In 1881 Mahommed Ahmed ibn Seyyid Abdullah, a Dongolese, proclaimed himself al-mandi and founded in the eastern Sudan the short-lived empire overthrown by an AngloEgyptian force at the battle of Omdurman in 1898.
Camp was formed at Omdurman and a new force of some 8000 fighting men collected - mostly recruited from the fellahin of Arabi's disbanded troops, sent in chains from Egypt.
OMDURMAN, a town of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, on the west bank of the Nile, immediately north of the junction of the White and Blue Niles in 15° 38' N., 32° 29' E., 2 m.
Omdurman is the headquarters of the native traders in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, the chief articles of commerce being ivory, ostrich feathers and gum arabic from Darfur and Kordofan.
Omdurman, then an insignificant village, was chosen in 1884 by the Mandi Mahommed Ahmed as his capital and so continued after the fall of Khartum in January 1885.
Thence was despatched the gum for the Omdurman market.
The intelligent professional knowledge of the native officers, taught under British gentlemen, and the constant hard work cheerfully rendered by the fellah soldiers, were the main factors of the success achieved at Omdurman on the 2nd of September 1898.
This was observed by British officers, from the time of the preliminary operations about Kosha and at the action near Ginnis in December 1885 down to the brilliant operations in the pursuit of the Mahdists on the Blue Nile after the action of Gedaref (subsequent to the battle of Omdurman), and the fighting in Kordofan in 1899, which resulted in the death of the khalifa and his amirs.
On the 2nd of September the khalifa attacked the British-Egyptian troops at Kerreri (near Omdurman), and being routed, his men dispersed; Khartum was occupied, and on the i9th of September the Egyptian flag was rehoisted at Fashoda.
The mahdi, Mahommed Ahmed, died at Omdurman on the 22nd of June 1885.
He removed all possible rivals, concentrated at Omdurman a strong military force composed of men of his own tribe, and maintained the ascendancy of that tribe over all others.
The escape from Omdurman of Father Ohrwalder and of two of the captive nuns in December 1891, of Father Rossignoli in October 1894, and of Siatin Bey in February 1895, revealed the condition of the Sudan to the outside world, threw a vivid light on the rule of the khalif a, and corroborated information already received of the discontent which existed among the tribes with the oppression and despotism under which they lived.
That night the king died, and the greater part of the army having gone ahead with the prisoners, a party of Arabs pursued the rearguard, which consisted of the kings bodyguard, routed them, and captured the kings body, which was sent to Omdurman to confirm the report of a brilliant victory sent by Zeki Tumal to the khalifa.
He was obliged to surrender at Dara in December 1883, and was a prisoner, first at Obeid and then at Omdurman, until he escaped in 1895.
He died at Omdurman in 1888.
He got the upper hand in 1892, and was recalled to oppose an Italian force said tobe advancing from Massawa; but on reporting that it was impossible to invade Eritrea, as the khalifa wished him to do, he was summoned to Omdurman and put to death.
In the meantime the arrival of Stanley at Lake Albert had caused rumours, which quickly spread to Omdurman, of a great invading white pasha, with the result that in July the khalifa sent up the river three steamers and six barges, containing 4000 troops, to oppose this new-comer.
So strong a light of the character of the khalifas despotism in the Sudan and the miserable condition of his misgoverned people, as detailed in the accounts of their captivity at Omdurman by Father Ohrwalder and Slatin Bey (published in 1892 and 1896), stirred public opinion in Great Britain, and brought the question of the recovery of the Sudan into prominence.
He occupied Abu Klea wells and Metemma; recalled the amir Ibrahim Khalil, with 4000 men, from the Ghezira; brought to Omdurman thc army of the west under Mahmudsome 10,000 men; entrusted the line of the AtbaraEd Darner, Adarama, Asubri and El Fasherto Osman Digna; constructed defences in the Shabluka gorge; and personally superintended the organization and drill of the forces gathered at Orndurman, and the collection of vast stores of food and supplies of camels for offensive expeditions.
Preparations were now made for the attack on the khalifas force at Omdurman; and in the meantime the troops were camped in the neighborhood of Berber, and the railway carried on to the Atbara.
Kitchener then moved out and marched towards Omdurman, when he wa,s again twice fiercely attacked on the right flank and rear, MacDonalds brigade bearing the brunt.
The results of the battle of Omdurman were the practical destruction of the khalifas army, the extinction of Mahdism in the Sudan, and the recovery of nearly all the country formerly under Egyptian authority.
During the sirdars absence from Omdurman Colonel Hunter commanded an expedition up the Blue Nile, and by the end of
During the sirdars absence from Omdurman Colonel Hunter commanded an expedition up the Blue Nile, and by the end of September had occupied and garrisoned Wad Medani, Sennar, Karkoj and Roseires.
Colonel Lewis, who was at Karkoj with a small force, moved to Roseires, where he received reinforcements from Omdurman, and on the 26th of December caught Ahmed Fedils force as it was crossing the Blue Nile at Dakheila, and after a very severe fight cut it up. The dervish loss was 500 killed, while the Egyptians had 24 killed and 118 wounded.
Pop. (1907) with suburbs, but excluding Omdurman, 69,349.
West of the zoological gardens is the point of junction of the Blue and White Niles and here is a ferry across to Omdurman (q.v.) on the west bank of the White Nile a mile or two below Khartum.
Through Omdurman come the exports of Kordofan and Darfur, while by the Red Sea railway there is ready access to the markets of the world.
Nearly every building in Khartum was destroyed by the Mandists and the city abandoned in favour of Omdurman, which place remained the headquarters of the mandi's successor, the khalifa Abdullah, till September 1898, when it was taken by the Anglo-Egyptian forces under General (afterwards Lord) Kitchener, and the seat of government again transferred to Khartum.
Since the defeat of the khalifa at Omdurman and the fixing (1899) of the Egyptian frontier farther south, the military value of Assuan has declined.