Bahr al-Arab

Bahr Al-Arab

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Bahr al-Arab

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Bahr al-Arab (also known as the Kiir River and also spelled ‘Baḩr al Arab) is a river which flows approximately through the southwest of Sudan and marks part of its international border with South Sudan. It is part of the Nile river system, being a tributary of Bahr el Ghazal, which is a tributary of the White Nile.

The river flows through Sudan's Kurdufan and Darfur regions and forms part of the border between Darfur and the region of Bahr el Ghazal in northwestern South Sudan. For centuries the Bahr al-Arab has marked the boundary between the Dinka and Baggara ethnic groups.

The name "Bahr al-Arab" is Arabic for "River of the Arabs". The Dinka people call it the "Kiir River". The river has served as a frontier and zone of conflict between the Baggara and Dinka peoples as long as their oral traditions remember.


The Bahr al-Arab arises from several tributaries that drain the Bongo Massif and Marrah Mountains in Darfur, close to Sudan's border with Chad and the Central African Republic. The Adda and Umbelasha flow east from the Bongo Massif to join the Ibrah (Wadi Ibra), which flows south from the Marrah Mountains. Formed from these tributaries, the Bahr al-Arab flows east along the border of the Darfur and Bahr el Ghazal regions, then through a southern part of the Kurdufan region.

According to some sources, the Bahr al-Arab's confluence with the Jur River marks the...
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