1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Witu

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WITU, or Vitu, a sultanate of East Africa included in the Tanaland province of the British East Africa protectorate. It extends along the coast from the town of Kipini at the mouth of the Ozi river (2° 30′ S.) to the northern limit of Manda Bay (2° S.); area 1200 sq. m. The chief town, Witu, is 16 m. N. of Kipini. The state was founded by Ahmed-bin-Fumo Luti, the last Nabhan sultan of Patta (an island off the coast), who was conquered by Seyyid Majid of Zanzibar. Ahmed, about 1860, took refuge in the forest district, and made himself an independent chief, acquiring the title of Simba or the Lion. In 1885 Ahmed was induced to place his country under German protection, and in 1887 the limits of Witu were fixed by international agreement. In 1890 Germany transferred her protectorate to Great Britain. In the September of that year a British naval force under Admiral Sir E. Fremantle was sent against the sultan Bakari, who had succeeded Ahmed in 1887 and by whose orders nine German traders and settlers had been murdered. Disorders continued until 1894, and in the following year Omar-bin-Hamed of the Nabhan dynasty—an ancient race of Asiatic origin—was recognized as sultan. The sultan is guided by a British resident, and the state since the accession of Sultan Omar has been both peaceful and prosperous. The population of the sultanate is over 13,000; of the town of Witu 6000, chiefly Swahilis. The port of Witu is Mkonumbi (pop. 1000).