Khartoum (kärtōmˈ) [key], city (1993 pop. 947,483), capital of Sudan, a port at the confluence of the Blue Nile and White Nile rivers. Khartoum is Sudan's second largest city and its administrative center. Food, beverages, cotton, gum, and oilseeds are processed in the city. Manufactures include cotton textiles, knitwear, glass, and tiles. Construction of an oil pipeline between Khartoum and Port Sudan was completed in 1977. Khartoum is a railroad hub and is connected by road to the heart of the adjacent cotton-growing region. The city also has an international airport. Founded in 1821 as an Egyptian army camp, Khartoum developed as a trade center and slave market. In the war between Great Britain and the forces of the Mahdi, Gen. Charles Gordon was killed there (1885) after resisting a long siege, during which the city was severely damaged. Khartoum was retaken by H. H. Kitchener in 1898 and rebuilt. During the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, thousands of refugees from other African nations (especially Chad, Ethiopia, and Uganda) settled in Khartoum. Foreign aid packages to feed and shelter the refugees were inadequate, resulting in the growth of slums in the city. An educational center, Khartoum is the site of the Univ. of Khartoum (founded 1903 as Gordon Memorial College), a branch of the Univ. of Cairo, and Khartoum Polytechnic. The city's Sudan National Museum has important archaeological holdings. Bridges link Khartoum with Khartoum North and Omdurman.
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