The most powerful of the slave traders was Zobeir Pasha, who, having defeated a force sent from Khartum to reduce him to obedience, invaded Darfur (1874).
All the trade with Darfur passes through the town, the chief commerce being in cattle, feathers, ivory and cotton goods.
Excluding Darfur the population before the Mandist rule was estimated at 8,500,000.
The Sennari however suffered a decisive defeat in 1784 and thereafter under Darfur viceroys the country enjoyed prosperity.
Mahdism, however, spread over Darfur in spite of Slatins efforts to stay it He fought no fewer than twenty-seven actions in various parts of his province, but his own troops, in course of time, became infected with the new faith and deserted him.
Later it became a halting-place for the caravans of slaves brought from Darfur to Egypt.
In 1877 Gordon suppressed a revolt in Darfur and received the submission of Suliman Zobeir (a son of Zobeir Pasha), who was at the head of a gang of slave-traders on the Bahr-el-Ghazal frontier.
Dates are also a staple produce in Darfur and Kordofan.
At that time the sultans of Darfur (q.v.) in the west and the sultans or kings of Sennar (the Funj rulers) in the east were the most powerful of the Mahommedan potentates.
Reaching Gondokoro on the 26th of May following, he formally annexed that station, which he named Ismailia, to the khedival Darfur domains.