On his return from Kassala to Berber the sirdar received information of an intended advance of the khalifa northward.
Unfortunately famine compelled the garrison of Kassala to capitulate on the 3oth of July of that year, and Osman Digna hurried there from Tamai to raise a force with which to meet the Abyssinian general, Ras Alula, who was preparing for its relief.
Returning from Kassala Colon.el Stevani rejoined Baldissera, who on the 4th of May relieved Adigrat after a well-executed march.
The forces of the khalifa remaining quiet, the sirdar visited Kassala and negotiated with the Italian General Caneva for its restoration to Egypt.
The great arteries, however, number three, which, starting from Massawa by way of Asmara, run, two to Abyssinia, and one to Kassala and Khartum.
The protocol concluded with Great Britain on the 15th of April 1891, already referred to, contained a clause to the effect that, were Kassala occupied by the Italians, the place should be transferred to the Egyptian government as soon as the latter should be In a position.
The Gash enters the Sudan near Kassala and north of that town turns west towards the Atbara, but its waters are dissipated before that river is reached.
The mudirias are Haifa, Red Sea, Dongola and Berber in the north (these include practically all the region known as Nubia); Khartum, Blue Nile and White Nile in the centre; Kassala and Sennar in the east; Kordofan in the west; and Bahrel-Ghazal, Upper Nile (formerly Fashoda) and Mongalla in the south.
Concentrating a little army of 2600 men, Baratieri surprised and captured Kassala on.