The resignation of the Gladstone-Granville cabinet further precluded the projected Italian occupation of Suakin, and the Italians, wisely refraining from an independent attempt to succour Kassala, then besieged by the Mahdists, bent their efforts to the increase of their zone of occupation around Massawa.
General Baratieri, upon returning to the colony, decided to execute a coup de main against the dervish base at Kassala, both in order to relieve pressure from that quarter and to preclude a combined Abyssiefian and clcrvish attack upon the colony at the end of 1894.
The protocol concluded with Great Britain on the 15th of April 1891, already referred to, contained a clause to the effect that, were Kassala occupied by the Italians, the place should be transferred to the Egyptian government as soon as the latter should be In a position.
Concentrating a little army of 2600 men, Baratieri surprised and captured Kassala on.
Colonel Stevani with four native battalions to relieve, cnt, C Kassala, then hard pressed by the Mahdists.
Kassala was relieved on the 1st of April, and Stevani a few days later severely defeated the dervishes at Jebel Mokram and Tucruff.
Returning from Kassala Colon.el Stevani rejoined Baldissera, who on the 4th of May relieved Adigrat after a well-executed march.
Eritrea has now approximately the same extent as before the revolt of Bath-Agos, except in regard (I) to Kassala, which was transferred to the Anglo-Egyptian authorities on the 25th of December 1897, lfl pursuance of the above-mentioned Anglo-Italian convention; and (2) to slight rectifications of its northern and eastern boundaries by conventions concluded between the Eritrean and the Anglo-Egyptian authorities.
KASSALA, a town and mudiria of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan.
High, jebels Mokram and Kassala, rise abruptly from the plain some 3 m.
These mountains and the numerous gardens Kassala contains give to the place a picturesque appearance.
Kassala was founded by the Egyptians in 1840 as a fortified post from which to control their newly conquered territory near the Abyssinian frontier.
Kassala was captured from the dervishes by an Italian force under Colonel Baratieri on the 17th of July 1894 and by the Italians was handed over on Christmas day 1897 to Egypt.
Kassala mudiria contains some of the most fertile land in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan.
On the 26th of December 1897 the Italian troops handed over Kassala to Colonel Parsons, RA.
- Sennar, Kassala and Dongola are quite safe for the present.
The withdrawal of the Suakin force began on the 17th of May, and the friendly tribes, deprived of support, were compelled to make terms with Osman Digna, who was soon able to turn his attention to Kassala, which capitulated in August, nearly at the same time as Sennar.
Unfortunately famine compelled the garrison of Kassala to capitulate on the 3oth of July of that year, and Osman Digna hurried there from Tamai to raise a force with which to meet the Abyssinian general, Ras Alula, who was preparing for its relief.
Instead of marching on to Kassala, Ras Alula, who at this time was much offended by the transfer of Massawa by the Egyptians to Italy, made a triumphant entry into Asmara, and absolutely refused to make any further efforts to extricate Egyptian garrisons from the grip of the khalifa.
Meanwhile Osman Digna, who had fled from Kufit to Kassala, wreaked his vengeance upon the unhappy captives at Kassala.
In the spring of 1891 an agreement was made between England and Italy by which the Italian forces in Eritrea were at liberty, if they were able, to capture and occupy Kassala, which lay close to the western.
Ahmed Alis force was completely routed and himself killed, and in the following July Colonel Baratieri, with 2500 men, made a fine forced march from Agordat, surprised and captured Kassala on the I7th of that month, and continued to hold it for three years and a half.
In the me~ntime the advance to Akasha had already relieved the pressure at Kassala, Osman Digna having withdrawn a considerable force from the investing army and proceeded with it to Suakin.
The forces of the khalifa remaining quiet, the sirdar visited Kassala and negotiated with the Italian General Caneva for its restoration to Egypt.
On his return from Kassala to Berber the sirdar received information of an intended advance of the khalifa northward.
In the meantime Colonel Parsons marched with 1400 men from Kassala on the 7th of September, to capture Gedaref.
To satisfy the anti-colonial party he ceded Kassala to Great Britain, provoking thereby much indignation in Italy.
Of Asmara, is the centre for a district (Bogos) fertilized by the upper course of the Anseba; Agordat, on the river Baraka, on the road from Keren to Kassala, is the centre of the Beni-Amer, Algheden and Sabderat tribes; Mogolo, on the lower Mareb, is the rendezvous of the Baria and Baza tribes.
The great arteries, however, number three, which, starting from Massawa by way of Asmara, run, two to Abyssinia, and one to Kassala and Khartum.
It reaches the Sudan plains near Kassala, beyond which place its waters are dissipated in the sandy soil.
In November despatches were received from England, but no answer to the emperor's letter, and this, together with a visit paid by Captain Cameron to the Egyptian frontier town of Kassala, greatly offended him; accordingly in January 1864 Captain Cameron and his suite,with Messrs Stern and Rosenthal, were cast into prison.
Although he had set his troops in motion too late to relieve Kassala, Ras Alula, his chief general, had succeeded in inflicting a handsome defeat on Osman Digna at Kufit in September 1885.
A fine action by Colonel Arimondi gained Agordat for Italy (21st December 1893), and a brilliant march by Colonel Baratieri resulted in the acquisition of Kassala (1 7 th July 1894).