A railway, built in 1909-1910, connects Khartum, Wad Medani and Sennar with Kordofan, the White Nile being bridged near Goz Abu Guma.
This resulted in the dismissal of Suliman Niazi and the appointment of Hicks as commander-in-chief of an expeditionary force to Kordofan with orders to crush the mandi, who in January 1883 had captured El Obeid, the capital of that province.
Hicks, aware of the worthlessness of his force for the purpose contemplated, stated his opinion that it would be best to "wait for Kordofan to settle itself" (telegram of the 5th of August).
On the 10th the force left the Nile at Duem and struck inland across the almost waterless wastes of Kordofan for Obeid.
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