The fort was initially constructed by the Arabs as a slave collection Centre. Sir Samuel Baker took over the fort from 1872 to 1888 when he was sent on a mission by the Queen of England to stop the slave trade which was being carried out by the Arabs slave traders.
The fort then became the headquarters for Emin Pasha and Gordon, the respective Governors of the Equatorial Province of the British Protectorate.
Slaves were a key trading item for the Arabs too and were captured from northern Uganda, Gondokoro in Sudan, and other areas. Ocecu Hill became a sorting ground for slaves. Healthy-looking ones were forced to trek from Patiko, through Sudan across the Red Sea and sold in Egypt.
The fort had the following divisions which were instrumental to the Arab slave traders:
- The industrial area
- Prosecution Chamber- by (firing squad/beheading)
- Concrete stores
- Administrative Chamber