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George Michael La Rue

sultan of the Sudanese kingdom of Darfur from 1785 to 1801, was born to Sultan Ahmad Bukr and an unknown woman. The youngest of four sons of Ahmad Bukr who ruled Darfur, many thought him a weak choice. He became a very successful monarch, after overcoming internal opposition. During his reign Darfur’s system of sultanic estates (hakuras) flourished, and the sultanate became Egypt’s main supplier of trans-Saharan goods, including ivory, ostrich feathers, and slaves.

After a series of wars and intrigues involving internal factions, the rival Musabbaʾat dynasty in Kordofan, and Wadai, sultan Muhammad Tayrab ibn Ahmad Bukr made peace with Wadai to the west and successfully invaded Kordofan. This war took the Fur armies far from home (reputedly to the Nile), and the sultan was forced to turn back in 1786 By the time the army reached Bara the sultan was dying and the succession ...

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Aybak  

Allen J. Fromherz

first Mamluk Sultan of Egypt in the Bahri line of Mamluks, or slave rulers. His name is also given as Al Malik al Mu’izz Izz al Din. Although he ruled for a short seven years from 1250 to 1257, Aybak’s rule built the system of military slave rulership that characterized government in Egypt for centuries. Originally known as Turkmani, he spoke Turkish as his native tongue. He had been bought from the region of Turkish-speaking tribes hundreds of miles form Cairo. Slave soldiers from these lands were favored over conscripted troops from Egypt because of their distance from local political and tribal obligations.

Creating a disciplined army that was expressly subject to the Sultan however resulted in a military that knew no loyalties except its own when the Sultan fell out of power It was almost inevitable that these foreign regiments would eventually not only serve the ruler but ...

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Richard A. Bradshaw

a Bandia paramount chief (or “sultan”) of the Nzakara kingdom, a precolonial polity spanning the Mbali River in the southeastern region of what is now the Central African Republic. Named Kpangba at birth, he adopted the name Bangassou (“blazing sun”). According to Nzakara oral history, his father was Mbali/Bali (Mbari/Bari) “the gazelle,” son of Gwendi (or Boendi) “the taciturn,” son of Beringa “the drunkard,” son of Dunga “the quarrelsome,” son of Gobenge, son of Pobdi, son of Bwanda “the healer,” son of Agungu, son of Pongiet, son of Bongumu. These ancestors of Bangassou were members of the Bandia clan who left their Ngbandi homeland on the Ubangi River and conquered the Nzakara people.

The Bandia rulers participated in the growing slave trade of the nineteenth century and incorporated women and children into their polity thus prospering while nearby peoples in stateless societies were raided by slave traders The Nzakara often ...

Article

Allen J. Fromherz

ruled the Mamluk slave sultanate from Egypt and was the penultimate ruler of the Mamluks. Another form of his name is Qansawh al Ghawri. His able leadership slowed what could have been a more rapid decline of Mamluk power. A slave, or Mamluk, of the Sultan Qaʿitbay, Qansuh was trained in the Mamluk system of military schools of his predecessors. Proving himself in battle and in administration, Qansuh rose through the elite ranks of the Mamluks. He became governor of Upper Egypt in 1481. He campaigned against the Ottomans, increasingly the main threat to the Mamluks in the north. He learned, early on, to forcefully deal with revolts in the provinces, suppressing a rebellion of townsfolk in Aleppo in 1491 His elevation to the sultanate may not have been completely voluntary A group of high Mamluk princes virtually forced him into accepting the position Unaffiliated with the many ...

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Richard A. Bradshaw

ruler of Dar al-Kuti, a Muslim state in what is now northeastern Central African Republic (CAR), was born in Wadai. Al-Sanusi was the son of Abu Bakr and a descendant of Umar Jugultum, who reputedly founded Dar al-Kuti in c. 1830. Umar, in turn, was the son of Aden Burgomanda, the mbang (ruler) of Baguirmi. Al-Sanussi’s mother was the daughter of Salih, a sultan (c. 1850–c. 1870) of Dar Runga. Al-Sanusi was named in honor of the Islamic Sanusiya brotherhood. While still young, he want sent to Sha, the capital of Dar al-Kuti, to live with his father’s brother Muhammad Kobur, a merchant leader of the Muslim community in the region.

Dar al Kuti was threatened in the 1880s by the slave raider Rabih a lieutenant of Zubayr Pasha who ruled the Bahr el Ghazal in southern Sudan Rabih raided into Dar al Kuti and attempted to draw Kobur ...

Article

Jeremy Rich

ruler of Oman and the East African colonies of Zanzibar and its East African mainland dependencies, was born on 5 June 1790. He was the son of the Omani ruler Sultan bin Ahmad, who died in 1804. Sayyid and his older brother Salim were expected to share power, but their cousin Bedr bin Seif seized the throne almost immediately after Ahmad’s death. When Bedr was assassinated on 31 July 1806, perhaps with Sayyid’s knowledge, court notables backed the return of the young man to head the Omani empire. Selim soon acceded to his younger brother’s authority.

Until 1815 Sayyid was too preoccupied with eliminating rivals and consolidating his hold over Oman to concern himself much with Oman s East African territories but he soon became more interested in these colonies for several reasons First the British government had begun to pressure Sayyid to ban the lucrative ...