ʿAbdullāh et Taʿāisha (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: At issue: Abenaki tribal resistance to English colonization of their land. Result: English victory; dispersion of Abenaki tribes.
Article abstract: Military significance: Briefly unified tribal Sudan, slowing European expansion into the upper Nile valley.
Trained as an Islamic holy man, in 1880 ʿAbdullāh et Taʿāisha joined the ranks of Muhammad Ahmad, the self-proclaimed Mahdi (divinely guided one), who conquered much of southern Sudan and created an Islamic theocracy. ʿAbdullāh was given the title khalifa (caliph) in 1881 and became one of the Mahdi’s chief military lieutenants. He took part in the destruction of the Anglo-Egyptian army at Al-Ubayyid (1883) and was the chief commander at the Siege of Khartoum (February, 1884-January 26, 1885), which established Mahdist supremacy in central Sudan.
Succeeding as leader upon the Mahdi’s death (June 21, 1885), ʿAbdullāh gradually abandoned the theocratic ideal in favor of a military dictatorship with a strong Islamic emphasis. He consolidated Sudanese power throughout the upper Nile region, suppressing revolts and invading Ethiopia (1887). He was never successful in bringing all the Sudanese tribes together, however, and his power was eventually destroyed by the British at the Battle of Omdurman (September 2, 1898). He was tracked down and killed by Sir Francis Reginald Wingate’s Egyptian column (November 24, 1899)....
(The entire section is 277 words.)
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