerain, and, as the Funj state passed into decline, they preyed increasingly on the territory o f their riverain neigh­ bours. A fter the rather misleading wealth o f tradition on the founda­ tion o f the Funj kingdom , the records o f early rulers become very sparse. The dynasty and its warriors were soon converted to Islam ; the second (or third) king, ‘A bd al-Qadir, bore a M uslim name, although non-Arabic names preponderate in the king-lists until the end o f the dynasty. Bruce states that the conversion was ‘fo r the sake o f trading with Cairo*: it w ould probably be more true to see in it a consequence o f trading, political and cultural relations w ith Upper Egypt. The early Funj period was one o f considerable Muslim missionary w ork in the riverain Sudan, as w e shall see. From about the middle o f the seventeenth century w e are more fu lly informed o f the activities o f the Funj kings. The dynasty was at its highest point under Badi II A bu Daqn w ho reigned from 1644-45 uutil his death in 1680. H e made a great campaign across the White N ile, raiding the Shilluk as he passed, and penetrated the N uba Mountains. Here the M uslim kingdom o f Taqali was besieged and its ruler became tributary to the Funj. Although the nature o f the tribute is not specified, it is reasonable to assume that it was paid in slaves, since the N uba Mountains were one o f the principal slave-raiding areas.



In any case, Badi brought back numerous prisoners whom he settled in villages around Sennar. The prisoners and their descendants, later augmented by raiding and purchase, form ed a slave-arm y fo r the protection o f the capital and its ruler. This shift in the m ilitary basis o f the dynasty’s rule, from the band o f free warriors, the Funj aristocracy, to slave-troops directly dependent on die monarch,6 is paralleled in other Islam ic states, notably in the Ottoman Em pire itself. The ten­ sions produced by this innovation appeared in the reign o f Badi IE’s second successor. A section o f the Funj revolted against him and tried to depose him, but were defeated in battle. Further troubles occurred under his son, w ho was faced b y a m ilitary revolt o f the southern Funj, and compelled to put to death his vizier (possibly a slave); and then was him self deposed. This was the end o f the direct line o f ‘Am ara Dunqas. T h e new ruler and his successors were connected w ith the dynasty on the mother’s side. The second monarch o f this branch, Badi IV A bu Shulukh (1724 -6 2), was the last effective Funj king. The earlier part o f his long reign was successful and prosperous, although in these years, significantly, the management o f affairs was in the hands o f viziers. Thereafter the king assumed personal power. He began with a proscription o f the old ruling clan, from which the kings preceding his father had come, and set up an arbitrary rule w ith the support o f his N uba slave-troops, ‘whom he m ade chiefs in place o f the men o f old lineage and rank’. B y such actions he antagonized the Funj notables. In 1747 Badi sent a great army across the White N ile on cam paign against the Musabba‘at, the ruling tribe o f Kordofan. Since the king did not him self accompany this expedition, he m ay have meant to rid him self o f potential opponents, much as the K halifa, in the follow ing century, despatched ‘A bd alRahm an al-Nujum i on thejihad against Egypt. The Funj army w as worsted in its first encounter w ith the M usabba'at, but the troops were rallied by the notable, Shaykh Muhammad A bu Likaylik, who inflicted a crushing defeat on the enemy. There­ after A bu Likaylik seems to have ruled Kordofan as viceroy fo r fourteen years. The existence o f this remote and successful m ilitary force,




however, constituted a threat to Badi. The crisis came to a head in 17 6 0 -6 1, when the Funj notables in Kordofan, perturbed by reports o f die king’s actions towards their clients in their absence, persuaded A bu Likaylik to head a revolt. Accom ­ panied by his troops, the Funj notables and even some o f the royal slaves, A bu Likaylik recrossed the W hite N ile. H e negotiated w ith a son o f the king, whom the rebels set up as their figurehead. Sennar was besieged, but Badi was finally allowed to leave under an amnesty fo r exile in Suba. W ith him the power o f the Funj dynasty passed away. The remaining kings down to the Turco-Egyptian conquest were puppets o f their hereditary viziers, w ho were in effect regents o f the kingdom . The first o f these was Shaykh Muhammad A bu Likaylik him self. Although he had been brought to power by a revolt o f the Funj aristocracy, he belonged to the Hamaj. This seems to be one o f a number o f terms applied by the immigrant Arabs to the indigenous peoples : it should not be assumed that all die Hamaj form ed a single, homogeneous, ethnic group.7 The Hamaj hegemony, inaugurated by A bu Likaylik, is there­ fore an interesting revival o f an element in the population which had fo r tw o and a h alf centuries been politically sub­ merged by immigrant ruling groups, the Arabs and the Funj. The Regent Muhammad A bu Likaylik ruled until his death in 1776 -77. He had deposed the puppet-king at the end o f 1769 and appointed his brother Ism a‘il as king in his place. Isa ia h was king in Sennar at the time o f Bruce's visit. Bruce describes him as light in colour, about thirty-four years o f age. ‘He had a very plebeian countenance, on which was stamped no decided character; I should rather have guessed him to be a soft, tim id, irresolute man.’8 On A bu lik a y lik 's death, he was succeeded as regent by his nephew. Once again the Funj revolted, but the regent was too strong to be shaken, and the result o f the rebellion was the deposition and exile o f another king. The Funj kingdom was however visibly decaying. The last forty years o f its history are filled w ith the quarrels o f rivals fo r the regency, kaleidoscopic combinations o f Funj aristocrats and ‘Abdailab chiefs, petty wars and all the symptoms o f political instability. The Hamaj regents soon went the w ay o f


B E F O R E T H E T U R C O - E G Y P T I A N C O N Q U E ST

their Funj sovereigns. The fourth regent, N asir, a son o f the great A bu Likaylik, handed over the management o f affairs to the A rbaP D afa N asir wad al-Amin. In the Gezira the resistance was headed by those tw o survivors o f the Funj-Hamaj regime, Hasan wad Raj ab and the Arbab D afa‘allah. The latter, on the outbreak o f the revolt, had fled from Wad Medani to ‘Ibud, whither the rebels began to muster. In these circumstances, it was possible for Mahu to hold out in Berber, and for Muhammad Sa‘id to undertake local opera­ tions in the vicinity o f Wad Medani. A cavalry squadron was sent from Wad Medani to ‘Ibud, and the rebels there dispersed without a fight. The arbab fled up the Blue N ile, and joined forces with his old enemy, Hasan wad Rajab. The deputy governor sent out another force, which included Shayqiyya levies, which defeated them at A bu Shawka, south o f Sennar. Hasan wad Rajab was killed. The Arbab Da£a‘allah escaped and made his w ay to the Abyssinian marches. Neither Mahu nor Muhammad Sa*id was, however, strong enough to undertake the general suppression o f the rebellion. This was the w ork o f the defterdar who, on hearing o f the death o f Isma‘il hastened from Kordofan with a body o f his troops and a contingent o f Fur warriors. Entering the Ja ‘ali country, he found that N im r and al-Musa‘id were blockading Mahu in Berber, but their sons and a large number o f followers were at


T H E T U R C O -E G T P T IA N P E R IO D : 1 8 20— 8 1

Mctemma. They negotiated an amnesty, but an unsuccessful attempt by a tribesman to assassinate the defterdar provoked him to fury and a massacre ensued. H e dien marched north to relieve Berber. The Ja ‘ali chiefs advanced to meet him, crossed the N ile, and were defeated in a battle on the west bank. Freed from the blockade, Mahu left Berber and met the defterdar at E l Darner. A fter their conference, die defterdar advanced along die east bank into die ‘Abdallabi country. He found H alfaya deserted, and burnt it. Another massacre took place on Tuti island, at the confluence o f the N iles, while al-‘Aylafun, which offered resist­ ance, was burnt and looted. The Wad tA Jib had fled before him, but as the defterdar continued to pursue him up the Blue N ile, he doubled back to Qubbat Khujali, near the modem Khartoum N orth, and crossed to Omdurman, where he was joined by the survivors o f the batde o f A bu Shawka. H aving reached Wad Medani, the defterdar sent out an expeditionary force which completed the task o f reducing the Gezira to sub­ mission. Meanwhile die defterdar returned to Kordofan. D uring his absence another force had dispersed the con­ centration o f ‘Abdallah and Hamaj at Omdurman, but the rebels fled to Shendi, to which M akk N im r had returned. It was clear that further measures would be needed to suppress the revolt among the Ja ‘aliyin, and the defterdar again set out fo r the river. On hearing o f his approach the rebels dispersed, but the main body o f them under N im r and al-Musa‘id fled to al-Nasub in die Butana, near A bu Dilayq. Here they were defeated. N im r and al-Musa*id fled, and a vast number o f prisoners, including many members o f N im r’s fam ily, were taken. Returning to die river, die defterdar made his camp at Umm ‘Uruq, a site now uncertain.18 A last rebel force under alM usa'id and the Wad ‘A jib was still at large east o f the Blue N ile. In September 1823 the defterdar advanced against it. The rebels were defeated at M akdur, between the rivers Rahad and Dinder. The defterdar now struck north-eastwards as far as Sabderat, just across the present Eritrean border, whence he returned to the N ile. H is term o f command was drawing to a close. In January


I N A U G U R A T I O N OF T H E T U R C O - E G T P T I A N R E G I M E

1824 Muhammad ‘A li Pasha informed him o f his impending recall. In his last few months the defterdar ordered all the prisoners o f w ar, whether slaves or freemen, to be sent to Cairo. A new deputy-governor was appointed to Wad Medani, while Muhammad Sa‘id Efendi returned to Cairo w ith the remainder o f the household and possessions o f Ism a'il Pasha. A t Umm ‘Uruq the defterdar awaited the arrival o f his suc­ cessor; then, at the beginning o f die new Muslim year (A ugustSeptember 1824) him self departed fo r Egypt. H e was succeeded as commander-in-chief (in effect, as m ilitary governor) by ‘Uthman Bey the Circassian, who was accompanied by five regiments o f infantry. These were soldiers o f a new type, the Jibadiyja , regular troops recruited from die slaves obtained in die Sudan, and drilled on European lines in the training camp established at Aswan in 18 2 1. Muhammad *Ali's great project o f a new model army in place o f the m odey troops o f E gypt was only partially achieved: the slave recruits perished by hundreds in the Egyptian climate, and by 1824 conscription o f the Egyptian peasantry had begun. Neverthe­ less, die N egro Jibadiyj/a could fulfil a useful function as garrison troops in the Sudanese provinces. Henceforward the m ilitary strength o f die Turco-Egyptian regime was mainly derived from tw o sources, the regular Jikadgya, o f slave origin, origi­ nating from what would now be called the southern Sudan; and the Shayqiyya irregulars, serving mainly as cavalrymen under their own chiefs. ‘Uthman Bey realized at once the strategic importance o f Khartoum , the trunk o f land14 at die confluence o f die Blue and White N iles. H e decided to build a fort and garrison a regiment diere. This was the beginning, from which in a few years Khartoum was to develop as the m ilitary and admini­ strative capital o f the Egyptian Sudan. A s yet, however, arm y headquarters remained at Wad Medani, whither ‘Uthman pro­ ceeded. The new commander-in-chief, an elderly Mamluk, regarded his task w ith the eyes o f a soldier rather than o f an administrator. T o repress revolt and get in the ta n s were his sole aims, and he emulated the defterdar in harshness and brutality. The consequence was a flight o f cultivators from die N ile valley to the remote district o f the Q adarif in Shukriyya


T H E T U R C O -E G Y P T IA N PE R IO D : I 8 2 0 - 8 I

territory. H ere they were pursued b y governm ent troops and shot down. ‘Uthman’s few months in office were made more difficult by natural calamities. A n epidemic o f sm allpox coincided w ith drought, famine, and the m igration o f refugees to produce severe depopulation. The commander-in-chief was ailing and left the responsibility o f government to a deputy. But this man was a mere subaltern and the high-ranking officers refused to obey his orders. The army was drifting into anarchy, with consequent suffering fo r die people o f die Sudan, when ‘ Uthman Bey died on n M ay 1825. The deputy-governor pru­ dently concealed the fact o f his death until he had summoned the experienced governor o f Berber, Mahu Bey, to take over the command.




1825-62 who had been governor o f Berber since 1822, w as a cavalry officer o f Kurdish origin. H is fortitude during the great revolt had prevented his province from falling to the rebel Ja'aliyin. He took over die command o f troops in the province o f Sennar: the command in Kordofan, which had been held by the defterdar and ‘ Uthman Bey jointly with Sennar, was now detached. Mahu’s b rief period o f authority marks a turning-point in the history o f the Turco-Egyptian regime. H e adopted a policy o f conciliation towards the frightened and resentfhl Sudanese. Taxes were reduced, and the licence o f the Jibadiyya was repressed. The novelty o f his approach appeared when he summoned an assembly o f the remaining Sudanese notables in the Gezira, and consulted with them on the means o f restoring order and bringing back the emigrants. H e particularly approved o f the advice o f a minor shaykh, ‘A bd al-Qadir wad al-Zayn, whom he raised in rank and employed as his adviser on native affairs. Shaykh ‘A bd al-Qadir accompanied Mahu on a tour to die Qadarif, die asylum o f many o f the refugees. Mahu sent grain from the Q adarif to the stricken Gezira, there­ by winning the gratitude o f its people. The rule o f Mahu Bey marks another stage in the advance o f Khartoum to the status o f a capital. It was his habitual resi­ dence, and he stationed his troops at Qubbat Khujali, across die Blue N ile. H is period o f office ended in June 1826, when ‘A li Khurshid A gha arrived at Omdurman after serving under Ibrahim Pasha against the Greeks. M



Khurshid’s exceptional ability as an administrator is indicated


T H E TU R CO -E G Y P T IA N P E R IO D : I 8 2 0 - 8 I

by his long term o f office in the Sudan, as w ell as by die successive extensions o f power and elevations o f rank conferred on him by the grateful Muhammad *Ali. H is appointment seems to have been designed to inaugurate a new period o f civil administration, rather than m ilitary rule: he bore at first the title o f ‘governor o f Sennar*, whereas his predecessor had been commander-in-chief. H is authority did not at this time extend to die northern provinces o f D ongola and Berber, nor to Kordofan, but his own province o f Sennar, including the Gezira and surrounding territories, the heart o f the old Funj‘Abdallah dominions, presented administrative and political problems o f far greater gravity than those which confronted his colleagues. H is policy was essentially the continuation and fulfilment o f that practised by Mahu, a continuity symbolized by the circum­ stances o f the meeting o f the two men in Omdurman: ‘The Am ir Mahu Bey met him in Omdurman, and they conferred together in private there fo r a while. Then Mahu Bey ordered Shaykh ‘A bd al-Qadir to be brought forw ard, and he presented him with his own hand to Khurshid A gha, saying, “ I f you desire the prosperity o f the country, then act according to the opinion o f this man.** n The restoration o f prosperity was indeed the first object o f the new governor. T o achieve it, the lands abandoned during the revolt and subsequent repression had to be brought back into cultivation, and the thousands o f emigrants, many o f whom had made their w ay to the hill-country o f the Abyssinian marches, persuaded to return to their villages. In the Ja ‘ali districts, much riverain land was given to the loyal Shayqiyya, who paid no taxes but received a forage ration in consideration o f their service as cavalry. Khurshid*s new deal was devised with the assistance o f Shaykh ‘A bd al-Qadir, who was instructed to convoke an assembly o f notables, and draw up a list o f the villages, showing whether they were inhabited or lying waste. Letters o f amnesty were sent out inviting the fugitives to return, and prom ising them freedom from disturbance. One o f the most inveterate


S E T T L E M E N T A N D S T A G N A T IO N ! 1 8 2 5 - 6 2

opponents o f die Turco-Egyptian regime was Shaykh Idris wad ‘Adlan, die brother o f the murdered Regent Muhammad wad ‘Adlan, who had fled at the conquest to the mountains up­ stream o f Sennar, and had unflinchingly refused to recognize die new masters o f his country. T o him as an envoy came Shaykh ‘A bd al-Qadir in the summer o f 1826, w ith the offer o f an amnesty from die governor. Idris accepted the invitation, and accompanied ‘A bd al-Qadir to Berber, where he was wel­ comed by Khurshid and form ally recognized as shaykh o f the Funj mountains. In the follow ing twelve months, another assembly o f Sudanese notables was held in Khartoum . Its purpose was to advise the governor on taxation, but before proceeding to this, the members were instructed to elect one o f their own number as paramount shaykh, to be their official intermediary with the governor. N ot surprisingly, their choice fell on ‘A bd al-Qadir, who was invested w ith die paramountcy from H ajar al-‘A sal to the further limits o f die Funj mountains. The election really did no more than regularize ‘A bd al-Qadir’s position as native adviser to die governor. Khurshid had also a corps o f experi­ enced officers, the mu'awns (assistants), who form ed a kind o f intelligence branch. H e regularly consulted them and also his Coptic financial intendant. In 1828 Khurshid began a serious attempt to bring back die refugees from the Abyssinian marches. Some o f them came in to him while he was on tour in that region. He was advised by Shaykh ‘A bd al-Qadir to exempt the chief notables and fakis from taxation, in order to gain their support fo r his policy. H e did so, and the stratagem proved highly successful. Under the influence o f the Sudanese notables, many o f the emigrants returned, to the great benefit o f cultivation and the profit o f the revenue. A refugee leader o f particular importance was Shaykh Ahmad al-Rayyah al-‘A raki, a member o f a fam ily which had great religious prestige. During the troubles, he had led thousands o f his tribesmen, the ‘Arakiyin, from their homes on the Blue N ile, into exile in the Abyssinian marches. He now came in to submit to Khurshid. A fter an honourable reception, he was sent back to proclaim an amnesty to the emigrants, and


T H E T U R C O -E G T P T IA N P E R IO D : 1 8 2 0 - 8 1

took letters from Shaykh *Abd al-Qadir prom ising freedom from disturbance. But the governor also threatened that he would shortly make an expedition to the region, and kill those who had not submitted. He quickly fulfilled his promise and, freely or under compulsion, thousands o f emigrants returned to the Blue N ile. Another consequence o f this expedition was the extension o f Egyptian rule over the Qallabat and its colony o f Takarir setders from the western Bilad al-Sudan. Another crisis threatened in 1835. Khurshid returned from a visit to Cairo during which he had been instructed b y Muhammad ‘A li Pasha to conscript Sudanese freemen fo r military service. This project, no doubt devised because o f the pressure laid on Muhammad ‘A li’s man-power by his occupa­ tion o f Syria, appeared administratively simple, since it merely extended to the Sudanese provinces a system which had been applied in Egypt proper since 1824. The appearance was decep­ tive, and the rumour o f Khurshid’s intention filled w ith dismay an assembly o f administrative officials and Sudanese notables which he summoned to meet in Khartoum . A fter two days o f private consultation w ith Shaykh ‘A bd al-Qadir, who insisted that conscription would start a fresh wave o f emigration and damage the new prosperity o f the country, Khurshid abandoned the project. Instead an alternative proposal was accepted, that the people o f every locality should contribute a quota o f their slaves as recruits fo r the Jibadiyja. Khurshid devoted much energy to die development o f Khartoum . Setders in the town were rewarded with grants o f privileges, and the population rose so rapidly that the mosque which he had built in 1829-30 was demolished seven years later to give place to a larger one. A barracks and military store­ house were constructed fo r the Jibadiyja garrison, and a dock­ yard was set up on the N ile. The townspeople were encouraged to build permanent houses in place o f their tents o f matting and hides, and were provided with building materials. Com­ merce was encouraged: trade routes were protected and Khurshid resisted Muhammad ‘A li Pasha him self to prevent the revenue and products o f the Sudan being exploited fo r die benefit o f Cairo. H is period o f office witnessed a local boom in trade, some petty merchants making great fortunes. But the

The Land and the People

i. Ferryboat at Dongoîa. Sailors and traders from Dongola played a leading part in the opening-up o f the southern Sudan in the nineteenth century.

2. Beside the Nile in Nubia. Driven by oxen, the creak­ ing saqiaraises water for irrigation.

}. A street in Suakin. This ancient Red Sea port, so different from any other Sudanese town, is now used only by pilgrims on their w ay to Mecca. Its great houses are slowly falling into ruin.

4. A market scene in Kasala. Behind the town, which developed in the nineteenth century from a Turco-Egyptian garrison-station, rises Jabal Kasala, a notable landmark.

5. Beja tribesmen, o f the Red Sea Hills. Men like these, the ‘FuzzyWuzzies’ o f Kipling’ s poem, were ‘Uthman Diqna’ s warriors in the Mahdia.


6. A family o f Baqqara. These Arabic-speaking cattle-nomads provided the mass o f the tribal warriors in the Mahdia. Under the Khalifa ‘Abdallahi they dominated the Sudan.

7. Ploughing in the Gezira. The plain between the W hite and Blue Niles is one o f the Sudan’s chief agricultural areas. Formerly the granary o f the central Sudan, it now produces most o f the Sudan’s cotton. (See also N o. 36.)

8. A Fur family. The Fur, a non-Arab people, have their home around Jabal Marra. From the sixteenth to the twentieth century, they maintained an independent Muslim sultanate in Darfur. (See also N o. 26.) 9. Shilluk in an ambatch (reed-pith) canoe. Warriors under a dynasty o f divine kings, the Shilluk dominated the White Nile until the nineteenth century. A Shilluk war-band may have founded the Funj kingdom o f Sennar.

Under Turco-Egyptian Rule

io. Th e castle o f the kings o f Shendi. A t the time o f the TurcoEgyptian invasion, Shendi was the commercial centre o f the eastern Bilad n a d u S -l, but this picture indicates the precarious state o f security in the region.


i l . M akk N ast al-Din (17 6 1 -c. 18 37). T h e king o f Berber, he was de­ prived o f Ids throne b y a usurper, but was re­ instated as a result o f the Turco-Egyptian invasion.

12 . Sennar in 18 2 1. This drawing shows the old capital o f the Funj kingdom as it was at the time o f the Turco-Egyptian invasion. On the left is the mosque; on the right, the dilapidated tower o f the royal palace.

13. Khedive Isma‘ il (1830-95). As Ottoman viceroy o f Egypt (1863-79) he saw the second phase o f Egyptian expansion in the Sudan. The upper White Nile, the Bahr al-Ghazal and Darfur were all added to his empire.

14. General Charles George Gordon (183 3— 1885). A British soldier who became the most famous of Khedive Isma'il’s foreign servants. He strove to establish ad­ ministration and sup­ press slave-trading in the newly acquired terri­ tories. The last khédivial governor - general, he died when the Mahdi took Khartoum.

15* Aba Island in 1852. In 1852 Aba was a Shilluk island at the extreme limit o f Turco-Egyptian control: in 1881 it was to be the cradle o f the Mahdia. This is how it was seen by Bayard Taylor, the first American tourist in the Sudan.

1 6. Muhammad *Ali Pasha (17 6 9 -18 4 9 ). A s Ottoman viceroy o f E g y p t from 1805, he founded the dynasty which ruled until 19 5 2 . H is conquests o f Nubia, Sennar, Kordofan and the Taka were the nucleus o f Egyptian rule. 17 . A slave-raid in southern Kordofan. In the early Turco-Egyptian period, the acquisition o f slaves was a function o f the administra­ tion. Th e scene shows an encampment o f slave-raiders, headed by the governor o f Kordofan, w ho is seated and smoking a pipe in the left-hand corner.

1 8. The Palace o f the Hükämdars, Khartoum. This residence o f the Turco-Egyptian governors-general fell into ruin after the Mahdi’s capture o f Khar­ toum. Rebuilt after the Re­ conquest to house the governors­ general o f the Condominium, it is now the Republican Palace.

The Mahdia

19. Autograph o f the Mahdi. This is the sole document known to be an authentic auto­ graph o f the Mahdi. It is a formal legal document, written four years before his announce­ ment o f the Mahdia. It bears his signature as a witness above his seal in the bottom left-hand corner.





i *




20. The Battle o f ‘Abu Klea’ (Abu Tulayh, 17 January 1885). An incident in the advance o f the Desert Column, which was sent to relieve Gordon in Khartoum. The sketch was made by a British officer present at the engagement. 21. The Khalifa’ s House, Omdurman. Erected near the Mahdi’ s Tomb, the Khalifa’s House is a complex o f buildings. It is now a museum o f the Mahdia. On the left is the original cupola o f the Mahdi’s Tomb.

22. The Mahdi’s Tomb, Omdurman. The erection o f a domed tomb over the Mahdi’s grave was carried out, as a work o f piety, by the Khalifa ‘Abdallahi. Ruined and desecrated at the Reconquest, the Tomb was rebuilt in the last years o f the Condominium by the Mahdi’ s son, Sayyid *Abd al-Rahman.

23. Mahmud Ahmad (r. 1 8 6 5 - 1 9 0 6 ) . A nephew o f the Khalifa ‘Abdallahi, Mahmud commanded the army sent against the AngloEgyptian forces at the Reconquest. Although lacking in generalship, he fought with desperate courage against Kitch­ ener in the Battle o f the Atbara (8 April 1898). He died a prisoner in Rosetta.

24. Umm Di way karat, 24 November 1899. In the foreground lies the body o f the Khalifa ‘Abdallahi; on his right hand, his general, Ahmad Fadil.

The Condominium

25. Sir Reginald Wingate, Bt. (18 6 1-19 5 3 ). Succeeding Kitchener as governor-general o f the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan (18 9 9 -19 16 ), he was chiefly responsible for laying the administrative foundations o f British rule.

I 26. Palace o f Sultan ‘AU Dinar, E l Fasher. A view o f the gateway to the palace o f ‘A li Dinar, last sultan o f Darfur (ruled 18 9 8 -19 16 ).

27. Sir Douglas Newbold (18 9 4 -19 4 5). A s civil secretary from 1939 until his death, Newbold initiated the move­ ment o f the British administration from paternalism towards self-govern­ ment and ultimate independence.

28. The Legislative Assembly. The member speaking is ‘Abdallah Bey Khalil, at that time minister o f Agriculture and leader o f the Assem bly; he was later (19 56 -8) prime minister o f the Republic. The European on the front bench is Sir James Robertson, then civil secretary, and subsequently governor-general o f Nigeria.

29. The Anglo-Egyptian Agreement, 12 February 1953. Sir Robert H ow e, the governor-general, announcing the signature o f the Agreement to the Sudanese people in Khartoum.

The Republic

30. Independence, N e w Year’ s Day, 1956. The flag o f the new Republic is hoisted at the Palace in Khartoum, watched b y Sayyid Isma‘il al-Azhari, the prime minister, and Sayyid Muhammad Ahmad Mahjub, leader o f the opposition.

3i. Sayyid ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Mahdi (1883-1959). The post­ humous son o f the Mahdi, Sayyid ‘Abd al-Rahman was the head o f the religious sect o f the Ansar, and the patron o f the Umma Party. He is shown being greeted by Sayyid Isma'il al-Azhari.

32. Sayyid ‘Ali al-Mirghani (b. 1879). The descendant o f a family o f religious leaders, Sayyid ‘Ali is the head o f the Khatmiyya sect, the rivals o f Sayyid ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Mahdi’s Ansar.

33- President Ibrahim ‘Abbud (b. 1900). A s the general commanding the Sudanese army, Ibrahim ‘Abbud assumed the headship o f the state after the military coupd'état o f 17 Novem ber 1958.

Foundations O f The Future 54. and 35. (Above) A nursery school and (below) Intermediate schoolboys and their teacher in Omdurman.

3 6. The main canal o f the Gezira Scheme, which irrigates a large cotton producing area.

37. President Ibrahim ‘Abbud opened the new railway-line to Darfur in April 1959.


S E T T L E M E N T AN D S T A G N A T I O N : I

82 J -62

prosperity o f the Sudan was always precarious, being linked closely w ith the state o f the harvest in the areas o f rain cul­ tivation. The inception o f Khurshid’s new deal had been favoured by die good rains o f the summer o f 1826: the diffi­ culties o f his last years were increased by drought and famine, beginning in 18 )6 and accompanied by a cholera epidemic. Khurshid was less distinguished as a soldier than as an administrator. In the late summer o f 1827, he led an expedition from al-Rusayris, on the upper Blue N ile, into the Dinka country. A s a slave-raid this was no great success, only five hundred captives being brought in, while the Dinka put up a very stiff resistance, using arrows and spears, and routed Khurshid’s cavalry. Nevertheless, Khurshid pushed on by force o f arms as far as the Sobat, whence he returned to al-Rusayris. Three years later, in the autumn o f 1830, he organized a river expedition against the Shilluk, whose raids in canoes were still troubling the Arabs o f the White N ile as they had done in the sixteenth century. A s Khurshid’s ships m oved upstream, the Shilluk deserted their islands and fled to the interior, and the expedition penetrated as far as the mouth o f the Sobat. On the return journey, the Shilluk attacked the expedition w ith arrows. A rtillery fire dispersed them and the troops were able to take booty and slaves, but the Shilluk returned to the attack, recovered their booty and compelled the expedition to withdraw with a mere two hundred slaves. Khurshid’s third great expedition, in 18 3 1-3 2 , was against the Hadendowa o f the Taka. Sabderat was his objective, but he seems never to have got so far. A fter crossing die Atbara at Quz Rajab, the «Spedition became entangled in the bush, and was heavily defeated by the Hadendowa under their chief, Muhammad D in. Unable to advance, Khurshid established a fortified camp and beat o ff another attack, but he was glad to be able to extricate him self and return to Khartoum. The last years o f his rule were marked by a series o f frontier wars with Kanfu,* the Abyssinian ruler o f the district o f K w ara. The Abyssinian marches were always a critical area, remote from the centres o f Turco-Egyptian power and a con­ venient refuge fo r malcontents. One o f these was Shaykh

TH E T U R C O -E G YPT IA N P E R IO D : I 8 2 0 - 8 I

Rajab wad Bashir al-Ghul, a chief o f the Hammada A rabs, whose brother, A bu Rish, had been preferred by die authorities as head o f the tribe. Rajab conspired w ith K anfu to invade the Egyptian Sudan, and warning o f die plot was sent to Khurshid by Ahmad Kasbif Ghashim , the district officer o f the Qadarif. Khurshid at die time was slave-raiding in Fazughli, and could not personally lead an expedition to the threatened area, but he sent off reinforcements. In the batde which took place, the Abyssinians were completely defeated and Rajab fled. H e was, however, betrayed by Kanfu to Khurshid, who had him put to death in Khartoum in the spring o f 1836. Ahmad Kasbifnow took the initiative and raided Abyssinian territory. H is first expedition was successful in capturing a number o f prisoners, but on his second raid he was unex­ pectedly confronted by a large army under Kanfu. Ahmad’s own troops had been augmented by reinforcements sent by Khurshid, but their commander resented his subordinate position and would not co-operate w ith Ahmad. The TurcoEgyptian troops were heavily defeated, but Ahm ad escaped w ith his life, and the Abyssinians withdrew. This engagement, the battle o f Wad Kaltabu, took place in A pril 1837. Khurshid was now thoroughly alarmed. He believed that K anfu was seeking to annex the frontier districts around the Qallabat, which would then once more become an asylum fo r emigrants. H e asked Muhammad ‘A li to send him reinforce­ ments, so that he could mount a counter-attack on Kanfu. The viceroy agreed to do so. In the meantime, Khurshid gathered his own forces, and marched from Wad Medani to the Qallabat. Here he paused, and his campaign came to an inglorious con­ clusion. The British government intervened to warn Muham­ mad ‘A li against attempting conquests in Abyssinia. The rein­ forcements had, however, been despatched under the command o f Ahmad Pasha A bu W idan,3 w ho met Khurshid on his return from the Qallabat. Khurshid’s rule was now near its end, allhough he continued to enjoy the favour o f Muhammad ‘A li Pasha. In February 1834 he had been raised to the rank o f bey and appointed governor (mudir) o f the four Sudanese provinces, Sennar, Berber, K ordofan and Dongola. In the follow ing year he paid a visit to Cairo


S E T T L E M E N T AN D S T A G N A T I O N : 1 8 2 5 - 6 2

and was created a pasha. The unique nature o f his appointment was indicated by the grant o f a special tide (bükümdar,4 usually translated governor-general), which differentiated the head o f the administration in the Sudan from the governors (mudirs) o f the provinces o f E gypt proper. In M ay or Ju n e 1838 he was recalled to Cairo and Ahmad Pasha A bu Widan took over as acting governor-general. Khurshid was expected to return after medical treatment. H e never did so,* and some six months later A bu Widan was confirmed in office as bükümdar.* Under A bu W idan, the administration continued on the lines laid down by Mahu and Khurshid. Shaykh ‘A bd al-Qadir was again commended by the outgoing ruler to his successor, and continued as the governor-general’s chief native adviser. A bu Widan soon distinguished him self by a rigorous investigation o f the fiscal system, which had been related under Khurshid to die great profit o f the financial officials. Several o f these suffered distraint and punishment. A n edict, issued soon after A bu Widan’s accession to power, ordered all tenants o f riverain land to bring their holdings fully under cultivation. Derelict land was to become the property o f the first claimant who cleared and irrigated it, while land thus brought into cultivation was given a three years’ exemption from tax. A bu Widan’s stringency in fiscal matters produced tw o serious incidents. The first was w ith the Shayqiyya settlers, who had been allowed to colonize the derelict lands o f the Ja'aliyin rebels and emigrants. A bu Widan cancelled the forage allowance which these cavalrymen had received, and demanded the payment o f land-tax w ith arrears from the time they had taken possession. The chiefs o f the Shayqiyya produced their charter, but A bu Widan refused to relent. They then proposed to abandon their lands, but undertook to pay the arrears o f tax i f they m ight still receive their fodder rations. This com­ promise was also rejected by the governor-general, w ho insisted that they should continue to occupy their holdings. V ery reluctantly, the Shayqiyya accepted the order, w ith the excep­ tion o f one chief, M akk Hamad, who w ith his fam ily and tw o hundred follow ers set o ff from Shendi fo r the Abyssinian marches.


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On the w ay, the emigrants fell in with Shaykh Ahm ad A bu Sinn, die chief o f the Shukriyya, who informed the governorgeneral. A bu Widan set out in pursuit, attacked Hamad, and captured his baggage together with most o f the women and children. Hamad him self escaped, w ith a few follow ers, and raided the camp o f A bu Widan. The governor-general was him­ self accompanied by a contingent o f Shayqiyya, whose chief, M akk Kanbal7, he suspected o f having a secret understanding w ith Hamad. Kanbal was shot, probably at A bu Widan’s insti­ gation, and die Shayqiyya troops were sent home. Failing to catch up w ith the refugees, A bu Widan consulted his Sudanese advisers, Shaykh ‘A bd al-Qadir, Shaykh Ahmad A bu Sinn and Shaykh A bu Rish o f the Hammada. On their advice, he offered an amnesty to the refugee chief, who finally submitted on con­ dition that the Shayqiyya should be allowed to vacate their lands, while those who wished to remain should pay a fixed annual tax, but without arrears. The fodder allowance remained cancelled. The second crisis over taxes concerned Shaykh A bu Rish himself. When, probably early in 1842, A bu Widan demanded a double payment from the Hammada, the chief fled to the Abyssinian marches, and joined forces w ith a band o f free­ booters. He and his allies re-entered Sudanese territory, and inflicted a defeat on the local district officer. Although it was now the rainy season and movement in the region was ex­ tremely difficult, A bu Widan set out from Wad Medani to punish the raiders. A t this juncture A bu Rish was abandoned by his allies and decided to submit to the governor-general. He came to A bu Widan’s camp, and was pardoned after the inter­ vention o f Shaykh ‘A bd al-Qadir and other notables. The last important territorial expansion o f the Egyptian Sudan in the reign o f Muhammad *Ali Pasha was achieved by A bu Widan’s occupation o f the Taka. Although the area had been invaded by the defterdar and also by Khurshid, neither o f them had succeeded in establishing their authority permanently, and Khurshid’s campaign against the Hadendowa had been, as w e have seen, an ignominious m ilitary failure. In 1840 A bu Widan determined to make a fresh expedition and to obtain the payment o f tribute by the Be ja. The two tribes which formed

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his principal objective were the Hadendowa under Shaykh Muhammad D in, in the wooded country o f the northern Gash, and the Halanqa further south around Jabal Kasala. Troops were assembled at E l Darner, and on 20 March 1840 A bu Widan began his advance up the Atbara. On the w ay he was joined by Muhammad, the son o f the Arbab D afa‘allah. In spite o f his father’s turbulent career, Muhammad wad D afa'allah had been received into favour and was an important notable o f the Gezira.8 He brought with him his private retinue o f troops. The expeditionary force halted at Quz Rajab, and then con­ tinued its advance in the direction o f Jabal Kasala. Although Muhammad D in had sent his son as an envoy, the first tribal chief to come in was Shaykh Muhammad Ila o f the Halanqa. He was a parvenu to power, a fa k i, not related to the old chief, who had fled on the news o f A bu Widan’s approach. On 12 A pril the Turco-Egyptian force encamped on the Gash, near the village o f Arom a, and two days later Muhammad D in arrived to make his submission in person. But to extract tribute from the unwilling and elusive Hadendowa was no easy matter, although A bu Widan seized Muhammad D in and other chiefs as hostages. Finally the expeditionary force m oved on to Jabal Kasala and encamped near the holy village o f al-Khatm iyya, the head­ quarters o f the M irghani fam ily. On the camp-site the town o f Kasala subsequently developed, and became the chief admini­ strative centre o f the eastern Egyptian Sudan. A bu Widan now tried to defeat the Hadendowa by stratagem. Muhammad Ila suggested the damming o f the river Gash, in order to prevent its floods from reaching the Hadendowa. D eprived o f water for their lands and their crops, they would, the governor-general hoped, be compelled to submit and pay tribute. The device however failed: the floodwaters breaking the crudely constructed dam. A n advance made against the Hadendowa was rendered ineffective by the scrub o f the low er Gash. A bu Widan patched up an agreement with his opponents, and returned to Khartoum . Although A bu Widan had failed to reduce the Hadendowa to submission, his campaign had been much more successful than that o f Khurshid. Muhammad D in, the leader o f the Haden-


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dowa, was taken as a prisoner to Khartoum , where he died o f smallpox in the follow ing year. M ore important still, the TurcoEgyptian administration had obtained at Kasala a permanent foothold. The extension o f the Egyptian Sudan towards the Red Sea inevitably gave a new importance to the old Ottoman ports o f Suakin and Massawa, at that time nominal depen­ dencies o f the vilayet o f the Hijaz. A bu Widan him self raised the question o f their status, demanding that the governor o f Suakin should pay taxes to die Sudanese treasury. In die face o f opposition, both from the governor o f the H ijaz and the Ottoman government, Muhammad ‘A li Pasha withdrew this claim. This was in 1843, but in 1846 the Ottoman Sultan *Abd al-M ajid granted the ports to Muhammad ‘A li on an annual lease. Three years later the lease was terminated and not until 1863, in the reign o f Khedive Ism a'il, were die two ports permanendy annexed to the Egyptian Sudan. Ahmad Pasha A bu Widan was a strong and effective governor: die Sudanese chronicler declares that his period o f office was better than that o f Khurshid, good though this was. H e was perhaps too successful: it was rumoured that he was seeking to make him self independent, or alternatively that he was plotting with Sultan ‘A bd al-M ajid to separate the Suda­ nese provinces from Muhammad ‘A li’s dominions. When he died suddenly in Khartoum , on 6 October 1843, the story quickly spread that he had been poisoned by his w ife, die daughter o f Muhammad ‘A li. Whether or not Muhammad ‘A li instigated the death o f A bu W idan, he took advantage o f the situation to prevent his successor from attaining so powerful a position. A special commissioner, Ahmad Pasha M anikli, was sent to decentralize the administration. The appointment o f büMümdarvras abolished. Each province would be autonomous, under a governor o f the tank o f pasha, who would correspond direcdy with Cairo. A few months later, Muhammad ‘A li changed his mind. M anikli, who had remained in die Sudan to report on the gold o f Fazughli, was ordered to reintegrate the administration. H e him self was appointed hükümdar, a post which he held until 1845. H is period o f office was chiefly notable fo r a punitive

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82 5-62

expedition against the Hadendowa, earned out with a brutal vigour that won him the nickname o f Jangar, ‘butcher’. Muhammad ‘A li’s uncharacteristic vacillation over diese administrative changes marks die beginning o f nearly two decades o f feeble administration in die Egyptian Sudan. These are the years o f the great viceroy's senility, o f the retrogressive reign o f ‘Abbas I (1849-54), and o f the capricious rule o f Muhammad Sa‘id (1854-63). Eleven representatives o f the viceroy sat at Khartoum during the twenty years follow ing the death o f A bu Widan. Their abilities varied, but few o f them held office long enough to rule effectively. The Sudanese chronicler has little to say o f diem. One o f the greatest pioneers o f Western culture in Egypt, R ifa‘a Bey Raff* al-Tahtawi, spent a few unhappy years in Khartoum , nominally organizing a school, in fact a victim o f ‘Abbas Pasha's jealous obscurantism. Bayard Taylor, the first American tourist in the Sudan, met him diere in 1852 and heard the long tales o f his woes. In the early months o f 1857 an epidemic o f cholera broke out, which claimed, among many less distinguished victim s, the great counsellor, Shaykh ‘A bd al-Qadir wad al-Zayn. A t this juncture die Viceroy Muhammad Sa*id Pasha him self visited the Sudan. H e went no further than Khartoum , but what he saw horrified him and he resolved at first to abandon the Sudanese provinces. B y the time he had reached the capital, however, he had modified his view s. The administration was again decentralized. Four provinces were established, one cornbining Khartoum and die Gezira, another uniting D ongola and Berber, the others being Kordofan and the Taka. These were to be linked more closely w ith E gypt by a camel-post, while a railway from Wadi H aifa to Khartoum was projected. This second decentralization lasted until 1862, when Musa Pasha Hamdi was appointed bükümdar. T w o m ajor issues o f later years were foreshadowed in Muhammad Sa‘id 's reign. In December 1854, he ordered the governor-general to stop the slave-trade, and in the follow ing year he sought to check the transport o f slaves down the White N ile by establishing a control-post at Fashoda, far to die south o f the previous lim it o f Egyptian administration.* This policy was not very successful, but it was to be taken up w ith greater


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effect (and disastrous consequences for Egyptian rule in the Sudan) by Khedive Ism a'il. Muhammad Sa‘id Pasha also appointed the first Christian governor in the Sudan, A rakil Bey the Armenian, a relative o f Nubar Pasha who played so prominent a part in the history o f E gypt under Khedive Isma‘il and his successors. A rakil was the first governor o f Khartoum and the Gezira under the system o f decentralization. The appointment o f a Christian almost provoked a revolt o f the powerful Shukriyya tribe, a threat which A rakil overcame by his personal courage. H is rule was short, since he died in Khartoum in 1858. The picture o f political stagnation in diese years is repeated in the field o f economic history. Muhammad ‘A li began with an optimistic view o f the resources awaiting development and exploitation in the Sudan. A period o f disillusionment followed. The limited success o f his attempts to recruit a slave army has already been described. Even more disappointing than the slave-soldiers was the gold o f the Sudan. This was sought principally in two regions, around Fazughli and at Jabal Shaybun in the Nuba Mountains. European experts, pushed on by Muhammad ‘A li himself, prospected these areas, but to little purpose. The search was to be resumed in the Condo­ minium period, but the profits were small. The iron deposits o f Kordofan were slightly more productive, and provided nails fo r the government shipyard. A n attempt to im prove their exploitation, with the aid o f English iron founders, was, how­ ever, a failure. The copper deposits o f H ufrat al-Nahas, on the border between D arfur and the non-Arab peoples, were outside the range o f Egyptian control until long after Muhammad ‘A li’s time. Attempts to im prove Sudanese agriculture were radier more successful. In the early years after die conquest, Egyptian peasants were sent into die new territories to teach their methods to the Sudanese cultivators. Something was done to increase the irrigable areas by the main N ile. N ew fruit-trees were introduced, while plantations o f sugar-cane and indigo were developed. The spread o f cotton-production lay in the future, but Mahu Bey is said to have obtained from the Abyssinian frontier the seed which bears his name, and which



was the parent o f Egyptian cotton. One o f the most valuable exports o f the Sudan was, as it is today, the gum-arabic o f Sennar and Kordofan, while ivory, traded from the stillunconquered south, was acquired by government agents. Cattle and camels, brought from the Sudan, augmented Egyptian livestock, depleted by epizootics and warfare. From 1824 onwards, Muhammad ‘A li attempted to place all Sudanese exports under a government monopoly. In this he was fo r many years successful, although his measures ran counter to the official trading-policy o f the Ottoman Em pire. In his years o f weakness, towards the end o f his reign, how­ ever, he was no longer able to resist the pressure o f the Euro­ pean powers fo r free trade, and by the end o f A bu Widan’s period o f office, in 1843, the various monopolies had been abolished. The end o f the m onopoly led to the development o f a European trading community, at first mostly G reek and Italian, in Khartoum . Under ‘Abbas I, they became an influ­ ential pressure-group, which succeeded in opening the White N ile to private navigation and commerce. The momentous consequences o f this w ill be considered in the next chapter. Otherwise the reigns o f ‘Abbas I and Muhammad Sa'id were a period o f stagnation in die economic as w ell as the political history o f the Sudan.



1862-81 o f Khedive Ism a'il (1863-79) marked the cul­ mination o f Turco-Egyptian power in the Sudan. Under him the administration regained the vigour which it had lost since the later years o f Muhammad ‘A li. In his time the territories o f E gypt’s African empire were enormously increased. But with all his ability, Ism a'il lacked the caution o f his grandfather. M oreover he ruled at a time when international interest in E gypt, and in A frica generally, was far more marked, and the issues at stake fur greater, than they had been while Muhammad ‘A li lived. Hence the last years o f Ism a'iTs reign are a period o f increasing difficulty ending in disaster. Three years after his deposition, the fortunes o f the khedivate reached their nadir, when his successor Muhammad Taw fiq was a pawn in the hands, first o f ‘Urabi Pasha1 and his militant nationalists, and then in those o f the victorious British invaders. Three characteristic themes emerge from the story o f the Egyptian Sudan during the two decades which may broadly be called the era o f Isma‘il. The first is a great expansion o f the territories ruled by the khedive. The second, closely connected with this, is a prolonged struggle against the slave-trade. The third, which again is linked with the two preceding themes, is the increasing employment in high m ilitary and civil offices o f men who were neither Muslims nor Ottoman subjects, but fo r the most part Europeans and, at least nominally, T

h e r e ig n


Although Muhammad ‘A li, as w e have seen, valued his Sudanese possessions largely because they tapped a reservoir o f slaves whom he could use in his army, the lucrative and flourishing slave-trade became increasingly an embarrassment


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to his successors. Muhammad Sa*id and Ism a‘il were western­ ized rulers, w ith some genuine sympathy fo r that nineteenthcentury humanitarianism to which Muhammad ‘AU had paid no more than occasional Up-service. The combination o f anti­ slavery idealism with schemes fo r colonial expansion, a fre­ quent phenomenon o f European imperialism in die last decades o f the century, was, at a rather earUer period, characteristic o f Khedive Isma‘il. It is easy to dismiss his measures against the slave-trade as hypocrisy, a mere pretext fo r the acquisition o f territories that he could not effectively govern, but this is an over-simplification. The campaign against the trade was begun years before the khédivial government had made any attempt to extend its power over the great slave-acquiring areas o f the Upper N ile and the Bahr al-Ghazal, while the first suggestions o f such an extension seem to have come from the British consul in Cairo. The campaign against the slave-trade resulted not only from the change o f heart o f die Egyptian government, and its greater susceptibiUty to European pressure, but from the new mag­ nitude o f the problem in the middle years o f the century. The traditional slave-raiding areas, the products o f which Muham­ mad ‘AU had sought to monopolize, lay on the fringe o f the old Muslim territories o f the northern Sudan. The situation o f the fierce ShiUuk warriors on die White N ile, and die hazards o f navigating the river itself, had long prevented the penetration o f N egro A frica from the north. A fter the Turco-Egyptian conquest, these obstacles were gradually overcome. Khurshid and Muhammad ‘AU had discussed an expedition up the White N ile in 1836, but the scheme was canceUed, and it was not until 1839 that a flotilla o f sailing-boats under die command o f Salim Qabudan reached a point on the river about 6 ° N . Tw o further expeditions, made in the follow ing years, attained a site at about latitude j ° N ., where the post o f Gondokoro was later to develop. Meanwhile the possession o f firearms was to give the men from die north the means o f ultimate victory over the ShiUuk and other tribes. Although Salim Qabudan’s expeditions failed to realize Muhammad ‘A li’s hopes o f discovering the source o f the N ile and the metals which he was convinced must be there, they


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opened the w ay to the traders o f Khartoum . A t first govern­ ment restrictions prevented their access to the Upper N ile, but their abolition in 185 3 let in a swarm o f merchants from Europe, Egypt and the Egyptian Sudan itself. They penetrated, not only the main stream o f die N ile itself, where Gondokoro marked their furthest south, but also the western region o f the Bahr al-Ghazal. It was not a case o f trade follow ing the flag: Aba Island, whence die Mahdi was to launch his revolt in 18 8 1, lay at this time beyond die sphere o f Turco-Egypdan rule. The merchants were beyond the control, as they were beyond the assistance, o f settled government. Each principal had his agents and servants, his private army o f armed retainers, recruited largely from the Danaqla and Shayqiyya o f the north. Each had his fortified stations (%aribas)t encampments surrounded by thorn-fences, which served them as headquarters, entrepôts fo r their goods, and garrison-posts in time o f need. O riginally they came to seek ivory, but they turned imperceptibly into slavers. Slaves were needed as concubines and porters, while slavetroops (ba^tngers) usefully augmented their private armies. W ith the local chiefs and tribes they established curious pre­ datory alliances, and inter-tribal warfare passed into slave­ raiding. A t the outset the position o f the ‘Khartoum ers’ was precarious, but in the end their firearms and organization gave them the mastery over the tribal chiefs. The most powerful o f them were merchant-princes, effectively ruling great areas. Meanwhile the ready market fo r slaves in the north turned them from a profitable sideline to the staple o f the K har­ toumers ’ trade. Although Muhammad ‘A li Pasha had issued edicts against the slave-trade, the first practical measures against it were taken by Ism a'il as regent o f Egypt fo r Muhammad Sa*id in October 1862. The bükümdar Musa Hamdi Pasha, who had been appointed earlier that year, notified the merchants that boats would only be allowed to leave fo r the south fo r trade in ivory. A t die same time a capitation tax equivalent to one month’s pay was placed on all personnel taking part in trading voyages, while an officer w ith a small company o f troops was appointed to control the traffic on the river. These measures were a pitiful failure. The slave-trade pro­


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ceeded as vigorously as ever, since the source o f the trade lay beyond the control o f die administration. Further steps were taken late in 1863. A new province was constituted on the White N ile with its headquarters at Fashoda, in Shilluk terri­ tory. This to some extent strengthened the hand o f the authorities. O f the two merchant-princes who dominated the area, one fled while the other made terms with the admini­ stration. A t the same time Musa Hamdi tripled the capitation tax on personnel. This action, coming just when the traders' boats were about to leave Khartoum , provoked a great outcry from the European trading community, who suspected that the governor-general was trying to drive them o ff the river. Within the next few years, in fact, the Europeans withdrew from their establishments in the south, which fell into the hands o f Egyptians, Sudanese and other Ottoman subjects. A further measure against the slave-trade, inaugurated in June 1864, was the establishment o f a force o f river-police. This was equipped w ith four steamers and half a dozen armed sailing-ships, which intercepted the traders' boats on their return downstream. A fter the first shock, the river-police seem rapidly to have lost their efficaciousness. A n official inquiry in 1866 revealed that in spite o f the seizure o f 3,538 slaves, the traders had quickly learnt to elude or bribe the patrols, and that their operations were continuing on a large scale. The good intentions o f the khedive were, in fact, being defeated by three factors: the existence o f powerful and wealthy vested interests in the mercantile community; the lack o f honest and well-paid officials; and the absence o f any provision for the future o f the confiscated slaves. Although in theory these should have been repatriated at the expense o f the traders, they were in fact brought to Khartoum where many o f them were enrolled in the army. Thus the administration itself was led to contrive at a veiled form o f slave-recruitment. The withdrawal o f the European traders from the White N ile and the Bahr al-Ghazal was followed by the emergence o f a new generation o f merchant-princes in the extensive regions still outside khédivial control. On the White N ile, the most successful o f these was Shaykh Ahmad al-*Aqqad, who, probably with the financial backing o f Isma‘il himself, bought



up most o f his competitors* establishments. The enormous expenses o f die trade in ivory led al-‘Aqqad, as it had led his predecessors, to have recourse to slave-trading to recoup his losses. He sheltered under a khédivial decree which authorized die personnel o f expeditions to bring their N egro concubines and children to Khartoum : a loophole which made possible the transport and sale o f thousands o f slaves annually. The only answer to this recurrent problem seemed to be a further extension o f khédivial rule, and die appointment as officials o f men who stood outside the circle o f vested and corrupt interests. The khedive sought to attain both these objectives when, in A pril 1869, he took into his service the distinguished British explorer, Sir Samuel Baker. Baker drew up his own contract o f employment, which was however modi­ fied in some details by Isma‘il. H is tour o f duty was to last fo r two years, during which he was to lead an expedition with die objects o f annexing to E gyp t all the territories in the N ile basin, suppressing the slave-trade and establishing a chain o f m ilitary posts in the newly-acquired regions. Baker was given a princely salary and equipment, and provided w ith a flotilla o f six steamers and several sailing-ships. I f strength o f body and force o f character had sufficed fo r die task, Baker would have been an admirable choice. But he was deficient in administrative qualities and, a more serious defect in the circumstances, totally blind to his delicate and invidious situation. He was an Englishman and a Christian in the employ o f a Muslim ruler. H is mission was odious to die powerful and entrenched slave-trading interest w ith its numer­ ous ramifications in the administration, die army and Sudanese society generally. A s it was, he quarrelled with die governorgeneral, Ja ‘far Mazhar Pasha, with die slave-traders and with the tribes whose interests he was supposed to protect N ever­ theless, he carried the flag to the borders o f Uganda, and left garrisons to mark the authority o f the khedive along die Upper N ile. W hile Baker was thrusting his w ay irascibly up die N ile, another expedition was marching to establish the khedive’s authority in a different region. The Bahr al-Ghazal was domi­ nated by die merchant-princes, whose 3 aribas, strung out along


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die routes to the north, were stages fo r the slave-caravans going to Kordofan and D arfur. D ar Fartit, to the south o f D arfur, was an ancient slave-raiding area. A bout the middle o f the century a Muslim named Muhammad al-H ilali, who claimed to come from M orocco, had acquired power in this region and established an autonomous kingdom , under the overlordship o f Darfur. Trouble had subsequendy developed between the vassal and his suzerain, and H ilali sought asylum w ith Ja 'fa r Mazhar, who proposed to the khedive to support his rights in D ar Fartit. Ism a'il agreed, seeing in H ilali an instrument by which he m ight extend his power over the whole Bahr alGhazal. H ilali was form ally appointed chief o f the district o f the Bahr al-Ghazal and, in spite o f the protests o f the sultan o f D arfur, was sent off to bring the territory into submission. The principal opposition which he had to fear was not from the enfeebled sultanate o f D arfur, but from the powerful and independent merchant-princes o f the Bahr al-Ghazal itself. Am ongst these, the most important was a Ja ‘ali, al-Zubayr Rahma Mansur, who had made himself, the principal trader in the western part o f die Bahr al-Ghazal and sent his caravans into D arfur. Zubayr’s relations with H ilali were at first friendly, but they soon deteriorated. The difficulties which the slavetrade was experiencing on the N ile worked to the profit o f the traders in the remote Bahr al-Ghazal, who were unwilling to accept H ilali’s credentials as the agent o f the administration. In 18 7 1 H ilali asked Khartoum fo r reinforcements, and when they arrived he began to attack and reduce the garitas o f the traders. Zubayr marched to the aid o f his friends and kinsmen. The unfortunate H ilali was killed in battle. The khedive saved appearances, realizing that Zubayr was beyond his power, by constituting the Bahr al-Ghazal a province and appointing Zubayr as its governor (December 1873). The Upper N ile and the Bahr al-Ghazal had thus been added, at least in name, to Isma‘iTs African empire. The administrative organization o f the newly acquired territories on the N ile was the w ork o f another Englishman, Charles G eorge Gordon, who had already made a name fo r him self as an unorthodox but successful soldier in China. Appointed to succeed Baker, w ith the title o f governor o f the Equatorial province, in 1874, he 67


established a provincial capital at Lado, organized the series o f riverain garrisons which tenuously held the region, and strove to reconcile the tribes, rendered angry and resentful by the depredations o f the slave-traders and the heavy-handed methods o f Baker. When he resigned in 1876, Egyptian authority was still feeble. Once again, a basic problem was that o f personnel. Although there were advantages in employing foreign admini­ strators, their salaries were high, and they succumbed to the climate. The Danaqla, who filled many o f the civil and military posts, had long been inured to the region; they were hardy and intelligent, but they felt little loyalty towards the administra­ tion, or sympathy for the campaign against the slave-trade. Meanwhile Zubayr ruled in the Bahr al-Ghazal. A s the principal operator in this region, he made an agreement w ith the Rizayqat tribe o f Baqqara in southern D arfur to ensure a safe passage for his caravans. In 1873 the Rizayqat broke their agreement. Zubayr complained to their overlord, Sultan Ibrahim Muhammad o f D arfur, and at the same time invaded the territory o f the Rizayqat and defeated them. The strained relations that followed, between the sultan and Zubayr, led to further hostilities. Zubayr covered his aggression by inform ing the governor-general, Isma‘il Ayyub Pasha, and through him the khedive, o f a project to invade and conquer D arfur in the name o f the Egyptian government. While Isma‘il Ayyub concentrated his forces in Kordofan, Zubayr struck into D arfur from the south. A Fur army was defeated in January 1874, and in October Sultan Ibrahim was killed at the battle o f Manawashi. On 2 Novem ber, Zubayr entered E l Fasher, where he was joined a few days later by Ism a'il Ayyub. Thus D arfur became a province o f the Egyptian Sudan, over half a century after Muhammad ‘A li had originally planned its conquest. Zubayr was granted the title o f pasha, but his great triumph was rapidly to be followed by eclipse. A clash with Isma‘il A yyub was inevitable. When it occurred, Zubayr went to Cairo, to plead his cause in person, and there he was detained. He did not return to the Sudan until after the AngloEgyptian Reconquest. With his rem oval, the Bahr al-Ghazal lost its master, at a time when the khedive’s authority in the province was little more than nominal.


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The reign o f Khedive Isma’il witnessed also an expansion o f the Egyptian empire in the east, when in i 8 6 j die ports o f Suakin and Massawa were finally ceded by the Ottoman govern­ ment to die viceroyalty o f E gyp t.8 The acquisition o f die Red Sea ports opened a new phase in the relations o f Egypt and Abyssinia. In 18 7 1 Ism a'il appointed as governor o f Massawa a Swiss, Munzinger, whose authority was subsequendy ex­ tended over the whole Sudanese coast. Munzinger began to prepare fo r w ar against K in g Joh n IV o f Abyssinia. He died in an ambush, but Ism a'il's aggressive policy continued. The out­ come was unfortunate fo r Egypt. T w o Egyptian expeditionary forces in succession were overwhelmed and defeated in the Eritrean highlands in 1875 and 1876 respectively. Ism a'ü's failure in Abyssinia was the first o f a series o f calamities. The follow ing year, 1877, saw á crisis in the three characteristic developments o f his reign. In February Gordon was appointed governor-general o f the Sudan, the first Chris­ tian and European to hold this post. A t the outset he was faced with the legacy o f Ism a'il's expansionist policy— an unsettled frontier with Abyssinia, revolt in D arfur, and anarchy in the Bahr al-Ghazal. Finally, in A ugust 1877, the khedive concluded the Anglo-Egyptian Slave Trade Convention, which provided, amongst other tilings, fo r the termination o f the sale and pur­ chase o f slaves in the Sudan by 1880. Meanwhile the khedive’s grow ing financial involvem ent was leading to increasing diffi­ culties w ith his European creditors and the great powers that stood behind them. It was in the years follow ing 1877 that the revolutionary situation was created which ultimately resolved itself in the Mahdia. The appointment o f Gordon as governor-general placed at the head o f the Sudanese administration a man devoted to his duties and possessed o f daemonic energies. In the course o f a few months he attempted to teach a settlement with Abyssinia, pacified D arfur, and appointed as governor o f the Bahr alGhazal the one man who might possibly have served as an instrument o f Egyptian rule— Sulayman, the son o f Zubayr. Bur G ordon's successes were superficial, and his later years o f office were to show the complexity o f the problems which he struggled to solve. H is difficulties were partly personal, partly 69


the result o f circumstances. He was inexperienced in the routine o f administration and contemptuous o f bureaucracy. H e was im pulsive and relied on intuition, while his deeply personal religion tended to invest his decisions and his vacillations with a divine sanction in his own eyes. He was a fanatical Christian. He was illiterate in Arabic, and his command o f the spoken language seems to have been meagre in die extreme. Y e t far less honest and far less able men have succeeded in building and administering empires. Gordon was unfortunate in that he assumed power at a time when Isma‘il, the one man whom he could trust, was declining in authority. He had neither sound finances nor effective forces to back him. He mistrusted his Egyptian subordinates, often w ith reason, but die caprice o f his appointments and dismissals indicates a lack o f judgement, while his reliance on inexperienced Sudanese and Europeans, often ill-equipped fo r their tasks, weakened an administration already defective in tradition and esprit de corps. From Ju ly 1878 the tide turned against him. H e was now solely responsible fo r the suppression o f the slave-trade, a policy difficult in any circumstances and impossible in the con­ ditions o f those years. Sulayman, who had been superseded by a rival, revolted in the Bahr al-Ghazal, and risings broke out in D arfur and Kordofan. G ordon, acting in concert w ith two Italian subordinates, G essi in the Bahr al-Ghazal and Messedaglia in D arfur, succeeded in restoring order, but die south­ west was sullen and unreconciled to the rule o f the khedive’s officials. T o cut o ff supplies from Sulayman, G ordon had authorized the Baqqara chiefs to harry the jallaba who traded in their districts. E l Obeid and the other towns o f K ordofan and D arfur were filled with the survivors and kinsmen o f these traders, thus abruptly deprived o f their stake in Egyptian rule. In June 1879, as a result o f European pressure, Isma‘il was desposed by Sultan ‘A bd al-Hamid II. Realizing that his one support was gone, G ordon sought to resign. Effectively his administration ended w ith Ism a'il’s reign, although his form al resignation did not come until 1880, after a further unsuccessful attempt to reach a settlement with Abyssinia. H is successor as governor-general was Muhammad R a’u f Pasha, a man o f mixed Nubian and Abyssinian parentage, who had served under

T H E E R A OF K H E D I V E I S M A E L :


both Baker and G ordon. D uring his administration» in June 1881» the storm broke. In economic matters, die reign o f Isma‘il was a period o f unful­ filled promise. The story o f the Sudan railway project is typical. H is predecessor, Muhammad Sa’id, had, as mentioned earlier, planned the construction o f a railway to link Upper E gyp t w ith the Sudanese provinces, but the scheme was abandoned.* Ism a'il took it up with new enthusiasm as a means o f assisting administrative centralization. A British engineer, Sir Joh n Fow ler, made plans fo r opening die First Cataract to shipping, and fo r constructing a railway from Wadi H aifa to Metemma. W ork was begun on both schemes in 1873, but progress was delayed by the khedive’s financial difficulties. H ow ever, in February 1875 w ork was resumed at Wadi Haifa. Labour difficulties and the deepening financial crisis again intervened. The line reached only thirty-three miles south o f W adi H aifa when the w ork was suspended. The project was finally aban­ doned after the British occupation o f Egypt. Thereafter, apart from the abortive attempt to construct a line from Suakin to Berber in connection with the campaign against ‘Uthman Diqna in 1883, there was no further railway-building in the Sudan until Kitchener’s campaign in Dongola during 1896. T w o other grandiose schemes o f Isma‘il’s time were equally unfortunate. A t the beginning o f his reign, he encouraged the form ation o f a private organization, the Compagnie du Soudan, to develop rail and river transport and assist the export trade. A fter an initial buying spree, the company got into difficulties, and in 1868 went into liquidation. H is other great scheme has still left memories in the Sudan. The American G v il W ar caused a boom in Egyptian cotton, much to the khedive’s profit. H is governor in Suakin, Ahm ad Mumtaz Pasha, rightly perceived that the Sudan also had areas eminently suitable fo r cotton-growing, and started an experimental plantation in the Tokar district. This was a success. Ism a‘il’s interest was aroused and Mumtaz put 2,300 acres o f the Gash delta under cotton. He had selected his areas w ell; under the Condominium, as w e shall see, they became centres o f cotton production; but by this time the G v ü W ar was over and the boom was ending. Neither 71


Mumtaz nor his master had good heads fo r business, so although in 18 7 1 the pasha was put over the combined pro­ vinces o f Khartoum , Sennar and the White N ile, in which he found wider scope fo r his cotton projects, his financial situation crumbled and he was dismissed from office after less than a year. Am ong the Sudanese country-people until quite recent times, the name o f Mumtaz was used as a synonym fo r cotton. Against these failures must be set some developments in the communications o f the Sudan. The first steamers had appeared on die Sudanese N ile before Ism a'il's time, but the creation o f a fleet o f government steamers took place in his reign. M ost o f them were sent upstream from Egypt, and had difficulty in passing the cataracts that lay between Asw an and Khartoum . They were serviced at a dockyard west o f Khartoum , near the junction o f die N iles. The surviving steamers and the dockyard were subsequendy part o f the physical legacy o f the Egyptian administration to the Mahdist state. The steamers played an important part in strengthening die hold o f the administration over the country, particularly over the outlying provinces o f the south. It was aided also by die development o f the electric telegraph system. In 1866, W adi H aifa was linked w ith Upper E gypt, and by 1874 the line had been extended to Khartoum . Another section, completed in 187$, linked this line with the Red Sea coast, by w ay o f Berber, Kasala and Suakin. A third section connected Khartoum with the w est, running by E l Obeid to the borders o f D arfur. This system was a casualty o f the Mahdist revolutionary w ar, since die long stretches o f unprotected line were easily cut by the rebels. Under the Mahdist government, a fragm entary system, linking the treasury in Omdurman with the dockyard at Khar­ toum, survived and was operated by telegraph-derks o f the old administration.

PART i T H E M AH D IST S T A T E 1881-98 *A Mahdi who since be arose never betrayed or deceivedy who guided the blind and codified religious knowledge: who penetrated into the inmost secrets o f the divine presence; who every dag is revealed in the colour o f a new light; who strives not after created things bist after tin Creator * From a verse panegyric by Ahmad Sa*d, translated by S. Hillelson.

‘ The woe which befell us has now befallen the A nsar; English gunfirey and slaughter, and wretched­ ness. The Sirdar takes up bis quarters in the Khalifa*s courtyard. Sbaykh al-Din is a prisoner, and Ya'qub carriesfirewood* From anonymous verses circulating after the defeat o f the Khalifa, translated by S. Hillelson.



1881-85 frequently asserted d u t the Mahdia was due to die oppression and misgovemment o f the Egyptians in the Sudan. This hypothesis has been too easily and uncritically accepted, since it fails to explain w hy the revolution began precisely when and where it did. Exam ples o f oppression and corruption could be found in the Turco-Egyptian administration, although it may be queried whether these were as universal and offensive as is sometimes suggested. The savage pacification by the defterdar was a regrettable but abnormal incident o f the con­ quest; thereafter there was, as w e have seen, a good deal o f association o f the Sudanese notables and men o f religion w ith die administration. Corruption shocked the nineteenth-century European visitors, but it had long been endemic in Ottoman and Egyptian administration. T o judge Turco-Egyptian admini­ stration by die standards o f twentieth-century colonial rule, instead o f seeing it as part o f the pattern o f late Ottoman provincial government, is unwarranted and unhistorical. The accepted explanation would be more tenable if, on the declaration o f the Mahdia, the revolt had flared out throughout the length and breadth o f die Egyptian Sudan. But this was not the case. F o r two years it was practically confined to the southern fringe o f die Arab provinces, centring in Kordofan, die conquest o f which was the first m ajor achievement o f die Mahdi’s followers. It spread only gradually to the other parts o f the Sudan, last o f all to those northern riverain provinces which had had the longest experience o f Turco-Egyptian rule. This is a fairly clear indication that at the outset the reasons fo r the success o f the Mahdia lay in local conditions. The ascription o f the Mahdia to the faults o f Turco-Egyptian




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rule also fails to explain w hy it should have broken out in 1881. W hy not sooner? The Sudanese had borne alien rule fo r sixty years; w hy did it suddenly become intolerable? There is no reason to assume that the burden had suddenly become heavier under the feeble rule o f Muhammad R a’uf. It had, however, become easier to throw off. T o explain die timing o f the outbreak, one must look beyond the Sudan to events in Egypt, which followed to some extent a sim ilar pattern. The khédivial autocracy had virtually ended w ith the deposidon o f Isma‘il in 1879. H is son and successor, Muhammad Taw fiq, was a puppet o f the great powers. The change o f rulers swept away die prestige which had surrounded the viceregal dynasty from the time o f Muhammad *Ali. In E gypt, the forces o f opposition gathered around the army leader, ‘Urabi Pasha, and effected by gradual stages a change in the centre o f pow er; a genuine revolution which was abrupdy nullified in September 1882 by the British occupation. The collapse o f the khedivate in 1879 was as obvious to die Sudanese as to the Egyptians, and, by a turn o f the screw, die revolu­ tionary changes within E gypt made metropolitan control over Sudanese provinces weak and hesitant. There appears to have been no direct communication between the supporters o f ‘ Urabi in E gypt and those o f the Mahdi in the Sudan,1 but both movements found their opportunity in the power-vacuum caused by the disappearance o f Ism a‘il’s autocracy. The tim ing o f die Sudanese outbreak may further be linked with the resignation o f Gordon. Like Isma‘il, Gordon was far from being an ideal ruler, but with all his faults o f ignorance, caprice and misjudgement he was, like the khedive, a dynamic and masterful personality. H is withdrawal from the Sudan after the deposition o f Isma‘il produced the classical situation fo r the outbreak o f a revolution. Muhammad Ra’u f was the mild and gende ruler who reaped the whirlwind sown by his energetic predecessor. The Mahdia takes its name from its leader, Muhammad Ahmad ibn ‘Abdallah, a man o f Dunqulawi origin, who in June 1881 despatched letters from die island o f A ba in the White N ile, inform ing the notables o f the Sudan that he was the Expected Mahdi, the divine leader chosen by G od at the


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end o f time to fill die earth with justice and equity, even as it had been filled w ith oppression and w rong. H e was then a man about forty years o f age. From childhood he had been deeply religious and, although he had never been outside the Sudan, he had studied at the feet o f more than one Sudanese teacher, and had been initiated into a Sufi order. H is rigorous asceticism had led him to quarrel with one o f his teachers, but fo r some years past he had lived at A ba, gaining among the surrounding tribes an increasing reputation fo r holiness and supernatural powers. He was attended by a small company o f devout men like himself, and had been joined within the previous two or three years by a disciple who was to eclipse diem all. This was a certain ‘Abdallahi ibn Muhammad, die son o f the soothsayer o f the Ta'aisha, a tribe o f Baqqara living in the south o f D arfur. ‘Abdallahi shared the expectation o f the com­ ing o f die mabdiy which was current in the Sudan in this period, and he had on one occasion hailed Zubayr with this tide. But Zubayr refused to accept the rôle, and passed out o f Sudanese history. ‘Abdallahi’s coming to Muhammad Ahm ad may w ell have been die decisive event in turning the Dunqulaw i teacher’s thoughts towards assuming the Mahdiship. In these years also Muhammad Ahmad made two visits to K ordofan, and stayed a while in E l Obeid, where political intrigue and resentment against the local administration were rife. What were the motives that drove Muhammad Ahmad to lead a revolt against the Egyptian administration in the Sudan? T o many modem Sudanese, he is Abu’l-Istiqlal, ‘The Father o f Independence’, a nationalist leader who united die tribes o f the Sudan by an Islam ic ideology, drove out the alien rulers, and laid the foundations o f a nation-state. This is an interpretation o f die consequences o f his revolt, rather than an appreciation o f his m otives. Another modem Sudanese view o f Muhammad Ahmad sees in him a mujaddid, a renewer o f die Muslim Faith, come to purge Islam o f faults and accretions. Much in Muham­ mad Ahm ad’s own statements about his mission supports this opinion. A theme which occurs frequently in his pronounce­ ments is that he was sent to establish the Faith and the Custom o f the Prophet— the normative ideals o f Islam. Seen from this point o f view , Muhammad Ahmad is comparable to the M uslim 77

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reformers o f the eighteenth and nineteenth centimes, such as Muhammad ibn ‘A bd al-Wahhab, the founder o f the Wahhabi movement in Arabia. But Muhammad Ahmad went further than this. H is mission as reform er developed_fiscbatological overtones. He claimed fo r him self unique status, reflected in the three titles which he associated with his name— the Imam, die Successor o f die A posde o f G od, the Expected Mahdi. A s Imam, he asserted his headship o f the community o f true Muslims. A s Successor o f the Aposde o f G od, he envisaged him self recapitulating the rôle o f the Prophet, by restoring the community which Muham­ mad had established. A s the Expected Mahdi, he was an eschatological figure whose advent foreshadowed the end o f the age. A t times o f crisis in the Islam ic w orld, the appearance o f a mabdi, claim ing divine sanction to overthrow the old order and set up a new theocracy, is a not uncommon development. T w o medieval aabdis had established durable political regim es, ‘Ubaydallah, die founder o f die Fadm id dynasty in N orth A frica and E gyp t in the tenth century, and Muhammad ibn Tum art, whose follow ers, the Alm ohads, had conquered and ruled north-west A frica and M oorish Spain in the twelfth century. There had been others more recendy, including one who assailed, and was defeated by, Bonaparte’s French troops in E gypt at die end o f the eighteenth century. T o an established governm ent, the appearance o f a mabdi is therefore a dangerous symptom. Muhammad R a’u f appre­ hended die danger, but did not act w ith sufficient force to suppress it. A n expedition sent to A ba in A ugust 18 8 1, to seize Muhammad Ahm ad, miscarried, and the troops were beaten o ff with some casualties by the Mahdi’s follow ers. This victory o f spears and clubs over firearms was hailed as a miracle and, as soon as the government steamers had with­ drawn, the Mahdi and his little group o f follow ers crossed the W hite N ile and made their w ay to Qadir, a remote hill in the south o f Kordofan, on the fringe between Arab and N egro territory. Here the malcontents began to assemble. In this period three main groups may be distinguished among the A nsar? as the Mahdi called his supporters.



There were, first, the genuinely pious men who were his disciples in a religious sense and, in some cases, had been with him fo r years. These men accepted him as the Expected Mahdi. They deplored the state o f the Sudan because they were puritans and wished the conduct o f its people to be governed by the H oly Law o f Islam in its fo il rigour. The administration was odious, not so much because o f oppression and corruption in the usual sense, but because any government not patterned on die primi­ tive Islam ic theocracy was inherently depraved. When the Mahdi and these men spoke o f misgovem m ent and purification, they were thinking in theological rather than political terms. A second group o f the Ansar had more practical grievances. These were die Ja'aliyin and Danaqla o f die dispersion, who had setded on the southern fringe o f the A rab Sudan, pene­ trated the White N ile and Bahr al-Ghazal, and w orked as boatmen, traders and soldiers o f fortune in the great openingup o f the south. D irecdy or indireedy, the livelihood o f many o f diem was connected w ith the slave-trade, and G ordon’s policy, culminating in the harrying o f thejailabay had struck at the roots o f their prosperity. N ow that Gordon and Ism a‘il were gone, the opportunity had come to resume their old ways o f life. These men were neither theologians nor devotees, but they could cover their political and economic interests w ith a veil o f religion, since die institution o f slavery was not as such repugnant to Islam , and the wholesale employment o f Chris­ tians by a M uslim governm ent derogated from the prestige o f their religion. The third group consisted o f die Baqqara nomads, w ho shared neither the religious ideals o f the Mahdi’s disciples nor the political grievances o f the northerners o f die dispersion. T o them the Mahdia made its appeal in simple and elementary term s: ‘K ill die Turks and cease to pay taxes.’ T o the nomad, control by any setded government is hateful, and the firmer its control, the more hateful it becomes. The nomads o f the southern fringe had in die previous ten years become increas­ ingly conscious o f government. The Rizayqat had suffered from the superior armament and forces o f Zubayr. Then came the conquest o f D arfur, and the substitution o f thoroughgoing Egyptian administration fo r the easy yoke o f Sultan Ibrahim.


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It was the fickle, light-hearted Baqqara who formed the army o f this puritan revolution, and their importance is reflected in die unique status o f their kinsman, ‘Abdallahi, in die Mahdi’s councils. Qadir was still more difficult o f access than Aba. A n attempt to intercept die Ansar while crossing Kordofan failed, and an expedidon organized by the governor o f Fashoda against die orders o f Ra’u f Pasha was annihilated in December 1881. Ra’u f was recalled in the follow ing M arch, and the ‘Urabist govern­ ment in E gyp t appointed as his successor an energetic soldier with long experience in the Sudan, ‘A bd al-Qadir H ilm i Pasha. Meanwhile a much more serious attempt to crush the Mahdi had been organized by the acting governor-general, a German telegraph official named G iegler. In spite o f its superior forces, this expedition also was overwhelmed in M ay 1882 by the Ansar. Each o f diese victories raised the prestige o f die Mahdi, while the booty acquired augmented his meagre resources. The Baqqara began to turn increasingly to the new leader o f revolt, among them the Rizayqat, who welcomed the prospect o f a clash w ith the provincial authorities o f Darfur. Hitherto die Mahdi, in his refuge at Qadir, had been on die defensive. H e now turned to the offensive and led his followers in a holy w ar against Kordofan. He knew that in the provincial capital, E l Obeid, he could count on a fifth column o f sym­ pathizers. The operations in Kordofan follow ed a pattern which was to be characteristic o f the Mahdi’s wars. Sporadic local tribal risings first occurred, and were dealt w ith, usually effectively, by the forces o f die administration, but as fast as one was suppressed, another broke out. The immense distances and difficult circumstances o f these petty engagements laid a heavy burden on die provincial troops. The second phase opened w ith the arrival o f a Mahdist army in the province. This, combined w ith more general tribal risings, tried the Turco-Egyptian provincial forces to the utmost. In pitched battles they were still usually victorious, but they were unable to consolidate their successes and had to withdraw to their fortified bases, which, in the third phase, were gradually reduced by the Ansar. In Kordofan, by die autumn o f 1882, only two garrisons still held out, at Bara and E l Obeid. 80

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The governor at E l Obeid, Muhammad Sa'id Pasha, had taken early precautions by fortifying the administrative canton­ ment which, then as now, was separate from the commercial town. A t the beginning o f September 1882, the Mahdi with die main body o f his supporters, augmented by large tribal levies, encamped near E l Obeid. A general assault on the town, delivered in the Friday Battle o f 8 September, was a failure: as so often in history, a tribal army found itself checked by a fortified garrison. But Muhammad Sa'id failed to press his advantage, and kept his troops in the cantonment. In the Mahdi’s camp there were divided counsels. ‘Abdallahi him self advised a retreat to Qadir, but was overruled. Instead die Mahdi moved his camp closer to E l Obeid and the Ansar setded down to besiege the town. A t the same time a new Mahdist force was organized, o f what were in effect regular soldiers, neither fanatical devotees nor tribal warriors. These soldiers were mainly Sudanese originating from the south, who had served in the Turco-Egypdan forces, and had been captured in battle. Their status was interesting ; they were commanded by Hamdan A bu 'A nja, who belonged to a servile tribe, clients o f the Ta'aisha; they were known, not as Ansar, like the other troops, but by their form er Turco-Egypdan designation o f jibadiyya\ and they alone, it seems, were officially equipped with firearms. A s the year m oved to its close, the situation o f both Bara and E l Obeid deteriorated. A relieving force sent by 'A bd al-Qadir H ilm i from Khartoum was intercepted in October. A fter negotiations, the garrison o f Bara surrendered on terms in January 1883, and swore allegiance to the Mahdi. A few days later, the determination o f Muhammad Sa'id to resist was overborne by a council o f his officers. On 19 January E l Obeid capitulated and the Mahdi led the prayer o f victory in the mosque. This was the first considerable town to fall into the hands o f the Ansar, and its capture was followed by a ruthless search fo r treasure. The form er governor and his chief officers had been granted their lives, but the Mahdi learnt that they were attempting to communicate with Khartoum . They were handed over to tribal chiefs, who made away w ith them. While these events were taking place at Qadir and in K ordofan, there were sporadic risings in the Gezira and riverain


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districts south o f Khartoum . These areas were however easily accessible by land or steamer, and die vigorous actions o f G iegler and *Abd al-Qadir Hilm i succeeded in holding in check the rebels on the Blue and White N ile. ‘A bd al-Qadir indeed planned a vigorous counter-offensive against the Mahdists. He concentrated troops in Khartoum , organized three additional battalions o f black Jibadiyya, and strengthened the chief admini­ strative centres. He tried to counter the Mahdi’s propaganda, and dealt harshly w ith officials whose loyalty he suspected. H e appealed to Cairo fo r reinforcements, but the ‘Urabist govern­ ment was preoccuped w ith the threat o f British intervention. ‘A bd al-Qadir continued to hold office fo r a few months after the occupation o f E gyp t in September 1882, but, as a nominee o f tiie ‘Urabists, he was not in good standing with the new regime. H e was recalled in February 1883, after a successful campaign against forces threatening Sennar. Turco-Egyptian rule in the Sudan during its last two years, from the fall o f E l Obeid to that o f Khartoum , was dominated by British policy towards Egypt. The British occupation o f E gyp t was at first regarded by Gladstone’s government as a temporary measure, which would be ended as soon as Khedive Muhammad Taw fiq had been firm ly re-established on his throne. The revolt in the Sudan was regarded as something outside the sphere o f British responsibilities. The serious financial state o f E gypt was an argument against large-scale measures to suppress the rebels and regain the lost territory. There was also the point o f view expressed by Gladstone, that the Sudanese were a people rightly struggling to be free; against whom, therefore, m ilitary operations would be m orally unjustifiable. Thus an illogical assemblage o f political, financial and moral considerations led the British government, not only to evade involvement in the Sudanese problem, but also to check the attempts o f the khédivial government to promote resolute action in the threatened provinces. A success in the Sudan w as, however, badly needed b y Muhammad Taw fiq’s ministers to restore the prestige o f the khedivate and give it at least some semblance o f autonomy vis-à-vis the occupying power. The Egyptian government was 82

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permitted by Britain to raise an expeditionary force entirely on its own responsibility. M any o f tibe troops were demoralized survivors o f ‘Urabi’s armies. A form er British officer o f the Indian A rm y, W illiam H icks, was appointed commander-in­ chief, but on his advance into Kordofan, he was accompanied by the governor-general, 'Ala* al-Din Siddiq Pasha. The expedition, which marched out from Dueim on the White N ile on 27 September 1883, was doomed from the start. H icks disagreed with his Egyptian colleagues, his men lacked hope, the route in its later stages ran through waterless scrub. A s it advanced into Kordofan, the column was harassed by a reconnaissance force o f Ansar, and proclamations from the Mahdi, scattered on the line o f match, warned the troops that it was hopeless to fight against the soldiers o f G od. On 5 Novem ber, the expeditionary force was surrounded at Shaykan south o f E l Obeid, and cut to pieces by the A nsar and Jibadiyya o f die Mahdi. H icks and 'Ala* al-Din perished w ith all their chief officers. The last Egyptian attempt to hold die Sudan had failed. The victory o f Shaykan convinced the waverers all over the Sudan that Egyptian rule was doomed. The provinces neigh­ bouring Kordofan were the first to fall. In D arfur an Austrian officer, R udolf von Slatin, had been governor since 18 8 1, and had struggled to repress the rebel Rizayqat in the south. A fter the fall o f E l Obeid his position became very precarious, although he publicly professed Islam in an attempt to secure the loyalty o f his troops. One o f his subordinates, a certain Muham­ mad K halid, generally called Zuqal, was a kinsman o f the Mahdi. A fter Shaykan die Mahdi invested him as governor o f D arfur. On 23 December 1883, Slatin made his submission to Muhammad Khalid. F o r tibe next twelve years Slatin remained in die entourage o f die Mahdi and his successor, sometimes an honoured councillor, sometimes a humiliated captive, always a secret enemy o f the regime. In the Bahr al-Ghazal, the authority o f the khedive was up­ held, to the lim it o f his feeble resources, by a young English­ man, F . M . Lupton, form erly an officer in the British mercantile marine. Like his colleagues in Kordofan and D arfur, he succeeded at first in suppressing local revolts in which both the


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Dinka and the northerners o f the dispersion took part. But the victory o f the Mahdi at Shaykan doomed him, and he was cut o ff from Khartoum . A force sent by the Mahdi to invade the province reached the capital, Daym al-Zubayr, in A pril 1884, and Lupton had no choice but to surrender. H e was sent to die Mahdi and died in Omdurman four years later. The fall o f E l Obeid was followed by an extension o f the revolt to a region hitherto untouched, one m oreover o f vital strategic importance, the hinterland o f Suakin. The Beja tribes, isolated by their language and w ay o f living from the A rab Sudanese, were unaffected at first by the Mahdia. N ot until the summer o f 1883 did an emissary reach them, to summon them to the holy w ar. The Mahdi’s messenger and delegate was ‘Uthman Diqna,* a Suakinese o f partially Beja descent. H e belonged to a mercantile fam ily and had suffered arrest and imprisonment fo r slave-trading across the Red Sea. The Hadendowa, the leading Beja tribe o f the region, had a grievance against the administration, since they had been bilked o f part o f the dues promised them fo r transport w ork in connection w ith the Hicks expedition, but neither this nor the personality o f ‘IJthman Diqna seems to have been the real factor which incited them to revolt. The decisive event was an alliance which ‘Uthman made with Shaykh al-Tahir al-Tayyib al-Majdhub, the local head o f the Sufi order which had its centre at E l Darner.4 B y swearing allegiance to the Mahdi and recognizing ‘ Uthman as his duly accredited representative, Shaykh al-Tahir called from die soil a fanatical and devoted tribal army. W ithin a few months, the vital line o f communication between Suakin and Berber had been cut, and two Egyptian forces had been defeated on the coast near Tokar. Sinkat, the nodal point on the route across the Red Sea H ills, and Tokar both fell in February 1884. Suakin itself was reinforced by British troops, and never fell, although it was frequendy threatened by the Ansar under ‘Uthman Diqna. The batde o f Shaykan inescapably confronted both the Egyptian and British governments with the problem o f the future o f the Sudan. Although the British government was prepared to send troops to Suakin, which was o f some strategic 84


importance as a Red Sea port, it was still determined to avoid involvem ent in the interior, and in January 1884 it insisted that the Egyptians should evacuate their troops and officials. Largely in consequence o f a press-campaign in Britain, Gordon was sent out to fulfil a mission which was variously understood by the different parties concerned. The British government believed it had sent him to report on the best method o f carry­ ing out the evacuation. Baring,* the British agent and consulgeneral in Cairo, who was the effective ruler o f Egypt, thought Gordon was authorized to execute the evacuation. On the w ay, and after his arrival in the Sudan, Gordon added to the con­ fusions and misunderstandings by communicating the varied schemes which sprouted incessantly in his fertile mind. He was commissioned by the khedive as governor-general, and provided with two sets o f documents; one set speaking o f die restoration o f good governm ent, the other announcing the policy o f evacuation. B y a fatal error, Gordon published the second set while passing through Berber on the w ay to K har­ toum. Shortly before this he had written to the Mahdi, offering to recognize him as sultan o f Kordofan— an offer which the Mahdi indignantly rejected. These two actions indicated to the Sudanese that the Egyptian government had abdicated its responsibilities. Gordon’s authority was now effective only so long as he had physical force to maintain it. H e arrived in Khartoum on 18 February 1884. H aving quickly realized that an accommodation with the Mahdi and a peaceful evacuation o f the Egyptians were im possible, G ordon swung to the other extreme. He felt him self bound to establish a strong government to check the Mahdi, and demanded the appointment o f Zubayr Pasha to succeed him. H e went on to propose that Indian troops should be sent to the Sudan to "smash the Mahdi’. T o the inhabitants o f Khartoum he announced that British troops would in a few days be at Khartoum — a dangerous piece o f bluff. When on 13 March the British government ovem ded these proposals, which went far beyond the scope o f their instructions and intentions, G ordon sombrely resigned him self to remaining at Khartoum until help came o f the d ty fell. The evacuation o f the riverain garrisons was by this time


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becoming impossible. The telegraph-line to E gyp t was cut on 12 March. On 27 A pril a Mahdist emissary arrived to carry the H oly W ar into the province o f Berber. The provincial capital fell in die middle o f M ay. Khartoum was thus cut off, both from the Egyptian frontier and from Suakin. Meanwhile the Mahdi was preparing to advance on Khartoum . H e had left E l Obeid in A pril, and the Mahdist vanguard took up its siege-posidons outside the capital in September. The Mahdi him self arrived on 23 October and established his headquarters on the western tan k o f the White N ile. Khartoum , now strictly besieged, was doomed unless help came. Under the pressure o f public opinion in Britain, Gladstone’s government at last agreed to send a relief expedition, but its organization did not get under w ay until the autumn. The news o f its advance, in January 1885, placed the besiegers in a dilemma. They failed to gauge its very limited strength, and some o f the Mahdi’s advisers counselled a retreat to Kordofan. Finally it was decided to assault the city before the relieving force could arrive. The attack was delivered in the early hours o f 26 January 1885. The exhausted garrison was overwhelmed, and Gordon was killed in the fighting. On 28 January the relieving steamers arrived at the junction o f the Nües, to learn that they had come too late. The capture o f Khartoum completed the Mahdi’s control over a great part o f the form er Egyptian Sudan, although Suakin, the far north and the equatorial regions were still held fo r the khedive. The Mahdi disliked the form er capital, and transferred his headquarters to a village on the western bank near his old camp. Here in Omdurman were his house, his mosque and, in time, his tomb. The Mahdi and his Ansar had seen the taking o f Khartoum as but one in a series o f conquests throughout the Muslim world. Their expectations were to be disappointed, fo r after a sudden and short illness, the Mahdi died on 22 June 1885. He left to his successor a rudimentary administrative system, which reflects both the religious ideology o f his movement and the wars which had brought it to power. The Mahdi and his Ansar were dominated by the idea that they were re-enacting 86


the drama o f prim itive Islam . Hence the Mahdi equated his chief disciples w ith the Companions o f tibe Prophet. T o three o f them he gave tides linking them w ith three o f the four Companions who had succeeded the Prophet as heads o f the M uslim community. ‘Abdallahi ibn Muhammad was designated Khalifat al-Siddiq, tibe Successor o f the Caliph A bu Bakr. «Ali ibn Muhammad H ilu, a man o f great piety and a disciple o f long standing, was entitled Khalifat al-Faruq, the Successor o f the Caliph «Umar. The tide o f Successor o f ‘Uthman, the third historical caliph, was offered to Muhammad al-Mahdi al-Sanusi, the contemporary head o f the Sanusiyya order, but he ignored the proposal, and the place remained vacant. A young relative o f the Mahdi, Muhammad Sharif ibn Hamid, was appointed Khalifat al-Karrar> the Successor o f the Caliph «Ali* the cousin o f the Prophet.6 Ih e se were not empty tides, since each o f the three khalifast as they are usually called, commanded a division o f die M ahdist army. The K halifa «Abdallahi, being o f Baqqari origin, com­ manded the great, i f fluctuating, tribal levies o f the Baqqara. This division was known from its standard as the Black Flag. The K halifa *Ali had a com paratively small tribal force, drawn from his own kinsmen in the southern G ezira: it was called the Green Flag. The K halifa Muhammad Sharif, being, like the Mahdi, o f Dunqulawi origin, commanded the riverain tribes o f the main N ile and o f the dispersion. H is division was probably entitled the Red Flag. The position o f «Abdallahi was as superior to that o f his colleagues as that o f Bonaparte to the tw o other consuls in 1799. He was given the title o f Commander o f the Arm ies o f tibe Mahdia, and from thti outset controlled the administration as the vizier (although this title was not used) o f the Mahdi. H is paramountcy excited jealousy, and on various occasions the Mahdi affirmed their im plicit mutual reliance. One lengthy proclamation o f the Mahdi was in effect a diploma conferring plenary powers on «Abdallahi. There was a deep significance in his nomination as Khalifat al-Siddiq, since his prototype, A bu Bakr, had been the closest to the Prophet o f all the Companions, and had succeeded him on his death. Subordinate to the khalifas were other officers w ho, in the


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first place» had often been early adherents to the Mahdi and had raised their districts or tribes in his support. They had thus a dual rôle» as propagandists and, later, as m ilitary com­ manders. These officers are usually called by European, and even by Sudanese, writers the Mahdi’s ‘em irs', although the title amir (commander) was officially superseded in 1883 by that o f *amil (agent). Such officers, who were commissioned in w riting by the Mahdi, m ight be anything from petty local leaders to m ilitary governors o f an extensive area, such as ‘Uthman Diqna in the east or Muhammad K halid in D arfur. The rank and file, called by the outside w orld ‘dervishes', a term usually applied to the members o f Sufi orders, were from a very early date designated by the Mahdi Ansar, ‘H elpers'. T w o other great officers o f state were appointed during the time o f the M ahdi; the treasurer and the chief judge. The Mahdist treasury, which, again follow ing a prim itive Islam ic precedent, was entitled Bayt al-mal, ‘the house o f w ealth', was intended to contain all the material resources o f the movement, in both cash and kind. F o r die elaborate tax-system o f the Egyptians, lighter taxes authorized by the H oly Law o f Islam were substituted. But throughout the period o f the revolu­ tionary w ar, the treasury was augmented chiefly from the booty acquired in battle. It was no easy task to induce the warriors to hand over their booty to the common treasury, as repeated proclamations by the Mahdi and the Khalifa ‘Abdallahi make clear. The treasury was put under Ahmad Sulayman, a man o f Nubian origin and a friend o f the Mahdi. The chief judge, entitled qadi al-Islam , ‘the judge o f Islam ', was Ahmad *Ali. H e had been a judge under the TurcoEgyptian regime in D arfur. In theory the law o f the Mahdist community was the H oly Law . o f Islam , but the Mahdi in practice exercised extensive powers o f legislation. This he did by his proclamations and by his decisions on points o f law submitted to him. Although Ahmad ‘A li was the special dele­ gate o f the M ahdi's judicial functions, legal cases were also heard and determined by the Mahdi himself, the khalifas and the other chief officers. The Mahdist theocracy was in form a state in which supreme power was held directly from G od by the Mahdi, and exercised by other officials only by delegation 88

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from him. Y et it is clear that before the M ahdi's death a large part o f the substance o f power was already held by the K halifa ‘Abdallahi. The Mahdi was die first Sudanese sovereign to exercise one o f the traditional prerogatives o f a M uslim ruler : that o f striking money. A fter the sack o f Khartoum , gold and silver acquired as booty by the treasury was minted by his orders. The gold pounds o f the Mahdi were o f an unusually high standard o f fineness and, in accordance w ith Gresham’s Law , rapidly vanished from circulation. D ollars, at first o f silver, later (in the Khalifa’s reign) o f increasingly debased metal, continued to be struck throughout the Mahdist period. The coins were modelled on Ottoman currency circulating in Egypt, but w ith Omdurman as the mint-mark. A t no time, however, did foreign specie cease to circulate in the Sudan. The Mahdi ordained that die various types o f currency should all pass at their face value. This edict was confirmed by the K halifa, early in his reign, and gave rise to frauds, practised on the treasury by its own officials. The foreign coins were preferred to the local maqbtd (i.e. ‘acceptable’) currency, which was further held in low esteem owing to the prevalence o f counterfeiting.


T H E R E IG N OF T H E K H A L I F A 'A B D A L L A H I : 1885-98 o f die Mahdi brought to a head the tensions underlying the revolutionary movement. Although the ideology and organization o f the Mahdia reflected the oudook and aims o f the pious devotees, and although its later victories would have been impossible without the help o f the Baqqara, the fruits o f conquest had fallen largely to the riverain tribesmen, especially to the Danaqla and Ja ‘aliyin o f the dispersion. A t the centre o f this last group, who are called in the M ahdist docu­ ments A via d al-balady (i.e. villagers, sedentarics) were die Mahdi’s own kinsmen, the A sbraf, Although many o f diem were late adherents to the movement, they had claimed a privileged position, and their actions had been disavowed by die Mahdi him self in die last few weeks o f his life. Each o f the three groups, whom victory was turning from allies into rivals, had its representative in the upper grades o f the Mahdist hierarchy. The leader o f the devotees was the K halifa *Ali ibn Muhammad H ilu, a truly religious man with­ out political ambitions, who constandy played the part o f a mediator and conciliator in the crises which follow ed the Mahdi’s death. The party form ed by the A via d al-balad had, as a figurehead rather than an active leader, the Mahdi’s young kinsman, the K halifa Muhammad Sharif ibn Hamid. Insofar as die Baqqara were prepared to recognize any authority, it was embodied in neither o f these, but in the K halifa ‘Abdallahi ibn Muhammad, him self o f Baqqari origin. A t die time o f the Mahdi’s death, ‘Abdallahi headed a strong concentration o f m ilitary pow er in Omdurman. A body o f Jibadiyja, commanded by one o f his clients, was garrisoned there, as were also Baqqari tribal levies o f the Black Flag T

he death


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division. The forces o f the A viad al-balad, belonging to the Red Flag division, his only serious rivals, were, by contrast, scattered in various parts o f the Sudan. The Green Flag troops were few in number, and could play no effective m ilitary rôle by themselves. Thus, when the moment came fo r the A sbraf and A via d al-balad to take control o f the nascent Mahdist state, they were in no position to do so, lacking, as they did, both determined leadership and effective m ilitary force at the centre. A t a council o f notables, held immediately after the Mahdi’s burial, die intention o f the A sbraf to designate the K halifa Muhammad Sharif as the new ruler was frustrated by the rest o f the com­ pany. While die dispute raged, the K halifa ‘Abdallahi sat silent. H is restraint was rewarded. One o f the notables at last took him by the hand and swore allegiance to him. The other notables follow ed suit, last o f all the A sbraf and Muhammad Sharif himself. Thereupon a public oath-taking follow ed in the open mosque outside the room in which the Mahdi lay dead. Proclamations were despatched to inform the provincial governors o f the new sovereign, and to empower them to administer the oath o f allegiance to their troops. 'Abdallahi now added to his style the new and unique title o f Khalifat al-Mabdi, ‘the Successor o f the Mahdi’ : he was now 'the Khalifa* par excellence. H e bolstered up his position by skilful propaganda, claiming the sanction o f visions fo r his sovereignty. The A sbraf were not yet, however, prepared to abandon the struggle fo r power. M ost o f the great provincial commands as w ell as the chief offices o f state were held by them or their sympathizers. A conspiracy was hatched, in accordance w ith which the m ilitary governor o f D arfur, Muhammad Khalid, was to march on Omdurman w ith his very considerable forces. The Khalifa’s handling o f this crisis is typical o f his astute and resourceful policy. H e first rem oved the danger in the capital, by sending a Baqqari officer, Yunus al-Dikaym , to occupy the fertile Gezira, the granary o f the capital, which the A sbraf intended to allot to the troops o f Muhammad Khalid. N ext he instructed his representative at Dueim to intercept the mails passing between Omdurman and the western provinces. Thirdly, in A pril or M ay o f 1886, 'Abdallahi, supported by the


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K halifa ‘A li, proposed that the two junior khalifas should relinquish their personal bodyguards and armouries, and that these should be placed under the control o f Y a'q u b, ‘Abdallahi’s brother and successor as commander o f the Black Flag division. Meanwhile the army o f D arfur had begun a leisurely advance towards the N ile. ‘Abdallahi possessed two advantages. First, a large part o f the Darfurian army consisted o f Baqqari levies, who could not be relied on to support Muhammad Khalid. Secondly, in Kordofan was stationed a pow erful Black Flag A rm y, commanded by Hamdan A bu ‘A nja, whose loyalty to the Khalifa was beyond question. A cting on instructions, which became steadily more uncompromising as ‘Abdallahi's position im proved in Omdurman, Hamdan intercepted the Darfurian army in A pril 1 886 at Bara. Muhammad K halid allowed him self to be arrested and deprived o f his command without resistance. H is forces were incorporated in those loyal to the Khalifa. F o r six years after the meeting at Bara, the A sbraf and A viad al-balad relapsed into impotence. Chance or policy rem oved their sympathizers from the chief commands, which ‘Abdallahi bestowed on his kinsmen and clients. A year after the Mahdi’s death, only two o f the great provincial governors whom he had appointed remained in office. One o f these, in the Bahr al-Ghazal, was to fall from power in 1887; the other, ‘Uthman D iqna, was an indispensable instrument fo r the con­ trol o f the Beja, and remained in high office until die overthrow o f the Mahdist state. Elsewhere the m ilitary governors and other high executive officers were clansmen or clients o f ‘Abdallahi. In subordinate offices, especially in the bureaucracy, the A viad al-balad could not be superseded by the m ostly illiterate and unsophisticated nomads, whom they w ryly styled ‘O ur lords the Ta'aisha’. A fter the ending o f the internal threat to his rule, the K halifa took up an aspect o f the Mahdi’s w ork left incomplete at his death—the prom otion o f the H oly W ar, to extend the Mahdia (equated by the Ansar with true Islam) throughout the w orld. There had already been fighting on the frontiers. In December 1885 the Ansar o f D ongola had been defeated by A ngloEgyptian forces, and fo r a while ‘Abdallahi believed an invasion


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o f his territories to be imminent, whereas in fact die battle preceded a withdrawal o f Egyptian troops from all posts south o f Wadi Haifa. The garrisons o f Kasala and Sennar, which had held out with great fortitude and endurance even after the fall o f Khartoum , surrendered in Ju ly and August 18 8 ; respec­ tively. A n Egyptian officer, Sa‘d R if‘at, succeeded in evacuating the garrison o f Gallabat and bringing the refugees through Abyssinia to safety at Massawa. The intrepidity and resource o f this man passed unnoticed by a generation whose deepest emotions had been roused by die failure o f Gordon’s mission. The H oly War was fought in three particular areas; in the west, on die Abyssinian marches, and on the Egyptian frontier. The war in the west was in its essential nature a pacification o f D arfur. On withdrawing from that province, Muhammad K halid had appointed as its governor a member o f the old royal fam ily, Y u su f Ibrahim. A t first Y u su f had acted as a loyal vassal o f die Khalifa, but by the summer o f 1887 he was obviously aiming to restore the Fu r sultanate. Operations against him were entrusted to a young kinsman o f the K halifa, ‘Uthman Adam , called Janu, who was governor o f Kordofan. ‘Uthman advanced into D arfur, defeated the rebels and re­ established the Mahdist administration o f the province. Y u su f fled, but was shordy afterwards defeated. H is brother, A bu’lKhayrat, succeeded to his claims to be die legitimate sultan o f D arfiir. The very success o f the Mahdist movement led to the appear­ ance o f other messianic figures, aiming to subvert die rule o f the K halifa. One such, commonly known by his nickname o f A bu Jum mayza, gained a large number o f militant adherents on the western frontiers o f D arfur. A bu Jummayza sought to legiti­ matize his movement by claiming that he was the rightful third khalifa, the Successor o f ‘Uthman. Since it was known that the Mahdi had originally offered this tide to Muhammad al-Mahdi al-Sanusi, the intelligence officers in E gypt at first gave cre­ dence to the market-rumour that die Sanusiyya were on the march, and that the K halifa was trembling in Omdurman. The revolt was indeed serious enough. A bu Jum mayza advanced into D arfur, gathering supporters as he went, including the shadow-sultan, A bu’l-Khayrat, and his followers.

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T w o o f ‘Uthman Adam ’s subordinates were heavily defeated and the young governor was faced w ith revolt throughout his province. Y et he did not lose heart, but concentrated his forces in E l Fasher. The danger passed away as suddenly as it had arisen. A bu Jum mayza died o f smallpox, and the heart went out o f his follow ers, who were defeated in a pitched battle outside E l Fasher in February 1889. A bu’l-Khayrat fled back to the hill-country o f Jabal M arra, where he was murdered two years later. ‘Uthman Adam had saved D arfur fo r the Khalifa, but after his premature death in 18 9 1, his successor, Mahmud Ahm ad, was to have considerable difficulty in holding the province. On the Abyssinian frontier, the H oly W ar was sim ply a further phase o f the hostilities which had frequently recurred throughout the Turco-Egyptian period, and indeed in earlier times. The absence o f a defined frontier, the opportunities fo r raiding which local war-lords on both sides found irresistible, and die coincidence o f bellicose rulers in both Abyssinia and the Mahdist Sudan, made a clash inevitable. Fighting began early in 1887 between the Mahdist commander at Gallabat and Ras ‘A dar, the Abyssinian governor o f the contiguous territory. The Ansar were worsted, and their chief killed. This led the Khalifa to send an expeditionary force to Gallabat under Yunus al-Dikaym , who follow ed a provocative policy. The Ansar were soon afterwards augmented by more troops under Hamdan A bu 'A nja, who was given the chief command. A bu 'A n ja had some difficulty in asserting his authority, not only over Yunus but also over many o f the troops, who were on the verge o f mutiny under a leader with messianic preten­ sions. H e claimed to be the Prophet Jesus, whose Second Coming is to be expected, according to some Mahdist tradi­ tions, after the appearance o f the Mahdi. The conspiracy was suppressed, Yunus was recalled to Omdurman, and A bu 'A n ja seized the opportunity o f his absence to make a large-scale raid into Abyssinia. Ras 'A d ar was defeated, and the M ahdist army penetrated as far as Gondar, the ancient capitel. Much booty fell into the hands o f the Ansar, but the campaign as such was indecisive. This campaign took place in January 1888. A bu 'A n ja made


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another raid in die summer, but it did not produce the successes o f the earlier one. A bu ‘A nja then returned to Omdurman, where he was welcomed by the Khalifa. B y the end o f the year he was back at Gallabat, where he died in January 1889. The lull in hostilities was soon to end. K in g Jo h n o f A bys­ sinia had sent offers o f peace to the K halife, and had received a bellicose reply. H e prepared fo r w ar, and was favoured by conditions in the Mahdist camp. A bu ‘A nja’s death was fol­ lowed by a dispute over the command at Gallabat. Recognition was ultimately granted to al-Zaki Tam al, a member o f the same servile tribe as A bu ‘Anja. In March 1889 the Abyssinian army, commanded by the king in person, drew near to Gallabat. A t die first onset, the Abyssinians were victorious, but a chance bullet fatally wounded their king. D uring the night, the Abyssinians began to withdraw, pursued by the exultant Ansar. Am ong the booty taken by the Sudanese was the crown o f the dead king. It was sent w ith his head to Omdurman, whence the K halifa issued lithographed copies o f al-Zaki’s despatch giving news o f the victory. Abyssinia fell into anarchy, from which the Italians, who had occupied Massawa in 1885, profited by estab­ lishing control over Eritrea, thereby becoming neighbours to the Mahdist state. In D arfur, and on the Abyssinian frontier, the K halife was grappling w ith problems o f pacification and frontier-disputes such as had faced Gordon and the Turco-Egyptian admini­ strators before him. The H oly War on the southern frontier o f E gyp t was something new, a legacy o f the dream o f universal conquest throughout the lands o f Islam , which had been frus­ trated by the M ahdi's death. A campaign against E gyp t had been planned by the Mahdi, under the command o f *Abd al-Rahman al-Nujum i, a general o f Ja ‘ali origin who had served w ith distinction during the campaigns in Kordofen and against Khartoum . When the K halife resumed the Mahdi’s schemes, al-Nujum i remained as the designated commander o f the expeditionary force. The campaign, however, was slow to get under way. N ot until tiie Anglo-Egyptian forces had been withdrawn from D ongola, and ‘Abdallahi had secured his position against his domestic rivals, did an expedition really become feasible. Even


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then, inordinate delays occurred. These were partly physical, arising from the difficulties o f constituting and keeping together a force, mainly o f tribal warriors, and provisioning it fo r an advance through the arid districts o f Nubia. There were also difficulties o f another kind. Al-N ujum i was the last o f the great commanders originating from the A viad al-balad. Although his loyalty appeärs to have been exemplary, he and his riverain troops were suspect to the Khalifa, who appointed a Baqqari officer, nominally as his lieutenant, but in fact as a standing check on his authority and actions. The expeditionary force remained at its advance base in Dongola from Novem ber 1886 to M ay 1889. D uring this time its morale decayed, its predatory activities antagonized the local people, and its high command was paralysed by the K halifa’s mistrust o f al-Nujumi. In February 1889, Yunus al-Dikaym arrived in Dongola to take over die administration. Already in A pril 1887 the Khalifa had sent messages to invite Khedive Muhammad Taw fiq, Queen Victoria and the Otto­ man Sultan ‘A bd al-Hamid II, to submit to die Mahdia. T w o years later further messages o f die same kind were sent, and the Ansar began their march northwards. Unprovisioned and ill-armed, they struggled desperately on, down the western bank o f the N ile. Once across the border, they hoped to receive a welcome and assistance from the Egyptians, whom they were coming to liberate from die E n g­ lish yoke. They were doomed to disappointment. W hatever the secret sympathies o f the Nubian villagers, they were aware o f the futility o f resisting the Anglo-Egyptian m ilitary power concentrated around Wadi Haifa. In Ju ly , Grenfell, the British commander o f diese forces, sent al-Nujumi an arrogant demand fo r surrender. Al-N ujum i replied as arrogandy, assert­ ing his loyalty to the Khalifa, and his trust in the help o f G od. On 3 August 1889, the two armies met near the village o f Tushki.1 The Mahdist expeditionary force was crushingly defeated, al-Nujumi him self being killed in the batde. The threat to Egypt from the Mahdist state had passed for ever away. The year 1889 was highly critical fo r die Khalifa. Although die Anglo-Egyptian victory at Tushki was not, as he had feared, followed by an immediate invasion o f his territories, his 96

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northern frontier was watched by a vigilant enemy, whose material resources he affected to despise, but whose strength he dimly yet forebodingly apprehended. Elsewhere, also, the expansion o f the Mahdist state had attained its limits. The victories o f ‘Uthman Adam and al-Zaki Tam al had resulted in no acquisitions o f territory, but had merely established a temporary and precarious Mahdist supremacy in disputed border-regions. The deaths o f Hamdan A bu ‘A nja and ‘A bd al-Rahman al-Nujum i, both in 1889, soon to be follow ed in 18 9 1 by that o f ‘Uthman Adam , deprived him o f his ablest generals. ‘Uthman Diqna was unable to capture Suakin, even though he remained master o f the hinterland. In 1889 old tensions between the Beja and Arabic-speaking Ansar on the Suakin front developed into a quarrel characterized by the rivalry o f their commanders, to suppress which the K halifa had to intervene. The ilan which had carried the Mahdi’s followers to victory in the revolutionary w ar had passed away. Besides these m ilitary and political difficulties the Khalifa was confronted in 1889 and 1890, w ith an age-old problem, a devastating sequence o f bad harvest, famine and epidemic. These natural calamities had always taxed the resources o f rulers in the N ile valley; fo r the K halifa they were aggravated by his military dispositions. Three great armies were stationed in D arfur, at Gallabat, and, until the Tushki campaign, at Dongola, consuming unproductively die diminishing supplies o f com . H orrifying tales were told o f famished beggars snatching bread in the market-places w ith the last remains o f their strength, o f silent villages whose people starved quiedy to death behind shut doors. There was nothing new in such stories, which may be paralleled from die chronicles o f E gypt in die previous centuries, but European opinion laid upon the Khalifa blame fo r a catastrophe which he was powerless to avert and could do litde to alleviate. B y a fatal mischance, the great famine coincided with one o f his major acts o f policy, the enforced migration o f his tribe, the T a‘aisha, and their Baqqara neighbours from their home­ lands in D arfur to Omdurman. This act has a dual aspect. From one point o f view it was the successful consummation o f


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the policy which the Mahdi and the K halifa him self had endeavoured to follow from die start; that o f attaching die nomads closely and permanendy to the regime, and turning diem from casual raiders into a standing tribal army. The K halifa's experiences in the first year o f his rule had shown him die desirability o f surrounding him self w ith warriors on whose loyalty he could rely. From another point o f view , however, die summons to the Ta‘aisha was connected w ith ‘Uthman Adam 's pacification o f D arfur. The Baqqara did not respond w illingly to their kinsman's call. They were attached to their tribal lands, and the K halifa, after all, was not their hereditary chief but a parvenu. F o r long they resisted both threats and promises, until at last, in M arch 1888, the K halifa's anger flared out in a proclamation, which is a superb piece o f Arabic invective, commanding the T a‘aisha, under pain o f destruction and dispersion, to place themselves under die orders o f ‘Uthman Adam . This command, backed by ‘Uthman’s m ilitary power, was at last effective. The great tribal migration began, and in the early months o f 1889 the T a‘aisha contingents reached Omdurman. The coming-in o f the Ta'aisha profoundly affected the future o f the K halifa's rule. They must have depleted the cornsupplies o f Kordofan as they made their w ay to the river. Once arrived in Omdurman, they were a privileged ¿litet who had to be fed at all costs. The effects o f the famine were thus aggravated by this great tribal displacement. The m igration also had its political consequences. The setded and sophisticated A w lad al-balad had as little liking fo r these romantic nomads as die lowland Scots had fo r the Highland dans in the 'Forty-five. The K halifa's open reliance upon his tribal kin deepened the already existing rift between ‘Abdallahi and the most advanced group o f his subjects. The T a‘aisha, fo r their part, proved an ineffective instrument fo r the purposes o f government. They tried to dude the K halifa's vigilance and slip back to their homelands— on one such occasion their hereditary chief him­ self was pursued and killed. They were unproductive and over­ bearing, and as litde tolerant o f disdpline as ever. They rapidly became a liability to the K halifa, and a stumbling-block in his w ay when he sought to establish a strong monarchy.

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In the early days after Tushki, die Khalifa had sought to conciliate his Sudanese opponents. Muhammad K halid, who had been brought out o f prison some months previously, was sent as a commissioner to investigate the troubles in ‘Uthman Diqna’s command; then to inquire into conditions in D ongola, and to promote trade there. In A p ril 1890 he actually superseded die Baqqari, Yunus al-Dikaym , as governor o f D ongola. Other appointments at this time seemed to betoken a renewed par­ ticipation o f the A viad al-balad in die high offices o f state. Commerce was encouraged, both w ith Upper E gypt and w ith Suakin. But there were other, less agreeable, indications. In A p ril 1886 the K halifa had dismissed from office Ahmad Sulayman, whom the Mahdi had appointed as commissioner o f the state treasury, and had replaced him by a certain Ibrahim Muham­ mad ‘Adlan, form erly a merchant. ‘Adlan was a first-class administrator, and introduced into the haphazard arrangements fo r the receipt, storage and disbursement o f state resources, both in cash and kind, methods based on Turco-Egyptian prac­ tice which survived until the end o f the regime. The com ing o f the T a‘aisha was ‘Adlan’s downfall. H e clashed w ith Y a ‘qub, the Khalifa’s half-brother, w ho, as commander o f the Black Flag division, had a special responsibility fo r the T a‘aisha. H e toured the Gezira to find com to provision the troops in Omdurman, but his methods were apparently too lenient to suit the Khalifa. E arly in 1890, he was disgraced and executed. The prospects o f an improvement in the political status o f the A via d al-balad were soon to be dashed. In D ongola, rela­ tions between Muhammad Khalid and his Baqqara subordinates degenerated into an open quarrel and, a year after taking office, he was recalled to Omdurman. Once again, Yunus al-Dikaym took the command in the north. In Omdurman a new con­ spiracy against the K halifa developed. A s in 1886, its promoters were the A sbraf, and its principal supporters were the Danaqla sailors and settlers in the Gezira. Their ostensible complaint was the lack o f respect shown towards the K halifa Muhammad Sharif and the Mahdi’s fam ily, but they had also economic grievances o f a kind which would affect the A via d al-balad rather than the Baqqara. The revolt seems to have been brought


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to a head by the recall o f Muhammad Khalid from Dongola, and his subsequent imprisonment. Under the leadership o f Muhammad Sharif, the conspirators made their headquarters around the Mahdi’s tomb, thus threat­ ening 'Abdallahi, whose house was only a few yards away. On 23 Novem ber 18 9 1, the Khalifa assembled his own supporters and tried to cordon off the Asbraf. H e was in a dilemma, since i f fighting broke out the Ta'aisha might get out o f control, sack the capital, and flee to D arfur. Hence he was anxious to open negotiations with the A sbraf\ and in this he was ultimately successful. The Khalifa ‘A li ibn Muhammad H ilu strove fo r a settlement, and on 25 Novem ber the insurgents laid down their arms. They were promised a general pardon; the Khalifa Muhammad Sharif was to be given the fu ll honours and auth­ ority due to his position, and the fam ily o f the Mahdi were to receive a monthly pension. H aving disarmed his opponents, the Khalifa proceeded to reduce them to impotence. A few weeks later, seven notables including the form er treasurer, Ahmad Sulayman, were seized and transported up the White N ile to Fashoda, where al-Zaki Tam al put them to death. The Danaqla in the Gezira were rounded up, detained and only released after the confiscation o f a third o f their goods. In March 1892 the K halifa Muhammad Sharif was him self arrested and tried before a special body o f commissioners. H e was deprived o f his dignities and flung into prison, where he remained until the eve o f the Khalifa 'Abdallahi's own over­ throw. The power o f the A sbraf and the A via d al-balad was thus finally and completely broken. The next four years display 'Abdallahi as an autocratic monarch. N ever had his authority over his subjects seemed to be so firm ly established. Organized revolt against him had ceased, and even those Sudanese who disliked his rule were increasingly prepared to acquiesce in it. The transformation o f the theocratic state o f the early Mahdia into a secular despotism was becoming obvious. One sign o f the change was the organization o f a new armed force, imme­ diately dependent on the Khalifa, the Mulayimiyya, which, from a small corps o f orderlies (to which Slatin belonged), was expanded from 1892 onwards into a bodyguard o f nine thousand 10 0

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men, commanded by the K halifa's son, ‘Uthman Shaykh alDin. The Mula%imiyya thus superseded die T a‘aisha, as the Ta‘aisha had the jibadiyya, as the principal m ilitary support o f the regime. The Mula^imiyya was composed half o f slavetroops, half o f free Sudanese, but Danaqla and Egyptians were strictly excluded from it. It had its own treasury, to which die Gezira contributed com and cash. In die tradidon o f oriental autocracy, the K halifa began to withdraw him self from his people. It had been his custom to attend the weekly parade o f the Ansar, held each Friday outside Omdurman. N ow he appeared, surrounded by his bodyguard, only on die principal festivals. A great w all was constructed around the part o f Omdurman containing his residence where he and his bodyguard were housed— a district which until today is known as the Mubaymyya quarter. In his councils, two men were prominent, his half-brother Y a ‘qub, who from the first had acted as his vizier, and later his eldest son ‘Uthman. Although the two junior khalifas were perhaps regarded as having a reversionary claim to the succession, on the analogy o f the caliphs, whose ‘successors' they were, ‘Uthman was clearly regarded by his father as heir-apparent. He was groom ed in state affairs and, apparendy in 18 9 1, married to Y a ‘qub's daughter, when he received the honorific tide o f Sbaykb al-Dtn, indicating his senior standing in the Mahdist hierarchy. Y a ‘qub became increasingly jealous o f ‘Uthman, as die latter's influence grew , and the political marriage exacerbated their relations. A s ‘Abdallahi cultivated the manner o f a despot, his suspicions o f his servants showed themselves. In 1893, die victor o f Gallabat, al-Zaki Tam al, was arrested and starved to death. The two follow ing years saw the destitution and death in prison o f two successive chief judges, the first o f whom, Ahmad ‘A li, had held office since the time o f die M ahdi.8 The K halifa’s temper in diese years was no doubt affected by his grow ing awareness that die Mahdist state was no longer immune from the attacks o f its external enemies. This was the heyday o f the European scramble fo r A frica, and the K halifa's m ilitary strength, which a century earlier would have been adequate to repulse any likely invader, was set against the IOI

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superior might and organization o f the European powers. It was ironical that, at the very period when his rule was least questioned by his subjects, and had been established internally on elaborate administrative foundations, the Khalifa was to be overthrown by a foreign invader. F o r a time die remoteness o f his dominions, the considerable geographical obstacles to a m ilitary conquest, and the very rivalries o f the European powers themselves, deferred a development which in the circumstances o f the time was almost inevitable. There were, however, ominous portents. In Febru­ ary 18 9 1, an Anglo-Egyptian expedition from Suakin routed ‘Uthman Diqna and captured his headquarters near Tokar. This was the first decisive defeat o f the Ansar on the Red Sea littoral. In December 1893 a Mahdist expedition into Eritrea was heavily defeated by the Italians at die batde o f Agordat. This was die prelude to an Italian offensive against Kasala, which fell in Ju ly 1894. Sladn has borne witness to the deep impression which this loss made upon the K halifa. Y et a lethargy o f false confidence seemed to overcome him, and he returned a cold reply to the overtures o f friendship from M enelik II o f Abyssinia, who was also threatened by the Italians. Further threats to his power were now appearing in die south. The southern Sudan was not effectively part o f die Mahdist state. The Bahr al-Ghazal had not had a M ahdist governor since 1886. E min Pasha, the last khédivial governor o f Equatoria, after withdrawing to the south o f his province, had maintained a shadow o f Egyptian authority on die Upper N ile until he was more or less compelled to evacuate the pro­ vince by H . M . Stanley’s relief expedition in 1889. A Mahdist garrison was established at Rejaf, but die river-line from Fashoda southwards was not permanendy held, while away from the river Mahdism was but a name. In 1893 the K halifa sent an expeditionary force under ‘A rabi Dafa'allah to strengthen his hold over the fur south, but steamer connections w ith Omdurman were even more infrequent and hazardous than they had been in the Turco-Egyptian period. Meanwhile the Belgians had established Leopold IP s pow er in the Congo, and expeditions were beginning to push across

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the N ile-Congo divide towards die form er Egyptian provinces o f the Bahr al-Ghazal and the Upper N ile. In 1894 diere were clashes between die Belgians and ‘A rabi D afa'allah, while at the same time another Belgian force was contacting die tribal rulers in the Bahr al-Ghazal. In August 1894, however, a Franco-Congolese agreement opened the door to a French advance to the Bahr al-Ghazal and the Upper N ile. In conse­ quence o f this, an expedition under the command o f Captain Marchand was approved in Novem ber 1895 by the French foreign minister. In M atch 1896 die British government suddenly and unex­ pectedly authorized an advance by Egyptian forces into Dongola. ïh e reason fo r this act is to be sought in the relations o f die European great pow ers: it had no particular relevance to die situation in the Mahdist state, nor was it undertaken prim arily fo r any advantages that might accrue to E gypt from a reconquest o f the Sudan, which indeed was not contemplated at this stage. Neither was die advance intended to forestall Marchandas appearance on the Upper N ile, which was at that time regarded as a remote contingency, and in any case could not be affected by m ilitary action in Nubia. The event which precipitated the British governm ent's decision was the defeat o f the Italians by Menelik at Adow a on 1 March 1896. But the British desire to make a gesture o f assistance to Italy, by a m ove which m ight distract the Mahdist forces from an attack on the Italian flank at Kasala, was further intended to conciliate Germ any and to guard against the dissolution o f the Triple Alliance, which at this time were objectives o f Lord Salisbury's foreign policy.* The expedition was less agreeable to Cromer, Britain's proconsul in Egypt, than to the British officers, who had not forgotten the defeats which troops under their com­ mand had suffered at the hands o f the Ansar. A t home, the British public w as allured by the prospect o f a long-delayed vengeance fo r Gordon. The reconquest took place in tw o stages. In the first a rail­ w ay from W adi H aifa was pushed up the main N ile to support an expeditionary force commanded by Sir Herbert Kitchener.4 The Mahdist forces in D ongola were defeated in a series o f actions, and by September 1896 the whole province had been 10 3

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occupied. Kitchener now began the construction o f a new railway line across the Nubian Desert, from Wadi H aifa to A bu Hamad on the main N ile. A bu Hamad fell in Ju ly 1897, and die A nglo-Egypdan forces prepared to penetrate to the heart o f the Mahdist state. In this crisis die K halifa was ill-served by die general to whom he committed the defence o f his dominions. He sum­ moned Mahmud Ahmad from D arfur, and put him in com­ mand. Mahmud made his headquarters at Metemma. Its Ja'aliyin inhabitants refused to obey the K halifa’s order to evacuate their town, vainly appealed to Kitchener fo r help, and were massacred after an unsuccessful resistance. There fo r months Mahmud remained, unwilling or unable to m ove, badgering the Khalifa with a constant flow o f despatches, seeking advice on every contingency, and failing to act on the instructions he received. Like al-Nujumi earlier, he found great difficulty in provision­ ing his army, which began to melt away as the weeks passed J Meanwhile the enemy was advancing. Berber was evacuated by the Mahdist garrison and fell without resistance to the Anglo-Egyptian forces at the end o f August 1897. In February 1898, ‘Uthman Diqna with his forces arrived in support o f Mahmud, but the old fighter and the young general worked badly together. Soon afterwards the Mahdist army left Metem­ ma and advanced to the river Atbara, where it encamped. The Ansar were starving, but, in the hour o f their defeat, their old heroic courage returned to them. Kitchener delivered his attack on G ood Friday, 8 A pril 1898. A t the end o f the day 3,000 Sudanese were dead and 4,000 wounded. ‘Uthman Diqna had again escaped, while Mahmud Ahmad was a prisoner, humili­ ated by his captor. He was taken to Rosetta, where he died in 1906. On the Anglo-Egyptian side, the casualties were 81 killed and 487 wounded. When the advance on Omdurman began, four months later, the last phase in the campaign opened. On 1 September, the Egyptian and British forces were encamped near an abrupt hill called Jabal Surkab,6 on the left bank o f the N ile, six miles north o f Omdurman. The vicinity is known as Karari. Against them the Khalifa threw the considerable reserves he had kept in his capital. Once again, although not without difficulty, 10 4

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Kitchener was victorious. It was estimated that 1 1,000 Suda­ nese were killed and 16,000 wounded. The Anglo-Egyptian losses were 49 killed and 382 wounded. Ya'qub died on the field. The Khalifa rode back to his deserted capital and led the remnant o f his forces to Kordofan. The battle o f Omdurman, more accurately called the batde o f K atari, marked the end o f the Mahdist state in the Sudan. The significance o f the K halifa’s reign has not always been appreciated either by his countrymen or by foreign observers. A legend, fostered by war-propaganda, grew up around his name, depicting him as a bloodthirsty and barbarous despot, from whose tyranny die Sudanese were released by the A ngloEgyptian invasion. The reality is rather different. When he came to power, the initial drive o f the Mahdia was at an end. The objects o f the revolutionary w ar had largely been attained. The greater part o f the Muslim north was under Mahdist rule. H is primary problem was to restore order and make admini­ stration effective over a vast area in which four years o f warfare against the established government had broken down die habits o f obedience. H is task was complicated by the uncertain loyalty o f the Awlad al-balad, from whom the Mahdi had drawn the bulk o f his ruling ¿lite, and by the insubordination and back­ wardness o f the Baqqara, on whom he him self chiefly relied. He sought to establish his authority by developing an increasingly elaborate and centralized administration. Although the form s o f the Mahdist theocracy were retained, die spirit had, by the middle years o f his reign, departed from them. The other two khalifas were in no real sense his colleagues; his closest associate in government was his brother, Ya'qub. The great m ilitary commands were held almost exclusively by Baqqara. The simple fiscal system o f the Mahdi was abandoned. The revenue was augmented by a whole range o f new taxes, dues and confiscations, closely resembling the Turco-Egyptian taxes, which the Mahdi had come to destroy. The development o f specialized treasuries, notably the K halifa’s own privy treasury, siphoned o ff from the original Bayt al-mal the cream o f its revenue. The judiciary sim ilarly acquired an increasingly com­ plex organization, although no greater independence o f the ruler in the performance o f its functions. 10 3

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The reign o f the Khalifa, dien, is characterized by the passing o f the Mahdist theocracy and die creation o f a personal rule exercised through a bureaucracy, largely composed o f Sudanese civil servants inherited from the Turco-Egyptian regime. ‘Abdallahi prevented the northern Sudan from relapsing into anarchy after the Mahdi’s death. H is success in establishing his control so firm ly that it was broken ultimately only by a foreign invader with superior m ilitary resources, is a measure o f his inherent strength o f personality and his administrative talent. Y et die price was high. ‘Abdallahi, permanently resident in Omdurman, was never fully in control o f his provincial officials, although his system o f constant communication w ith them destroyed their initiative in emergencies. H is reliance on the Baqqara opened a rift between him self and the Awlad al-balad which weakened the foundations o f the state. Finally, the sustained military character o f the regime, derived from the revolutionary period, and continued at first in accordance with the policy o f the H oly W ar, and later because o f the grow ing threat from outside, prevented a genuine resettlement o f the country. ‘Abdallahi was much less a malevolent despot and much more the prisoner o f his circumstances than con­ temporary European writers were w illing to perceive.

10 6

PART ) TH E A N G L O -E G Y P T IA N C O N D O M IN IU M : 189 9 -19 55 'T he cannon which swept away the Dervish hordes at Omdurman proclaimed to the world that on Eng­ land—or, to he more strictly correct, on Egypt under sible duty o fintroducing the light o f Westerncivilisation amongst the unrely tried people o f the Soudan* Lord Cromer, Modem Egypt, 1908 *A t the end o f time the English w ill come toyou, whose soldiers are called police : they w ill measure the earth even to the blades o f the sedge grass. There w ill he no deliverance except through the coming o f Jesus.* Attributed to Shaykh Farah wad Taktuk (17th century), translated by S. Hillelson.


T H E E R A OF K IT C H E N E R A N D W I N G A T E : 1 8 9 9 —1 9 1 8 o f die Mahdist state created a number o f legal and diplomatic problems fo r the British government. Although the campaigns had been undertaken on British initiative, and w ith British financial and m ilitary aid, the regained territories were technically form er possessions o f the khedive. The simple restoration o f Egyptian rule over the Sudan w as, however, out o f the question. Since the British occupation o f 1882, E gyp t had lost the great measure o f autonomy which her rulers had possessed since the time o f Muhammad ‘A li, and was in effect a protectorate. British opinion was convinced that the Mahdia was the direct conse­ quence o f sixty years o f Egyptian oppression o f the Sudanese. This belief supported a conviction that henceforward Britain had the mission in the Sudan o f establishing an orderly and just governm ent, embodying those ideas to which Gordon had devoted his services and his life. But i f the restoration o f Egyptian rule was repugnant to the British, the apparent alternative, o f creating an undisguised British colonial administration, was not feasible. Open annexa­ tion would do violence to E gypt’s historical claims, which had served as the pretext fo r launching the reconquest from Egypt, em ploying Egyptian troops, and drawing on the Egyptian treasury to finance die fighting. Egyptian objections could perhaps at this time have been overridden, but the Egyptian claims were convenient. The Italians, Belgians and French had also, as we have seen, intentions o f acquiring Sudanese territory. B y espousing E gyp t’s claims to the whole o f her form er Sudanese provinces, the British government covered the exten­ T

he o verth ro w

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sion o f its power in A frica w ith a show o f legality which its European competitors did not possess. This locus standi was adopted at the outset in the Fashoda Incident. The French expedition commanded by Captain Mar­ chand had reached and occupied the post o f Fashoda on the Upper N ile on io Ju ly 1898. The fact was reported to Kitchener on 7 September by the crew o f a Mahdist steamer, which had been sent by the K halifa to bring grain from the Shilluk country, and had exchanged shots w ith the French. Kitchener immediately set out fo r Fashoda, where he informed Marchand that ‘the presence o f a French force at Fashoda and in the valley o f the N ile was regarded as a direct infringement o f the rights o f the Egyptian government and o f Great Britain*. Marchand was isolated and powerless in a m ilitary sense, but the crisis was now transferred to London and Paris, where fo r some time there was very grave tension. On 4 Novem ber, however, the French government acquiesced in die existing situation, and ordered the withdrawal o f Marchandas party from Fashoda. Considerations o f a rather different kind preoccupied Lord Cromer, w ho, as British agent and consul-general, was the virtual ruler o f Egypt. H e was anxious to prevent Europeans acquiring in the Sudan the privileged status which was theirs in Egypt. Throughout his Egyptian career he had been hampered by the anomalies o f the international status o f the country—the nominal suzerainty o f the Ottoman sultan, die control over Egyptian finances exerted by the European Commissioners o f the D ebt, the enclaves o f privilege derived by the consular authorities from the Capituladons,1 the juridical independence o f the M ixed Tribunals.1 A ll these he was anxious to exclude from the Sudan. Cromer’s solution, which was accepted by the British govern­ ment and embodied in the A nglo-Egypdan Conventions o f 1899s (usually known as die Condominium Agreem ent), was to confer on the Sudan a separate political status from that o f Egypt. The link between the two countries was however form ally preserved by associating the khédivial w ith the British government in a joint sovereignty, or condominium, over the Sudan. On Cromer’s advice, the British claim to a share in the control was openly based on the rights o f conquest which, he no


said, ‘alone constitute the real justification fo r the creation o f a political and administrative status in the Sudan different to that which exists in Egypt*. The northern boundary o f the newly acquired territory, described in the Agreement as ‘certain provinces in the Sudan which were in rebellion against the authority o f H is Highness the khédive’, was fixed at latitude 22° N .4 The khedive’s claims were further recognized by the provisions that ‘the British and Egyptian flags shall be used together, both on land and water, throughout the Sudan’, that the appointment and rem oval o f the governor-general should be by khédivial decree (but only on the motion o f die British governm ent), and that proclamations o f the governor-general, having the force o f law , should be notified to the president o f the Egyptian council o f ministers, as w ell as to the British agent in Cairo. These stipulations apart, the Agreem ent deliberately ex­ cluded both Egyptian and international authority from the Sudan. The shadowy claims o f the Ottoman sultan as suzerain were tacitly ignored. Egyptian legislation was not to apply to the Sudan unless specifically proclaimed by the governorgeneral. N o special privileges, such as had accrued to Euro­ peans in E gypt under the Capitulations, were to be accorded in the Sudan. The jurisdiction o f the M ixed Tribunals was oc­ cluded, and no consular representatives were to be allowed to reside in the Sudan without the previous consent o f the British governm ent. W ithin the Sudan, the supreme m ilitary and civil command was to be vested in the governor-general, a nominee o f the British government. Although the Agreem ent was silent on the point o f nationality, all the govem ors-general from 1899 to 1955 were British subjects from the United Kingdom . W ith full executive powers, the governor-general combined, as w e have seen, complete authority to legislate by proclamation. A n article o f the Agreem ent placed the Sudan under martial law fo r an indefinite period. The Condominium Agreem ent was not a constitution fo r the Sudan: it was simply an instrument giving form al recognition to the existing situation on the m orrow o f the Reconquest. The name is m isleading: the agreement did not in any real sense


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create a true condominium» a conjoint sovereignty over the Sudan, but merely gave a nominal recognition to the historical claims o f the khedive, whilst reserving almost complete autonomy to an official nominated by the British government. It was not seriously questioned by the European powers. It never satisfied the Egyptians, who felt, w ith a sullen resent­ ment, that they had been jockeyed out o f their rights. Once E gypt had passed from under British control, the artificiality o f the Condominium could no longer be concealed, and from the end o f the First W orld W ar onwards, Cromer’s clever device was increasingly an embarrassment, both to successive British cabinets and to the administration in the Sudan, which came to be called the Sudan Governm ent. The first governor-general to be appointed under die Con­ dominium Agreem ent was Lord Kitchener in January 1899. He was recalled in die follow ing December fo r service in the South African War, and was succeeded by Sir Reginald Win­ gate, who had been in control o f Egyptian M ilitary Intelligence since 1887 and played a notable part in the Reconquest. W ingate remained governor-general until 19 16 , and his long period o f office saw the foundations o f the new regim e in the Sudan firm ly laid. Although the Mahdist state had collapsed at the batde o f K arari, die pacification o f die Sudan was still far from being complete. Liiere were three main types o f danger to be appre­ hended; from the remaining Mahdist elements, from local risings in the north (which might assume a Mahdist colouring), and from the enormous and still unsubdued tribal areas in the southern Sudan. The K halifa ‘Abdallahi was still, in 1899, at large in K ordofan w ith a considerable fighting force, accom­ panied by his son, ‘Uthman Shaykh al-Din, die K halifa ‘A li ibn Muhammad H ilu, ‘Uthman Diqna and other Mahdist notables. He was joined by his general, Ahmad Fadil, with die remnant o f an army from die eastern frontiers. The third khalifa, Muhammad Sharif, had submitted to the conquerors and was living w ith two o f the Mahdi’s sons at the village o f al-Shukkaba, between Wad Medani and Sennar. In A ugust 1899, the authorities learnt that they were trying to slip away and join ‘Abdallahi. They were arrested, but an affray broke



out between the government troops and their followers. The K halifa Muhammad Sharif and the M ahdi’s two sons were shot. W ingate, not yet governor-general, w as, in Novem ber 1899, put in command o f a flying column to track down the K halifa ‘Abdallahi. The final dash took place at Umm Diwaykarat, not very far from A ba Island, the cradle o f the Mahdist revolution. The last organized force o f Ansar was defeated. A fter the battle, the K halifa was found dead on the fid d with his colleagues, die K halifa ‘A li ibn Muhammad H ilu and Ahmad Fadil, on dther side. ‘ Uthman Shaykh al-Din w r s wounded and captured: he died, a prisoner, at Rosetta in 1900. ‘Uthman Diqna once again escaped and made his w ay back to die Red Sea H ills. There he was betrayed and captured in January 1900. He survived until 1926, when he died in the odour o f sanctity at W adi H aifa.8 There were in die early years o f the Condominium several petty revolts against the new government. These, like die revolts during the K halifa’s reign, tended to assume a messianic form . E arly in 1900 a party o f Ansar in Omdurman who ex­ pected the com ing o f die Prophet Jesus, since the K halifa o f die Mahdi was dead, threatened public security. They were condemned as heretics by a council o f religious notables, and exiled. Other rebels in the outlying provinces were less easily crushed, and m ilitary action was sometimes necessary. In 1903 a mahdi was captured and hanged in Kordofan. The follow ing year saw die appearance and suppression o f a Prophet Jesus at Sinja on the Blue N ile. The most serious incident o f this kind occurred in 1908, when a form er Mahdist notable in the Gezira, ‘A bd al-Qadir Muhammad Imam, usually called Wad Habuba, his temper exacerbated by failure to recover possession o f his ancestral lands, killed an Egyptian and a British official and raised a revolt. A small m ilitary operation follow ed, and ‘A bd al-Qadir was brought in and hanged. One o f his followers set him self up as the Prophet Jesus in Kordofan in 19 12 , and was put down in his turn. Trifling as these revolts seem in retrospect, they were taken very seriously by the Sudan G overn­ ment, since the Mahdist revolution had developed from as petty beginnings. D uring these years a resurgence o f Mahdism was still feared, the reading o f the Mahdi’s prayer-book was

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proscribed, and the Mahdi’s surviving sons b y under a doud. The pacification o f the non-Arab tribal areas o f the south was a slow business, and its completion takes us beyond the chrono­ logical limits o f this chapter. The N uba Mountains form ed a series o f pockets o f resistance to the Sudan Governm ent as they had to the Mahdist and Turco-Egyptian regimes previously. In 1904 the outlying hill, Jab al al-D ayir, against which Hamdan A bu ‘A nja had operated twenty years previously, was finally reduced to submission. Other patrols, amounting sometimes to minor campaigns, against refractory N uba communities took place at intervals fo r die next twenty-five years. The marshes o f the Upper N ile and Bahr al-Ghazal were obstacles to pacification which could only slow ly be overcom e. The first British governor on the Upper N ile had his headquarters at Fashoda (soon to be renamed K odok), but penetration o f the Bahr al-Ghazal and equatorial districts could not take place until a channel through the Sudd had been reopened. This task required enormous efforts, but by 1903 a w ay had been cleared, and provincial administrations were set up in the Bahr alGhazal and the far south. Gradually, over many years, the tribes were brought under control, but it was not until 1928 that the intractable N uer were finally pacified. The delimitation o f Sudanese territory abo attended over many years. Cromer in 1899 was careful not to define the Con­ dominium as extending over all the territory which form erly belonged to Egypt. A part from Khedive Isma‘iTs possessions in Somaliland and Abyssinia, which were geographically dis­ tinct, and had been lost after the Egyptian withdrawal from the Sudan, the European powers had nibbled away outlying por­ tions o f Sudanese territory proper. Italy had retroceded K asala to the Anglo-Egyptian forces on Christmas D ay 1897, but Massawa remained part o f Eritrea. The southernmost portion o f Ism a‘il’s form er dominions was now under British rule, as part o f the Uganda Protectorate. N orth o f this, territory on the west bank o f the White N ile to Lado was leased fo r life by K in g Leopold II o f the Belgians. The K halifa ‘Abdallahi him­ self had ceded the Beni Shangul district to Menelik o f Abyssinia in 1897. The possibility o f extensive French claims being asserted to the southern Sudan had ended with the Fashoda


Incident. The N ile-Congo watershed was accepted in March 1899 as the line o f demarcation between French and British control. T o the north o f this line there was no immediate prob­ lem, since D arfur was once again a sultanate, autonomous but tributary to Khartoum , under ‘A li D inar, a member o f the old ruling house. Beyond D arfur, the sultanate o f Wadai did not come under French control until 1909. A series o f agreements and treaties defined the other frontiers o f die Sudan. The boundary w ith Eritrea was fixed between 1898 and 1902. A treaty between Abyssinia and Great Britain in 1902 determined a frontier which, as in the past, was to cause constant trouble to the authorities in the Sudan. The boundary w ith the Congo Free State was agreed in 1906. The Lado Enclave remained under the administration o f the Free State until 19 10 , when, after the death o f Leopold II, it reverted to the Sudan. The frontier w ith Uganda was not delimited until 19 13 , and in the follow ing year the Sudan received a further stretch o f the Upper N ile in exchange fo r part o f the form er Lado Enclave. The development o f an administrative system was another achievement o f the years follow ing the Reconquest. The old Turco-Egyptian administration had perished, and the tribal system had been disrupted in the Mahdist revolution. The Baqqara, w ho had ruled under the Khalifa, were either dead, prisoners or fugitives: they were in any case too backward to serve as suitable instruments fo r the new regime. The sophisti­ cated and patient bureaucracy, which had served the bäkämdars and had been reconstituted under ‘Abdallahi, was literate only in A rabic; its records were a sealed book to the British officers w ho now ruled. It was simpler to dismiss the past compre­ hensively as a time o f anarchy, oppression and misgovemment, and create a new, enlightened and alien administration. A t the head o f the Sudan Governm ent stood the governorgeneral, whose extensive powers have already been noted. H is real responsibility was to the British agent and consul-general in Egypt, who formed the channel through which the policy o f tiie British government was conveyed to him. The autonomy o f tiie governor-general in financial matters was limited by ” 5

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regulations, originally drawn up in January 1899 by Cromer, Kitchener and Eldon G orst, who was at that time financial adviser to the Egyptian government. Since E gypt between 1899 and 19 13 made an annual subvention to the Sudan, the governor-general and his financial secretary were held respon­ sible fo r seeing that its amount was not exceeded. The Egyptian M inistry o f Finance had the right o f supervision, audit and inspection o f the finances o f the Sudan. These functions o f the Egyptian ministry were in fact exercised by its British financial adviser. These form al paper arrangements were o f far less importance than the personal relations o f the men concerned. Cromer had a genuine interest in the settlement and progress o f the Sudan and, until his retirement in 1907, collaborated closely first with Kitchener and then with Wingate. He and his successors abstained from interference with the routine o f administration, so that to the Sudanese the governor-general appeared as an autocrat, backed by the khedive’s appointment and the m ilitary power o f Britain. Personal relations rather than regulations governed also the inner workings o f the administration. Win­ gate’s right-hand man was R udolf von Slatin, whose knowledge o f Sudanese affairs and personalities, gained during his service in D arfur under the Egyptian administration and his detention in Omdurman under the Mahdi and Khalifa, placed him in a unique position to advise and influence the new regime in internal affairs. Slatin Pasha, w ith the title o f inspector-general, was the effective head o f the Intelligence Department in K har­ toum. W ith his enforced retirement, as an Austrian subject, on the outbreak o f w ar in 19 14 , the post ceased to exist. Apart from Slatin, the three chief officers o f the Sudan Governm ent were the financial, legal and civil secretaries. In 19 10 an ordinance substituted a form al Council, o f which the inspector-general and the three secretaries were ex-officio members, fo r the previous inform al consultations between the governor-general and his chief officials. The country was divided into provinces which, in the north, originally corresponded closely to those o f the Turco-Egyptian period. A t the head o f each province was a British governor. The provinces were divided into districts, each with an



Egyptian officer. But a deviation was made from Egyptian practice in introducing a new cadre o f British inspectors be­ tween the governors and Egyptian district officers. In course o f time diese officials became the actual administrators o f the districts, w ith the tide o f district commissioners, and the Egyptian (later Sudanese) district officers were relegated to a subordinate position. The administrative machine was thus British in its higher, and Egyptian in its low er ranks. It was not until about fifteen years later that Sudanese began to replace Egyptian officials. Valuable service was also rendered fo r many years by a group o f Lebanese, who form ed in some ways a bridge between the British ruling-group and the Sudanese. Arabic-speaking, but fluent in English, more western in out­ look than the Egyptians, they had a unique rôle to play. One o f the earliest Lebanese civil servants, N a‘um Bey Shuqayr, was W ingate’s right-hand man in the Intelligence Department. Shortly after the Reconquest he wrote an Arabic history o f the Sudan, which, fo r its scope, impartiality and abundant docu­ mentation is a most im pressive piece o f w ork, and remains an indispensable source o f information. A t the outset the administrative personnel was almost entirely m ilitary, being composed o f British and Egyptian officers o f the Egyptian army. M any o f these were able men: they included one officer, Sir Edgar Bernard, who was fo r twenty years financial secretary, and two others who were in their turn govem ors-general, Sir Lee Stack and Sir Stewart Symes. Nevertheless an administrative service and technical departments could not be staffed indefinitely by army officers on secondment, and as early as 1900 the recruitment o f civilians began in Britain. From this recruitment developed the upper cadres o f the Sudan G v il Service, particularly the administrative branch, which came to be known as the Political Service. These admini­ strators were selected by a board, held annually in London, from young men who had just left the universities, endowed, as Cromer said, ‘with good health, high character and fair abilities’. Their numbers were sm all; this, with their close personal relations with their superiors, and the scope left to them fo r initiative in their w ork, stimulated the growth o f a a

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strong esprit de corps. Frequent transfers from one province to another, and from the provinces to the Secretariat in K har­ toum, gave them experience and adaptability. Many o f them acquired a considerable knowledge o f the spoken Arabic or the other languages o f die Sudan; a few became proficient readers o f Arabic. Since they normally passed the whole o f their careers in the Sudan, they acquired a wide and intimate knowledge o f the country, and a devotion to what they regarded as its best interests. The reverse o f these qualities was a tendency towards parochialism o f outlook, and an over-confidence in their under­ standing o f die Sudanese. The Sudanese, fo r their part, respected their authority and applauded their justice, but were sensitively aware o f an arrogance o f bearing which resulted as much from a difference in manners as from deliberate intent. The Condominium Agreement had conceded to the Sudan a legal system independent o f that o f Egypt. In the north die years o f revolution, tribal migrations and w ar had shattered die old structure o f land tenure, and a new settlement was urgently necessary. In 1899 Kitchener enacted tw o ordinances, dealing respectively with urban and rural property. The fundamental principle adopted was ‘that five years' continuous possession at the date o f claim [should] confer an absolute tide as against all persons'. Questions o f ownership were most acute in the riverain areas o f die north where die cultivable land was limited, and where there was an ancient settled population. H ere land commissions were appointed to investigate and register tides. Other ordinances, published in the same year, enacted the system o f taxation. Follow ing precedents set by the K halifa, three main taxes were recognized— on land, herds and datepalms— and the rates o f assessment were fixed. M eanwhile, codes o f law , based on die Indian model and thus widely dif­ ferent in inspiration from those in force in E gypt, were being devised. Their authors were (Sir) W illiam Edw ard Brunyate, a British lawyer in the Egyptian service, who was responsible fo r drafting the land ordinances; and (Sir) Edgar Bonham-Carter, one o f die first civilians recruited by the Sudan Governm ent, who served as legal secretary until 19 17 . A penal code, a code o f criminal procedure, and a civil justice ordinance were enacted



in the first two years o f die Condominium. A system o f courts was developed. The Condominium period witnessed some interesting developments in connection w ith Muslim law in the Sudan. The Sudan Mohammedan Lam Courts Ordinance o f 1902 set up a hierar­ chy o f courts— a H igh Court in Khartoum , provincial courts and district courts. These administered the H oly Law in accor­ dance with the doctrines o f the Hanafi school' as in Egypt.* They dealt w ith cases between Muslims, and were principally concerned w ith marital and testamentary questions, and with charitable endowments. A t the head o f the system stood the grand qadi, w ho, until the last years o f the Condominium, was invariably an Egyptian jurist. Under the Ordinance o f 1902, the grand qadiwzs empowered w ith the approval o f the governor-general, to ‘make regulations consistent w ith (the) ordinance regulating. . . the Mohammedan Law Courts and other matters concerned with such Courts*. This provision opened the w ay to new developments at a time when the reform o f Muslim law was being eagerly debated in Egypt. Thus, the very important Sedan Mohammedan Lam Courts Organisation and Procedure Regulations (/y //), promulgated under this provision, are closely modelled on the Egyptian regulations o f 1897 and 19 10 . Other reforms were introduced through the Circulars, which successive grand qadis issued under the Ordi­ nance o f 1902 and the Regulations o f 19 15 . A provision o f these Regulations enabled the grand qadi to issue directives based on legal doctrines other than those o f the Hanafi school. The apparent rigidity o f the system o f Muslim law in the Sudan was thereby considerably modified. Some legal reforms in the Sudan have even anticipated those in Egypt. The educational policy o f the new regime was laid down by (Sir) Jam es Currie, who was appointed director o f Education in 1900. In this field, shortage o f fonds combined w ith m isgivings as to the effects o f unrestrained access to western learning tended to retard development. Currie’s scheme was essentially limited and practical in its aims. H e sought to provide vernacu­ lar elementary schools to enable the masses ‘to understand the elements o f the system o f government*; a technical school ‘to train a small class o f competent artisans*; and prim ary (later


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called intermediate) schools, to train elementary schoolmasters and ‘to produce a small administrative class fo r entry to die government service*. This was a scheme which would commend itself to administrators rather than to educationalists, and its implementation was slow . Its poverty o f conception and meagreness in execution were partially concealed by the con­ struction in Khartoum o f the magnificent buildings o f the G ordon M emorial College. Kitchener had appealed in 1898 fo r die foundation o f a school to bear this title. There was a generous response, and Kitchener returned to open the college in 1902. In its early years it served as an intermediate and technical school but subsequently it attained secondary status.7 D uring Currie’s time, the basic pattern o f the educational system was laid down, as it still survives: a four-year course at each o f the elementary, intermediate and secondary levels. The age o f entry to each level was (and is) theoretically 7, 1 1 , and 1 5 years respectively. O nly a m inority in each grade pass on, after examination, to the next. The period o f W ingate’s governor-generalship up to the outbreak o f w ar in 19 14 saw the steady grow th o f order and prosperity in 'th e Sudan. In 1900 revenue had stood at £E i56 ,8 88 8 and expenditure at ¿ £ 3 3 1,9 18 : in 19 13 , the first year in which revenue exceeded expenditure, the respective figures were ¿121,6 54 ,14 9 and ¿ E i , 614,007. In that year the annual Egyptian subvention was discontinued, the Sudan instead being credited w ith the customs dues collected in E gyp t on goods in transit to and from the Sudan. The m ilitary railway which Kitchener had constructed was adapted after the Reconquest to civilian purposes and became the first portion o f a railway system linking the provinces o f the northern Sudan. In December 1899, railhead was brought to the Blue N ile opposite Khartoum , and around it the present town o f Khartoum N orth sprang up. The construction o f a railway to link the N ile and the Red Sea coast, attempted and abandoned in the fighting against ‘Uthman Diqna, was success­ fully accomplished in 1905. This resulted in the creation o f tw o new towns, Atbara, on the N ile, supplanting Berber as the junction o f the riverain and coastal routes; and Port Sudan, superseding Suakin. The old harbour was found to be inade­ 12 0


quate fo r modem shipping, and in 1906 die construction o f Port Sudan began. Although the new railway and port were the successors o f the old caravan-track and o f Suakin, their con­ struction was not without political significance, since they made the trade o f the Sudan largely independent o f the route through Egypt. In the follow ing years the railway was brought into Khartoum , and then pushed southwards through the Gezira to Sennar, whence it swung westwards and across the W hite N ile to reach E l Obeid in 19 1 1 . A t the river-crossing a new town, called K osti, arose, while the old river-port o f Dueim fell into decline. On the White N ile a steamer-service supplied the absence o f railway-transport in the western Gezira and, as in Turco-Egyptian and Mahdist times, linked the southern Sudan w ith the north. Throughout the Condominium period, railway construction in the south remained technically difficult and economically prohibitive, but the geology o f parts o f the southern Sudan enabled roads to be constructed which were far superior to the unmade tracks o f the north. The telegraph-system o f the Turco-Egyptian period, which had been almost completely destroyed in the Mahdist revolution, was restored and extended. The opening up o f the Sudan by modem communications, the prestige and veiled power o f the government, and the existence o f a disciplined, loyal and incorruptible administrative service all contributed to the solution o f the problem o f the slave-trade, which, more than any other, had destroyed the old Turco-Egyptian regime. A n article o f the Condominium Agree­ ment had declared the trade to be absolutely prohibited, but the practical execution o f this policy took several years. In one respect the new government was more fortunately placed than K hedive Isma‘il and Gordon had been: contrary to assertions which are still sometimes uncritically retailed, the trade seems to have declined sharply during the Mahdia. Its previous expan­ sion had been, as we have seen, a corollary o f the penetration o f the Upper N ile and the Bahr al-Ghazal, but these areas which, w ith the N uba Mountains, had been the principal hunting-grounds fo r slaves in the Turco-Egyptian period, had been virtually outside the range o f Mahdist control during the reign o f the Khalifa. The slaves occasionally mentioned in 12 1

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M ahdist archives seem to have been almost entirely members o f the existing slave-population in the north. The closing o f slave-markets in areas under Ottoman or British control was another factor in the decline o f the slave-trade. When the south was reopened under die Condominium administration vigorous precautions, amounting to a virtual exclusion o f the northern Sudanese, were taken to prevent a recurrence o f the trade. In 19 12 Kitchener, then British agent and consul-general in E gyp t, reported that ‘slave-trading on a large scale is clearly a thing o f die past*. It remained however an inveterate problem in the difficult areas bordering on Abyssinia. Dom estic slavery, widespread throughout the northern Sudan, was a different matter. It was not mentioned in the Condominium Agreem ent, and although officially it was not recognized, there was no unnecessary interference by the administration while service was w illingly rendered. B y the suppression o f die slave-trade and the improvement o f economic conditions, it was hoped that slavery as an institution would wither away. W ingate’ s governor-generalship saw the beginning o f a revolution in the economics o f the Sudan— the production o f long-staple cotton fo r the w orld market. Experim ental plant­ ing began as early as 1900, and by 1905 there were nearly 24,000 acres under cotton, 16,000 o f which were watered by flood. But the future o f cotton-production depended upon irrigation. A small concession fo r cotton-growing by pum p-irrigation was held near Berber by the Sudan Plantations Syndicate, a com­ pany originally form ed by an Am erican, S. J . Leigh Hunt. The potentialities o f die Gezira as an area fo r irrigation were being considered by the government, which arranged fo r die Syndi­ cate to open an experimental farm near Wad Medani. The successful results obtained between 1 9 11 and 19 14 led to the next step; a project to dam the Blue N ile near Sennar and irrigate a portion o f the eastern Gezira by a canal. The British government in 19 13 guaranteed a Sudan Governm ent loan o f £63,000,000, while a commission worked from 1906 to 19 12 on the problems o f tides to land and boundaries o f die holdings which would be aflected. The outbreak o f w ar interrupted further progress on the scheme. The First W orld War affected the Sudan in several ways. The 12 2


administrative service was weakened by the withdrawal o f British army officers, the release o f civilians who wished to join the forces (although officials were as far as possible kept at their posts), and the suspension o f new recruitment from E n g­ land. From 19 16 onwards, Sudanese products enjoyed a war­ time boom : revenue rose from £ E i , 857,856 in that year to a post-war peak o f 3(^4,425,340 in 1920. This meant prosperity fo r producers but also high prices fo r consumers. The entry o f the Ottoman Em pire into the w ar on the side o f Germ any in Novem ber 19 14 , follow ed by the deposition o f Khedive ‘Abbas IP and the proclamation o f a British protectorate over E gypt, aroused apprehensions that the authority o f the Sudan Governm ent over its Muslim subjects would be undermined. W ingate addressed the religious notables in Khartoum , calling on them to set an example o f loyalty, and the provinces under his administration remained quiescent. The w ar afforded the Sudan Governm ent the opportunity o f extinguishing the autonomous sultanate o f D arfiir. On the downfall o f the K halifa, Sultan ‘A li D inar had established him­ self as an autocratic ruler in his ancestral kingdom , which he governed on principles learnt from his forefathers and from the administrators o f the Mahdist period. He had created a slave-army, which he equipped w ith rifles. Officials o f the Sudan Governm ent, the nominal suzerain, were excluded from D arfur. A s his reign proceeded, ‘A li D inar felt the grow ing diffi­ culties o f his position, pressed as he was between the directlyadministered provinces o f the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan and the expanding power o f the French. In 1909 the sultanate o f Wadai fell under French rule, and the petty buffer-states on the western frontier o f D arfur (Dar M asalit, D ar Tam a, D ar Sila and D ar Qimr) were next threatened. Sila was occupied by the French, Tam a by ‘A li D inar, while M asalit maintained a precarious independence. This situation was also unsatisfactory fo r the Sudan Governm ent, since the French advance was making a final frontier settlement increasingly urgent, and no delimita­ tion could be attempted while ‘A li D inar controlled D arfur. O ver many years there had been friction between ‘A li D inar and the Sudan Governm ent. The deposition o f Khedive «5

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*Abbas II by the British turned the Sultan o f D arfur’s smoulder­ ing resentment into open anger. There was some exchange o f letters between ‘A li Dinar and the Young T urk leaders, E n ver Pasha and N uri Bey, but these had little to do w ith the course o f events, although they featured largely in the Condominium governm ent’s presentation o f its case. W ingate had in fact decided in August 1915 to conquer D arfur at die first favourable opportunity. When ‘A li D inar sent a small reinforcement to a frontier garrison the follow ing February, this was seized on as die pretext fo r launching an invasion. W ingate declared that ‘A li D inar was at least going to raid the Sudan, i f not to invade it, and that action was necessary to forestall him.10 A force o f between two and three thousand troops, supported by three aeroplanes, was concentrated in Kordofan, ninety miles from the frontier. The expedition advanced w ith some diffi­ culty, caused by the heat and shortage o f water, to a point about twelve miles from ‘A li Dinar’s capital at E l Fasher. The sultan was incapable o f advancing to meet the invaders, but here he made a last-ditch stand. A fter a batde the Fur army withdrew. E l Fasher was entered next day, 23 M ay 1916 , and the sultan fled. He was surprised and killed on 6 Novem ber 19 16 in a dawn attack, led by M ajor Huddleston, later to be governorgeneral o f the Sudan. The settlement o f the boundary between French and British controlled territory was made in a conven­ tion concluded in 1919. M asalit was left as a part o f D arfur, while Tama and Sila passed under French administration. The actual delimitation o f the frontier on the ground was not com­ pleted until 1924. The annexation o f D arfur was W ingate’s last major act as governor-general. In Novem ber 19 16 he was appointed high commissioner in Egypt, the title held by the British representa­ tive in Cairo after the declaration o f the protectorate. He took up his duties in the new year, and held this office until February 19 19 , being succeeded as governor-general o f the Sudan and sirdar o f the Egyptian army by the civil secretary, Sir Lee Stack.




1919-33 o f Sir Lee Stack coincided with a period o f grow ing tension in Anglo-Egyptian relations, a tension which was partly caused by the problem o f the Sudan, and which in turn had disturbing repercussions in that country. The assassination o f Stack in Cairo on 19 Novem ber 1924 brought to a head a crisis in both Egypt and the Sudan, which profoundly affected the relations o f Britain with the Egyptians and the Sudanese throughout the remaining years o f the Condominium. Egyptian nationalism had found little opportunity fo r overt political action under the strong rule o f Cromer and his successors until the end o f the First W orld War. It then emerged, under the leadership o f Sa‘d Zaghul Pasha, with explosive force. W ingate, who had attempted to warn the British government o f the approaching storm, was recalled early in 19 19 , and Allenby, die victor over the Ottomans in Palestine, was appointed as high commissioner in Egypt. He was regarded as a strong man who would restore the British position. But it was impossible to put the clock back, and after various fruitless negotiations w ith the nationalist leaders, the British government authorized Allenby to issue a declaration recognizing Egyptian independence. In die declaration, pub­ lished on 28 February 1922, four matters were ‘absolutely reserved to the discretion o f H is M ajesty’s Governm ent’, until agreements concerning them could be freely negotiated. The fourth o f these matters was the Sudan. On the follow ing day the Egyptian sultan, Fu'ad, took the title o f king, and in A pril a commission was formed to draft a constitution fo r the monarchy. T

he govern o r


e r a l sh ip

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The reservation o f the Sudan in die British declaration brought to a head Egyptian fears and resentments which had been felt since the Condominium Agreement. These had be­ come more acute in recent years. It was very dear that the so-called Condominium was British rule in all but name. The Egyptians were exduded from the higher administrative cadres, and had no share in die determination o f policy. The legal and educational systems were based on British models and were w id d y different from their French-influenced counterparts in Egypt. Since 19 13 , the Sudan had been financially independent. Thus the Egyptians had reason to fear that the Sudan, which had been given a separate political status from that o f E gypt in 1899, would in course o f time lose even the tenuous form al con­ nections maintained in the Condominium Agreement. Their anxieties were die greater since the prosperity and very exist­ ence o f E gypt depended on the N ile waters. The devdopm ent o f irrigation in the Gezira, planned before the W ar, had been resumed in 19 19 . E gypt was faced, as never before in her history, w ith the prospect o f a territory under the protection o f a great power exploiting the N ile waters which were a necessity o f life to her. For very different reasons the situation recognized by the Condominium Agreement had now become unsatisfactory to die British. The Conventions o f 1899 had been conduded w ith a deferential Egyptian government in the heyday o f Cromer’s power. Cromer recognized its anomalies, but in his time they did not matter in practice: in different form s Britain ruled E gyp t and the Sudan alike, and die predse formulation o f legal rights was an academic exercise. B y 19 19 , however, the British claim to rule E gypt was threatened, and in 1922 it had ceased to exist. W hatever control Britain m ight henceforward seek to exert, whether by open reservations or by hidden influence, E gyp t was now dejure an independent power. The nationalists, organized in the W afd party, would not admit any derogation from E gypt’s historical and legal rights in the Sudan. E ven i f they were not in power, their influence in die country was so great that ndther the king nor his supporters could afford openly to flout the nationalist thesis. The British mistrust o f Egyptian intentions and capabilities 12 6

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in the Sudan, which had been a factor in the drafting o f the Condominium Agreem ent, had developed with years o f success­ fu l rule into a sense o f unique moral responsibility; a feeling that, legal niceties apart, the British administrators and the British government stood in a position o f trusteeship towards the Sudanese. The explosion o f Egyptian nationalism at the end o f the w ar had shocked the British, who were conscious o f die benefits they had conferred on E gypt radier than o f the resentment that had been simmering since the occupation. There was therefore less likelihood than ever that the British would transfer to independent E gypt their responsibilities in the Sudan, or even consent to any serious diminution o f their pow er there. A head-on dash o f the two co-domini was inevitable. That the Sudanese them sdves might become a party to the disputo was a possibility totally ignored by the British, but realized by the Egyptians. Although the Egyptians in the Sudan were confined to the low er and middle ranks o f die army and d v il service, they could influence Sudanese opinion where the British officials could only dominate it. Their community o f language and religion w ith the northern Sudanese were price­ less assets. The British governors and district commissioners had learned how to deal with die Sudanese notables, and a degree o f confidence, albdt w ith profound i f unspoken reserva­ tions on both sides, existed between them. Towards the country people and nomads they behaved with the paternal benevolence o f a squirearchy. But die urban middle-class, especially the Sudanese who had acquired a westernized education in the intermediate schools and Gordon College, they viewed w ith little sympathy or respect. These, however, were the Sudanese w ith whom foe Egyptians came most closely into contact—in foe urban areas, especially foe capital; in foe army units, where British officers commanded both Sudanese and Egyptian subordinates; and in the government offices, where foe first generation o f western-educated Sudanese was now employed side by side w ith Egyptian officials. It would be w rong to depict the Sudanese malcontents o f this period as mere deluded instruments o f Egyptian nation­ alist ambitions. A s die TJrabist revolution in E gyp t had 127

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synchronized w ith die spontaneous Mahdist movement in the Sudan, so the revival o f militant Egyptian nationalism after the First W orld W ar coincided w ith, and stimulated, the beginning o f Sudanese nationalism. It found a leader in *Ali ‘A bd al-Latif, a young man o f Dinka origin, who had been an army officer. H is personal crisis had come in a clash with a high British official, whom he felt to have treated him arrogantly and unjusdy. H is first political organization, the Sudanese United Tribes Society, founded in 19 2 1, spoke o f the Sudanese nation and demanded independence, but looked to the religious notables and tribal chiefs as die natural governors o f the country. He was arrested and imprisoned in 1922. When he resumed political activities and founded a second organization in May, 1924, his ideas had undergone a significant change. He was now ready to w ork with the Egyptians to overthrow British rule. The White Flag League, as his new society was called, aimed not at an independent Sudan, separate from Egypt, but at a state o f the N ile Valley, freed from die British and united under the Egyptian monarchy. Hence­ forw ard, Sudanese nationalism as it developed was to be divided between these two alternative aims, o f an independent nation-state or unity o f the N ile Valley. From the first, how­ ever, the programme o f a unified N ile Valley seems to have been adopted by most o f its Sudanese partisans rather as a weapon against Britain, a tactical scheme, than as a serious political commitment. The White Flag League received more or less concealed support from Egyptian political circles within and outside the Sudan: this and its slogan o f unity have led some British writers to dismiss it as a mere agency o f Egyptian agitators. Branches o f the League were founded in the principal towns o f the north: the southern Sudan was too isolated, divided and backward to share in any political movement at this stage. A fter demonstrations in Omdurman and Khartoum in June, ‘A li 'A bd al-Latif was again arrested and imprisoned. M ore serious symptoms o f disaffection appeared in August, when die cadets o f die M ilitary School made an armed demonstration through die streets o f die capital, which coincided w ith a mutiny o f the Egyptian railway battalion stationed in Atbara. 12 8

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These disturbances were suppressed. It was, however, both significant and alarming that the alliance o f Egyptian and Sudanese nationalism should be affecting the loyalty o f the army. The system o f command in the Egyptian army indeed typified the anomalous relationship between E gypt and Britain o f which the Condominium Agreem ent had been another expression. The historical accident that Kitchener, the sirdar (or commander-in-chief) o f the Egyptian forces, had been appointed governor-general o f the Sudan had become a pre­ cedent fo r the continued combination o f these two offices. But in Sir Lee Stack’s time, E gypt had become independent. The Egyptian and Sudanese officers were bound by an oath o f allegiance to the king o f Egypt, but at the same time they were commanded by a British subject w ho, as governorgeneral, embodied and symbolized the British paramountcy in die Sudan. It was not surprising that a clash o f loyalties should be most acutely felt by some officers. On 19 Novem ber 1924, the sirdar and governor-general was m ortally wounded by an Egyptian in the streets o f Cairo. H is death provided Allenby w ith an opportunity to seek to end a situation which had become intolerable to all parties. A cting without waiting fo r the approval o f the British government, he presented to Sa‘d Zaghlul Pasha, then prime minister, two communications which demanded, inter alia, that die Egyptian government should ‘order within twenty-four hours die with­ drawal from the Sudan o f all Egyptian officers and the purely Egyptian units o f the Egyptian army, w ith such resulting changes as [should] be hereafter specified’, and sanction an increase in die area to be irrigated in the Gezira ‘to an un­ limited figure as need [might] arise’. This ultimatum produced a crisis in E gypt and repercussions in the Sudan. The Egyptian units were w ith difficulty induced to evacuate. Troops o f the n th Sudanese battalion mutinied and established themselves in the m ilitary hospital in Khar­ toum. The building was surrounded and ultimately destroyed by artillery, the mutineers fighting to the last man. The events o f 1924 were a turning-point in the history o f the Condominium. One anomaly ceased to exist: subsequent govem ors-general were no longer sirdars o f the Egyptian arm y, 12 9

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and the m ilitary forces o f the Sudan, henceforward recruited in the Sudan and commanded by a British officer, were given a separate organization from those o f E gypt and were known as the Sudan Defence Force. This further step in die separation o f Egyptian and Sudanese institutions might logically have been accompanied by the termination o f the Condominium, which had become unworkable. But the wishes o f the British admini­ strators in the Sudan were overborne by the government in London. The name o f the Condominium was retained, the Egyptian flag continued to be flow n together with die Union Jack , the king o f E gypt confirmed the appointments and with­ drawals o f the British govem ors-general. But the actual parti­ cipation o f E gypt in the Condominium shrank to vanishing point with the evacuation o f Egyptian troops, who were soon follow ed by the Egyptian civilian officials. T o establish a lien on its lost dominion, the Egyptian government offered an annual financial contribution fo r m ilitary purposes, which was accepted by the Sudan Governm ent without specification o f object. In one important respect, however, Egyptian interests were safeguarded. Allenby’s demand fo r the unlimited irrigation o f die Gezira was dropped by the British government. In 192$ a committee representing Britain and E gypt, with an inde­ pendent chairman, was appointed to propose a basis fo r the allocation o f the N ile waters as between E gypt and the Sudan. Their recommendations, subsequently embodied in the A ngloEgyptian N ile Waters Agreem ent o f 7 M ay 1929, abandoned the principle o f a fixed area to be irrigated in the Gezira, and substituted a quota o f the waters, to be used as seemed best to die authorities in the Sudan. Sudanese opinion later showed itself hostile to die Agreem ent, both because it was concluded between Britain and E gypt alone, and because the fixed quota, under one twenty-second part o f Egypt’s share, was inadequate to die grow ing needs o f die Sudan. Superficially, the fifteen years that elapsed between the troubles o f 1924 and die outbreak o f the Second W orld W ar resembled the halcyon days o f W ingate’s governor-generalship. Y et there were significant differences between the two periods. In the earlier one, a small band o f devoted men had w orked 130

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in the fu ll confidence o f their mission to bring order and pros­ perity to a ravaged land. B y 1924 die fundamental tasks o f pacification and administration had been accomplished, while the Sudan was enjoying the real, i f temporary, fruits o f a post­ w ar boom. The passing o f the Egyptians had violently removed a discordant element from the ruling élite. But the events o f 1924 had produced a crisis o f confidence between the rulers and an important section o f the ruled. The recent troubles m ight be ascribed to Egyptian intrigues; the Sudanese nationalists m ight be contemptuously described as ‘partly recruited from ex­ officials with an incomplete or ill-assimilated Western educa­ tion, who had been dismissed fo r corruption or other miscon­ duct*.1 Nevertheless, while the administration rightly perceived that active opposition was confined to a small m inority, mainly o f middle-class officials and officers, it proceeded to act in the follow ing years as! i f the western-educated class as a whole was its inveterate enemy, to be checked and circumscribed in the interests o f political stability. Thereby it stimulated the very opposition it feared, and antagonized the class on which the political evolution o f the Sudan depended. The reaction which followed Stack’s death can be seen in tw o fields: education and administrative policy. Education had always been tied to administrative requirements; it now came to be dominated by the political outlook o f the administration. The expulsion o f Egyptian teachers deprived the Education Department o f some o f its best trained men, without whose w ork die early developments under Currie would have been impossible. The M ilitary School at Khartoum was closed: henceforward commissions were granted only to men who had served in the ranks. In 19 18 and the follow ing years, courses had been organized to train as junior administrative officers Sudanese who had shown promise in any branch o f govern­ ment service. These were shut down in 1927. The Gordon College, the head o f the educational system, stagnated: it was viewed w ith suspicion as a breeding-ground o f discontented youths. D uring the years o f prosperity, from 1925 to 1929, there were no significant educational developments in the Sudan. The Kitchener School o f Medicine, which produced its first doctors at this time, had been opened by Steck as his last

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public act in the Sudan, and marks the end o f the first phase o f educational development that began with die building o f Gordon College. A decade o f utter stagnation ensued until the middle thirties. The illiberal attitude o f the Sudan Governm ent towards education in these years was accompanied by, and connected with, a new dogmatism in administrative policy. In the early Condominium, shortage o f staff and the overriding need fo r economy had encouraged two developments: the appointment o f Sudanese to the low er cadres o f government service, and, where circumstances permitted, the recognition o f chiefs as agents o f government over their tribes. Such recognition was, o f course, nothing new : it had been practised by the Mahdist state and the Turco-Egyptian administration in the Sudan, and it was an obvious expedient to adopt in the circumstances. Like the recruitment o f Sudanese as government officials, it was a measure originally adopted under the Condominium fo r purely practical reasons. These two methods o f employing Sudanese in administrative functions were equally accepted by the Sudan Governm ent until the death o f Sir Lee Stack. In his annual report fo r 19 2 1, Stack him self enunciated the principle lying behind the practice as ‘the policy o f admitting the native to a share in the manage­ ment o f affairs and helping him to fit him self fo r the increased responsibilities involved’. Slack’s statement is important be­ cause it is the first explicit reference to the conception o f the Sudan Governm ent as a mandatory for the Sudanese people, rather than a mere agent o f the co-domini. It is important also because Stack went on to speak o f his policy as being imple­ mented in two ways. ‘In the first place natives o f the Sudan have been selected and appointed to certain governmental posts carrying direct administrative duties. In the second place legislation has been passed regularizing the exercise by native chiefs o f certain powers over the members o f their own tribes.’ The legislation referred to was The Power o f Nomad Sbeikbs IJ2

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Ordinance, passed early in 1922, which recognized and regu­ larized judicial powers which had from time immemorial been exercised by the chiefs o f certain nomad tribes. B y 1923 some three hundred shaykhs had received recognition fo r diese purposes. The loss o f confidence by the British administrators in the educated Sudanese was reflected after 1924 in a one-sided development o f the policy which Stack had enunciated. This change o f attitude is reflected in a passage o f the annual report fo r 1926: ‘B y the judicious and progressive application o f devolu­ tionary measures in districts where conditions are suitable, and by ensuring that the native agencies which are to be responsible fo r administering these measures are remunerated on a scale sufficient to give them their requisite measure o f status and dignity, it should be possible not only to strengthen the fabric o f the native organization, but, while maintaining our supervisory staff at proper strength, gradually to reduce the number o f svb-mamurs* clerks, accountants and similar bureaucratic adjuncts in the out-districts/ In other w ords, under the guise o f continuity, the policy o f Stack and his predecessors was being abandoned. Provincial administration was to be committed as far as possible to tribal authorities supervised by British officials, while the rôle o f the educated Sudanese in the administration was to be progressively reduced. The exponents o f this policy o f ‘native administration* or ‘indirect administration* by the British would have been shocked to hear it compared to the K halifa ‘Abdallahi’s callingin o f the Baqqara, forty years previously, yet both were the consequences o f a failure o f confidence. In both cases the ruler turned from the more advanced o f his subjects, who neverthe­ less remained essential to the w orking o f his bureaucratic machine, and sought to use the less sophisticated elements as tiie instrument and support o f his authority. But the predica­ ment o f the British in 1926 was in one respect more serious than that o f the Khalifa. The wars o f the Mahdia, the K halifa’s own policy, and the migrations o f the tribes had shattered the iJ3

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tribal system. M any ruling houses had been divided, many tribes had been fragmented. Where traditional authority still existed, Stack’s ordinance had already recognized it. N ow , however, more tribal authorities were to receive recognition. The situation that ensued was described by the form er director o f Education, Sir Jam es Currie, who revisited die Sudan, after some years’ absence, in 1926, and again in 1932. Aghast at the abandonment o f the traditions o f W ingate’s time, he w rote: ‘A fter the troubles that culminated in Stack’s murder, the British local administration took fright, and in spite o f the loyalty o f the educated Sudanese to the Governm ent that had given them opportunity, die spectacle could be beheld o f young administrators diligently searching fo r lost tribes and vanished chiefs, and trying to resurrect a social system that had vanished fo r ever.’ 9 The new policy was embodied in The Powers o f Sbeikbs Ordinance o f 1927, which no longer restricted recognition to nomad chiefs and which deliberately sought to extend the powers committed to tribal authorities. Even in the G ezira, where the development o f the irrigation scheme had impinged w ith profound social effects on a tribal system fur gone in decay, efforts were made to resuscitate tribalism. The prosperity o f this period was followed by the great depression o f the early thirties. The impact o f this on the Sudan cannot be understood without reference to the economic development o f the preceding decade. The scheme fo r the establishment o f an irrigated, cotton-producing area in the eastern Gezira had been shelved on the outbreak o f the First W orld War. In 19 19 the project was revived, but the financial provision made before the w ar was no longer adequate. The amount o f the loan guaranteed by Britain was raised from £3,000,000 to £6,000,000 in 19 19 , and, in subsequent stages between 19 2 1 and 1924, to £13,000,000. In October 19 19 an agreement was reached with the Sudan Plantations Syndicate which laid down the organization o f the scheme as it was to remain fo r thirty years. Three parties shared in the w ork o f

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production: the Sudan Governm ent was responsible fo r the building and maintenance o f the Sennar Dam and the m ajor canals on which irrigation depended; the Syndicate managed tiie scheme and handled the crop; the tenants, about 26,000 in number, provided the labour. M ost o f the tenants were the original owners o f the land and, as such, received a small tent representing its undeveloped value. The profits o f the cotton crop were, divided in the pro­ portion o f forty per cent each to the Governm ent and tenants, and twenty per cent to the Syndicate. Each tenancy was o f forty feddans,4 the cultivation o f which was strictly controlled. Ten acres were devoted to cotton, five each to millet (the staple food grain) and fodder, twenty were left fallow . The grain and fodder were, like the cotton, irrigated free o f charge, but remained at the sole disposal o f the tenants and tax-free. Much o f the labour was recruited, by the tenants themselves, from immigrants from the west who passed through the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan on pilgrim age to the H oly G ties. From this development a social and political problem has arisen. The Gezira Scheme was an admirable piece o f social planning, designed to combine the advantages o f state ownership and technical control w ith the maintenance o f a prosperous landed peasantry. The physical organization o f the scheme was completed in its essentials by 192$. Its inception aroused fears that Egyptian interests in the N ile waters would be sacrificed. These Allenby sought to allay by a declaration in February 1920 that the amount o f land to be irrigated in the Gezira should not exceed 300,000 acres without reference to the Egyptian government. A N ile Projects Commission, appointed by the Egyptian governm ent, visited the Sudan and pronounced, in A ugust 1920, that the projected scheme would utilize only water which would otherwise go to waste, and therefore could not adversely affect Egypt. Egyptian opinion, however, remained suspicious, and tiie w orst fears seemed to be justified by Allenby’s ulti­ matum in 1924. The subsequent N ile Waters Agreem ent (1929) did something to allay Egyptian apprehensions. Construction o f the Sennar Dam had begun in 19 2 1 and was completed in 1925. It became clear that a considerably larger area could be irrigated from the available supply o f water, and extensions o f 135

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the original scheme, completed in 1929, brought die total irrigated area up to over 500,000 acres. Other cotton-growing schemes had been begun before the First W orld War in the Gash and Baraka deltas, where streams arising in Eritrea finally lose themselves in the deserts o f the eastern Sudan. These riso were developed after the w ar, the Gash scheme (organized on a tripartite basis similar to that in the Gezira) bring conceded to the Kassala Cotton Company, which was linked financially w ith the Sudan Plantations Syndi­ cate. A consequence o f die rise o f cotton production in die Gash region was the construction in 1924 o f a railway between Kasala and Port Sudan. This was subsequently extended to Sennar, so that by 1929 the Gezira was directly linked with the Red Sea coast. In 1929 local conditions in the Sudan combined w ith the onset o f the great depression to cloud the earlier promise. The stagnation o f international trade meant low er prices fo r cotton, now the Sudan’s principal export. Excessively heavy tain in 1929 brought disease to crops and cultivators alike, and in the follow ing season the cotton was again diseased. Mean­ while the perennial threat to the grain-crops from locusts had been increasing from 1927, and in the first years o f die new decade their depredations were increasingly severe. The deterioration in the economic situation was reflected in the financial statistics. In 1929, revenue stood at ££6 ,9 8 1,59 0 ; expenditure at ££6 ,6 10 ,274 . B y 1932, when the lowest point had been reached, the comparable figures were ££3,6 53,39 4 and £E 3,8 $3,7$8 . Subsequently die position im proved to a revenue o f ££5,053,76 5 and expenditure o f ££4,890,871 in 1939. A n inevitable consequence o f the depression was financial retrenchment. In 19 3 1 die Sudan Governm ent set up a special committee to advise on economics, and shordy afterwards a British Treasury official was appointed financial secretary. The loans which had been contracted in connection with the Gezira Scheme had raised the public debt o f the Sudan to over £15,000,000, die annual service o f which required over £900,000. Cuts were made o f from five per cent to ten per cent in official pay and allowances. Departmental staffs and services were 136

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reduced. The number o f British officials, which had shown a tendency to increase in the recent years o f prosperity, had to be reduced, and the government was compelled by force o f economic circumstances to adopt a policy o f sudaniaation. Although the implications were not fo r many years clear either to the Sudanese or to many British administrators, the years o f depression had struck a mortal blow at the romantic im­ perialism which lay behind the unbalanced development o f ‘native administration'. The suspicion which had been building up between the Sudan Governm ent and the educated class since 1924 was revealed in 19 3 1 in an apparently trivial yet significant incident. Am ong its economies, the government had reduced the starting salaries o f Sudanese officials, newly appointed from Gordon College, by about thirty per cent. Although British salaries had also been reduced, the cuts had not been so heavy, nor had they been imposed on starting rates. Since the College had from the beginning been used as a feeder fo r government service, and its intake had been regulated by the prospective requirements o f the departments, the whole body o f pupils felt threatened. They went on strike, regardless o f the attempts o f parents and religious notables to intervene. The ‘graduates' (i.e. form er pupils o f the College) elected a committee to mediate with the government. Ultimately the reduction was fixed at twenty per cent, and the pupils returned to w ork. Currie, who revisited the Sudan in the follow ing year, showed an understanding o f the deeper motives underlying the strike. Since 1924, he stated: ‘the sphere o f employment open to educated natives o f the country [had been] materially reduced. The terrific economic crisis o f 1930 aggravated the situation, and rendered con­ siderable quantitative reduction a necessity fo r reasons o f economy. I f all the inhabitants had been persuaded that there was no change o f policy, all would have been w ell. Curtail­ ment o f opportunity was the real grievance.'8 Currie went on to give a prophetic warning o f the dangers ahead:


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‘Unless all responsible are made to understand that die employment o f educated Sudanese is a cardinal plank in Governm ent policy, no real progress w ill be made before a narrow nationalism comes triumphantly into existence, and western advisers— good and bad alike— are swept away together/*



T H E R I S E OF S U D A N E S E N A T IO N A LISM : 1934-52 and late thirties saw some indications o f impending changes in the Sudan. B y 1934 the country was showing signs o f recovery from the economic depression. In the follow ing years new men and methods brought fresh life to the educational service, w ith results that w ill be described later.1 The excesses o f ‘native administration* gave w ay to a more balanced policy o f the development o f local government institu­ tions, democratically constituted on a territorial rather than a tribal basis. From 19 4 1 onwards local government councils were set up in the larger municipalities, the smaller towns and the rural areas. The rural district councils were particularly significant, since they marked a deliberate reversal o f the older policy. Henceforward the tribal leaders would w ork in associa­ tion w ith local representatives. Ten years o f development and experiment followed, after which the institutions were systema­ tized in the comprehensive Local Government Ordinance o f 19 5 1. In the years before the Second W orld War there were signs that the period o f unquestioned British authority was ending. The conclusion o f the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty o f 1936* was a critical event. A fter fourteen years o f unsuccessful negotiations, terms were at last agreed upon, in consequence o f die Italian conquest o f Abyssinia, which had altered die balance o f power in north-east A frica. O ver the quesdon o f the Sudan, the standpoints o f Britain and Egypt were still, as in 1922 and 1899, fundamentally irreconcilable, and the treaty attempted no settlement o f the problem. The quesdon o f sovereignty over the Sudan was shelved; die administration resulting from the Condominium Agreement was left intact. The tw o states agreed upon a vaguely benevolent form ula ‘that the primary aim o f T he

m id d l e


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their administration in the Sudan must be the welfare o f the Sudanese*. There were, however, some more practical stipula­ tions. The virtual exclusion o f the Egyptians from the Sudan was ended. Egyptian as w ell as Sudanese and British troops were to be placed at the disposal o f the governor-general. Egyptian immigration into the Sudan was to be unrestricted ‘except fo r reasons o f public order or health*. There was to be no discrimination in the Sudan between British and Egyptians ‘in matters o f commerce, immigration or the possession o f property*. But it was impossible to restore to the Egyptians the share in government service which they had held in 1924. In spite o f the doubts and hesitations o f the administration in educational matters, there was by this time a large and increas­ ing body o f Sudanese in the low er and middle cadres o f the public service. The principle o f sudanization could no longer be avoided, and it was agreed that British and Egyptian candi­ dates would only be selected fo r appointment to posts fo r which qualified Sudanese were not available. In the event, the only substantial appointments o f Egyptians were as teachers in the post-war period. The repercussions o f this treaty upon the Sudanese were not long in showing themselves. A s in 1929, when the N ile Waters Agreem ent was reached, important decisions had been made concerning the Sudan without any reference to its people. The educated Sudanese considered themselves the section o f the community best entitled to speak fo r their nation as a whole. This consciousness found expression in an organization, the Graduates* General Congress, founded in February 1938. Its original members were 1,18 0 ‘graduates*, meaning in this con­ text Sudanese who had completed the course o f study at either Gordon College or an intermediate school. Since ‘graduates* were almost invariably appointed to posts in government service, the Congress was largely, if not ostensibly, an organiza­ tion o f Sudanese civil servants. Its secretary was Ism a‘il al-Azhari, the descendant o f a fam ily o f religious notables, who was him self a mathematics teacher in the Gordon College. He belonged to a small group o f Sudanese who had been sent in 1924 and the follow ing years to the American University o f Beirut. 140

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Congress announced its formation to the Sudan Governm ent in a letter written by Azhari. This stated that the duties o f the organization would lie in tw o spheres: outside the field o f government, in matters such as social reform and charities; and ‘matters o f public interest involving the Governm ent or lying within the scope o f its policy and concern*. W ith regard to the last, the letter stated: ‘It is not our intention in any w ay to embarrass die G overn­ ment, nor is it to pursue lines o f activity incompatible with the Governm ent policy. M ost o f us are Governm ent officials and are fully conscious o f our obligations as such, but we feel that the Governm ent is aware o f our peculiar position as the only educated element in this country, and o f die duties which w e, in this peculiar position, feel to be ours.* The civil secretary, in replying on behalf o f the government, form ally welcomed die formation o f Congress, in so far as its purposes were die service o f the country and philanthropic activity. He stressed that it was not recognized as a political body, and could not claim to represent die view s o f any but its own members. Both these limitations were to be contested by Congress in die future. For the time being, however, it concentrated on educational activities, particularly the establishment o f private intermediate schools to meet the grow ing demand fo r places, especially in the towns. These supplemented the ten schools (four o f which had been built since 1920) provided by the Education Department. W ith the outbreak o f die w ar, how­ ever, the strength o f political feeling increased, and tw o incidents produced a change in the relations between Congress and the Sudan Governm ent. In February 1940, ‘A li M ahir Pasha, dien prime minister o f E gypt, was invited by die governor-general to visit the Sudan. D uring his stay, he attended a tea-party held in his honour by Congress. Previously the Egyptians had suspected that Congress was an organization secredy promoted by the Sudan Governm ent to oppose Egyptian penetration. ‘A li M ahir was now convinced that this was not the case, and that indeed Congress was potentially an 141

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organ o f opposition to the British administration. Congress fo r its part appealed to ‘A li Mahir fo r financial help to carry out its social schemes. B y 1942 Congress was determined to assert its claim to act as tibe spokesman o f Sudanese nationalism. The moment seemed favourable. The governor-general, Sir Hubert Huddle­ ston, appointed in 1940, was a man o f long experience in the Sudan. H is civil secretary, Sir D ouglas N ewbold, who had held office since 1959» was an able and far-sighted administrator. H e realized that the old regime o f unquestioned British control was doomed, and that the political ferment, stimulated by the w ar, would hasten its departure. Y e t his position was not free from difficulties. The Sudan was much more directly involved in the Second W orld W ar than it had been in the First, since Italy was an enemy power. Kasala had been occupied by the Italians fo r a few months in 1940, and afterwards an army o f British, Indian and Sudanese troops, under General Platt, invaded Eritrea, and won the decisive battle o f Keren on 15 M ardi 19 4 1. This ended the danger on the Sudanese border, but a greater danger remained in the north, until Montgomery’s victory at E l Alamein in Novem ber 1942 destroyed the prospect o f a Germ an occupation o f the N ile valley. N ewbold was inevitably preoccupied w ith the administrative and economic problems which w ar had brought to the Sudan. He was w orking w ith a depleted staff. E ven in the most favourable circumstances, he could expect opposition from the more conservative members o f the Political Service, who were still imbued with the ideas o f the previous decade, and continued to view the educated Sudanese w ith suspicion and mistrust. It was therefore unfortunate that, at a time o f external crisis and internal strain, Congress should have decided to put for­ ward a political manifesto in which it claimed to speak fo r theSudanese people as a whole. A letter addressed to tibe civil secretary on 3 A pril 1942 and signed by the president o f Con­ gress, Ibrahim Ahm ad,8 put forw ard twelve demands w ith clear political and constitutional implications. The first o f these was basic: it asked fo r: ‘The issue, on the first possible opportunity, by the British 14 2

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and Egyptian governm ents, o f a joint declaration granting the Sudan, in its geographical boundaries, the right o f selfdetermination, directly after this w ar; this right to be safe­ guarded by guarantees assuring fu ll liberty o f expression in connection therewith; as w ell as guarantees assuring the Sudanese the right o f determining their natural rights w ith E gyp t in a special agreement between the Egyptian and Sudanese nations/ W hatever N ewbold’s personal sympathies, he had no power to reopen the thorny question o f the future status o f the Sudan, nor was the spring o f 1942 a suitable time fo r raising so delicate an international problem. A firm answer was to be expected, but his reply to the memorandum was brusque in the extreme. The claim o f Congress to represent the Sudanese was rejected. B y submitting the memorandum it had forfeited die confidence o f the Sudan Government. Although N ew bold toned down his snub to the educated Sudanese in private exchanges, his form al reply represented the official policy o f the Sudan Governm ent. A new crisis o f confidence was the inevitable result. A further result, which had serious political consequences in the ensuing years, was a split in Congress itself. W hile one group was prepared to accept the good faith o f the Sudan Governm ent, the other, headed by Azhari, was suspicious o f British motives in the Sudan, and turned, as ‘A li ‘A bd al-Latif had done before, to E gyp t as an ally. Once again, the unity o f the N ile Valley became die watchword o f a Sudanese nationalist group. Am ong die educated youths, the townspeople and the extremists, Azhari's influence was very great. A t this stage he seemed litde mote than a shrewd demagogue, but an able politician was in die making. H is supporters captured die organization o f Congress, which henceforward became a partisan body, w ith litde claim to speak fo r the educated class as a whole. In October 1942, the Egyptian M inistry o f Education accepted Congress as die channel fo r Sudanese applications fo r admission to Egyptian educational institutions ; a useful instru­ ment o f patronage was thereby placed in its hands. In 1943 Azhari organized the first genuine political party in the Sudan, M3

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die Asbiqqa’ or ‘Brothers’ (literally, ‘Brothers by the same father and mother’). The moderate nationalists saw the initiative passing to Azhari and the unity group. Their response was .to organize a party demanding the complete independence o f a Sudanese national state. This party became known as the Umma, a w ord which in modem Arabic means ‘nation’, but which still carries overtones o f its original significance; i.e. the community o f Islam in the time o f die Prophet and subsequently. It m ight seem that a party claiming complete independence fo r the Sudan would have a wider popular appeal than one advocating union w ith Egypt, but two considerations militated against the general acceptance o f nationalism o f the Umma type. First, its leaders were known to be prepared, as the Ashiqqa’ were not, to co­ operate w ith the existing administration in the progressive realization o f independence: hence it was easy to represent them as tools o f British imperialism. Secondly, the party placed itself under the patronage o f Sayyid *Abd al-Rahman al-Mahdi, the posthumous son o f the Mahdi, who had become one o f the two great religious leaders o f the Sudan. The implications o f this alliance reached far back into the history o f the Condominium and beyond. A t the outbreak o f the Mahdia, the most influential M uslim sect in the Sudan was, as we have seen, the Khatm iyya, whose leaders, the M irghani fam ily, descendants o f the founder, co-operated w ith the TurcoEgyptian administration in the Sudan and supported it with their religious authority. W ith the M ahdi's triumph, the Khat­ miyya went into eclipse; it would not recognize Muhammad Ahmad’s claim to be the Mahdi, and it was associated w ith Tureo-Egyptian rule .A fter the Reconquest, the M irghani fam ily returned to the Sudan and the Khatm iyya revived w ith un­ diminished vigour in its old areas o f influence, chiefly in the north and east o f the country. It supported the Condominium administration as it had supported its Turco-Egyptian pre­ decessor, and hence was an important factor in tibe years o f pacification and organization follow ing the Reconquest. The head o f the sect, Sayyid ‘A li al-M irghani, was treated w ith deference by the Sudan Governm ent, and received a knight­ hood in 19 16 . 144

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In the early years o f the Condominium, Mahdism seemed a spent force. The religious impulse behind it had dwindled after the Mahdi’s death; the m ilitary defeat o f the Mahdist state had discredited it politically. It was proscribed by the new regime and lacked a potential leader. A fter die death o f the tw o elder sons o f die Mahdi in the Shukkaba incident, die heir to the tattered remnants o f Mahdist loyalty was his posthumous son, ‘A bd al-Rahman. F o r many years he lived obscurely under surveillance in Omdurman, drawing, like die last Jacobite pretender, a pension'from die government which had sup­ planted his fam ily. The turn in his fortunes came w ith the First W orld War. W ingate invited him to use his influence among his followers in the Gezira to counteract the pan-Islamic propaganda o f the Ottomans. He agreed with alacrity. In 19 19 he was a member o f a delegation o f Sudanese notables sent to London to con­ gratulate G eorge V on the British victory. There he offered die reputed sword o f his hither to the king in token o f loyalty. In 1926 he too received a knighthood. Meanwhile he had been allowed to acquire estates on A ba, the cradle o f his fam ily’s fortunes, where he planted cotton and became a wealthy landowner. The events o f the twenties increased his political stand­ ing. A s die influence o f E gypt declined, die Sudan Governm ent came to see in Sayyid ‘A bd al-Rahman al-Mahdi, radier than Sayyid ‘A li al-M irgani, an authentic spokesman fo r Sudanese. The head o f die Khatm iyya, whose dynastic history was so closely bound up w ith that o f Egyptian influence in the Sudan, was naturally perturbed at the rapid rise o f a rival whose fam ily had in the past triumphed at the expense o f his own. H e feared that ‘A bd al-Rahman *would succeed in establishing, with British support, a Mahdist monarchy in the Sudan. Although he him self stood ostentatiously aloof from politics, his followers were less restrained. Only in an alliance w ith E gypt could they see a safeguard against a revival o f the Mahdist state. There was thus a basic sim ilarity o f oudook between die Ashiqqa’ and Khatm iyya on die one hand, between the Umma Party and die Ansar on the other. T o the party-politicians on both sides, furthermore, the alliance w ith a religious sect offered certain advantages. The number o f politically conscious 145

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Sudanese was still small. B y linking their parties with one or other o f the tw o great sects, they would acquire a semblance o f mass-support from great bodies o f simple, unsophisticated Sudanese, who were m oved really by traditional religious loyalties to personal leaders, and stirred by inveterate sectarian rivalries. Hence the Umma obtained Sayyid ‘A bd al-Rahman as their patron, and his son, Sayyid Siddiq, as their titular head. Sayyid ‘A li al-M irghani was, as ever, unwilling to commit him­ self openly in politics, but diere was a broad identification o f die Khatm iyya as a sect with the party headed by Azhari. The split in the ranks o f the nationalist politicians, and the identification o f political parties w ith religious sects, were dis­ turbing developments. They marked a polarization o f the northern Sudanese into two groups, more deeply divided than is compatible w ith sound political growth. Ancient religious and dynastic rivalries, dying out in the younger generation which had received a western education, and thought and spoke in western political terms, were given a new lease o f life. The hatreds and suspicions aroused were to sour Sudanese politics fo r ten years, and then, after a b rief intermission, were to strangle parliamentary government in the independent Republic. N ewbold’s dash w ith Congress coindded ironically w ith preparations that he was making to associate the Sudanese w ith tiie government as makers o f policy, not merely as d v il servants. The outcome o f his study o f the problem was a note which he presented to Council in September 1942. In the follow ing January a committee o f Council was set up to con­ sider the formation o f a new advisory body. On 15 M ay 1944, Sir Hubert Huddleston inaugurated the A dvisory Council o f the Northern Sudan. It consisted o f the governor-general as president, the d v il, finandal and legal secretaries, and twentydgh t Sudanese members. O f these, dghteen were elected or nominated from councils which had already been established in the six northern provinces.4 The governor-general appointed d gh t other members, to secure the representation o f social and economic interests, induding agriculture, education and health. The remaining two members were elected by the Chamber o f Commerce. The establishment o f the A dvisory Council represented a 146

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m ajor development in government policy, a serious attempt to come to terms w ith Sudanese nationalism. Nevertheless, it pro­ voked criticism both within and outside the Sudan. Although the intention o f setting up the A dvisory Council had been announced in September 1943, the form al approval o f E gypt, which might have been difficult to obtain, had not been sought. Its inauguration aroused angry comments in the Egyptian press, that the Sudan Governm ent was endeavouring to sep­ arate the tw o countries. In August 1944 the Egyptian prime minister, Mustafa al-Nahhas Pasha, who had succeeded Zaghlul as head o f the W afd, asserted that he considered E gypt and die Sudan to be one nation. A spokesman in Khartoum replied that die Sudan Governm ent was ‘attempting to train the peoples o f the Sudan fo r local self-government and the manage­ ment o f their own affairs. This intention [constituted] no attempt to alter the legal and constitutional relationship o f the Sudan w ith E gypt or Britain/ W ithin the Sudan, the A dvisory Council was criticized on three grounds: its functions, its composition, and its limitation to the northern provinces. The A dvisory Council did not super­ sede the governor-general’s Council which, since its inception in 19 10 , had remained die supreme organ o f governm ent, combining both executive and legislative powers. Although the A dvisory Council discussed a number o f important political and social issues, such as Sudanese nationality and the future o f the Gezira Scheme, its deliberations were not binding on the governm ent, and its opponents could represent it as a mere debating society, meeting under the supervision o f the British administrative heads. Its composition was criticized since tribal chiefs composed a large proportion o f the Sudanese members. Although die unbalanced enthusiasm o f the administration fo r this social group had declined in the previous decade, they were still regarded as influential, and as a useful counterweight to the nationalist politicians. The latter continued to view them, w ith the antagonism bom in the days o f ‘native administration’, as ignorant and backward representatives o f an obsolescent social order, and tools o f the British. The exclusion o f the southern Sudan8 from die representa­ tion and scope o f discussion o f the A dvisory Council brought


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to the surface m isgivings which had long been felt by the northern Sudanese. F o r historical and administrative reasons, die southern provinces had been dealt with separately from the north ever since the Reconquest. The unifying influences o f Islam and Arabic speech, which made fo r a broad cultural unity throughout the north, were lacking in die southern Sudan. The pacification and establishment o f administration in the south were, as we have seen, much more slow ly accom­ plished than in the north, where the Sudan Governm ent was heir to a well-rooted tradition o f centralized government derived from its Turco-Egyptian and Mahdist predecessors. The backwardness o f the southern tribes, as compared with the sophistication o f the riverain and urban Sudanese, was an im­ pediment to the rapid integration o f the two regions. Finally, the economic stringency which beset the government until the end o f the First W orld W ar made impossible any costly schemes fo r the development o f the south and its peoples. These were all genuine reasons, at least during the first tw o decades o f the Condominium, fo r regarding the southern Sudan as constituting a region with problems distinct from those o f the north. Other considerations were also alleged which had less validity. It was suggested that the share o f the northerners in the slave-trade had left odious memories, and that to allow them free entry into the south would expose the southern tribes to exploitation. This was a specious argument. The slave-trade in Equatoria and the Bahr al-Ghazal had resulted from TurcoEgyptian and European penetration o f those regions. The northern Sudanese had been the assistants and successors o f the alien traders, not initiators. D uring the Mahdia, there had been an almost complete withdrawal o f the northerners from the south; except on the southern fringes o f Baqqara territory the N ilotic slave-trade was almost dead at the time o f the Recon­ quest. It was absurd to suggest that a trade which had flourished at a time when administrative control was either weak or totally absent could revive under the strong and honest rule estab­ lished by the Condominium. Neither was it reasonable to assume that every northern merchant in the south would be an unscrupulous shark, or that the southerners would be so lack­ ing in native w it as to be unable to deal with them. 148

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T w o important groups were particularly associated w ith the policy o f excluding the Muslim northern Sudanese from the south. The first o f these was die administration itself. The w ork o f the British administrators in opening up and pacifying the southern Sudan, their devotion to duty at the cost o f health and life, cannot be too highly praised. Y et there was an insidious danger in their position. Their isolation, the great burden o f their individual responsibilities, and their immunity from criticism by the people they ruled, tended to confirm the idea that the system o f administration they represented was the only possible system, and must endure indefinitely. The personal rule o f the British administrators was in its origin beneficent; the mistake was that it went on too long. The integration o f the south w ith the north began too late, and the result was the cataclysm o f 1955. The Christian missionaries had also a special place in the southern Sudan. Proselytization had, from the outset, been forbidden in the Muslim north, although missionaries found scope fo r medical and educational activities, while Anglican, Roman Catholic, G reek and Coptic cathedrals in Khartoum , and churches in other urban centres, ministered to the spiritual needs o f the various expatriate and immigrant Christian com­ munities. The pagan south, on the other hand, was opened to the missionaries. T o prevent sectarian clashes, spheres o f activity were demarcated fo r the various organizations. The missionaries were entrusted w ith the development o f education in the south. This made possible the early, i f limited, organiza­ tion o f schools at a time when the government’s meagre resources were needed fo r the north. A s time went on, how­ ever, the defects o f missionary education began to appear. The sectarian differences o f Europe and Am erica were incongru­ ously transported to the marshes and forests o f central A frica. The language o f instruction at the higher levels was En glish ; Arabic, except in a debased pidgin form , was unknown. A new barrier o f language and religion seemed to have been added to those already existing between north and south. The mis­ sionaries, fo r their part, had reason to fear that the admission o f northern Muslims into the region w ould endanger the permanence o f their w ork. 149


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Ju st as the Egyptians suspected die British o f intending to separate the Sudan from E gyp t, the northern Sudanese feared that the Sudan Governm ent meant to amputate the three southern provinces, and cede them to Uganda. Their appre­ hensions, stimulated by the com position o f the A dvisory Council, were not allayed by an official publication, issued in 1947, which spoke o f ‘a policy which aims at givin g the south the same chances o f ultimate self-determination as have been prom ised to the north*. Sir D ouglas N ew bold died in office in M ard i 1945. H e had been a great d v il secretary, not so much because o f his creation o f the A dvisory Council, which was to be a transient organiza­ tion, as because o f his profound influence on the outlook o f the Political Service and, indirectly, on the whole British official community in the Sudan. Under him, the administration came to accept the rapidly changing political situation in the Sudan, realized that nationalism could no longer be suppressed o r ignored, and undertook the duty o f training the Sudanese to manage the whole complicated machine o f modern governm ent. The years from 1946 to 1952 are an unhappy period in the history o f the m odem Sudan. T w o matters dominated the politics o f the tim e: the dispute between E gyp t and Britain, in which the status and future o f the Sudan form ed, as on previous occasions, an important element; and the development o f selfgoverning institutions in the Sudan. The A nglo-Egyptian dispute produced a frustrating deadlock between the tw o co-domini. Constitutional developments exacerbated relations between the tw o groups o f nationalists, and between the unionist group and the Sudan Governm ent. The opening o f negotiations between Britain and E gyp t, early in 1946, fo r a treaty to supersede that o f 1936, found Sudanese nationalists o f all parties determined to assert their right to be consulted by the co-domini. The governor-general had already, in N ovem ber 1945, given the A dvisory Council an assurance, backed by Britain, o f ‘the Governm ent’s firm inten­ tion to consult the people o f the Sudan regarding the future o f their country*. Meanwhile some independent members o f Congress were w orking out a form ula to reconcile the tw o nationalist groups, and in March 1946 an all-party Sudanese 150

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delegation went to Cairo to contact the negotiators. There the delegation rapidly broke up, since the Egyptians w ould accept only a constitutional settlement by which E gyp t and the Sudan w ere permanendy united. The Umma and their allies withdrew, while Azhari and his follow ers remained in Cairo, claim ing and receiving from the Egyptians sole recognition as the spokes­ men o f the Sudanese. In the same month o f M arch 1946, Ernest Bevin, as foreign secretary, announced the position the British governm ent had taken up in regard to the Sudan. It envisaged ultimate selfdetermination, the existing administration being maintained w hile self-governing institutions w ere established and the sudanization o f the higher civil service proceeded. There should in the meantime be no change in the status o f the Sudan ‘until the Sudanese have been consulted through constitutional channels’. This statement, which amplified the governorgeneral’ s earlier assurances, was repeated by him to the A dvisory Council. The policy was acceptable to the A dvisory Council, since it agreed closely w ith the programme o f the Umma Party, to which most o f its Sudanese members belonged. It could not, however, satisfy the Egyptians, nor the unionist group among the Sudanese nationalists. In the course o f negotiations w ith the Egyptian prime minister, Sidqi Pasha, Bevin therefore tried to devise a form ula which w ould satisfy Egyptian pride w hile perm itting the British policy to be implemented. The result, in October 1946, was a ‘draft Sudan protocol’ which assured the Sudanese o f self-government and self-determination, but which contained the words ‘within the fram ework o f the unity be­ tween the Sudan and E gyp t’. This phrase, which was naturally stressed by Sidqi to win over Egyptian opinion, was abhorrent to the Umma nationalists, who felt that they had been betrayed. The British prime minister explained the phrase away in the H ouse o f Commons, the governor-general and civil secretary did the same in the A dvisory Council. The draft treaty perished in the controversy. The speed o f political advance now began to increase. The co-domini were in a sense bidding against each other fo r Sudanese support. Had the nationalists been united, they would have been in a position to control events, but the old division

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persisted. Britain and die Sudan Governm ent, w ith the general support o f the Umma Party, w ere able to take the initiative in proposing and implementing constitutional changes. The Egyptian governm ent could criticize or oppose developments, but not prevent them ; w hile die unionist parties refused their co-operation, and stirred up demonstrations in die towns and schools. The feverish events and repetitive arguments o f diese years may be briefly summarized. A n administrative conference o f British and Sudanese members (but boycotted by the Ashiqqa’) was held in 1946 and proposed the creation o f a Legislative Assem bly and Executive Council. In A ugust 1947, die new governor-general, Sir Robert H owe, submitted these recom­ mendations to Britain and Egypt. A t the time, E gyp t w as bringing the dispute w ith Britain before the Security Council o f die United Nations. There, after prolonged debate, the problem was shelved in September. The British governm ent then accepted the constitutional proposals fo r the Sudan. The Egyptian governm ent accepted die principle o f Sudanese selfgovernm ent without prejudice to a future settlement o f the A nglo-Egyptian dispute (which w ould involve a solution o f the problem o f sovereignty), but criticized the actual proposals as not going far enough, and as excluding E gyp t from partici­ pation in the new regime. Agreem ent on the points at issue was reached by an A nglo-Egyptian committee, but their suggestions were thrown out by die Egyptian Senate. M eanwhile the A dvisory Council had debated and approved a draft ordinance implementing the constitutional proposals. When it became d ear that the deadlock w ith E gyp t would continue indefinitely, the British governm ent on 14 June 1948 unilaterally authorized the governor-general to promulgate die ordinance. Elections to the Legislative Assem bly were h d d in N ovem ber: they were boycotted by the unionist parties, which promoted demon­ strations against the government. The new Assem bly met on 1 5 Decem ber: its opening was accompanied by further demon­ strations in Omdurman and the arrest o f Azhari. Unlike die A dvisory Council, the Legislative Assem bly represented the Sudan as a whole. This notable abandonment by the governm ent o f its traditional ‘southern policy* had been 15a

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preceded by a conference held at Ju b a in June 1947 by the civil secretary, Sir Jam es Robertson,0 at which leading southerners accepted the idea o f a united Sudan. The first steps towards the educational integration o f the south w ith the north were taken in 1950, when the teaching o f A rabic was introduced into all schools aboye elementary level, and students were sent to the G ordon College fo r higher education, instead o f to M akerere College in Uganda as previously. The Legislative Assem bly contained thirteen members elected by the southern provincial councils. Fifty-tw o other members were directly or indirectly elected to represent the north. N ot more than ten members m ight be nominated by the governor-general, and there were some ex-officio members representing the executive. The governor-general’s Council ceased to exist, and was superseded by an Executive Council o f twelve to eighteen mem­ bers at least h alf o f whom were to be Sudanese. The chief Sudanese member, in effect the prime m inister, was the leader o f the Assem bly. He was elected by that body, and advised the governor-general on die appointment o f Sudanese to ministerial posts. The three British secretaries and commander-in-chief remained members o f the Council. The governor-general retained extensive powers, including a veto on the decisions o f the Executive Council as w ell as competence to legislate by ordinance, and to define reserved matters on which the Assem bly could not legislate. These reserved matters were the constitution, the Condominium, foreign relations and Sudanese nationality. The leader o f the Assem bly, who held office during the whole term o f its existence, was ‘Abdallah Bey K halil, a form er officer o f the Sudan Defence Force who had become secretary-general o f die Umma Party. A bortive negotiations took place between Britain and E gyp t in 1950, and on 16 Novem ber a speech from die throne announced the intention o f the Egyptian governm ent to abro­ gate both the treaty o f 1936 and the Condominium Agreem ent o f 1899, and demanded ‘the unification o f the N ile V alley under the Egyptian crown*. Bevin in the H ouse o f Commons reiterated the British position. In die Sudan, die Umma, w ho dominated the Legislative Assem bly, were alarmed at the Egyptian announcement. In the Assem bly a motion demanding

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from die co-domini a joint declaration o f Sudanese selfgovernment was carried in December 1950 by a margin o f one vote. The opponents o f the motion favoured a slower advance to self-government. In M arch 19 5 1, in response to another m otion o f the Assem bly, the governor-general appointed an Anglo-Sudanese Constitutional Amendment Commission to recommend the next stages in the advance to self-government. These developments in the Sudan alarmed the Egyptians in their turn. Further negotiations failed, and on 8 October 195 x die Egyptian prime minister, Mustafa al-Nahhas Pasha, brought matters to a head by announcing the abrogation o f the 1936 treaty and Condominium Agreem ent, and introducing into die Egyptian Parliament bills which proclaimed Faruq ‘K in g o f E gyp t and the Sudan* and enacted a constitution fo r the Sudan. Supported by die British governm ent, the Sudan Governm ent denied the validity o f this unilateral abrogation. But the ques­ tion o f sovereignty in the Sudan was now a matter o f public debate. The Constitutional Amendment Commission, which had been sitting since A pril, was dissolved in N ovem ber, when six o f its thirteen members voted in favour o f an inter­ national commission to take the place o f the governor-general. It had nevertheless completed a substantial part o f its w ork in drafting a new constitution. Its recommendations, published in January 1952, form ed die basis o f the Self-Government Statute, enacted by the Legislative Assem bly on 23 A pril. This provided fo r a Council o f M inisters, composed entirely o f Sudanese, and responsible to a bicameral Parliament. The governor-general w ould act in domestic matters on the advice o f the prime minister, but would be exclusively responsible fo r external relations, and have special responsibilities fo r the southern Sudan and die public services. H e w ould also have emergency powers in the event o f a breakdown o f government. The new constitution w as fo r an unspecified transitional period, after which die Sudanese w ould exercise die right o f self-determina­ tion. T o obtain Egyptian consent to this statute, after the repeated failures o f negotiations in the previous six years, seemed impossible when in Ju ly 1952, die unpredictable hap­ pened. The coup d*itat o f die Egyptian army deposed Faruq and shattered the old structure o f Egyptian politics. iJ4

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The rapid acceleration o f the pace towards Sudanese selfgovernm ent in the post-war period w as accompanied by economic and social developments. The war-years had enhanced the prosperity o f the country, and this was reflected in the preparation o f a special ‘development budget’, to cover w orks o f reconstruction and development over the five-year period 19 4 6 -51. The resources o f the first development budget were augmented b y a grant o f ¿2,000,000 made by the British government. O f this sum, ¿1,27 5,0 0 0 w ere allotted to educa­ tion. In all, neatly ¿14,000,000 were appropriated in the end to this five-year scheme, o f which ¿3,000,000 went to agriculture, and ¿3,500,000 to the improvement and development o f com­ munications. A second development budget, financed out o f current revenue, was drawn up to cover the years 19 5 1-5 6 . B y 19 53, estimated expenditure under this budget had risen from ¿£24,000,000 to ¿ E 3 4,000,000, and some o f the schemes included in it had to be dropped. D uring this second period the Condominium ended, and the later years o f the de­ velopm ent budgets belong to the history o f the independent Sudan. M eanwhile die prosperity o f the Sudan continued to rest upon its agriculture, while its foreign trade depended largely on tiie production and sale o f cotton. The concession to the Sudan Plantations Syndicate ended in 1950. Under an ordinance o f tiie Legislative Assem bly, the Syndicate’s functions o f man­ agement were taken over by a statutory body, the G ezira Board, responsible to tiie Executive Council (and its succes­ sors), w hile the twenty per cent share o f profits, which form erly went to the Syndicate, was henceforth devoted to research, social development within the area o f the Scheme, and the costs o f management. The sudanization o f the inspecting and engineering staff, hitherto British, had already been recom­ mended by the Legislative Assem bly in 1948, and proceeded rapidly after the nationalization o f the Scheme. Another agricultural development w as tiie attempt to exploit more fu lly the rain-lands o f tiie central Sudan, by tiie intro­ duction o f m odem methods o f cultivation and the better conservation o f water-supplies. A fter some unsuccessful attempts in tiie previous years, experimental w ork on mech­ 155

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anized grain production was begun in 1945 on the Ghadambaliyya plains, near Gedaref. Cotton production gave less satis­ factory results. The scheme did not achieve its original largescale objectives, and was expensive to initiate. Nevertheless die financial return has steadily im proved, a stimulus has been given to the mechanization o f private farm ing, and a useful body o f knowledge and experience has been acquired. A further project o f this type is being set on foot in the south o f the Blue N ile Province, where rainfall is heavier than in the G edaref region. The post-war period saw the development o f a labour m ove­ ment in the Sudan. O w ing to the fact that the governm ent is the largest single employer in the country, and that the m ove­ ment came into being at die time when Sudanese nationalism was acquiring a new militancy, Sudanese trade unionism, almost from the first, had a markedly political character. Its place o f origin was the town o f Atbara, the headquarters o f the Sudan Railw ays, a department which form ed almost an imperium in imperio within the adm inistrative structure o f the Sudan Governm ent. Atbara owed its existence to the railw ays; ninetenths o f its people were railwaymen and their dependants. Thus alone amongst the towns o f the Sudan it contained a large, homogeneous class o f skilled artisans, many o f them the products o f the railway technical school. It was diese artisans who inaugurated, in Ju n e 1946, a Workers* Affairs Association, broadly w ith the functions o f a trade union but without any overdy political character. The Association’s request to the management fo r recognition was rejected, since the governm ent was at this time encouraging the form ation o f w orks committees, w ith much m ore lim ited functions than those envisaged by the W A A . A struggle developed, culminating in a demonstration at A tbara and a railway strike throughout the Sudan in Ju ly 1947. A committee composed o f representatives o f both the unionist and inde­ pendence political groups mediated between the Association and the government. Recognition was granted, an alliance was forged between the politicians and organized labour, and strikes came to be regarded as die first and only weapon in industrial disputes. The follow ing year saw another dash ij


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between the W A A and die governm ent over wage demands. Once again a strike took place. B y obtaining recognition, die W A A had forced the pace, and the Sudan Governm ent drafted a body o f labour legislation on which it had been w orking since early 1946. A n enlightened group o f law s, enacted from 1948 onwards, dealt w ith con­ ditions o f employment. These were favourably received, but the Trade Union Ordinance o f 1948, which established the legal status and powers o f trade unions and required their com­ pulsory registration, was at first viewed w ith deep suspicion by die W A A . A t a conference, held in A p ril 1949 and composed o f six workers* representatives and three members o f the Legis­ lative Assem bly, some modifications in the ordinance were agreed upon. F o r nearly ten years, the ordinance remained the charter o f trade union activity in the Sudan. This enactment was follow ed by a spate o f registration o f unions. M any o f them were small bodies w ith b rief and spasmodic existences. The sectarian division into Khatm iyya and A nsar was reflected in die unions as in other aspects o f Sudanese life. Trade unionism remained strongest at its point o f origin: die Sudan Railw ay Workers* Union (the reconstituted W A A) w ith 25,000 members, contained perhaps one-quarter o f all the trade unionists in the country. The W A A also pioneered attempts to link together all trade unions through a central body. In A ugust 1949 it held a con­ ference w ith other organizations which set up a Workers* Congress. This was reconstituted in die follow ing year as the Sudan Workers* Trade Union Federation, and m oved its head­ quarters from Atbara to Khartoum . Although the Sudan Governm ent had on several occasions negotiated w ith die Congress and Federation, and treated them as representative o f Sudanese labour, the form al application o f die Federation fo r registration, and hence recognition, was rejected in A pril 19 5 1, on the grounds that the Trade Union Ordinance applied only to individual unions. The Federation’s leaders felt that the governm ent was attempting to deprive them o f established rights. Relations between the two parties, always strained, became tenser, and the Federation became increasingly asso­ ciated with extremist opposition to die government. In


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December 19 5 1, it amended its constitution to admit political action. Stimulated by the unilateral abrogation o f the Con­ dominium Agreem ent by E gyp t in the previous October, it urged complete non-co-operation w ith the Sudan Governm ent, and, in alliance w ith the Ashiqqa’, it form ed the United Front fo r the liberation o f the Sudan. D uring the follow ing year it played a leading part in nationalist politics, but in 19 )3 its prestige abruptly declined, ow ing to its opposition to the A nglo-Egyptian Agreem ent o f that year.



S E L F -G O V E R N M E N T A N D S E L F D E T E R M IN A T IO N : 19 5 3 -5 5 T h e p a s s i n g o f die Egyptian monarchy in consequence o f the coup (Ntat o f Ju ly 19) 2 appeared at first sight advantageous to British policy in the Sudan. W ith die departure o f Faruq, the provocative Egyptian assertion o f sovereignty over the Sudan ceased. Further, in A ugust 1952, the new m ilitary governm ent announced its willingness to separate the question o f the Sudan from that o f the Suez Canal Zone in its negotia­ tions w ith the British government. The combination o f these tw o problems had bedevilled all previous A nglo-Egyptian negotiations, and their separation was criticized as a tactical error by ‘A li M ahir, whose m inistry had bridged the transition from the old regime to the new. Nevertheless the m ilitary junta in E gyp t was convinced that by a more flexible handling o f die situation it could obtain better results than had been obtained by die monarchy. Proceeding w ith this policy, the Egyptian governm ent began conversations w ith Sudanese political leaders o f the independence group and accepted the proposition o f immediate self-governm ent fo r the Sudan, to be follow ed in due course by self-determination. Neither o f these steps was completely new : in Novem ber 19 5 1, before the coup the Egyptian delega­ tion to the United Nations had declared itself not to be opposed to the principle o f Sudanese self-determination, while repre­ sentatives o f the Umma Party had been invited by the Egyptian prime minister to Cairo in Ju n e 1952. But what had been half­ hearted tactical m oves in the tw ilight o f the monarchy became a vigorous policy under the junta. Its adoption placed die initiative in their hands. Groups which mistrusted selfgovernm ent and self-determination when these were advocated

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by Britain, were more favourably disposed when E gypt espoused these aims, and the British administration in die Sudan found its own weapons turned against it. The popularity o f the new Egyptian policy was personified in General N eguib, the ostensible leader o f the junta. Half-Sudanese by birth and educated partly in the Sudan, he w on the trust and affection o f thousands o f Sudanese. So it came about that in the autumn and winter o f 19 )2 -53 understandings were reached between die Egyptians and their old opponents among the Sudanese which made possible die A nglo-Egypdan Agreem ent o f 12 February 1953. In O ctober 1952 the British government had accepted the draft SelfGovernment Statute, passed earlier in the year by the Legislative Assem bly. On 2 Novem ber, however, the Egyptian govern­ ment proposed, not only to accept self-government on the basis o f the statute, leading to self-determination, but suggested a number o f amendments, more acceptable to Sudanese than to official British opinion. The bidding fo r Sudanese support was now on, and the Egyptians had the lead. Their success appeared when, on 10 January 1953, the four main Sudanese political parties signed a pact o f agreement w ith the Egyptian proposals. The division o f Sudanese nationalists into a group seeking independence, but prepared in the meantime to co-operate with die Sudan Governm ent, and another with Egyptian political allies, aiming at the unity o f the N ile Valley, had persisted as the basic theme o f Sudanese politics, but the party-pattern was now more complex, pardy fo r ideological, but more fo r per­ sonal reasons. Essentially the Umma was and always remained the political expression o f the Ansar religious group and was associated w ith the dynastic ambitions o f Sayyid ‘A bd alRahman al-Mahdi. The alliance between Azhari and the Khatm iyya sect was less intimate, since Sayyid ‘A li al-M irghani publicly dissociated him self from party politics. This allowed Azhari more scope fo r development as a purely nationalist poli­ tical leader, although fo r mass-support he remained dependent on the connections between die Ashiqqa’ and the Khatm iyya. In 1949, he lost this mass-support. Jealousy o f his claims to speak fo r Sudanese nationalism, o f his close relations w ith die Egyptian governm ent, and dislike o f his extreme unionist 160


view s, led in A ugust 1949 to the form ation o f a new party, the National Front, supported by many o f the Khatm iyya. This too was unionist but less extremely so than the Ashiqqa*, since it sought fo r the Sudan dominion status under the Egyptian crown, rather than incorporation w ith Egypt. Its form ation was approved by Sayyid ‘A li al-M irghani, and one o f its leading members, an engineer named M irghani Hamza, was to play an important part in politics in the follow ing decade. Like the Ashiqqa*, die N ational Front boycotted die elections to the Legislative Assem bly but, on the other hand, it was represented on the Constitutional Amendment Commission o f 19 5 1. A zhan sank further into eclipse when in 19 5 1, the Ashiqqa* themselves split into two factions, one supporting a rival leader, Muham­ mad N ur al-Din. The schism was later healed by Egyptian intervention and Azhari’s follow ing was reincarnated as the N ational Unionist Party (N U P). In Ju ly 1952 the National Front collapsed on the illness o f its founder. The close association o f Sayyid ‘A bd al-Rahman al-Mahdi w ith the Umma Party was an embarrassment to those who wished fo r independence without ties w ith E gypt, but w ho were not religiously committed to the Ansar. In December 19 5 1 it seemed as i f an effective alternative independence group was being form ed. This was the so-called Socialist Republican Party, the nucleus o f which was the group o f members o f the Legislative Assem bly w ho, in December 1950, had opposed the motion requesting the grant o f self-governm ent. The party itself was form ed a year later. It was composed mainly o f the tribal notables o f the northern Sudan, whose influence had grow n during die period o f ‘native administration*, and who had been strongly represented in the A dvisory Council and Legislative Assem bly. In changing conditions, they saw their position threatened by the nationalist politicians such as Azhari, w ith his large follow ing among die educated youth and the urban working-class. They mistrusted Sayyid ‘A bd alRahman al-Mahdi, because o f his wealth as a cotton-capitalist and his dynastic ambitions ; hence, and fo r no deeper ideological reasons, they denominated themselves Socialist Republicans. The party was viewed benevolently by die British administra­ tion, which saw in it a counterweight, not only to the unionist


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parties but also to the Umma, whose leaders began In 1952 to talk w ith Egypt. Its political significance w as, how ever, over­ estimated. The pact between the Egyptians and the Sudanese parties in January 1953 created an alliance which could not be resisted. B y die A nglo-Egypdan Agreem ent o f 19 53, the amendments proposed by E gyp t to die Self-Government Statute were accepted. Essentially the Egyptians wished to m odify those provisions which they, and many Sudanese, feared m ight be utilized to maintain British control behind a façade o f self-governm ent and self-determination. Hence the governor-general’s residual powers under the Self-Government Statute were to be exercised w ith die concurrence o f an international commission, consisting o f tw o Sudanese, one British, one Egyptian and one Pakistani. The original statute had revived old suspicions by conferring on the governor-general special responsibilities fo r the southern provinces. In the m odified statute this w as trans­ muted into ‘a special responsibility to ensure fair and equitable treatment to all the inhabitants o f die various provinces o f die Sudan’. The Agreem ent itself spoke o f the maintenance o f the unity o f die Sudan as a single territory as *a fundamental principle’ o f policy. The transitional period o f self-governm ent, preceding selfdetermination, was limited in die Agreem ent to a maximum o f three years from ‘the appointed day’, when the self-governing institutions should be certified b y the governor-general as having been created. A n elaborate scheme fo r die termination o f the transitional period and the process o f self-determination was laid down in the Agreem ent, but this was not follow ed in practice. It was intended that a specially elected constituent assembly should opt either ‘to link the Sudan w ith E gyp t in any form ’ or fo r complete independence. The first o f die self-governing institutions to be created was the Parliament. The Agreem ent set up an international Electoral Commission, composed o f three Sudanese, one Egyptian, one British and one Am erican, w ith w ide terms o f reference to prepare and organize the general election. The Electoral Commission made important modifications in die electoral rules. In the original statute, direct elections were to



be held in only thirty-five o f the ninety-two constituencies, while in tribal areas and the south indirect elections were to take place. This system, which favoured die candidature o f tribal notables, follow ed die precedent o f the Legislative Assem bly, and was suspect to the educated class. The Electoral Commission increased the number o f direct-election con­ stituencies to sixty-eight. The postal ‘graduates’ constituency’, fo r Sudanese w ho had completed an educational course o f secondary standard, had its representation increased from three to five members. Both these modifications showed how die tide was now flow ing fo r the urban politicians against the old tribal authorities. The elections, delayed by the onset o f the rainy season, were not held until Novem ber and December 1953. The intervening months saw a high-pressure campaign, conducted by Egyptian officials and the Cairo radio, to spread propaganda and more material inducements among the voters. The result o f the general election came as a shock to many British officials. Azhari’s N U P w on fifty-one out o f ninety-seven seats in the House o f Representatives, and twenty-two out o f thirty elected seats in the Senate. The Umma Party was the largest single opposition group, w ith twenty-two seats in the House, three in the Senate. The hollowness o f the Socialist Republican Party was unkindly exposed: it won three seats in the H ouse, none in the Senate. The victory o f the unionists was generally misunderstood by foreign opinion, not least in E gypt and Britain. The electors were expressing a negative, not a positive emotion. They wished fo r freedom from British control; hence the Umma and Socialist Republican parties, which were gener­ ally regarded as tools o f the administration, lacked support. Events were soon to show that there was little desire fo r any form o f unity w ith Egypt. The effect o f Egyptian propaganda and inducements was probably marginal in winning votes: it certainly failed to gain support fo r the idea o f unity w ith Egypt. The Sudanese nationalists were in fact repeating more subtly and far more successfully the tactics which had been crude and ineffective in 1924, o f allying w ith E gyp t to break the British hold on the Sudan. The Sudanese Parliament held its first meeting on N ew 16 3

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Y ear’s D ay 1954. On 6 January, Azhari was elected prim e minister. H e selected his colleagues, as was his right, entirely from the members o f his own N U P. T w o delicate problems o f political and personal relationship were thereby created; on die one hand between the new government and the British officials, who still occupied the chief posts in the administration and were very numerous in the other departments o f governm ent; on the other, between the now dominant unionist politicians and the Umma Party, which had controlled the Legislative Assem bly but was now completely excluded from executive power. In spite o f die latent tension between the Sudanese ministers and the British officials, no breakdown o f relations occurred. This was partly because o f the correct attitude o f the British, in conform ity w ith civil service traditions. The anti-British attitude o f the ruling party in public was not usually carried over into departmental life. The new ministers were themselves form er officials o f the governm ent service and instinctively felt that its w ork must continue as it had done fo r the past fifty years. Furtherm ore the British were on their w ay out. The sudanization o f the civil service, which had proceeded gradu­ ally since the expulsion o f the Egyptians in 1924, had been accelerated since 1946, when an Anglo-Sudanese committee was appointed to consider the problem. Reporting in 1948, the committee recommended that 62.2% o f the posts held by nonSudanese should be sudanized by the end o f 1962. In 1947 the recruitment o f expatriate officials on pensionable terms ceased, although long-term contracts continued to be offered, and these seemed likely to preserve the mainly British compo­ sition o f the Political Service in particular fo r another twenty years. The signing o f the A nglo-Egyptian Agreem ent o f 1953, however, hastened the process o f sudanization. The main­ tenance o f efficiency, hitherto a leading consideration, was now subordinated to political expediency. A Sudanization Com­ mittee was established under the Agreem ent ‘to provide the free and neutral atmosphere requisite fo r Self-Determination*. It consisted o f one British, one Egyptian and three Sudanese members. Its duties were prim arily to complete the sudaniza-



tion o f the administration (i.e. the Political Service), die police and the Sudan Defence Force. Under the pressure o f its Sudanese m ajority, the terms o f reference were sweepingly interpreted. There were at this time about 140 British admini­ strative officials, eight police officers, and some thirty officers in the Sudan Defence Force. A ll were dismissed, with compensa­ tion, in the course o f 1954. The sudanmation o f the technical departments was sharply accelerated, while many • British officials, foreseeing that their careers were endangered, sought to resign. Their way was facilitated by an ordinance enacted by the Sudanese Parliament in Ju ly 1954 which provided generous compensation for expatriate officials. Thus during 1955 the number o f British in government service was heavily reduced. The need fo r officials with special professional or technical qualifications, however, remained; British staff fo r the educa­ tional and other services continued to be appointed, but recruitment o f expatriates was no longer virtually confined, as in the past, to British and Egyptians. Meanwhile the Umma Party, which had tasted power in the A dvisory Council and Legislative Assem bly, remained sullen and suspicious o f the new regime. The co-operation o f the British officials w ith the N U P government, and the constitu­ tional requirement that the governor-general should now deal exclusively with the prime minister, seemed to the Umma an abandonment. Although defeated in the elections, the Umma, through its links with the Ansar, was still a power in many parts o f the country, particularly in the regions adjoining A ba and the western provinces. The temptation to demonstrate its power proved irresistible. The first session o f Parliament had been opened quietly so that essential business might be concluded as quickly as possible. The second session was to have a ceremonial opening on i March 1954, and representatives o f Britain, E gypt and other states were invited to attend. The Egyptian delegation was headed by President Neguib and Colonel Nasser. The Umma and other opponents o f union with E gypt planned a great demonstration at Khartoum airport on their arrival. This was foreseen; the demonstrators were evaded and the Egyptian delegation was conveyed to the governor-general’s palace by


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a roundabout route. Balked o f their demonstration, the mob swarmed into Khartoum and clashed w ith the police. In the riot, several persons including a British and a Sudanese policeofficer were killed. The opening o f Parliament was postponed and a state o f emergency was declared. The riot o f i March brought to a head die irresponsible factionalism which had been developing, and shocked die politically conscious Sudanese into a sober awareness o f die speed w ith which a dangerous situation m ight develop. It revealed to A shari and his ministry die lim its o f their power to manœuvre. Although the N U P had a m ajority o f seats in Parliament, a large and pow erful section o f the people were bitterly opposed to its ostensible policy o f union w ith E gypt, an objective which could only be achieved at the risk o f civil war. N or were the Sudanese ministers deeply attached to the old slogan o f unity o f the N ile Valley. H aving held power, they were perhaps uneasily aware that union w ith E gyp t w ould inevitably dim inish their own standing in whatever political organization was set up. The Sudanese as a whole were dis­ enchanted with Egypt. The methods used by the Egyptians to acquire influence in the election campaigns had lost radier than gained diem prestige. The ousting o f Neguib by Nasser, attempted in February and consummated in Novem ber 1954, removed from die scene die one Egyptian leader who was a popular hero in the Sudan. Nasser’s repression o f die Egyptian Communists on the one hand, and o f the Muslim Brotherhood on the other, antagonized the young educated Sudanese, who were attracted to these extremist groups. Azhari began to accommodate his tactics to the changing public opinion. The smooth development o f his policy was rudely interrupted in August 1955 by a revolt in die south. The troubles there were the inevitable result o f over-hasty political change. The British administrators w ho, i f alien, were at least fam iliar to die unsophisticated southerners, had gone and their places had been taken by the no less alien northern, Arabic-speaking, M uslim Sudanese. F o r the most part new to the higher respon­ sibilities o f administration, the northerners were particularly at a disadvantage in dealing w ith die south, from which they had



been virtually excluded until less than ten years previously. The southern political leaders, conscious o f their weakness under die new regim e, adopted A xhari's own form er tactics and began to seek Egyptian support. They announced that they were aim ing to establish an autonomous South, linked only in a federation w ith die N orth. When mutiny broke out in the Equatoria Corps o f the Sudan Defence Force, the mutineers were buoyed up by the im possible hope o f receiving British help. The governor-general, Sir K n o x Helm , who had suc­ ceeded Sir Robert H owe in March 195 5, could only order the mutineers to lay down their arms. They surrendered on 27 A ugust, but by this time disorder had spread through the southern provinces and many northerners lost their lives. The restoration o f order was a long and difficult business, but the new rulers acted on the whole w isely and temperately in this very dangerous crisis. Like the riot o f 1 March 1954 it was a sharp lesson in the responsibilities and problems o f political power. In spite o f this interruption, Azhari was determined to achieve independence without delay and to bypass the pro­ cedure laid down in the Agreem ent o f 1953. In A ugust 19 35, tiie Parliament passed a resolution demanding the evacuation o f British and Egyptian forces, as a preliminary to selfdetermination. The evacuation was completed by the middle o f Novem ber. Later in A ugust, the Parliament, acting upon a sug­ gestion o f Sayyid ‘A li al-M irghani, resolved to ask the codomini to hold a plebiscite to decide the future o f the Sudan. E gyp t agreed in October, Britain in Novem ber. The Parlia­ ment next suggested that the plebiscite should be held simul­ taneously w ith the election o f a Constituent Assem bly. This proposal also was accepted by the co-domini. A parliamentary crisis involving Axhari then occurred.1 The final phase in the ending o f the Condominium opened on 19 December, when the House o f Representatives passed a resolution declaring the independence o f the Sudan. The Senate follow ed suit three days later. A Transitional Constitution was adopted, based on the existing parliamentary regim e, but w ith the governorgeneral's powers transferred to a Supreme Commission o f five Sudanese members, including one southerner. The form al end


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o f the old order came on N ew Y ear’s D ay, 1956, when, in the presence o f the representatives o f Britain and Egypt, the U nion Jack and the stars and crescent o f E gypt were hauled dow n, and the blue, yellow and green flag o f the new Republic w as flown for the first time over the form er palace o f the governorgeneral.

1 68

PART 4 T H E R E P U B L IC O F T H E SU D A N *My mindm alls successively our struggle, endeavour, solidarity andpersistence that enabled us to attain our hopes and to realise our complete independence in a smooth and easy manner; an independence not realised through blood and destruction o f human lives, but through the consistence, solidarity and courage o f a ll classes o f the people and the leaders o f the parties and organisations* Broadcast by the prime minister, ‘Abdallah K halil, on the first anni­ versary o f independence: i January

1957*Tbanks be to God,your loyal Arm y bas today, the i ’jtb November, 1958, carried out a peaceful move which is hoped tobe a turning point towards stability and clean administration* Broadcast by General Ibrahim ‘Abbud, President o f the Supreme Council o f the Arm ed Forces, Prime M inister and M inister o f Defence.


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o f die Republic could not fail to remind many Sudanese o f die foundation, over seventy years before, o f the M ahdist state. Y e t there was litde real sim ilarity between die two. The ideology o f the Mahdia was purely religious : any compromise between it and die khédivial administration in the Sudan was out o f the question. The Mahdist state was bom out o f the devastation o f a revolutionary w ar, in which the estab­ lished administrative system had been subverted, and die precarious economic development o f the Turco-Egyptian period arrested. The nationalists who had founded the Re­ public, on the other hand, were deeply affected by Western culture and political ideas. They sought, not to destroy, but to control die administration which had been built up since the Reconquest. They professed, w ith varying degrees o f sincerity and understanding, attachment to parliamentary democracy. Hence die Republic was essentially not the supplanter but die successor o f the Condominium governm ent. N ew Y ear’s D ay, 19$ 6, marks only in a form al and conventional sense a new era in Sudanese history. The real line o f demarcation must be placed either earlier, on the ‘appointed day’ o f 9 January 1954, when the essential transfer o f pow er from British to Sudanese hands took place; or later, on 17 N ovem ber 1958, when the A rm y coup d'état ended die b rief period o f parliamentary government. The political history o f die parliamentary period after inde­ pendence w as a development o f that o f the preceding years. Azhari’s failure to monopolize the support o f the Khatm iyya and to present him self as the political agent o f Sayyid ‘A li al-M irghani had several interesting results. He was forced to T

h e in c e p t io n


become a secular politician, relying on the attractiveness o f his programme and his own adroit manœuvres to win and keep popular support. Hence before the coming o f self-government he appeared as an extremist both in his support o f unity w ith E gypt, and in his refusal to collaborate w ith the Condominium administration. He was thus able to attract the em otional nationalism o f the Sudanese, especially the students and younger educated men, while receiving the backing o f succes­ sive Egyptian governments as their most reliable ally in the Sudan. On attaining office in January 1954, however, there was a gradual and subtle change in the sources o f his influence. It became increasingly clear that, i f he were to retain support, he would have to capture the direction o f the movement towards independence. This he did, with considerable skill, and acquired new prestige as the champion o f an independent Sudan; a paradox which baffled and chagrined his form er Egyptian allies. Y e t when A zhari's National Unionist Party ceased to support the cause o f unity w ith Egypt, it lost its ideological content and dissolved into personal factions. Azhari’s tactical triumph in 195 5 was thus the cause o f his political eclipse in the follow ing year. H is personal ambitions were too clearly revealed, and his political opponents, united on no other issue, contrived to oust him from power— a political manœuvre hardly less paradoxical than Azhari’s own conversion to the cause o f Sudanese inde­ pendence. Parliamentary life from 1954 to 1958 was charac­ terized by factionalism rather than party politics, and its debased quality was to be used as a justification o f their action by the soldiers who ended it. It remains to survey in more detail the political history o f the parliamentary period. In December 1954, Azhari dismissed M irghani Hamza (who had been M inister o f Education, Agriculture and Irrigation), together with two other ministers from his cabinet. The three men straightway form ed the Republican Independence Party, which included amongst its aims the establishment o f an independent Sudanese republic, co-operating with Egypt but maintaining its own sovereignty. It is unlikely that there was at this time any serious ideological difference between M irghani Hamza and Ism a'il al-Azhari: the 17a

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events should be seen rather as a conflict o f personalities. It is significant that M irghani Hamza had been a leading member o f die old National Front, which from 1949 to 1952 had been unionist in principle but independent o f Azhari and very closely allied to the Khatm iyya. On 19 Ju n e 195 5 another lead­ ing minister, Muhammad N ur al-Din (minister o f Public W orks), was dismissed. Shortly afterwards Azhari also dis­ missed Muhammad N ur al-Din from the vice-presidency o f the N U P. Muhammad N ur al-D in and his associates prom ptly retorted by declaring Azhari him self expelled. A lthough Muhammad N ur al-Din attacked Azhari fo r abandoning tibe programme o f unity w ith E gypt, this incident may also prob­ ably be ascribed to personal rather than ideological m otives. It was indeed a repetition o f the situation in 19 5 1, when a schism had developed in the Ashiqqa*, and both Azhari and Muhammad N ur al-D in claimed that their faction was the true party. Up to this point, Azhari had enjoyed considerable success. W ithout tying him self closely to the Khatm iyya, he had achieved great personal popularity and influence, and was the undoubted master o f his governm ent, from which his rivals had been eliminated. Nevertheless the pow er o f the Khatm iyya remained great behind the scenes. The mutiny in the south was a blow to his prestige, although this was counterbalanced by the accelerated movement towards independence in the summer and autumn o f 1955. H is hold over Parliament w as, however, becoming weaker. On 10 N ovem ber he lost a vote o f con­ fidence by four votes and resigned. F ive days later he was reinstated in power by a m ajority o f tw o votes. Meanwhile the Umma and other opposition parties were pressing fo r a coalition governm ent, so that they could be associated with the achievement o f independence. Significant o f the grow ing concentration o f forces against Azhari was an unprecedented meeting o f ‘AH al-M irghani and ‘A bd alRahman al-Mahdi. On 6 December, Azhari agreed to form a coalition, but on terms which w ould confirm his own tenure o f pow er: that the existing Parliament should act both as the means o f self-determination and as a constituent assembly. H e clearly had no hope o f securing a m ajority at another general 173


election. Pushing ahead with the final measures fo r dissolving the Condominium, Azhari snatched at the claim to have brought independence to the Sudan. But it was a hollow triumph. A t the end o f January 1956 he could no longer resist the demand fo r a coalition government. The new governm ent, sworn in on 2 February, not only included M irghani Hamza and Muhammad N ur al-Din, but also two leading members o f the Umma Party, ‘Abdallah K halil and Ibrahim Ahmad. Azhari could not hope to dominate men o f this calibre and it was only a matter o f time before he was edged out o f the premiership. H is divorce from the Khatm iyya was shown in June, when, w ith die support o f Sayyid ‘A li al-M irghani, some form er members o f die N U P form ed die People's Democratic Party, (PD P), one o f die founders o f which was M irghani Hamza. On 5 Ju ly ‘Abdallah K h alil was elected prime minister against Azhari, w ith a m ajority o f twenty-eight votes in the House o f Representatives. T w o days later a new coalition governm ent, from which Azhari was excluded, took office. The coalition o f die Umma Party and P D P was artificial and opportunist in character. It was united only to exclude from pow er Azhari and the rump o f die N U P, which had follow ed him into opposition. On every vital point o f policy, the tw o parties had different and opposed objectives. The Umma, tradi­ tionally the party most friendly to Britain, wanted to strengthen ties w ith the W est: the PD P looked to Egypt, where N asser's policy was oriented towards the Soviet bloc. The permanent constitution had yet to be made law : the Umma Party wished to see Sayyid ‘A bd al-Rahman al-Mahdi as life-president o f the Republic, while die PD P rejected this as an attempt to derogate from die status o f Sayyid ‘A li al-Mirghani. The internal dis­ putes within the coalition continued after the general election o f February-M arch 1958, and came to a head over the issue o f the acceptance o f economic aid from die U SA . ‘Abdallah K halil remained in office until the army coup o f Novem ber 1958. H is period o f pow er saw the assumption by die Sudan o f die chief attributes o f sovereignty and inde­ pendence. Am ongst these was the creation o f a Diplom atic Service and the enunciation o f a foreign policy. The first members o f die diplomatic corps, many o f them form er


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teachers, were sworn in on 24 Ju ly 1956. The conduct o f foreign policy was in the hands o f Muhammad Ahm ad M ahjub, a form er lawyer who had played a prominent part in politics oyer the previous ten years, but now held ministerial office fo r the first time. The Sudan had already joined the A rab League, and applied fo r admission to the United Nations Organization, which it entered on 12 N ovem ber 1956. The basic principle o f Sudanese foreign policy is neutrality between the tw o great power-blocs. This is not incompatible w ith friendly relations w ith both sides, or w ith die acceptance o f foreign aid which does not involve m ilitary commitments. W ithin U N O , the Sudan w orks w ith the A fro-A sian group o f countries. B y joining the A rab League, the Sudan became a member o f an organization no less deeply divided than U N O itself, chiefly by the rivalry between E gyp t and Iraq fo r the hegem ony o f the A rab w orld. H ere too Sudanese policy aims at neutrality between the competing groups and endeavours to reconcile their divergent interests. This purpose was symbolized by the tour o f a goodw ill delegation to A rab countries, headed by the prime minister in M arch 1957. A lthough the Sudan adopted the stand o f the A rab League on relations w ith Israel and the A lgerian problem , its geographical remoteness from these conflicts was reflected in a com paratively detached and moderate tone. Sudanese foreign policy is also influenced by the geographical situation o f the country as a link between A rab and N egro A frica. G ood relations w ith the non-Arab countries are assiduously cultivated; typical o f this w as a state visit o f Kw am e Nkrum ah, as premier o f Ghana, to the Sudan in Ju n e 1958. Sudanese relations w ith E gyp t form a special problem o f foreign policy, in which the Republic is very clearly the suc­ cessor to the previous Sudan Governm ent. Professions o f mutual goodw ill and o f fraternal A rab solidarity, although expressed in emotional terms, are on a level w ith the form al courtesies o f the Condominium period, and do not conceal the determination o f the governm ent in Khartoum to pursue its ow n ends rather than to subordinate them to Egyptian interests. The most serious conflict between the tw o states was over the N ile waters. E ven before the establishment o f self-governm ent,

I7 Î


some Sudanese were complaining o f the quota o f water accru­ ing to die Sudan under the Agreem ent o f 1929. The problem has become more acute in the last decade. Since 1952 successive Egyptian governments have interested themselves in a project fo r im proving the water supply o f their country by the con­ struction o f a H igh Dam , south o f the present dam at Aswan. This dam w ill flood a considerable area o f the northern Sudan, and from September 1954 onwards there were intermittent negotiations between the Sudanese and Egyptian governm ents. The concealed tension in Sudanese-Egyptian relations was overlaid fo r a time in the winter o f 1956 as a consequence o f the Suez Incident. The Anglo-French intervention against Nasser shook British prestige in the Sudan as elsewhere in die M iddle East. It produced a b rief outburst o f anti-British feel­ ing, die more regrettable since the old nationalist anim osity against Britain had practically vanished w ith the transfer o f power. In December 1956 the prime minister and minister o f die Interior paid a three-day visit to Cairo to congratulate the Egyptian governm ent and nation on their stand, and to seek to further the mutual understanding and co-operation o f the tw o countries. W hile these events demonstrated that the Sudan w ould make common cause w ith E gyp t against die outside w orld, they did not indicate any solution o f their fundamental con­ flicts. The ineptness o f die Egyptian approach to the Sudan appeared again in February 195 8. A t that time a general election was about to take place in the Sudan, and E gyp t was about to hold a plebiscite and presidential election. The Egyptian governm ent sent troops into tw o areas to which it laid claim , one on die N ile, the other in die Red Sea coastal region, on the grounds that they lay north o f Latitude 22o, which had been specified as the northern boundary o f die Sudan in the Con­ dominium Agreem ent. In return, E gyp t offered to cede a strip o f territory to the Sudan. The disputed areas had in fact been administered from Khartoum since the Reconquest, and their status had not previously been challenged. The Sudanese governm ent resisted the Egyptian claim and on 20 February raised the matter to the Security Council o f U N O . The storm died down as abrupdy as it had risen. The Egyptians agreed to


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postpone the dispute and blamed it on ‘imperialists*. The Sudan was left in possession o f the tw o ateas. Befóte the general election was held, the parliamentary con­ stituencies were increased and redistributed in the light o f the recent census. Their number was increased from 97 to 17 3 , each constituency having 30,000 to 70,000 inhabitants. The special ‘graduates* constituency* w ith its postal vote was abolished. M ore constituencies were form ed in the central area o f the Sudan, while the number o f those in the north was diminished. The effect o f this was to strengthen the voting power o f the Unmut Party as against die N U P. Azhari, how­ ever, continued to find much support in the towns. When the new Parliament, which w as also intended to function as a constituent assembly, assembled in M arch, the Umma Party held sixty-three seats and the P D P twenty-six. A new coalition was therefore form ed by ‘Abdallah K halil from these two parties. A s was customary, three southern ministers were appointed, but diese were not the men nominated by the Liberal Party, the political group which included the m ajority o f southern deputies. The result o f this was to antagonize the southerners, forty o f whom combined in an alliance known as the Federal Bloc, which was prepared to vote w ith the N U P opposition, especially on questions concerning die south. This development seriously undermined the stability o f ‘Abdallah K halil’s governm ent, since he was dependent on southern support to obtain parliamentary ratification fo r an economic and technical aid agreement w ith the U SA . Such aid had first been mooted early in 1957, when the American govern­ ment was seeking to launch the Eisenhower Doctrine in the Middle East. The Sudanese government rejected the m ilitary and political implications o f the Eisenhower Doctrine, but dis­ cussions over the possibility o f aid to assist die Sudan*s development programme began in M ay 1957. A n Econom ic and Technical A id Agreem ent was concluded on 3 1 March 1938. Meanwhile the Sudan was entering an economic crisis. The 1938 cotton crop was poor; furtherm ore the w orld demand fo r cotton was declining, and prices were falling. A budget deficit o f nearly £ S ^ 000,00o,1 the first since 1932, was forecast



fo r 1959. A third development budget fo r the period 19 56 -6 1 amounted to £8137,000,000, and could clearly not be financed out o f revenue. The ratification o f the Am erican A id A gree­ ment was thus urgently necessary, but this and other aspects o f ‘Abdallah K halil’s policy in regard to the W est were opposed by the PD P. The support o f die southerners had therefore to be sought. They, how ever, had threatened to boycott the Parliament, in its rôle as a constituent assembly, because the governm ent w ould not allow the discussion o f a federal con­ stitution. ‘Abdallah K halil was forced to compromise on this point which had been the principal southern demand since 1955. In Ju ly the bill ratifying the American A id Agreem ent was passed, and shortly afterwards, to avert a vote o f noconfidence, die Parliament was adjourned until Novem ber. In the sphere o f economic development, tw o important w orks were undertaken during this period. A great increase was planned in the amount o f irrigated land in the G ezira Scheme, known as the M anaqil extension. The first phase o f the development was opened in M ay 1957, while the whole was expected to be completed by 19 6 1-6 2 . On com pletion, it w ould almost double the area under irrigation. The filling o f the main canal o f this extension without the prior consent o f the United A rab Republic, in Ju n e 1958, led to a protest from the U A R . The first m ajor extension o f the railway-system fo r over a quarter o f a century was set in hand w ith a line branching o ff from the existing line in Kordofan and running south-west­ wards to N yala in D arfur. This was officially opened along its fu ll length on 30 A pril 1959. W ork is now proceeding on a further branch which w ill run south to Wau in the western Bahr al-Ghazal. A m ajor educational problem in recent years has been that o f the southern Sudan. The integration o f the southern educa­ tional system, the product o f m issionary endeavour, w ith English, not A rabic, as the basic language o f instruction, began in 1950, and during the follow ing decade has been pushed on w ith ever-increasing speed. The southern revolt o f A ugust 1955 led to the temporary closure o f schools there, but they were, reopened in the follow ing year. W ith the accession to pow er o f a predominantly Muslim governm ent, determined to 17 8

TH E P A R LIA M EN TA R Y R E G IM E : 1 9 J 6 - 5 8

obliterate as far as possible the cultural and educational differ­ ences between the north and the south (a policy which in the circumstances could only mean assimilation to northern prac­ tice) the m issionary schools as such were clearly doomed. In February 1957, the minister o f Education announced that it was the government’s intention ‘to take direct and fu ll charge o f education in the Southern Provinces’, and laid down a time­ table fo r taking over die various classes o f schools. The absorption o f the missionary schools by the governm ent was one o f the causes o f southern resentment in die second Parlia­ ment, and hence contributed to die situation which brought about the A rm y’s coup d’itat.


TH E A R M Y C O U P AN D M IL IT A R Y GO VERNM ENT Sudan, as in other M iddle Eastern countries, the nationalists had at first highly^esteemed parliamentMy institutíons. The^Parlum enf 'w aF a token o f political maturity, o f equality w ith the form er co-domini. Its inception marked the end o f die period o f foreign authoritarian government. The adoption o f parliamentary form s w as, however, superficial. In ' ïhe Sudan, m o relh an lri o v e rsta te s öFdiereglön , ffaeyw ere a imp^rtaHr>rLo£ali^w origin. E ven die A dvisory Council, w ith its limited powers, had been created less than a decade be­ fore self-government. The mass o f the people were swayed in elections by broad general issues, such as union w ith E gyp t o r independence, or voted to assert their adherence to person­ alities rather than programmes. Hence the political parties were groups attached to leaders, or temporary alliances, rather than stable, well-organized groups w ith definite and distinct objectives. Azhari’s skilful opportunism in 1954-55 was a bad introduction to parliamentary government. Under 'Abdallah K halil in 195 8 the tactics o f party management were exhausted, and the bankruptcy o f the parliamentary system itself stood revealed. In 1954 the control o f the administrative machine, which was the traditional and essential institution o f govern­ ment in the Sudan, had passed from a small group o f British officials to a small group o f Sudanese politicians. In Novem ber 1958, a further transfer took place, from the parliamentary 'politicians to a small group o f Arm y office«. This was a development which had parallels in other M iddle Eastern states which had emerged from foreign rule. It was accelerated in the Sudan by various factors. Parliamentary government was established in the Sudan at the very time when In




it was crum bling elsewhere in die M iddle E ast; indeed die w ay had been prepared fo r it by the A rm y coup o f 1952 in Egypt^ The period during which the Sudanese regarded it as a panacea and a talisman was correspondingly shortened. It soon lost its appeal, except to those politicians who benefited from the pow er and patronage it conferred, and they were accordingly isolated from the mass o f their countrymen, w ho regarded their manœuvres w ith impatience, cynicism or indifference. The com plex political situation, which developed against a background o f economic crisis in the summer and autumn o f 195 8, has been described. The ruling coalition o f Umma Party and P D P was clearly about to break up. T w o mutually incom­ patible developments took place. In A ugust it became known that Umma politicians were contacting their form er opponents o f the N U P over the form ation o f a new coalition. These negotiations continued during the next two months, and were watched benevolently by Sayyid ‘A bd al-Rahman. On the other hand, contacts in Cairo, during October, between the leader o f the P D P, President N asser and Azhari, caused *Abdallah K halil to fear that a rapprochement was being prepared which w ould strengthen Egyptian political influence in the Sudan. H is mistrust was shared by a small group o f senior A rm y officers, headed by M ajor-General Ahmad ‘A bd alWahhab and Brigadier Hasan Bashir N asr. The possibility o f a seizure o f power by the A rm y began to be considered. Nevertheless, the final agreement to form a coalition be­ tween tiie Umma Party and N U P was concluded on 16 N ovem ­ ber 19 )8 . It w ould have been a very pow erful combination, since both Sayyid ‘A bd al-Rahman and Azhari were in their different ways men o f high standing in the nationalist m ove­ ment and endowed w ith great popular prestige. But it was never allowed to function. D uring the follow ing night the government buildings in Khartoum and the radio station in Omdurman were occupied by soldiers, and the ministers were placed under house arrest. Four thousand troops had been m oved into the capital on the authority o f the commander-in­ chief, General Ibrahim ‘Abbud. B y a completely bloodless coup d*itat pow er passed to the soldiers.1 It is impossible at present to ascertain the degree o f ‘Abdallah




K h alil’s com plicity in, or foreknowledge o f, this coup d*¿tat. On io Novem ber he is reported to have had a conversation w ith ‘A bbud in which he deplored the manner in which events seemed to be w orking fo r N asser, and expressed his belief that only the Sudanese A rm y could stand up to E gyp t. A fter the event, on 26 Novem ber, he publicly asserted that he was aware o f what was going on in m ilitary circles. ‘Abbud fo r his part denied that ‘Abdallah K h alil had prior knowledge o f the coup itself. The tw o statements are perhaps not incompatible. On 17 Novem ber ‘Abbud made a broadcast in which he spoke o f ‘the state o f degeneration, chaos and instability o f the country’, which he ascribed solely to ‘the bitter political strife between parties trying to secure personal gain by all ways and means*. H e announced die dissolution o f all political parties, die prohibition o f assemblies and demonstrations, and the temporary suspension o f all newspapers. The new regim e w ould strive to im prove relations w ith the United A rab Republic, ‘to resolve all outstanding problems and put an end to die artificial strain which has hitherto subsisted between the tw o countries’. A series o f decrees set up a Supreme Council o f the Arm ed Forces, proclaimed a state o f emergency throughout the Sudan, suspended the Transitional Constitution, and dis­ solved Parliament. Sudanese parliamentary governm ent, on its extinction, found no defenders, and required no martyrs. Politics since independence had been a private game fo r the players, rather than a civic education fo r the people. The new m ilitary regim e met w ith no opposition from the religious leaders, nor, w ith one possible exception, from the political parties. The coup was welcomed warm ly by Sayyid ‘A li al-M irghani, w ith more reservations by Sayyid ‘A bd al-Rahman al-Mahdi. Afterwards Sayyid ‘A li again withdrew from politics, while the death o f Sayyid ‘A bd al-Rahman on 24 M arch 1959 deprived his follow ers o f the mainspring o f their political action. The form er ruling group were gently handled; both Aahari and ‘Abdallah K halil were awarded life-pensions o f £ S 1,200 per annum. A ll in all, the politicians may not have been unw illing to pass to others a situation that was getting beyond their control. The assets o f the dissolved political parties were 182


liquidated in M ay 1959, and the surplus remaining after the payment o f claims and the costs o f administration was seized by the new government. The one political group in the Sudan which was organized around a coherent ideology, and was not merely a nexus o f personal interests and sectarian loyalties, was the Communist Party. This was in origin a by-product o f Egyptian cultural influence, since it was first organized in 1944 among Sudanese students in Cairo. Although the party as such was illegal under both the Condominium and the Republic, it was very active in a number o f cover organizations, which were tolerated until die army coup. Its supporters were to be found chiefly among the western-educated Sudanese, particularly the students, in­ cluding those in the schools. It m ight be said, with some exaggeration, that, outside the lecture-rooms, student life was polarized between the rival ideologies o f the Muslim Brother­ hood8 and Communism.8 The second important area o f Com­ munist infiltration was the trade union movement, especially the oldest and most powerful organization, the Railw ay Workers* Union, and the Sudan Workers* Trade Union Federa­ tion founded in 1950.4 The opposition o f both the Federation and the Communists to the Anglo-Egyptian Agreement o f February 1953 ran clean against the prevailing national senti­ ment, and left the Communists isolated. They regained influ­ ence w ith the com ing o f independence; their appeal to youth was as potent in the conditions o f political life under the Republic as during the time o f British rule. A fter the m ilitary coup, the new government suspended the trade unions and imprisoned the leaders o f the Federation. Know n Communist sympathizers were rounded up, and their leaders brought before the courts. Investigations to discover Communists among the young Arm y officers were also set on foot. The m ilitary apparatus fo r controlling the administration o f the Sudan consisted o f a Supreme Council o f the Arm ed Forces, composed o f twelve officers under Ibrahim ‘Abbud as president. This was decreed to be ‘the supreme constitutional authority in the Sudan*. It form ally delegated to ‘Abbud all its legislative, judicial and executive powers, as w ell as the com­ mand o f tiie armed forces. The regime also nominated a Council



o f Ministers. O f these, seven (including ‘Abbud him self as prime minister and minister o f Defence) were also members o f the Supreme Council, while five (including one southerner) were civilians. T w o o f die ministers had held office under the parliamentary system. The ministers as such are little m ore than heads o f departments: the formulation o f policy takes place within the purely m ilitary Supreme Council. The prom i­ nent position o f ‘Abbud in the new regime is misleading. H e fulfils the ceremonial functions o f a head o f state, and his signature is appended to all decrees. I f Constitutional O rder N o. i o f 17 Novem ber 1958 is to be accepted at its face value, he holds by delegation from the Supreme Council die plenary powers o f a m ilitary dictator. Y et in the events o f die succeed­ ing months he has shown him self to be curiously inert, while a struggle fo r the reality o f pow er has gone on within the Supreme Council itself. This struggle o f competing m ilitary factions and personalities occupied die new regime during the first twelve months o f its existence. The eleven senior Arm y officers w ho, w ith the presi­ dent, composed die first Supreme Council were much younger men than ‘Abbud, who was commissioned in 19 18 . They, on the other hand, were dose contemporaries, having all been commissioned between 1937 and 1942. During the first months o f army rule, the most prominent amongst them was M ajorGeneral Ahmad ‘A bd al-Wahhab, who had commanded in die operations against the southern mutineers in 195$, and, at the time o f the coup, was second in command o f the Arm y to ‘Abbud. He was appointed to die key security post o f minister o f the Interior and Local Government. The only officer o f equal rank in the Supreme Council was M ajor-General Muham­ mad T al'at Farid, who had been commander o f the Southern Area since February 1957, and now took another key post, that o f minister o f Inform ation and Labour. The prominence o f Ahmad ‘A bd al-Wahhab was challenged early in die follow ing year. A senior officer who had not been appointed to the Council was Brigadier M uhyi al-Din Ahmad ‘Abdallah, die commander o f the Eastern Area. Resenting his exclusion and the predominance o f Ahmad ‘A bd al-Wahhab, he conspired with the commander o f the Northern Area, Brigadier 184


*Abd al-Rahim Shannan, to bring troops to Khartoum on a M arch 1959. Ahmad ‘A bd al-Wahhab was arrested w ith two supporters, colonels who had been appointed to the Council in spite o f their lack o f seniority. On the Council’s agreeing to consider M uhyi al-Din’s demands, the arrested officers were released, and the troops withdrew. T w o days later they were back in somewhat greater strength, since their commanders believed that action was about to be taken against them. M uhyi al-Din and Shannan demanded the resignation o f the Supreme Council, on the grounds that the people and A rm y were dissatisfied w ith the situation and the policy o f the government. Faced w ith this, die Council resigned and on 5 March an order appeared, over ‘Abbud’s signature, appointing a new Supreme Council o f ten members. This included three new names, the two leaders o f the pronundamento and Brigadier Maqbul al-Am in al-H ajj, thé commander o f die Central Area. Ahmad ‘A bd al-Wahhab was in fact reappointed to die Supreme Council, but on 9 M ay he was relieved o f all his posts. N o further action was taken against him, and he retired on pension w ith a grant o f 3,000 acres o f state land. Shannan subsequendy asserted that ‘A bd al-Wahhab had been seeking to make him self president; and that the object o f the March incident had been to make ‘Abbud a real leader, to solve outstanding problems with the United A rab Republic, and to stop ‘foreign interference’, which, he claimed, had been encouraged by ‘A bd al-Wahhab and ‘Abdallah K halil. Shannan and M uhyi al-Din had not, however, secured their own predominance. The newcomers to the Supreme Council were a minority faction who failed to make good their standing. On 22 M ay an obscure incident occurred when two platoons o f troops from the Eastern A rea arrived outside Khartoum . It was alleged that they had come in response to a telegram from A rm y Headquarters, and another pronundamento seemed im­ minent. M uhyi al-Din at this juncture sent them peaceably back to their stations. It appears that he and Shannan had intended to make a further demonstration o f their power, but had disagreed at the last minute, wavered, and lost the initiative. The opportunity was seized by the rival faction. On 1 June



M uhyi al-Din and Shannan were attested. Three weeks later they were brought before a court-martial, o f which the president was Muhammad TaTat Farid. They were accused o f inciting to mutiny by launching an armed attack on Khartoum on 22 M ay, w ith die object o f overthrow ing the regime. The trial was held in public, and was fully reported in the press. N o attempt seems to have been made to gag die accused, who spoke as i f they were on the hustings rather than in the dock. They were condemned to death, but on 22 September the sentences were commuted to life imprisonment. Several other officers were dismissed from the A rm y, while a member o f the Supreme Council lost his place and was put on trial fo r failing to report his knowledge o f the mutinous movements. One further abortive m ilitary coup took place in 1959. This, which took place on 9 Novem ber, originated in the Infantry School at Omdurman, and was headed by a number o f young officers. The rising was suppressed without difficulty, and the leaders o f the mutiny were brought to trial within a week. F ive o f them were sentenced to death, and were hanged on 2 December. The executions came as a shock to the Sudanese, who had prided themselves on the bloodless manner in w hich the army leaders had seized power and settled their internal differences. There have been no further challenges to the regim e, and the internal fiction struggles seem to have ceased. The most pow erful member o f the ruling junta seems to be Brigadier Hasan Bashir N asr, who is the effective head o f the Arm y. The ordinary life o f the country appears to be proceed­ ing normally, although observers have perceived signs o f sup­ pressed tension and the development o f nuclei o f opposition among the students and railway w orkers, and in the circles around the old political leaders. ‘Abbud has promised a new constitution, and a committee has been set up to devise one. It is still too early to hazard any prophecies as to the stability o f the m ilitary regime or the structure o f the future political organization o f the Sudan. Perhaps the most that one can say is that the tradition o f an authoritarian administration, which was in different form s embodied in the Turco-Egyptian system, die Mahdist state and the Condominium government, is likely to be perpetuated. A gain, i f past history is anything o f a guide,



the pow er o f the governm ent, so vast in appearance, w ill be greatly checked in practice by the geographical and social circumstances in which it has to w ork. The inherent com­ plexity and ancient traditions o f Sudanese society, rather than the paper safeguards o f any constitution, are its best safeguards against oppression. In the meantime, the m ilitary regime has brought some apparent benefits. Since the A rm y assumed pow er, the econo­ mic situation o f the Sudan has rem arkably im proved. This was pardy due to a general improvement in w orld trade since die autumn o f 1958, but credit must also be given to a more realistic policy towards the selling o f cotton, the principal export crop. Previous governm ents had insisted on maintaining a fixed stated reserve price, w ith the result that nearly a quarter o f a m illion bales remained unsold, w hile a new second crop was expected. The reserve price was abolished in January 1959» and by A ugust both the backlog and die new crop had been sold, although at low er rates than had previously been obtained. A t the same time foreign currency reserves were guarded by a rigorous system o f im port licences. In Ju n e 1959 the civilian minister o f Finance was able to estimate a surplus o f revenue, although admittedly o f the low order o f £ S 10 5,000. Meanwhile the Sudan’s sterling reserves rose from £84.8 m illions at the end o f 1958 to ¿ S 3 0 m illions in A ugust 1959. The second m ajor achievement o f the regim e is die successful conclusion o f a new N ile Waters Agreem ent w ith the United A rab Republic. The attempts o f die parliamentary governm ent to secure an agreement finally broke down in January 1958. Negotiations were resumed in O ctober 1959, when the internal faction struggles in the Supreme Council had come to an end. The new agreement was officially concluded a bare month later, on 8 Novem ber. The Sudan was to receive £ E i 5 m illions in compensation fo r the land in the vicinity o f W adi H aifa which w ould be flooded on the completion o f the H igh Dam . A fter its building, the allocation o f water w ould be 18,500,000,000 cubic metres fo r the Sudan, as against 55.500.000. 000 cubic metres fo r E gyp t, w ith a m argin o f 10.000. 000.000 cubic metres fo r evaporation losses. In addition the Sudan w ould make E gyp t an annual ‘loan’ o f 1,500,000,000 18 7


cubic metres until 1977, since this quantity is not at present required fo r irrigation in the Sudan. The N ile Waters A gree­ ment was accompanied by a trading agreement between the two states. The conclusion o f the N ile Waters Agreem ent should m ark the beginning o f a new period in Sudanese-Egyptian relations. The independence o f the Sudan is an accomplished {act, w hile the principal material cause o f tension between the tw o countries has now been allayed. Other Sudanese problem s remain. In particular, although the south is quiescent the m ilitary regim e has undertaken no fresh approach to the problem o f its relations w ith the north. M ilitary control on the border o f Kenya and Uganda has been stepped up, the inte­ gration o f the southern and northern educational systems has been continued, some new ventures in economic development have been started. The federal scheme was rejected as decisively by the arm y officers as by the parliamentary politicians. But no regime can hope to produce a neat programme fo r dealing w ith the problem o f the south; its solution w ill be the gradual w ork o f economics and education and, above all, time and patience.



C U L T U R E A N D E D U C A T IO N IN T H E SU D A N Muslim tribes o f die northern Sudan whom Muhammad ‘A li Pasha brought under his rule were by no means prim itive savages. True» with the decline o f Funj power» die tribe or the clan was the largest effective political unit: true also that die towns were little more than agglom erations o f villages on sites favourable to the exchange o f merchandise: nevertheless these tribal communities o f culti­ vators and herdsmen possessed a vigorous i f rudimentary culture» and produced a small literate élite who were in touch w ith the civilization o f the great Islam ic world. The charac­ teristic figures o f traditional Sudanese culture were the poets and the fakis. The poets were the commentators on the vicissi­ tudes o f tribal and individual life. Their utterances» generally b rief and intensely allusive, were given in dialect. They spoke from the heart, and their sayings were passed by w ord o f mouth, and transmitted to later generations. In our own days some have been reduced to w riting, to puzzle the scholars o f classical A rabic, w ho cannot hear the staccato deliverance o f the Sudanese speaker behind the uncouth form s. The fa k is were the successors o f the missionaries and teachers o f the early Funj period, and were a class as varied in character and attainments as the clerks o f medieval Europe. A t the bottom o f the scale were social parasites, battening on the credulity o f the ignorant villagers through the superstition which was common to them. M ore honest, i f little more erudite, were those w ho taught the K oran by rote to the children. But above these were men o f wider repute as teachers, who w ould read religious and legal texts w ith serious students from all parts o f the Muslim Sudan. These /¿¿/-schools, o f whatever degree, T



r a b ic


a k in g


19 1


were known as kbaltvas.1 The fakes* authority was strengthened by their standing as Sufi adepts, fo r it is im possible to dis­ entangle the Sufi from die orthodox elements in the traditional Islam o f the Sudan. The most notable centre o f religious teach­ ing was die town o f E l Darner, where the Majadhib fam ily had, during the eighteenth century, established what m ight alm ost be called an Islam ic university, the students o f which were in contact w ith the greater and more famous schools o f Cairo and the Hijaz. Students from die Fun) dominions were suffidendy numerous to have their own hostel at al-Azhar: learned visitors to Sennar from other M uslim lands were rare but not unknown. The Turco-Egyptian conquest produced a sharp impact between the traditional Muslim culture o f the northern Sudan, and the more legalistic and orthodox Islam o f the Ottoman state and hierarchy. The establishment o f a judicial hierarchy o f qadis and muftis was, as has been stated earlier, an innovation in the Sudan: the old fa k i class found itself confronted w ith a new religious ¿lite, die official *tdama\ N everthdess the schism was not absolute. I f the government paid its religious officials, it also subsidized the more distinguished members o f the fa k i class. Men who had studied under Sudanese teachers continued, as in the past, to go on to al-Azhar. Sudanese entered die official religious hierarchy. Thus die old and the new religious ¿lites continued to exist side by side: the older one changing litde w ith the passage o f years, the newer becoming increasingly accepted as a part o f Sudanese society. Even the M ahdia, which may be partially explained as a revolt o f the fa kis against the official *ulama*, did not destroy die concept o f a religious hierarchy dependent on die ruler. The Mahdi appointed a judge o f the form er regime as his qadi al-lslam , and under the K halifa an elaborate system o f courts and judicial officers developed. In the same w ay poetry, the touchstone o f Sudanese culture, shows first die impact, then the assimilation, o f new influences after the Turco-Egyptian conquest. The traditional dialect poetry still survived, as it does to this day: there is indeed a body o f such utterances evoked by the events o f the Mahdia. But diere also arose in the Sudan poets o f a more form al literary type, men o f some Arabic scholarship who produced 19 2


odes composed according to classical canons o f grammar, style and metre. This literary poetry was also transmitted orally, but was much more susceptible than the dialect verse o f being reduced to w riting. It was very closely associated, in the nineteenth century, with the new *ulama* class. O f thirteen literary poets listed by a Sudanese writer, nine held judgeships or other posts in the official hierarchy under the TurcoEgyptian regime, the Mahdia or die Condominium; one, whose panegyric on the ‘Urabi revolt brought him into disfavour with the British, became an inspector o f Arabic in die Ottoman M inistry o f Education; and one, who had studied in Cairo, Paris and Turkey, held a series o f governorships in the Egyptian Sudan. Six o f them studied at al-Azhar. Throughout this period, there was no comparable efflores­ cence o f prose-writing. The' Sudan, in contrast to most other Islam ic countries, has produced only a very meagre crop o f historical w orks, although some may have been lost in the vicissitudes o f the nineteenth century, and no comprehensive, systematic search fo r manuscripts has yet been made. There has, however, been published a biographical dictionary o f local holy men, written before the Turco-Egyptian conquest, which throws much light on the traditional Islam o f the Sudan and on the history o f the Funj period. A chronicle o f rulers, originally composed early in die Turco-Egyptian period but continued in later recensions down to the reign o f Khedive Ism a'il, is particularly valuable fo r die period o f Funj decline and the opening phases o f the new regime. The characteristic form o f traditional Sudanese historical w riting is, however, neither the biographical dictionary nor the chronicle, but the genealogy. In this field also there is much room fo r a systematic search fo r material, as w ell as fo r the formulation o f rigorous standards o f criticism. The chief remains o f early Sudanese prose that are now available are the official documents o f the Funj rulers and the sultans o f D arfur. In the absence o f field-work, any discussion o f these must be on die basis o f the very few specimens that have been published. The elaborate titularies and precise phrasing o f Funj land-charters o f the eighteenth century, clearly indicate the existence o f trained clerks w orking accordl9i


ing to well-established precedents. The form al chancery A rabic o f both these groups o f documents shows that the sophisticated archives o f the Mahdist period reflect a tradition older than that o f the Turco-Egyptian bureaucracy. From die time o f Muhammad ‘A li Pasha onwards, E gyp t w as receptive to tibe culture o f Western Europe. The principal instrument o f this reception was the educational system devised by the viceroy in connection with his remodelling o f the Egyptian army and administration. Thus there developed in E gypt a system o f su te schools, providing the personnel fo r the new state, side by side with the older Islam ic institutions, which were training-grounds fo r the tulama\ This development was but feebly reflected in the Egyptian Sudan. N o schools were established diere while Muhammad ‘A li lived. ‘Abbas I, otherwise unsympathetic to die westernizing projects o f his predecessor, ordered a school to be set up in Khartoum , but his m otive seems to have been to provide an excuse fo r banishing a distinguished Egyptian scholar, R ifa‘a Bey Rafi * al-Tahtawi, who had been the head o f Muhammad ‘A li’s department o f translation. R ifa‘a was to be headmaster o f the school in Khartoum , but die project was not supported by the governorgeneral, while it was disliked by the Sudanese, who feared it m ight lead to die conscription o f their sons. When ‘Abbas died, and Muhammad Sa‘id recalled R ifa'a, die school seems to have faded out. In education, as in other aspects o f development, Khedive Isma‘il endeavoured to continue the w ork o f Muham­ mad ‘A li. He encouraged the entry o f Sudanese students into al-Azhar, and, in 1867 and 1868, set up prim ary schools in Khartoum , Berber and Dongola. The pupils went into govern­ ment service as telegraph and dockyard apprentices. The further history o f these schools, and o f one or tw o others which were started, is obscure. The impact o f Western ideas and Western education upon the Sudanese did not come until die establishment o f the Con­ dominium. The establishment and history o f the G ordon Memorial College and other educational institutions have already been mentioned in connection with the political history o f the Sudan: here it is proposed to consider in more general 19 4


terms the effect o f a British-inspired educational system on the Sudanese community. Sir Jam es Currie, w ho laid the foundations o f the system, lacked neither ideals nor insight, as his comments on the developments o f the twenties show. H e was, however, w orking w ith meagre funds within limits dictated by administrative convenience. The Gordon College and other schools estab­ lished in his time had a very small intake, and their curricula were consciously planned, not to give a liberal education, but to provide adequately trained government employees. The danger o f creating a large educated class, in excess o f what could be absorbed by the administration, was thus avoided, but by the later thirties the demand fo r education could no longer be contained. The government schools were supplemented by schools founded by public subscription, which did not always find it easy to maintain educational standards. A t the end o f the Second W orld W ar, a considerable expansion o f the govern­ ment educational system began. A new secondary school near Omdurman succeeded to the functions, but not to the name, o f the old Gordon Memorial College. Another was opened in 1946, a third in 1949. These were the precursors o f a great increase o f schools at all levels, secondary, intermediate and elementary, which has continued until the present day. Y e t in spite o f these developments, and o f assistance received from outside agencies, such as U N ESC O , universal compulsory edu­ cation is not yet feasible. A part from the financial and material problems o f providing and staffing schools, the Sudan has the particular difficulties o f a vast but sparsely populated country, w ith a considerable nomadic element in its peoples. A s the Sudan climbed out o f the depression o f the early thirties, more money became available, and a more liberal attitude began to show itself on the part o f the Sudan G overn­ ment. A rethinking o f the aims and methods o f education was urgently necessary. The progress o f educational thought in Britain was not reflected in the Sudanese schools, which were still tied to the narrow and utilitarian objectives o f Currie’s day. Education had long suffered from its dependence on the adm inistration: too few British officials in the Department combined authority and professional knowledge. H ow much



o f the spirit o f m odem education was absent from the Sudan o f those days can be seen from the reactions o f a young Lebanese, an O xford graduate, w ho came to teach in the Gordon College in 1926: * . . . I disliked die G ordon College die moment I walked into it. It was a m ilitary, not a human institution. It was a Governm ent School in a country where the Governm ent was an alien colonial governm ent. The [British] Tutors were members o f the Political Service. They were there in the dual capacity o f masters and rulers, and the second capacity over­ shadowed die first. The pupils w ere expected to show them not the ordinary respect owed by pupils to their teachers, but the submissiveness demanded o f a su b ject.. . . E ven i f the master was individually kind and human, there stood behind him, in the eyes o f his pupils, the D irector o f Education, die C ivil Secretary, die Governor-General, the Union Jack , and the pow er o f the British Governm ent. Behind him diere also stood the D istrict Commissioner w ho ruled their village homes. The master him self, indeed, w ould one day be a D istrict Commissioner and rule over them and their fathers/1 D uring the thirties, a new spirit developed in die G ordon College, and this was inherited by the secondary schools which succeeded it at the end o f the Second W orld War. The quasi­ m ilitary system o f discipline was humanized. The College was no longer a barracks w ith some o f the outward trappings o f an English public school. A t die same time, the British masters ceased to be political officers in em bryo, and were recruited (in spite o f wartime difficulties after 1939) from professional gradu­ ate teachers. The g u lf which had existed between the British and non-British staff was bridged, while teachers and pupils entered on a more normal and rational academic relationship. Experim ent in syllabuses and teaching-methods was encouraged. These developments were hastened by G . C. Scott, warden o f die College from 1937 to 1943. Form erly a member o f the Political Service, he found his vocation and life’s w ork in teaching. H is enthusiasm and liberal oudook inspired the new 196


generation o f Sudanese and British teachers. The College, which had shed its intermediate classes in 1924, and its technical workshops in 1932, acquired during Scott’s wardenship the fu ll status o f an academic secondary school. In 1938 some selected senior pupils were entered fo r the Cambridge School Certificate, which in the course o f a few years became the final examination fo r all secondary classes. Secondary education has, however, remained a four-year course, w ith nothing compar­ able to die w ork o f English sixth form s. A n attempt to lengthen the secondary phase, by selection o f pupils at an earlier age from the intermediate schools, was defeated by the force o f public opinion in the last decade o f the Condominium. The G ordon College w as, however, no longer the lim it o f the educational system in the Sudan. A part from the Kitchener School o f Medicine, from which sixty doctors had graduated between 1928 and 1939» there was established after 1936 a group o f ‘H igher Schools’ givin g post-secondary education w ith die object o f training Sudanese officials fo r the more responsible posts in governm ent service. These Schools o f Agriculture, A rts, Engineering, Law , Science and Veterinary Science were, in 194$, fused into a single institution, to which die name o f die G ordon M em orial College was transferred. A number o f its students took external degrees o f London University. In 19 5 1 the new G ordon College was combined w ith die Kitchener School o f Medicine to form the University College o f Khartoum . The special relationship w ith London continued until shordy after the Sudan became independent. The Khartoum University A ct o f Ju n e 1956 transformed the college into a degree-giving university, maintained financially by die governm ent but enjoying administrative autonomy. The teaching staff, at first largely British, has been increasingly sudanized as qualified men have become available, but still includes many expatriates from nearly every country in Europe, and a great many in A sia. The first Sudanese vice-chancellor took office in 1958. Before the establishment o f the H igher Schools, small groups o f Sudanese students had been sent by the governm ent to foreign universities. In die inter-war years such student missions had gone chiefly to the Am erican University o f Beirut, and 19 7


were composed o f the most prom ising recruits to the Education Department. Ju st before the outbreak o f the Second W orld W ar, die first Sudanese students came to Britain, where they were trained at the U niversity College o f die South-W est (now the U niversity o f Exeter). The expansion and rising standards o f post-secondary education in the Sudan during and after the follow ing decade was reflected in an increasing flow o f students to British universities and centres fo r specialist training, and this has in no w ay slackened or diminished w ith the com ing o f independence. The development o f this educated ilite has facilitated die sudanization o f posts in the University o f Khartoum and die schools, as w ell as in the various technical governm ent services. In addition, many Sudanese students have made their w ay to Egyptian schools and universities, where they were particularly welcomed from die mid-thirties on­ wards, as tension grew between the tw o co-domini. Elem entary education had long been the Cinderella o f die governm ent system. The teachers were inadequately trained, and had too limited a background o f general education to breathe life into the subjects they taught. Literate only in A rabic, and fo r the most part village-dwellers, they lacked the status o f the new English-educated, urban intelligentsia, while their functions were alien to die traditional communities in which they worked. They were given guidance from the Education Department in the form o f teaching-notes, and periodically their schools were visited by British inspectors, but die sparse material available was instilled by the traditional method o f rote-learning, and inspections amounted to no more than a display o f memorized inform ation. A watchful eye over die schools was kept by the district commissioners, many o f whom had some mistrust o f education, and discouraged any developments which m ight threaten the traditional structure o f life and authority. The opportunity fo r reform s in the elementary schools was an indirect result o f the G ordon College strike o f 19 3 1.* A committee o f inquiry was set up, which was persuaded to extend its terms o f reference to the low er stages o f education. One o f the committee’s recommendations was die transfer o f the Training College fo r elementary teachers from Khartoum 19 8


into rural surroundings. The prindpalship o f the new institu­ tion was given to V . L . Griffiths, who had been appointed as an inspector o f education in 19 3 1, after teaching experience in India. Griffiths’s early tours o f inspection had shown him the weaknesses and faults o f the elementary school. He hoped that by giving teacher-training a fresh start, in surroundings similar to those in which the schoolmasters would have to w ork, die next generation o f teachers w ould develop initiative and a sense o f profession which at that time they lacked. The site he selected fo r his college was in open country near Dueim , which had lost its importance as the W hite N ile port since the con­ struction o f the railway, but was still a provincial town o f some importance. The choice was unpopular w ith most Sudanese (as later w ith some British) staff. In Sudanese opinion, towns are the true centres o f civilization: there is no sentimental affection fo r the countryside, which is synonymous w ith austere livin g, poverty and backwardness. Furtherm ore, Bakht er Ruda, as the site is called, is malarial, and, especially in the rainy season o f late summer and autumn, far more isolated than its relative proxim ity to Khartoum w ould suggest. Nevertheless the scheme had the backing o f the governm ent, which was still at this time strong enough to override public opinion, and the college, later known as the Institute o f Education, was carried through its initial difficulties and hard­ ships. Its original purpose was simply the training o f elementary teachers, but Griffiths soon realized that they and their pupils could not be expected to adopt more enlightened methods o f study without a far w ider range o f A rabic books than was available. So w ithin the course o f a few years, book-production became a principal activity o f the staff. These were carefully tested in draft and revised, so that by 1950, when Griffiths left the Sudan, over 120 publications fo r the elementary schools had appeared. A t the same time, and in spite o f the staffing and other problems o f the war-years, the objectives o f elementary education had been redefined, and new teaching-methods devised which diluted, even i f they could not completely eliminate, the old mechanical ways o f learning. The training given in fu ll and refresher courses was follow ed up by tours o f inspection by Bakht er Ruda staff. From the first, there was 19 9


d ose co-operation between the British and the Sudanese members o f staff, and a vital part in the development o f the Institute was played by the vice-principal, *Abd al-Rahman ‘A li Taha, who left in 1948, after twelve years* service, to be the first Sudanese minister o f Education. W hile reform s were thus proceeding in the curricula and methods at the dem entary and secondary levd s, the inter­ mediate schools remained almost static. Although the language o f instruction in these schools was Arabic, a considerable pro­ portion o f the teaching-time was given to English. The inter­ mediate teachers form ed an important part o f the Westerneducated class, and transfers o f staff from intermediate to secondary le v d were frequent. There was therefore a natural link between these two phases o f the educational system, and British teachers o f English in the old Gordon College (and the secondary schools which succeeded it) played an important part in training and inspecting intermediate teachers o f English. A general reform o f intermediate education could, however, only be undertaken by an institution w ith the resources and accumulated experience o f Bakht er Ruda. This new problem was first tackled in 1939, but the programme o f reform met w ith many difficulties and setbacks. Its initiation was during the war-years, when British staff were scarce and hard to obtain. The trainees were more westernized and sophisticated than the potential elementary teachers. Com ing to the Institute o f Education after four years o f secondary education, follow ed by a period o f more advanced w ork in the H igher Schools, they did not take kindly to the austerities and isolation o f Bakht er Ruda. M any o f them had no real heart fo r intermediate teach­ ing : they saw wider opportunities o f entering secondary educa­ tion or other branches o f government service opening before them, as a consequence o f the great expansion, and the m ove­ ment towards sudanization that began during the war. A s the intermediate schools continued to expand, their staffs had to be eked out w ith recruits from other government departments, who were given short training-courses at Bakht er Ruda. Furtherm ore, the intermediate schools themselves provided the bulk o f the recruits fo r the low er grades o f public service, while providing an avenue fo r a m inority o f pupils to secondary and 200


higher education. Hence public opinion was opposed to change in the long-established pattem o f studies and organization, since these m ight interfere w ith prospects o f employment, or otherwise adversely affect the future o f the pupils. This attitude forced the abandonment o f the Brow n Plan, which w ould have creamed o ff the pupils suitable fo r academic secondary educa­ tion at the end o f the second year in the intermediate schools. Nevertheless, before the end o f the Condominium, inter­ mediate reform had overcom e its first setbacks. Syllabuses were being reorganized, and text books written, on the same lines as fo r the elementary schools. A fter a period o f experiment, courses had been designed to prepare the various kinds o f recruits fo r teaching in intermediate schools. Meanwhile the expansion o f education at all levels led to the foundation o f branches o f the Institute o f Education at D illing (in the Nuba Mountains) in 1948, and later at Shendi. One o f the special educational problems o f the Sudan is that o f protecting the ex-elementary schoolboy from relapsing into illiteracy, fo r lack o f adequate and available reading-matter. Newspapers have small circulations, and reach the outlying villages but slow ly, i f at all. Books are expensive and hard to obtain, outside two or three o f the chief towns. The style and language o f literary w orks present difficulties to the young or unsophisticated reader. T o meet the need fo r cheap and readable matter a Publications Bureau was opened at Bakht er Ruda in 1946, and transferred in the follow ing year to K har­ toum. In 1948 another was opened in Ju b a fo r the southern provinces. The output o f these Bureaus has been very consider­ able, and has done much to supplement the form al education o f tiie Sudanese. The most successful production o f the original Publications Bureau has been a fortnightly youth magazine, sold through schools and local merchants. Its sales far exceed those o f even the most popular newspapers. Another attempt to maintain literacy is a series o f very simple illustrated story­ books, intended for those who have not even had a fu ll elemen­ tary education. A part from the Publications Bureaus, there is an independent press, which has had a longer history. The rise o f Sudanese nationalism in the thirties, and its intensification in the post­ 201


w ar period, was reflected in an increasing output o f news­ papers, which have been conceived prim arily as vehicles o f political ideas. The oldest o f die daily papers still existing was founded in 1935. Before the army coup d'itat, thirty-five daily and weekly papers were listed in the Directory o f the Republic o f the Sudan. O f diese, five were founded between 1935 and 1945, twenty between 1946 and 1955, and ten since the com ing o f independence. Recent years have also seen the publication o f literary and historical w orks and memoirs. A number o f Sudanese scholars, graduates o f British universities, have pub­ lished w orks in English on topics relating to the Sudan. Girls* education, in the Sudan as in England, got o ff to a much slower start. The comparative lack o f educational oppor­ tunity fo r women in Islam ic countries has been the subject o f frequent criticism by Western Christian observers. M uch o f this criticism has been emotional and superficial; the ascription o f female inferiority to Islam as a religion is in particular a crude over-simplification o f a complex sociological phenomenon. It should also be remembered that in the Sudan, as elsewhere, lack o f form al education has not prevented women from acquiring a dominating position and profound influence in domestic and social life. A t the outset the Sudan Governm ent, conscious o f the dangers arising from interference w ith established social usages, made no provision fo r girls* education. The pioneer w ork was done by individuals outside the official system. Shaykh Babikr Badri, after fighting in the Mahdist wars, had settled down as a merchant at R ufa'a on the Blue N ile. Here the provincial authorities helped him to set up an elementary school for boys, to which he unofficially added a girls* department, at first fo r his own daughters. In 19 10 his girls* school received official recognition, and was in due course followed by others, directly under government auspices. The demand fo r girls* education at a higher level was slow to develop: the first intermediate school was opened in 1938, and the first secondary school in 1949. There are now twenty-three and two intermediate and secondary schools respectively. Some Sudanese parents had fo r years been sending their daughters to the privately established Christian schools. Best known o f these was the Unity H igh 20 2


School, which had grow n out o f a school fo r Coptic (Christian) girls founded in 1902 by the R ev. Llew ellyn H . Gw ynne, later foe Anglican Bishop in E gypt and foe Sudan. A t first this gave prim ary education, but in 1928 it was reorganized as a secondary school. The entry o f women into foe university came with surprising speed. The first was admitted in 1945 : by 1957 there were twenty-five, foe m ajority o f whom lived in a newly-built hostel. In spite o f foe great increase in educational opportunity in foe last two decades, foe Sudanese who have received a form al education in foe Western sense remain a minority. The tradi­ tional khalwas still exist, and fo r many have been foe first rung in foe educational ladder. Some o f foe better ones are sub­ sidized by foe provincial authorities (a practice fo r which there were precedents in foe Turco-Egyptian period) and are known as sub-grade schools. Their teachers are now instructed in foe use o f foe handbooks provided by Bakht er Ruda fo r elemen­ tary schools. M ore recently, a determined attack has been made on the problem o f illiteracy. In 1948 foe Publications Bureau launched foe first mass literacy campaign among adults. There now exists a full-scale department fo r adult education in foe M inistry o f Education, responsible fo r foe organization o f literacy campaigns, the supervision o f boys' clubs, welfare w ork amongst women, and experimental schemes o f village improvement. The preceding review o f education during and after foe Con­ dominium period may give foe impression that foe Sudanese tradition hais become dominated by foe British cultural legacy. This is by no means true. In foe first place, acquaintance w ith foe W estern, and more specifically the British, cultural achieve­ ment, as distinct from mere literacy in English, is possessed only by foe élite w ho have had a secondary or higher education. Secondly, even to the great m ajority o f this élite, foe Western tradition and outlook remain essentially alien: there is a dis­ location between their Muslim, Arab tradition, nurtured from their earliest years by their environment, and appealing to their deepest emotions, and foe academic and technical skills, labo­ riously acquired through the medium o f a foreign language. 20 3


This has produced certain tensions, both in individuals and in Sudanese society as a whole. Generally speaking, die Western-educated student has tended to solve the internal conflict by putting the tw o traditions into separate compart­ ments o f his being, applying the Western attitudes and response to the demands o f his public and official life, and relaxing at other times into more congenial ways o f thought and behaviour. W ithin Sudanese society, the tension takes the form o f lack o f understanding between the generations, a loss o f authority by the older peoples, a tendency fo r the more immature members o f the educated ¿lite to acquire habits o f intellectual arrogance. These are, o f course, not problems peculiar to the Sudan. The difficulty o f reconciling tw o w idely divergent attitudes is paralleled by the conflict between science and religion, which has long beset the West. Misunderstanding between the generations is an ancient social theme. The Sudanese are exceptional only in the rapidity w ith which diese conflicts have come upon them : virtually within the space o f tw o generations, and, to an acute degree, even within the last quarter o f a century. The M uslim , A rab tradition within the Sudan is, m oreover, not an inert residual deposit from the past. It is an active and developing factor, constantly stimulated by the cultural renais­ sance o f the M iddle East, which has now been in progress fo r about a century. A s we have seen above, new elements were added to this aspect o f Sudanese culture during the TurcoEgyptian period, and fresh influences began to pour into die Sudan from the time o f the Reconquest. A clear distinction must always be drawn between the significance o f E gyp t to the Sudan as a political power on the one hand, and as the mediator o f A rab and M uslim culture on the other. The political record o f E gyp t in the Sudan is chequered, and it seems unlikely that the Sudanese w ill ever again w illingly accept Egyptian political control. The cultural influence o f E gyp t has, by con­ trast, been almost w holly beneficent, and the Muslim Sudanese have indeed been fortunate that, while lying on the periphery o f the Islam ic w orld, they have had as their neighbour one o f the greatest centres o f the Faith and, in more recent times, the principal focus o f the A rabic renaissance. Culturally, the 204


position o f E gyp t vis-à-vis the Sudan is not unlike that o f France and the Germ an states in the eighteenth century. The mediation o f Egyptian A rab and M uslim culture to the Sudan goes back to the w ork o f the m issionary teachers o f the Funj period. It entered a second phase w ith the Egyptian and Egyptiantrained *ulama* o f the Turco-Egyptian regime. In its most recent and most successful phase, its most effective agents have been not so much persons, schools or colleges, as the abundant products o f the Egyptian printing presses, Egyptian film s, and the broadcasts o f the Egyptian radio. The independent Sudan is faced w ith a political, a social and a cultural situation each o f great com plexity. The integration o f the north and the south, the harmonious combination o f the educated ¿lite and the unsophisticated tribesmen, the reconcilia­ tion o f the A rab and Western cultural traditions— these are the basic problem s which underlie the external phenomena o f political history. A s in so many other situations in the m odem w orld, time and patience are essential to their solution. A l­ though the political leaders occupy the centre o f the stage, the w ork o f nation-building depends less upon them than upon more obscure figures, die successors o f the past saints and teachers, who since the times o f Ghulamallah al-Rikabi and Dushayn have laboured to kindle die fire o f learning, and bring justice to a vast and remote land.




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NOTES CHAPTER I : THE LAND AN D THE PEOPLE 1. In 1823, the defterdar Muhammad Bey Khusraw was entitled ‘commanderin-chief o f the Sudan and o f Kordofan’. Ten years later, *Ali Khursbid Pasha Was given the title o f ‘governor o f the provinces o f the Sudan*, perhaps the first official usage o f the term in something like its modem sense. The Ottoman sultan’s ftrman to Muhammad ‘A li Pasha in 1841 did not mention the Sudan as such, but recognized him as vassal ruler o f Nubia, D arfur (which had not then been conquered), Kordofan and Sennar ‘with all their dependencies’. 2. Barabra, the plural o f Barban (in English, Berberine) is the name given to the Nubians o f this region. See further, Ch. II, note 3. 3. Habesh, from the Arabic Bilad al-Habasb, ‘the Land o f the Abyssinians’, was the name o f the Ottoman province on the Red Sea corresponding to parts o f the modem Sudanese and Eritrean littoral. The Abyssinian hinterland was never conquered by the Ottomans. See p. 23. 4. Arbaji was an important town from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century. It was visited by Bruce, the Scottish traveller, in 1772, and was devastated by its own ruler in 1783-84. 3. Makk was a title given to the vassal-kings under the suzerainty o f the Funj sultan. 6. John Lewis Burckhardt, a Swiss by birth, visited Shendi in 1814.

CHAPTER H: BEFORE THE TURCO-EGYPTIAN CONQUEST 1. The treaty was known as the baqt, from the Latin pactan. It is o f importance in Muslim law because it fell outside the usual category o f treaties whereby non-Muslims capitulated to Muslims. Here, on the contrary, the terms o f the treaty showed that the Nubians negotiated on equal terms w ith the Muslims. 2. Banu Kanz, i.e. ‘the children o f Kanz*, because the tribal chiefs bote die honorific o f K a q al-Dawla, ‘The Treasure o f the State*. Their modem representatives are the Kunuz in Egyptian Nubia. 3. The root barbar has the sense o f making an incomprehensible noise, and its derivatives were applied by the Arabs in Africa to non-Arabic speakers, e.g. the Berbers in North Africa, and the Berberines (Barabra) o f Lower Nubia. 4. See above, p. 9. The accepted version describes an alliance o f ‘Abdallah Jamma* and the Funj under 'Amara Dunqas (see p. 19), and places the capture o f Suba in 1304-3. This, however, cannot be traced beyond a nineteenth-century chronicle. Other evidence (see p. 29) would suggest that 'Abdallah Jamma' flourished in the second half o f the fifteenth century, and that the taking o f Suba was a purely Arab achievement, anterior to the coming o f the Funj. 2 1}


NO TES 3. Wad is a colloquialism fo r volad, meaning 'son o f . It is the equivalent in Sudanese usage o f the more dignified classical Um. 6. The coexistence o f the ancient free aristocracy and the more recent servile aristocracy was noted by Bruce: 'A t the establishment o f this monarchy, the king, and the whole nation o f Shillook were Pagans. They . . . took the name o f Funge, which they interpret sometimes lords, o r conquerors, and, at other times, free citizens. A ll that can be said w ith certainty o f this term . . . is, that it is applicable to those only that have been bom east o f the Bahar el Abiad. It does not seem to me that they should pride themselves in being free citizens, because the first title o f nobility in this country is that o f slave; indeed there is no o th e r.. . . A ll titles and dignities are undervalued, and pre­ carious, unless they ate in the hands o f one who is a slave. Slavery in Sennaar is the only true nobility.' (¿Travels, VoL v i, pp. 371-2.) The 'Bahar el Abiad’ (al-Babr al-Abyad) is the W hite Nile. 7. O f the Hamaj in the kingdom o f Sennar, the Funj Chronicle (Arabic text, ed. M. Shibeika, Ta'rikb muluk al-Sudan, Khartoum 1947), makes the inter­ esting statement that 'they are a group o f the offspring o f die Arabs who are the progeny o f the Nubians, and alternatively it is said that they are a branch o f die 'Awadiyya Ja'aliyin’. The form er statement suggests that the Hamaj were arabized autochthons; the latter does not really contradict this, since (as has been suggested above, p. 6) the Ja'aliyin ate really arabized Nubians. 8. Bruce, Trovéis, VoL v i, p. 343. 9. Arbab was a tide held by some high Funj notables. 10. Slatin, Fire asidsword m /be Sudan, p. 4a. 11. Browne, Travels, p. 212. 12. Defterdar was the title o f the chief ftw nri«! official in Ottoman Egypt. 13. Maqdumwas the title held by a personal representative o f the sultan o f D arfur who acted as a provincial governor. 14. Dar al-barb and dor al-Islam ('the land o f Islam1) are Muslim legal terms. The form er is used o f territory belonging to non-Muslims who have not been subdued by Islam ; the latter, o f territory in which T«l»mir law is in fu ll force. 13. The Sufis are Muslims who follow systems o f mystical devotion. They ate grouped in a large number o f religious orders, distinguished by varieties o f devotional practice. Members o f these orders are generally referred to in English works as 'dervishes', a term derived from the Turkish form o f a Persian w ord meaning mendicant. The follow ers o f the Sudanese Mahdi were popularly referred to as dervishes, but he rejected the term. 16. There ate four recognized schools o r systems (sometimes misleadingly called 'rites') o f Muslim law, which are followed by the Sunni m ajority o f Muslims. The three which w ill appear in this book are known, after their medieval founders, as the M aliki, Shafi'i and Hanafi schools. Their legal doctrines differ mainly on minor points. The Maliki school is generally followed in North and W est Africa and Upper Egypt, whence it seems to have come to the Sudan. The Shafi'i school is strong in Lower Egypt. The Hanafi school was that officially followed by the jurists o f the Ottoman Empire; hence its doctrines were applied by the courts in Egypt after the Ottoman conquest in 1317. A fter the Tutco-Egyptian conquests in the Sudan, the Hanafi school sim ilarly became official there. It was abrogated during the Mahdia, but restored with the establishment o f the Condominium. So today the Muslim


M O TES judiciary in the Sudan officially follow s the Hanafi school, although foe individual adherence o f moat Sudanese Muslims is to foe Maliki system. 17. Qfldial-adala is usually translated as 'the just judge'; but ‘adala is a technical term in Islamic law, and implies good moral and legal standing. Hence Dushayn may have been remembered as the jurist who familiarised the subjects o f the Funj w ith the concept o f ‘adala. 18. Funj Chronicle, tr. MacMichael, History ofthe Arabs, VoL ii, p. 244.

CHAPTER HI: THE INAUGURATION OF THE TURCO-EGYPTIAN REGIME: 1820-25 1. English, Narrative, 21. 2. Waddington and Hanbury, Journal, 98. 3. The name o f Berber was at this time applied only to the district inhabited by the Mirafab. The complex o f villages on the right bank, the predecessors o f the modem town o f Berber, had no common name. A t the time o f the conquest the village o f Nasr al-Din was the effective capital o f the district. Fifty years earlier, at the time o f Bruce's visit, the capital had been G oos (ol-Qu$, another village in the complex. 4. English, Narrative, 140. 5. This was the two-homed cap (taqtyya ummqamayn) which was the particular symbol o f authority in the Funj state. See above, p. 31. 6. English, Narrative, 159-60. 7. The date (17 Rajab 1136) is given by Jabarti ('*Aj i ° 9 » 121 Gordon Memorial College, 120, 127, 13 1, 132, 140, 133, 194-7 Gordon Memorial College strike (1931)» >37» >9* Gorst, Eldon, 116 Graduates’ General Congress See Congress Greece, 216 Green Flag, 87, 90 Grenfell, 96 Gresham’s Law, 89 Griffiths, V . L ., 199 Gwynn, Llewellyn H., 203 Habesh, 4 ,18 , 23, 213 Hadariba, 23 Hadendowa, 1 1 , 33, 36-37, 39, 84 Hajar al-‘Asal, 18, 20 ,31 Halanqa, 37 al-Halfaya, Halfayat al-Muluk, 12,44 , 46 Hamad, 33-36 Hamad Abu Dunana, 28-29 Hamad ibn Muhammad alMajdhub, 31 Hamaj, 22-23, 36,45,46,214

Hamdan Abu ‘Anja, 81, 92, 9495 » 97 » ” 4 Hamitic, 10 Hammada, 34,36 Hanafi school o f law, 119 , 2 14 215 Hanbury, Barnard, 38 Hanna al-Tawil, 43 Hannak, 24 Hannakab, 39 Hasan Bashir Nasr, 18 1, 186 Hasan ibn Hassuna, 31 Hasan K asb ij38 al-Hasan al-Mirghani, 32 Hasan wad Rajab, 23,40,42,44, 45 Hashim, 26 Helm, Knox, 167 Hicks, William, 83, 84 High Dam, 176, 187 Hijaz, The, 9, 38,192 Hill, R. L ., 213. See also die Bibliography Holy Law, 28,29, 79, 8 8 ,119 Holy War, 92,93,94,95,106 House o f Commons, 13 1,13 3 House o f Représentatives, 163, 167 Howe, Robert, 13 2 ,16 7 Huddleston, Hubert, 124, 142, 146 Hufrat al-Nahas, 60 Hukumdar; meaning, 33 Husayn Kasbij\ 38 al-Husayn Ibrahim wad alZahra, 217 Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani, *9 Ibn Janbalan, 24 Ibn Khaldun, 18, 28 Ibrahim, 43,49


Ibrahim ‘Abbild, 181-6 Ibrahim Ahmad, 142, 174 Ibrahim al-Bulad, 29, 30 Ibrahim Ja'al, 6 Ibrahim Muhammad, 68, 80 Ibrahim Muhammad ‘Adlan, 99 Ibrim, 24 *Ibud, 43 Idris wad ‘Adlan, 51 Idris ibn Arbab, 19-20,29,30 India, 199 Infantry School, 1 8 6 Institute o f Education. See Bakht er Ruda Iraq, 1 7 J Irrigation, 12 2 ,13 4 -6 ,17 8 , 188 Ishaq, 26-27 Islam, 20, 28-32, 79, 83, 87, 88, 9 2» 95 » *44 » 148» 19*» *93 » 202 Isma‘il (Funj King), 22 Isma'il (Khedive), 8, 44, 38, 60, 62-72, 76, 1 14, 12 1, 193, 2I7 Isma'il al-Azhari. See Azhati; Isma'il alIsma'il Kamil, 23, 38-44,43,47, 216 Israel, 173 Istanbul, 23 Italy, Italians, 4, 93, 102, 103, 10 9 ,114 ,14 2 Ivory, 6 1, 64 Ja'ali Group, 6-8 Ja'aliyin, 7, 13, 20, 3 1, 39, 40, 44 - 46 , 49, 33, 79, 90, 104, 214 Jabal al-Dayir, 4 2 ,114 Jabal Dayqa, 39 Jabal Ibn ‘Aw f, 39 Jabal Kasala. See Kasala

Jabal Marta, 10, 94 Jabal Shaybun, 60 Jabal Surkab, 104 Jabarti, 213 Jabir, Sons of, 29 Ja'far Mazhar, 66, 67 Jallaba, 8, 70, 79 Jamal ‘Abd al-Nasir. See Nasser Jawabira, 24 Jawish, 39,40, 216 al-Jazuli, 28 Jedda, 23 Jew s, 215 Jibadiyya, 47, 49, 52, 8 i, 82, 83, 9 0 , IO I

al-Jirayf, 45 John IV , 69, 95 Juba, 133, 201 Juhayna, 6, 8-10, 17, 18 Kababish, 9, 42 Kal'ejis, 24, 38 al-Kamlin, 44 Kanbal, 36, 216 Kanfu, 33-34, 216 Karari, 44, 104-3, 112 Karkuj, 19 Kasala, 57-38, 72, 93, 102, 103, 1 14 ,13 6 ,14 2 , 218 Kasbif; meaning, 24 Kassala Cotton Company, 136 al-Kawwa, 29 Kayra, 8, 25-28 Kenya, 188 Keren, 142 Khalid ibn al-Walid, 1 1 Khalifa, The, 10, 2 1, 77, 80, 81, 87, 88, 89, 90-106, n o , 112 - 13 , 114 , 113 , “ 6, ” 7» 12 2 ,12 3 ,13 3 ,19 2 ,2 17 ,2 18 Khalifat al-Faruq, 87 Khalifat al-Karrar, 87

2 35

iN b fc *

Khalifat al-Mahdi, 91 Khalifat al-Siddiq, 87 Khalil ibn Ishaq, 29 Kbahva, 19 1, 203, 219 Khalwatiyya order, 31-32 Kharja Oasis, 13 Khartoum, 4 , 5»9 » 3 *» 44 . 45 »47 » 49 » 5 *» 5*» 55» 54, 57» 5*. 39,60,61,64,63,66,72,81, 82, 84, 85-86, 89, 93, 95, 1 1 5 , 1 1 6 ,1 1 7 ,1 1 9 ,1 2 0 ,1 2 1 , 12 8 ,12 9 ,13 1 , 14 7,14 9 ,157, 165-6, 173, 176, 18 1, 183, 18 6 ,19 4 ,19 8 ,19 9 ,2 0 1,2 15, 216, 218, 219 Khartoum North, 46, 120

Khartoum University Act (ifjf), *97 Khartoumers, 64 Khatmiyya order, 32, 144-6, 1 5 7 ,1 6 0 - 1 ,1 7 1 ,1 7 3 ,1 7 4 al-Khatmiyya, 57 Kipling, 217 Kitchener, Lord, 7 1,10 3 -5 ,10 9 , 1 1 2 , 1 16 ,118 ,12 0 ,12 2 ,12 9 , 217 Kitchener School o f Medicine, * 3 *. *97 Kodok. See Fashoda Koran, 28, 3 0 ,19 1, 219 Kordofan, 8, 9, 10, 1 1 , 13, 2 122, 26-27, 28, 38, 42, 43, 45 » 46, 49 » 50, 54, 59» &>» 6 1, 67, 68, 70, 75, 77, 78, 80-81, 83, 85, 86, 92, 93, 95 » 9 8» * ° 5, ***, ** 3» ** 4 » 178, 213, 213, 218 Kosti, 12 1 Kubayh, 1 2 ,1 3 Kunuz, 213 Kurd, 12,39 ,42 Kurusku, i i , 13

Kwara, 53 Labour movement, 156-8 Lado, 68, 114 , 115 Lebanese, 117 Lebanon, 5 Legislative Assembly, 15 2-4, 15 5 ,15 7 ,16 0 ,16 1,16 3 ,16 4 , 163 Leigh Hunt, S. J., 122 Leopold II, 102, 1 14, 15 1 Lepsius, 216 Liberal Party, 177 Local government, 139

Local Government Ordinance (W A *39 London, n o , 117 ,13 0 , 145 London University, 197 al-Luhayya, 28 Lupton, F. M., 83-84 MacMichael, H. A ., 215. See also the Bibliography Magdala, 216 Maghribis, 37 Mahas, 6, 8 Mahdi, The, 64, 75, 76-89, 90, 91, 92, 94, 95, 98, 99, 100, 10 1, 105, 106, 1 12, X13, 114 , 116 , 144, 145, 192, 214, 216, 217, 219 Mahdia, 5 ,10 ,6 9 ,12 1,13 3 ,14 4 , 14 8 ,17 1,19 2 ,19 3 , 214 Mahdist revolution, 3 5 ,4 1 ,1 1 3 , **5 Mahdist state, 72, 73-106, 109, 14 3 ,17 1, 187 Mahmud II, 2x6 Mahmud Ahmad, 94,104 Mahmud al-‘Araki, 29 Mahu Bey, 43,46,48-49,50,55, 60



Majadhib, 20, 3 1, 192 Makdur, 46 Makererc College, 153 Makk\ meaning, 213 Makuria, 16 Maliki school o f law, 29, 214 «5 Mamluks, 24, 33-36, 38, 39, 40,


Manaqil extension, 178 Manasir, 7 Manawashi, 68 Monjil, manjilak; meaning, 19 Maqbul al-Amin al-Hajj, 183 Maqdum\ meaning, 214 al-Maqurra, 16, 17, 18 Malawi, 38, 39 Marchand, 103, n o Massawa, 4, 14, 23, 38, 69, 93,

95» ” 4

Mecca, 3 1, 32 Medina, 32, 217 Menelik U, 102, 103, 114 Messedaglia, 70 Metemma, 40,46, 7 1, 104 Middle East, 17 6 ,17 7 ,18 1, 204 Military School, 12 8 ,13 1 Mirafab, 7, 20, 36, 213 Mirghani family, 37, 144 Mirghani Hamaa, 16 1, 172-3,


Mirghaniyya. See Khatmiyya Missionaries, 3, x i, 149,178-9 Mixed Tribunals, n o , i n , 217 Montgomery, 142 Morocco, 28, 32, 67 M u'aliim; meaning, 213 Muhammad. See Prophet, The Muhammad ibn *Abd alWahhab, 78 Muhammad Abu Likaylik, 2 122, 23, 26

Muhammad wad ‘Adlan, 23,40.

4*» 51

Muhammad Ahmad ibn Ab­ dallah. See Mahdi, The Muhammad Ahmad Mahjub,


Muhammad *Ali, 3, 13, 17, 23, *7» 5Î-6 i » 62, 63, 64, 68, 7 6 ,10 9 ,19 1,19 4 , 213, 216 Muhammad al-Asyuti, 44 Muhammad wad Dafa'allah, 37, 216 Muhammad Din, 33,37 Muhammad Fadl, 27, 42 Muhammad al-Hilali, 67 Muhammad Ila, 37 Muhammad ibn ‘Isa Suwar alDhahab, 30 Muhammad Khalid Zuqal, 83, 88, 91-92, 93, 99,100, 218 Muhammad Khusraw. See Defterdar, The Muhammad Kurra, 27 Muhammad al-Mahdi al-Sanusi,

«7» 95

Muhammad al-Majdhub, 3 1, 32 Muhammad Najib. See Neguib Muhammad Nur al-Din, 16 1,

>75» >74

Muhammad Ra'uf, 70, 76, 78, 80 Muhammad Sa'id Efendi, 38,

45» 44» 45» 47

Muhammad Sa‘id (Viceroy), 3960, 6 1, 63, 64, 7 1,19 4 Muhammad Sa‘id Pasha, 81 Muhammad Sharif ibn Hamid, 87» 9°-9>» 99~IO°* 1 12 -13 Muhammad Tal‘at Farid, 184, 186 Muhammad Tawfiq, 62, 76, 82, 96



Muhammad Tayxab, 26-27 Muhammad ibn Tumart, 78 Muhammad ‘Uthman al-Mirghani, 32 Muhyi al-Din Ahmad *Abdallah,

184—6 al-Mukhtasar, 29 Mulazimiyya, 100-101 Munzinger, 69 al-Murrat, 13 Musa Hamdi, 59, 64-65 Musabba'at, 2 1, 26 al-Musa‘id, 40, 45, 46 Musallim, 28,42 Mushu, 12 Muslim Brotherhood, 166, 183, 2Ï9 Mustafa al-Nahhas, 14 7 ,15 4 Nabtab, 8 Napier, Robert, 216 Nasir, 23 Nasir wad al-Amin, 40,45 Nasr al-Din, 36,40, 213 Nasra bint ‘Adlan, 2x6 Nasser, 16), 166, 174, 176, 18 1, 182 al-Nasub, 46 National Front, 16 1,17 3 National Unionist Party (NUP), 16 1,16 3 -4 ,16 5 ,16 6 ,17 2 -4 , 17 7 ,18 1 Nationalism, nationalists Egyptian, 125-8 Sudanese, 128-9, 1 3I> x3®»

f39—58,163,171,180, 20X

‘Native administration*, 133-4,

*39» x6x

Neguib, 160, i 6 j , 166 Newbold, Douglas, 142-3, 146, 150 Newspapers, 201-2

Nigeria, 218 Nile, 4,6, 7, 8 ,9 ,10 , i i , 1 2 ,1 3 , 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 27, 31, 36 ,38 ,39» 4°» 4*» 44» 46,47» 52, 60, 63, 64, 66, 67, 87, 92, 96, 97, 103, 104, 1 10, 12 0 ,12 6 ,14 2 ,17 3 ,17 6 ,2 15 , 217 Blue Nile, 3 ,4 ,8 ,9 ,12 ,16 ,19 , 29, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 49, 3x -5 2 ,5 3 ,8 2 ,113 ,12 0 ,12 2 , 156, 202, 218 Upper Nile, 63, 64, 66, 67,

102-3, no, X14,121,218 ¿ White Nile, 3» 4» 3»$» 8, 9 , 11, 13» x*. x9» *°» *x» **» *9»

32 ,4 0 ,4 3,4 7,33,59 ,6 1,6 3, 65,72,76,78,79,82,83,86, 100, 1 1 4 ,1 2 1 , 199, 214 Nile Projects Commission (1920), 133 Nile Valley, unity o f the, 128, 14 3 ,15 3 ,16 0 ,16 6 Nile Waters Agreement (1929),

130» XÎ 5» x4o, 176

Nile Waters Agreement (1959), 187-8 Nimr, 13 , 38,40,44-46 Nimule, 4 Nkrumah, Kwame, 175 Nobadia, 16 Northern Province, 218 Nuba, i i , 2 1, 4 2 ,1 14 Nuba Mountains, 8, 1 1 , 20, 43, 60, II4 , I2X, 201 Nubia, Nubians, 3, 6-8, xx, 13 , 16 -18 ,20 ,2 3-25,2 8 ,33,38 , 96,103, 213, 214 Nubian Desert, 1 1 , 1 3 , 1 0 4 Nubar, 60 Nuer, X14 Nuri, 124



Nyala, 178

Publications Bureau, 201, 203

Omdurman, 46, 49, 50, 72, 84, 86,89,90,91,92,93,94,9J, 97 » 9 8» 99 » 1 0 1 , I02» io4 “ J» I06, II3 , 116, I28, I45, I J 2 , i8x, 18 6 ,19 ;, 215, 216,218 Ordu See Dongola, New Osman Digna, 217. See also 'Uthman Diqna Osmanlis, 24 Ottoman, Empire, 2 1,3 0 ,3 7 ,6 1, 123, 214 Ottoman subjects, Ottomans, 3, 39 » *2» ^J» 125» H J, « 3 Ottoman Sudan, 23-23 Ottoman sultan, 27, 33, 38, 42, 38, n o - 1 1 , 213, 217 Oxford, 196 Özdemir, 23-23, 33

Qadarif, The, 9,47,4 9 ,34 jQadi al-adala, 29, 213 Qadi al-Islamt 88,192, 217 Qadir, 78, 80, 81 Qadiriyya order, 30 Qallabat, The, 13, 32, 34 Qansuh al-Ghawri, 23 Qarri, 1 2 ,1 3 , 18 ,19 Qubbat Khujali, 46, 49 Quz Rajab, 13 ,3 3 ,3 7

Palestine, 123 Paris, n o , 193 Parliament, Egyptian, 134 Parliament, Sudanese, 134, 162, 163, 163-6, 167, 173, 177, 17 8 ,18 2 People’s Democratic Party (PDP), 17 4 ,17 7 ,17 8 ,18 1 Petherick, John, 213 Platt, 142 Political Service, 117 , 142, 150, 164,196 Port Sudan, 12 0 -1,13 6 Portuguese, 23

Power of Nomad Sheikhs Ordi­ nance (/yaa), 132-3 Powers ofSheikhs Ordinance {1917) *34 Prophet, The, 6, 28,77, 87,144, 2J7 Prophet Jesus, 9 4 ,113

Rabi'a, 17 Rahad, 46 Railways, 39, 7 1, 12 0 -1, 136, 136 ,178 Rajab wad Bashir al-Ghul, 34 Red Hag, 87,90 Red Sea, 3 ,4 ,1 2 ,1 8 , 23, 28, 33, 58, 69, 72, 84, 85, 102, X20, 136 ,176 , 213, 218 Red Sea Hüls, 3 ,4 ,10 , 8 4 ,113 Rejaf, 102, 218 Republic o f the Sudan, 3, 4, 6, 146,168,169-88, 218 Republican Independence Party, *7 * Rifa'a Rafi* al-Tahtawi, 39,194 Rikabiyya, 28 al-PJsalat 29 Rizayqat, 10,68,79, 80, 83 Robertson, James, 133 Rosetta, 10 4 ,113 Rubatab, 7 Rufa‘a tribe, 8-9 town, 9, 202 al-Rusayris, 33 Sabaluqa Gorge, 3, 7, 12 Sabderat, 46, 33



Sa'd R ifat, 93 Sa'd Zaghlul, 12 5 ,12 9 ,14 7 Sa‘dab, 7, 14, 20, 40 Sahara Desert, 3 Saladin, 17 Salim, 42 Salim I, 23 Salim Qabudan, 63 Salima Oasis, 12 13 Salisbury, Lord, 103 al-Sammani, 32 Sanderson, G . N ., 217 Sanusiyya order, 87, 93 Say, 24, 38 Schools Elementary, 119-20,198-200, 202 Higher, 197, 200 Intermediate, 120, 141, 200201, 202 Secondary, 196-7,200,202,203 Sub-grade, 203 Scott, G. G , 196-7 Security Council, 13 2 ,17 6 Self-determination, 13 1,13 9 -6 0 , 16 2 ,16 4 ,16 7 Self-government, 1 3 1 ,1 3 3 ,1 3 9 16 0 ,16 2 ,17 3 ,18 0

Self-Government Stattete (ifjst), 13 4 ,16 0 ,16 2 Senate, Egyptian, 132 Senate, Sudanese, 163, 167 Sennar, 3, 9, 12, 13 , 14, 18, 19, 22, 23, 26, 32, 40-41, 42, 43 » 44 » 43 » 49 » 3«, 31» 34» 6 1,7 2 ,8 2 ,9 3 ,112 ,12 1,13 6 , 192, 213, 214 Sennar Dam, 12 2 ,13 3 Shabb, 13 Shadhiliyya order, 28, 31 Shafi'i school o f law, 30,214 Sharqiyya, The, 216

Shaykan, 83, 84 Shayqiyya, 7, 8, 12, 20, 29, 30, 36» 39» 40 » 4 1 » 43 » 45 » 47 »

50» 55-56,64

Shendi, 13,14 ,20 ,39 ,4 0 ,4 4 ,4 6 , 33, 201, 213, 215 Shibeika, Mekki, 213. See also the Bibliography Shilluk, 3, 6, 13, 19, 20, 29, 33, 63, 63, n o al-Shukkaba, 112 , 143 Shukriyya, 9 ,13 ,4 7 ,3 6 , 60 Shuqayr, Na'um, 1x7, 213 Siddiq al-Mahdi, 146 Sidqi, 13 1 Sinja, 113 Sinkat, 84 Slatin, Rudolf von, 8 3,10 0 ,10 2, 116 Slave army, slave troops, 2 1, 26, 43, 60. See also Jtbadiyya Slave-trade, 36, 59-60, 62-68, 70, 79, 12 1-2 , 148 Slave Trade Convention (1877), 69 Slaves, 10 ,14 , 20, 2 6 ,4 3,44» 47» 53,60,69,216 Sobat, 4, 33 Socialist Republican Party, 16 116 2,16 3 Somaliland, 114 South African War, 112 Southern Sudan, 5-6 in die Condominium period, 14 7 -3 0 ,13 2 -3 ,15 4 ,16 2 Revolt o f 1935,166-7, *73 Republic and die South, 177, 178-9,188 Soviet bloc, 174 Spain, 78 Stack, Lee, 117 , 124, 125, 129, >3 *»I 3 t~ 3. *34



Stanley, H. M., 102 Steamers, 72, n o , 12 1 Suakin, 3, 12, i j , 14, 23-23, 31, j 8, 69, 7 1, 72, 84, 86, 97, 99, 102, 12 1, 217 Suba, 16 ,18 , 22, 213 Subayr, 39 Sudan G v il Service, 117 Sudan Defence Force, 130, 153, i 6 j , 167 Sudan Government, n a , 113 , 114 , i l ) , 116 ,1 18 , ira , 123, 13 0 ,13 2 ,13 3 ,13 6 ,13 7 ,14 1, 14 3 ,14 4 ,14 5 ,14 7 ,14 8 ,15 0 , 152, i)6 -8 , 160, 17), 193, 202, 217-8

Sudan Mohammedan La,w Courts Ordinance (if 02), 119 Sudan Mohammedan Law Courts Organisation and Procedure Regulations (/?//), 119 Sudan Plantations Syndicate, 12 2 ,13 4 -6 ,133 Sudan Railway Workers' Union, l J 7> Sudan Workers' Trade Union Federation, 137-8 ,18 3 Sudanese United Tribes Society, 128 Sudanization, 15 1,13 5 ,16 4 - 3 Sudanization Committee, 164-3 Sudd (Sadd)t 4 ,1 1 4 Suez Canal Zone, 139 Suez Incident (1936), 176 Sufis, Sufi orders, 28-32, 77, 84, 8 8 ,19 1, 214, 219 Sukkut, 6 Sulayman die Magnificent, 23 Sulayman Janbulad, 24 Sulayman Solong, 26 Sulayman wad al-Zubayr, 69,70 Supreme Commission, 167

Supreme Council o f die Armed Forces, 18 2 ,18 3-6 ,18 7 Suq Abu Sinn, 9 Surayba, 216 Surgham, 217 See Jabal Surkab Suwayna, 13 Symes, Stewart, 117 Syria, 32, 216 Ta'aisha, 10, 77, 81, 92, 97-98, 99,100, IOI al-Tahir al-Tayyib al-Majdhub, 84 Taj al-Din al-Bahari, 30 Taka, The, 1 1 ,1 3 ,3 3 ,3 6 ,3 9 Takadr, Takama, 14 -13 ,3 2 Taqali, 8, n , 20 Taqiyya umm qamayn, 3 1,2 13 Taylor, Bayard, 59, 216 Telegraph system, 72, 12 1 Theobald, A. B., 218. See also die Bibliography Theodore, 216 al-Tilimsani al-Maghribi, 30 Hemcen, 30 Tokar, 1 1 , 7 1, 84,102 Toski, 217. See Tushki Trade Union Ordinance (¿948), 137 Trade unions, 136 -7,18 3 Transitional Constitution, 167, 182 Triple Alliance^ 103 Turan Shah, 17 Turkey, 193 Turks, 24, 37, 79 Tushki, 96, 97, 99 Tuti, 46 ‘Ubaydallah, 78 Uganda, 66, 114 , 115 , 130, 133, 188 ‘Ulama’, 30,38,192,193,194,203


‘Umar, 87, 217 al-‘Umari, 17 Umm Diwaykarat, 113 Umm ‘Uruq, 46, 47, 215 Umma Party, 14 4 -6 ,15 1-3 ,13 9 , 160-,3 173, 174, 177» i*» Unesco, 193 United Arab Republic (UAR), 17 8 ,18 2 ,18 3 ,18 7 United Front, 138 United Kingdom, i n United Nations Organization (UNO), 15 2 ,13 9 ,17 5 ,17 6 Unity High School, 202-3 University College o f Khar­ toum, 197 University College o f die SouthWest, 198 University o f Khartoum, 198, 203 ‘ Urabi, 62,76, 83,193, 216 al-‘Urdi. See Dongola, New USA, 174, 177, 217 ‘Uthman, 87, 93 ‘Uthman Adam Janu, 93-94,97,

Wad Kaltabu, 34 Wad Medani, 44,45,46,47, 34, 3 6 ,1 12 ,12 2 , 216 Wadai, 8 ,14 , 26, 113 ,12 3 Wadi Haifa, 13 , 39, 7 1, 72, 93, 9 6 ,10 3 ,10 4 ,113 ,18 7 Waddington, George, 38 Wafd, 126 ,14 7 Wahhabi movement, Wah­ habis, 3 1, 32, 78 Wau, 178 White Flag League, 128 Wingate, Reginald, 112 , 116 , 117 ,12 0 ,12 2 ,12 4 ,12 3 ,13 0 ,

*34» I4J

Workers' Affairs Association (WAA), 136-7 Workers' Congress, 137 World War First, 123-4, 134, 136, 142, 148 Second, 130, 139, 142, 195, 196,198

Ya*qub, 92, 9 9 ,10 1, 105 Yemen, The, 14, 23, 28 9* ‘Uthman die Circassian, 47-48, Young Turks, 124 Yunus al-Dikaym, 91, 94, 96, 49 ‘Uthman Diqna, 7 1, 84, 88, 92, 99» 218 97» 99» IO*» I04» iia - 13 » Yusuf Ibrahim, 93 120 ‘Uthman Shaykh al-Din, 101, Zaghlul, Sa*d. See Sa*d Zaghlul al-Zahir Baybars. See Baybars i 12 -13 al-Zaki Tamal, 9 3 ,9 7 ,10 0 ,101 Zaribas, 64, 66, 67 Victoria, 96 Zayla, 23 al-Zubayr ibn al-‘Awwam, 1 1 Wad *Ajib, 20,45,46 Wad Habuba. See *Abd al­ al-Zubayr Rahma Mansur, 8,67, u d ir Muhammad Imam 68, 69, 77, 79, 83