Battle of Dufile

Mahdist War Dufile Egypt
Battle of Dufile
Part of Mahdist War
Date28 November, 1888
Result Egyptian victory
Egypt Egypt Mahdist Sudan
Commanders and leaders
Selim Bey Umar Sālih
1,200 1,400
Casualties and losses
Unknown 210-250 killed

The Battle of Dufile was fought at the fort of Dufile, Uganda on November 28, 1888 between Mahdist forces and a garrison loyal to the Khedive of Egypt. This followed a three-day siege in which the fort was penetrated and members of steamer crews were killed in the harbour. The 1200 garrison troops were led by Selim Bey while 1400 Mahdists were led by Umar Sālih. The Mahdists lost between 210 and 250 killed and retreated from the area for a period.

Before the siege began, news of the approach of the Mahdists allowed the concentration of troops from other garrisons at Dufile. On November 17, Selim Bey moved women and children to safety at Wadelai along with Emin Pasha and A.J. Mounteney Jephson, who had been confined at Dufile by a mutinous garrison since August 1888. Emin's departure by steamer for Wadelai that day was saluted by the playing of the Khedivial hymn and the firing of the fort's guns to acknowledge his restoration as the Khedive's Governor of Equatoria.[1]

The bulk of the garrison who survived the battle were taken by Frederick Lugard to Kampala Hill, after Emin had abandoned them, following the entreaties of Henry Morton Stanley. Shortly after they arrived there in December 1891, they participated in the Battle of Kampala Hill.[2]


  1. ^ Jephson, A.J. Mounteney (August 1890). Emin Pasha and the Rebellion at the Equator. Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington Ltd., London.
  2. ^ Oliver, Roland (March 1951). "Some Factors in the British Occupation of East Africa, 1884-1894". Uganda Journal. 15 (1): 49–64.