City (pop., 2000 est.: 3,949,000), capital of The Sudan. Located just south of the confluence of the Blue and White Nile rivers, it was originally an Egyptian army camp (1821). The Mahdists besieged and destroyed the town in 1885, killing Charles George Gordon, the British governor-general. Reoccupied by the British in 1898, it served as the seat of the Anglo-Egyptian government until 1956, when it became the capital of the independent republic of The Sudan. A major trade and communications centre, it is the seat of several universities.
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Khartoum (الخرطوم al-Kharṭūm) is the capital of Sudan and of Khartoum State. It is located at the confluence point of the White Nile flowing north from Lake Victoria, and the Blue Nile flowing west from Ethiopia. The location where the two Niles meet is known as "al-Mogran". The main Nile continues to flow north towards Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea.
Divided by the Niles, Khartoum is a tripartite metropolis with an estimated overall population of over a million people consisting of Khartoum proper, and linked by bridges Khartoum North called (al-Khartūm Bahrī) and Omdurman (Umm Durmān) to the west.
Ibrahim Pasha, the adopted son of Muhammad Ali, the ruler of Egypt, founded Khartoum in 1821 as an outpost for the Egyptian army, but the settlement grew as a regional center of trade, including the slave trade. Troops loyal to the Mahdi Muhammad Ahmad began a siege of Khartoum on March 13, 1884 against the defenders led by British General Charles George Gordon. The siege resulted in the massacre of the Anglo-Egyptian garrison.
The heavily damaged city fell to the Mahdists on January 26, 1885. Omdurman was the scene of the bloody battle on September 2, 1898, during which British forces under Horatio Kitchener defeated the Mahdist forces defending the city.
In 1899, Khartoum became the capital of Anglo-Egyptian Sudan and, with the independence of Sudan in 1956, the capital of the new country.
The first oil pipeline between Khartoum and Port Sudan was completed in 1977.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Khartoum was the destination for hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing conflicts in neighboring nations such as Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Uganda. The refugees settled in large slums at the outskirts of the city. From the mid-1980s onward, large numbers of internally displaced from the violence of the Second Sudanese Civil War and Darfur conflict have settled around Khartoum.
Following the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings, the United States accused Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda group of responsibility and launched cruise missile attacks (August 20) on the al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum North. The destruction of the factory produced diplomatic tension between the U.S. and Sudan.
After the sudden death of SPLA head and vice-president of Sudan John Garang at the end of July 2005, there were violent riots in the capital for some days. The death toll was at least 24 as youth from South Sudan attacked North Sudanese and clashed with security forces.
On 10 May 2008 the Darfur rebel group of the Justice and Equality Movement moved into the city where they engaged in heavy fighting with Sudanese government forces. Their goal was the toppling of Omar Hassan al-Bashir's government, though the Sudanese government succeeded in beating back the assault.
After the signing of the historic Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLA), the Government of Sudan has begun a massive development project. The biggest projects taking place right now in Khartoum are the Al-Mogran Development Project, two five-star hotels, a new airport, Mac Nimir Bridge (finished in October 2007) and the Tuti Bridge that links Khartoum to Tuti Island.
Khartoum is very poor, with few exclusive areas. Few streets are paved, but the center is well-planned, with tree-lined streets. However, Khartoum has the highest concentration of economic activity in the country. This is slowly changing as major economic developments take place in other parts of the country, like oil exploration in the South, the Giad Industrial Complex and White Nile Sugar Project in Central Sudan, and the Merowe Dam in the North.
Among the city's industries are printing, glass manufacturing, food processing, and textiles. Petroleum products are now produced in the far north of Khartoum state, providing fuel and jobs for the city. One of Sudan's largest refineries is located in northern Khartoum. Moreover, a number of East-Asian companies have recently shown interest in the realization of a new project which will lead to the creation of new telecommunication services throughout the country.
Khartoum is home to several clubs such as the Sailing Club, German Club, Greek Club, Coptic Club, Syrian Club, International Club etc.