West Nile Sub Region

Historical facts

West Nile sub- region (previously known as West Nile province and West Nile district) is a region in North Western Uganda. The sub-region received its name from being located on the Western side of the White Nile.

Administratively, the sub –region is divided into eight local government districts for effective implementation of government programs, service delivery and easy supervision. These districts are Adjumani, Arua, Koboko, Maracha, Moyo, Nebbi , Yumbe and Zombo..

West Nile sub-region is bordered with Sudan to the North and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to the west.

The history of West Nile is traced back as far as the Berlin Conference of 1884-85 which recognized king Leopold 11 of Belgium as the sovereign Head of State for the International association of the Congo. On July 1, 1885, the entity was named the Congo Free State, and in 1908 the state was accorded colonial status as the Belgian Congo.

Among other provisions of the agreement between the Belgian Congo and the British included:

In 1912-13, an Anglo-Belgian commission re-delimited the Belgian

Congo-Uganda boundary from Lake Albert north westward to the Congo-Nile drainage divides. Also in 1913, a Sudanese- Ugandan commission delimited a common boundary on the ground between the Bahr al Jabal and the Belgian Congo tripoint. On January 1, 1914, sizeable transfers of territory were made South and North of the Sudanese- Ugandan commission line of 1913: (1) West of the Nile, the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan transferred to Uganda the southern part of the former Lado enclave which became the West Nile district and (2) East of the Nile, the protectorate of Uganda transferred to the Anglo Egyptian Sudan the territory from the parallel of 5°Eastward to the boundary of Ethiopia.

  • Lado enclave, region in central Africa, bordering on Lake Albert and situated on the west bank of the upper Nile, that was administered by the Congo Free State in 1894-1909 and was incorporated thereafter into the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan.
  • Europeans first visited the Northern part of the region in 1841-42 when an expedition was dispatched there by Muhammed Ali

Pasha, the Ottoman of Egypt. The neighboring posts of

Gondokoro, on the East bank, and the Lado soon became stations for ivory and slave traders from Khartoum. After the discovery of Lake Albert in 1864 by the British explorer Sir Samuel Baker, the whole region was overrun by slave raiders of diverse nationalities. Although lado was claimed as part of the Egyptian Sudan, it was not until Baker arrived at Gondokoro in 1870 as Governer of the Equatorial provinces that any attempt to control the slave trade was made. Baker’s successor, Gen C.G.Gordon established a separate administration for the Bahr al Ghazal(now in the present day country of South Sudan).In 1877, Emin Pasha( a German administrator) became Governor of the Equatorial Provinces and made his headquarters at Lado, whence he was driven in 1885 by Mahdists from the Sudan. He then moved southwards to Wadelai, but in 1889 he was forced to withdraw to the east coast. The British claimed the Upper Nile region in February 1894, and that

May, they leased to Leopold 11 of Belgium, as sovereign of the Congo Free State, a large area west of the Upper Nile, which included the Bahr al- Ghazal and Fashoda. Pressed by France, however, Leopold agreed to occupy only that part of the area east of 30°E and south of 05°30’ North and thus the actual limits of what was later called the LADO ENCLAVE.

SOURCE: ASCHERSON, N, THE KING INCORPORATED: LEOPOLD 11 IN THE AGE OF TRUSTS, GRANTA BOOKS, 2001

By an order of the Secretary of State under the Uganda Order in Council, 1902, the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan-Uganda boundary delimited by the commission in 1913 was promulgated officially on April 21, 1914.

An Anglo-Belgian agreement of February 3, 1915, afforded official recognition to the boundary as presently constituted between Uganda and Zaire northward from Sabino to the Congo-Nile drainage divide northwest of Lake Albert. In accordance with this agreement, the south eastern part of the Mahagi strip was transferred to Belgian Congo which afforded the town of Mahagi access to Lake Albert through Congolese territory and in effect annulled the lease to the strip.

The Belgian Congo became independent on June 30, 1960, as the Republic of the Congo. The name of the state was officially changed to the Democratic Republic of Congo on August 1, 1964 and to the Republic of Zaire on October 27, 1971.

SOURCE: INTERNATIONAL BOUNDARY STUDY PAPER NO.106-SEPT 5, 1978(COUNTRY CODES: SU-CG) SUDAN-DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (ZAIRE) BOUNDARY OFFICE OF GEOGRAPHE; US, BUREAU OF INTELLIGENCE AND RESEARCH.

Therefore, all the above information availed above stands as evidence of all the original co-ordinates of the region, its owners and also the transfer of power and ownership from one imperial master to another: being the Belgians and the British in this case.

April 21, 1914 is the day that saw the boundaries of this region being defined and its people becoming Ugandans. On April 21, 2014, celebrated its anniversary of 100 years being part of Uganda since this transfer took place

West nile Historical and cultural West Nile Heritage