Battle of Dufile

Battle of Dufile

The Battle of Dufile was fought at the fort of Dufile, Uganda on November 28, 1888 between Mahdist forces and a garrison loyal to the Khedive of Egypt. This followed a three-day siege in which the fort was penetrated and members of steamer crews were killed in the harbour. The 1200 garrison troops were led by Selim Bey while 1400 Mahdists were led by Umar Sālih. The Mahdists lost between 210 and 250 killed and retreated from the area for a period.

Before the siege began, news of the approach of the Mahdists allowed the concentration of troops from other garrisons at Dufile. On November 17, Selim Bey moved women and children to safety at Wadelai along with Emin Pasha, who had been confined at Dufile by a mutinous garrison since August 1888. Emin's departure by steamer for Wadelai that day was saluted by the playing of the Khedivial hymn and the firing of the fort's guns to acknowledge his restoration as the Khedive's Governor of Equatoria.


*A.J. Mounteney Jephson, "Diary", Edited by Dorothy Middleton, Hakluyt Society 1969
*R.O. Collins, " The Southern Sudan 1883-1898: A Struggle for Control", Yale, 1962
*Iain R. Smith, " The Emin Pasha Relief Expedition 1886–1890", Oxford, 1972

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