El Hadj Omar

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Omar, El Hadj


(also al-Hajj Umar). Born 1797 in Aloar, in what is now Senegal; died 1864 in Jigimberé, in what is now Mali. Founder of the state of the Tukulors (a Fulani people) in West Africa.

Omar’s campaigns of conquest, which began in the 1850’s, gave rise to a vast state that extended from Médine to Timbuktu. With the help of Muslims living in the basin of the Sénégal River, Omar fought the French colonialists. In the 1850’s he slowed the advance of French troops eastward from Médine. In 1864, after he was defeated in a battle against the Fulani state of Macina, Omar was killed, and his state disintegrated.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Terrain near M'Vengue El Hadj Omar Bongo Ondimba International Airport in Franceville, Gabon.
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El Hadj Omar Tall was a Senegalese scholar and military leader who created a short-lived empire in the mid-19th century that encompassed most of what are now Guinea, Senegal and Mali.