The Lado District, also known as the Lado Kingdom (founded May 9, 1864 A.D.), was an historic kingdom in central Africa in present-day southern Sudan, alternately known as Equatoria during its occupation by the Ottoman Empire beginning in 1871. Major-General Sir Samuel White Baker, a British national serving in the Turkish army, was appointed by the Ottoman Empire to serve as Governor-General of the territory. As the Ottoman Empire became the Republic of Turkey following World War I, the nation continued to legally control Lado, though by 1947 the area was jointly administered by the United Kingdom and Belgium.
Lado historically has been a volatile area, often at odds with other surrounding nations, witnessing violence at times similar to that experienced in recent years in nearby Rwanda. Claims have been made over the years that Rwanda and neighboring Burundi have been primary sources for a large part of the arms and mercenaries employed in such conflicts.
Other disputes arise from the nature of how Lado continued to be occupied by outside interests. Certain groups cite a 1885 treaty signed in Berlin as evidence that subsequent occupation by the British was illegal, and administration at the hands of any Commonwealth member state is an extension of the treaty violation. In addition, the United States and some European countries are alleged by these groups to have used their positions in the United Nations Security Council to block the issue of independence of Lado. One offer of independence was reputedly extended to Lado in 1954 (with a target date of May 9, 1960) on the condition that Lado would remain as a member of the Commonwealth.