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Sudan

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Posital
572725.  Sun Jun 21, 2009 2:54 pm Reply with quote

The Sudan national football team is nicknamed Sokoor Al-Jediane (Desert Hawks).

 
Sadurian Mike
572747.  Sun Jun 21, 2009 3:46 pm Reply with quote

The Anglo-Sudan War of 1881-1889 was one of those colonial wars that really could have been avoided at several stages.

It all started when the Egyptians (under Muhammad Ali, ho ho) invaded the Sudan in 1819 as part of a wider move to unify and strengthen Egypt. The Sudanese were not awfully happy about this and never really knuckled down as they were supposed to. Revolt and rebellion were always bubbling, and the difficulties of administering such a huge and sparsely populated country with a small and poorly-trained army meant that the Egyptians never really took full control.

In the late 1870s, a Muslim preacher called Muhammad Ahmed began stirring up trouble by advocating liberation and a renewal of hardline Islam within the Sudan. Given that the Sudanese people had been subjected to harsh taxes, oppressive policing, and a ban on their lucrative slave trade by the Egyptian governor, Raouf Pasha, it is unsurprising that Muhammad Ahmed's popularity grew.

In 1881 Muhammad Ahmed declared himself the Mahdi, a religious leader who would save the people of Islam and prepare the way for the second coming of the prophet Isa (a chap sometimes called Jesus). This was too much for the Egyptian governor who sent a small expedition to arrest Muhammad Ahmed at his village.

Unfortunately, the expedition was split into two companies and each company leader had been promised great rewards if his company was the one to actually bring the Mahdi in. Inevitably, each company acted on its own and the two ended up attacking the village from opposite sides and firing on the company coming in from the other side. In the confusion, the Mahdi escaped. A later expedition to arrest him led to the Egyptians being wiped out in a dawn ambush by the Mahdi's followers who were armed with little more than sticks and a few tools. The weapons captured, however, gave the growing revolt a vastly improved chance of success.

Britain's involvement came about because Egypt was heavily in debt to Europe and was struggling to repay her loans. A military uprising forced Khedive Tewfiq out of power and the British and French moved to protect their financial interest by sending a military expedition to reinstate him. In an (somewhat forced) agreeement with the Egyptian Khedive, the British then took on a sort of power-sharing in Egypt which was intended to keep the country on a financially level footing while she repaid her debts.

The Mahdi's revolt, meanwhile, was a major drain on Egypt's resources and threatened her stability. Britain "advised" the Egyptians to withdraw from the Sudan. This could have been potentially disastrous had it led to populist uprisings and massacres. The Egyptian therefore requested that a British governor oversee the withdrawal and so came about the famous garrison at Khartoum which was headed by the British General "Chinese" Gordon but consisted of Egyptian troops.

On January 25 1885, Khartoum fell by siege to the Mahdist forces, the British relief forces arriving just too late, and Gordon and the garrison were massacred.

This was the spark that led to a full-scale British expedition several years later, ostensibly to reinstate Egyptian control but most historians agree that the main aim was simple revenge on the Mahdi. A long campaign followed and culminated in the battle of Omdurman which finally crushed the Mahdi's forces (often known as the Dervishers) and Britain continued to dominate the Sudan until 1956.

Edited for spelling....


Last edited by Sadurian Mike on Sun Jun 21, 2009 4:16 pm; edited 1 time in total

 
samivel
572751.  Sun Jun 21, 2009 3:52 pm Reply with quote

Another great QI post, Mike. Just one small thing - it's Mahdi, not Madhi.

 
Sadurian Mike
572760.  Sun Jun 21, 2009 4:09 pm Reply with quote

Infidel.

;o)

 
Sadurian Mike
573282.  Mon Jun 22, 2009 5:54 pm Reply with quote



During the Battle of Omdurman (2nd September 1898), the 400-strong British 21st Lancers charged what they thought was a small scattering of Mahdi dervishes, only to find that the small band was backed up by 2 500 dervishes in a slight depression behind them.

The resulting fight was fierce but the lancers managed to drive the dervishes off for the loss of 70 men and 120 horses. In the process, the 21st Lancers won three Victoria Crosses.

Accompanying the lancers that day was a young British officer, acting as War Correspondent, by the name of Winston Churchill.

 
Ian Dunn
809344.  Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:35 am Reply with quote

Just a quick question - when South Sudan secedes from the rest of Sudan, will what remains of Sudan contain most of the River Nile or will it be another country?

 
Ainee
809347.  Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:04 am Reply with quote

My Russian friend Ludmilla was living in Khartoum in the 1980s to 90s, married a Sudanese Academic, who was arrested and murdered for publishing critiques of the Government, and she and their son had to flee back to Russia.

I never quite understood what the Russians were doing in Sudan: what was all that about, please?

 
suze
809374.  Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:22 am Reply with quote

Ian Dunn wrote:
Just a quick question - when South Sudan secedes from the rest of Sudan, will what remains of Sudan contain most of the River Nile or will it be another country?


Much of the White Nile will pass to the new nation of Southern Sudan. But part of the White Nile, most of the Blue Nile, and the Nile proper north of Khartum will be in the remaining Sudan.

 
CB27
809389.  Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:10 am Reply with quote

Ainee wrote:
I never quite understood what the Russians were doing in Sudan: what was all that about, please?

Prior to 1990 the cold war meant the Soviets and the US supported opposite sides in various conflicts. In the case of Sudan, the civil wars after the 1989 coup allowed post Soviet Russia to profit from selling arms and materials to the army, while the West and in particular Israel supplied the rebel South (Israel have had links to South Sudan since 1950s).

 
hassan el kebir
809452.  Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:02 pm Reply with quote

There's loads of pyramids in Sudan, too. I want to go there

 
CB27
809457.  Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:37 pm Reply with quote

People forget that Upper Egypt encompassed some of Sudan.

 
Ainee
809513.  Mon Apr 25, 2011 6:41 pm Reply with quote

hassan el kebir wrote:
There's loads of pyramids in Sudan, too. I want to go there


I think there may actually be MORE pyramids in Sudan than in Egypt, but not quite so big.

 
Zebra57
974589.  Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:43 am Reply with quote

The centre of Khartoum was rebuilt under the direction of an Anglo-Egyptian administration. The centre had been largely destroyed by Kitchener's Army and in 1885 and a new street plan of interlocking streets in the shape of a Union Jack was adopted, resulting in today's traffic gridlock.

 
Ian Dunn
974644.  Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:34 am Reply with quote

Zebra57 wrote:
The centre of Khartoum was rebuilt under the direction of an Anglo-Egyptian administration. The centre had been largely destroyed by Kitchener's Army and in 1885 and a new street plan of interlocking streets in the shape of a Union Jack was adopted, resulting in today's traffic gridlock.


Sounds like someone was watching Pointless last night.

 
Zebra57
974816.  Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:24 pm Reply with quote

I was and the answer begged some research (and Sudan is a sovereign country and a full member of the UN).

 

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