Skip to content

The Jihadiyya Riflemen were mostly African, drawn from the old slave armies of the southern Sudan, and prisoners or deserters from the Egyptian and Sudanese regiments. They were armed with flintlocks or rifles taken from defeated Egyptians.  At the Battle of Omdurman, 1898, 12000 Jihadiyya Riflemen, together with 13000 spear and swordsmen formed the centre of the Khalifa Abdullah's army.

In 1892 many Jihadiyya were drafted into the new Mulazimyya unit. This was to become the Khalifa Abdullah's bodyguard, and the only unit known to have worn a uniform smock with red and blue patches, and a red turban trailing under the chin and over the shoulder. At Omdurman, they acted in skirmishing order in the front.