The Southern Sudan, 1883-1898: A Struggle for Control

The Southern Sudan, 1883-1898: A Struggle for Control

The Southern Sudan, 1883-1898: A Struggle for Control

The Southern Sudan, 1883-1898: A Struggle for Control

Excerpt

The land stretching southward from the second cataract of the Nile at twenty-two degrees north latitude to Lake Albert near the equator is known as the Sudan. In its full sense the term embraces the Bilād as-Sūdān, "land of the Blacks," of the medieval Muslim geographers, which extended across Africa from the Red Sea to the Atlantic, between Arab and African cultures. From that name the modern "Sudan" is derived. In the following pages it is used in the restricted sense of the Sudanese territories acquired by Egypt in the nineteenth century, which now constitute the Republic of the Sudan.

The Sudan is a vast country open in the north to the expansive wastes of the Libyan and Nubian deserts but confined in the central and southern provinces by the Red Sea and Abyssinia to the east, the Great Lakes of Central Africa to the south, and the massif of Jabal Marra to the west. The rivers and streams of the Sudan, all a part of the Nile River system, play a preponderant role in Sudanese life, while the amount of rainfall governs conditions in the enormous areas beyond the reach of the rivers.

The Nile, of course, is the dominant physical feature. It has two major sources. The first and most important is the Blue Nile, which emerges from Lake Tana and flows northward through the Abyssinian Highlands to the plains of the Sudan. It is the Blue . . .

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