28 MARCH 1896, Page 1

The Government is proceeding steadily with its Egyptian policy. Akasheh

has already been occupied by the advance guard, and a force of five thousand men is on its way to that point, which is eighty miles from Wady Haifa. There or at Sarras it will remain watching, and protected by improvised fortifications, till the remainder of the corps crarmee, which will number altogether ten thousand, has reached the front, a situation which may be delayed for some weeks by diffi- culties of transport. The time will enable the K halite to collect his forces, but as that is precisely what we wish him to do in the interest of the Italians, the delay is only objectionable because it will enable the French to forward arms in quantities to Omdurman. It seems to be believed in Egypt that the Dervishes will at once raise the siege of Kassala, and begin to concentrate for a march north- ward, they acutely dreading British designs; but we do not as yet perceive any positive evidence of this movement. The Khalifa's mobile Army may be taken to amount to forty thousand good soldiers, but he cannot move above half of this large body of men at any one time. The difference of fighting strength will therefore be about two to one against us,—short odds but for the splendid individual courage and physique of the Dervishes.