Idris Alooma - Sultan of Bornu The histories of Kanem and Bornu are so intertwined that the two central Sudan states can be considered one great civilization that endured for a thousand years. Yet for two centuries before Idris Alooma became Mai (sultan) of Bornu, Kanem was a separate land whose people had been driven out by their nomadic cousins, the Bulala. It took one of Africa’s most extraordinary rulers to reunite the two kingdoms. Idris Alooma was a devout Muslim. His brick mosque was the first of its kind. He replaced tribal law with Muslim law. And early in his reign, he made a pilgrimage to Mecca. But the trip had as much military as religious significance, for he returned with Turkish firearms. Now Mai Idris commanded an incredibly strong army - not only musketeers, but a cavalry that looked surprisingly like European knights in armor. They marched swiftly and attacked suddenly, crushing hostile tribes in annual campaigns. Finally Idris conquered the Bulala, establishing dominion over the Kanem-Bornu empire and a peace lasting half a century.