Political map of Sub-Saharan Africa 19 September 1898 (Fashoda Incident): In July 1898, while the British were fighting the Mahdists in northern Sudan (Mahdist War), a French force crossed into southern Sudan and occupied the strategic settlement of Fashoda (Marchand Mission). After defeating the Mahdists at Omdurman (Battle of Omdurman) in September, the British hurried south to confront the French. The standoff triggered a crisis in Europe (Fashoda Incident), with both nations preparing for war, but eventually France backed down and recognized Anglo-Egyptian rule in Sudan (Anglo-Egyptian Sudan).