Kordofan covers an area of some 146,932 km² (56,730 miles²); with an estimated population in 1983 of around 3 million people. It is largely undulating plain, with the Nuba Mountains (Jebel Nuba) in the south east quarter. During the rainy season from June to September the area is fertile, but in the dry season it is virtually desert. The region’s chief town is El Obeid.
Economy and demography
Traditionally the area is known for production of gum Arabic. Other crops include groundnuts, cotton, and millet. The main ethnic groups are the Nuba, Shilluk, and Dinka. Large grazing areas used by Arabic-speaking, semi-nomadic Baggara and camel-raising Kababish.
The Mahdi captured El Obeid in 1883. The Egyptian government despatched a force from Cairo under the British General William Hicks, which was ambushed and annihilated at Sheikan to the south of El Obeid. Following British reoccupation in 1898, Kordofan was added to the number of provinces of the Sudan.
The greater part of Kordofan consists of undulating plains, riverless, barren, monotonous, with an average altitude of 1500 ft. Thickets and small acacias dot the steppes, which, green during the klzarif or rainy season, at other times present a dull brown burnt-up aspect.
The nI or addra gazelle found in N. and N.W. Kordofan are not known elsewhere in the eastern Sudan.
In/Iabittnts.The population of Kordofan was officially estimated in 1903 to be 550,000.
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