1	          October 1993
     3	 The Fashoda Affair (1898) -- French-English Relations in Africa
     4	   Sir Herbert Kitchener's Assessment ofConditions at Fashoda
     6	                              ......edited by Marijan Salopek
     8	               ===================================
     9	Letter from Mr. Rodd to the Marquess of Salisbury relaying Sir
    10	Herbert Kitchener's Report dated 21 September 1898
    12	F.O. Turkey (Egypt) 4960.          Cairo, D. September 25, 1898.
    13	Tel. (No. 244) P.                         R. September 25, 1898.
    15	     I received the following telegram this morning from Sir
    16	Herbert Kitchener: --
    18	          "I have just returned here from Fashoda where I
    19	     found Captain Marchand, accompanied by eight officers
    20	     and 120 men, located in the old Government buildings,
    21	     over which they had hoisted the French flag;  I sent a
    22	     letter announcing my approach the day before my arrival
    23	     at Fashoda.  A small rowboat carrying the French flag
    24	     brought me a reply from Captain Marchand on the
    25	     following morning, the 19th September, stating that he
    26	     had reached Fashoda on the 10th July, his Government
    27	     having given him instructions to occupy the Bahr-el-
    28	     Ghazal as far as the confluence of the Bahr-el-Jebel,
    29	     as well as the Shilluk country on the left bank of the
    30	     White Nile as far as Fashoda.  He stated that he had
    31	     concluded a Treaty with the Chief of the Shilluk tribe,
    32	     whereby the latter placed his country under the
    33	     protection of France, and that he had sent this Treaty
    34	     to his Government for ratification by way of Abyssinia,
    35	     as well as by the Bahr-el-Ghazal.  Captain Marchand
    36	     described the fight which he had had with the Dervishes
    37	     on the 25th August, and said that, in anticipation of a
    38	     second and more severe attack, he had sent his steamer
    39	     south for reinforcements, but our arrival had averted
    40	     the danger.
    41	          "When we arrived at Fashoda, Captain Marchand and
    42	     M. Germain came on board, and I at once stated that the
    43	     presence of a French force at Fashoda and in the Valley
    44	     of the Nile was regarded as a direct infringement of
    45	     the rights of the Egyptian Government and of that of
    46	     Great Britain, and I protested in the strongest terms
    47	     against their occupation of Fashoda and their hoisting
    48	     the French flag in the dominions of His Highness the
    49	     Khedive.  In reply, Captain Marchand stated that he had
    50	     precise orders to occupy the country and to hoist the
    51	     French flag over the Government buildings at Fashoda,
    52	     and that it was impossible for him to retire without
    53	     receiving orders from his Government to that effect,
    54	     but he did not expect that these orders would be
    55	     delayed.  On my pressing him to say whether, seeing
    56	     that I had a preponderating force, he was prepared to
    57	     resist the hoisting of the Egyptian flag at Fashoda, he
    58	     hesitated and replied that resistance was impossible. 
    59	     I then caused the flag to be hoisted on a ruined
    60	     bastion of the old Egyptian fortifications about 500
    61	     yards south of the French flag, and on the only road
    62	     which leads to the interior from the French position,
    63	     which is surrounded by impassable marshes on all sides. 
    64	     Before leaving for the south, I handed to Captain
    65	     Marchand a formal protest in writing, on behalf of the
    66	     British and Egyptian Governments, against any
    67	     occupation by France of any part of the Nile Valley,
    68	     such occupation being an infringement of the rights of
    69	     these Governments which I could not recognise.
    70	          "I appointed Major Jackson to be Commandant of the
    71	     Fashoda district, where I left a garrison consisting of
    72	     one Soudanese battalion, four guns, and a gun-boat,
    73	     after which I proceeded to the Sobat, where, on the
    74	     20th September, a post was established and the flag
    75	     hoisted.  We neither saw nor heard anything of the
    76	     Abyssinians on the Sobat River, but we were told that
    77	     their nearest post was situated some 350 miles further
    78	     up.  The Bahr-el-Jebel is completely blocked by the
    79	     'sudd,' and in consequence I ordered a gun-boat to
    80	     patrol up the Bahr-el-Ghazal towards Meshra-er-Rek.  On
    81	     my way north, as I passed Fashoda, I sent a letter to
    82	     Captain Marchand, stating that all transport of war
    83	     material on the Nile was absolutely prohibited, as the
    84	     country was under military law.  The Shilluk Chief,
    85	     with a large following, has come into Major Jackson's
    86	     camp; the whole tribe are delighted to return to their
    87	     allegiance to us, and the Chief absolutely denies
    88	     having made any Treaty with the French.
    89	          "The position in which Captain Marchand finds
    90	     himself at Fashoda is as impossible as it is absurd. 
    91	     He is cut off from the interior, and his water
    92	     transport is quite inadequate;  he is, moreover, short
    93	     of ammunition and supplies, which must take months to
    94	     reach him;  he has no following in the country, and
    95	     nothing could have saved him and his expedition from
    96	     being annihilated by the Dervishes had we been a
    97	     fortnight later in crushing the Khalifa.
    98	          "The futility of all their efforts is fully
    99	     realised by Captain Marchand himself, and he seems
   100	     quite as anxious to return as we are to facilitate his
   101	     departure.  In his present position he is powerless,
   102	     but I hope that Her Majesty's Government will take the
   103	     necessary steps for his removal as soon as possible, as
   104	     the presence of a French force and flag on the Nile is
   105	     manifestly extremely undesirable.
   106	          "Captain Marchand only lost four natives on the
   107	     journey, and his expedition is all well.
   108	          "I am sending a complete despatch by Lord Edward
   109	     Cecil, who is leaving with it for Cairo at once."
   111	Source:
   112		G. P. Gooch and Harold Temperley, eds.,  (London: His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1927),
   115		pp. 167-8.
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