Encyclopedia of African History 3-Volume Set

“Founded by the Sunni dynasty, Songhay was the last of the three great empires of Western Sudan. Under Sunni Ali (1464-1492), Songhay became an empire, totally eclipsing Mali, which had been in decline by the early fifteenth century. Much of Sunni Ali’s reign was taken up by wars of conquest. The Sonni dynasty had built up a powerful army of horsemen and war canoes with which Suleyman Dandi had extended Songhay territory upstream along the Niger bend.”

“The primary reason for Morocco’s hostilities against Songhay was due to economic interest. El Mansur, the ruler of Morocco, coveted and sought to control the salt mines and gold deposits within Songhay’s territory, which was erroneously believed to still be in abundance at the time of the attack. The first attempt at invading Songhay was a failure.”

“The first consequence of Moroccan conquest was the establishment of a protectorate over a substantial part of what used to be the Songhay empire. Songhay thus became a province of Morocco, with Judah Pasha acting as the governor. The normalization of Al Mansur’ fortuitous ambition and his consequent loss of interest in Songhay resulted in the lack of effective administration of the territory and subsequent breakdown of law and order.”

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