Sonni Baru

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Sonni Bāru, also known as Sonni Abū Bakr Dao[1] was the 16th and last king of the Sonni Dynasty to rule over the Songhai Empire located in west Africa. His rule was very short, from November 1492 to April 1493. The dates of his birth and death are unknown.

He succeeded his father Sonni Ali on the latter's death on 6 November 1492. However, one of Sonni Ali's generals, Muhammad Ture, plotted to take power. Baru was challenged by Muhammad because he was not seen as a faithful Muslim.[2] As soon as he had made his arrangements, he attacked Sonni Bāru on 18 February 1493. Sonni Bāru's army was defeated. There was another, more decisive battle on 12 April 1493, after which Sonni Bāru fled into exile. The usurper then took power as Askia Muhammad Ture.[3]

Preceded by
Sonni Ali
King of Songhai
Succeeded by
Askia Mohammad I


  1. ^ Bāru is a local contraction of Abū Bakr: Hunwick 1999, p. 5n48
  2. ^ Towards an Understanding of the African Experience from Historical By Festus Ugboaja Ohaegbulam
  3. ^ Hunwick 1999, p. 102


  • Hunwick, John O. (1999), Timbuktu and the Songhai Empire: Al-Sadi's Tarikh al-Sudan down to 1613 and other contemporary documents, Leiden: Brill, ISBN 90-04-11207-3.