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An Egyptian force under a British general was wiped out by the Mahdi’s forces in 1883
The British decided to order an evacuation of Sudan.
They sent ‘Chinese’ Gordon to conduct the evacuation
However, his Christian sensibilities made it difficult for him to evacuate the Europeans and leave Sudanese and Egyptians to deal with the fundamentalist Mahdi
- Instead of evacuating, he decided to defend Khartoum.