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Arabic: niyālā

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Nyala, Sudan

Refugee camp outside Nyala, Sudan.

City in western Sudan with 530,000 inhabitants (2009 estimate), capital of the South Darfur state with 4.1 million inhabitants (2008 estimate) and an area of 127,000 km². It lies at an elevation of 670 metres.
Local industries produce textiles, processed food and leather goods. Gum arabic is traded through Niyala.
It is well connected to other urban centres, with good roads and railway, as well as a domestic airport. Al-Fashir is 200 km northeast.
The name reportedly comes from Daju, meaning "Place to chat".
With the present conflict of Darfur, refugee camps have been established around Niyala.
Niyala and its immediate region is expected to house many interesting finds, but still awaits archaeological excavations.

15th century: Niyala was the main town of the Daju Empire.
1930's: Niyala becomes the headquarters of the British administration over Darfur.

By Tore Kjeilen