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Kurdufan (sometimes Kordofan) is a former province of central Sudan. In 1994 it was divided into three new federal states: North Kurdufan, South Kurdufan, and West Kurdufan.


Kurdufan covers an area of some 146,932 km≤ (56,730 miles≤); 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 regionís 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 Kordofanian languages are spoken by a small minority in southern Kordofan, but are unique to the region, as are the Kadu languages .


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, Kurdufan was added to the number of provinces of the Sudan.

Last updated: 05-16-2005 06:30:53