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Sudan: In Search of a Nation Roberta Ann Dunbar The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill For Bridges and Barriers Workshop State Department of Public Instruction Raleigh, NC--July 12, 2006

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sudan in search of a nation

Sudan: In Search of a Nation

Roberta Ann Dunbar

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

For Bridges and Barriers Workshop

State Department of Public Instruction

Raleigh, NC--July 12, 2006

(the images have been removed and replaced by hyperlinks, with some revisions due to accessibility)

  • Ancient Civilizations of the Nile Valley
  • Sudan—Physical and Human Resources
    • Socio-Economic Indicators
  • Nineteenth and 20th Centuries
  • Themes of the Independence Era 1956-Present
  • Civil Conflicts and the Search for Peace
the ancient nile valley
The Ancient Nile Valley
  • The Legacy of Human Diversity
  • A New Kingdom Vision: Four principal ethnic groups: Egyptians, Assyrians, Nubians, and Libyans

Haynes, J.L. Nubia. Ancient Kingdoms of Africa. Boston: Museum of Fine Arts 1992, 15-17



Haynes, J. L. Ancient Kingdoms of Africa. Boston: Museum of Fine Arts 1991, 14-15.

nubian queens
Nubian Queens
  • Queen Kemsit—Nubian Queen of Mentuhotep II, 2061-1010 B. C.

Haynes, J. L. Nubia. Ancient Kingdoms of Africa. Boston: Museum of Fine Arts 1992, p. 16

kush and the 25 th dynasty
Kush and the 25th Dynasty
  • The Sphinx of Taharqa 690-664 B. C. from the Temple I at Kawa 10th image down

Taylor, John H. Egypt and Nubia. Cambridge, MA: Harvard U Press 1001, Cover

queen malakaye
Queen Malakaye
  • A Kushitic queen of the early 6th century.
  • Women of the ruling class held high status in the Kush Kingdom.
  • During the later phase of the empire in Meroe, some queens were joint rulers.

Haynes, J. L. Nubia. Ancient Kingdoms of Africa. Boston: Museum of Fine Arts 1992, p. 31.

sudan political map
Sudan Political Map
physical and human resources
Physical and Human Resources
  • About ¼ size of United States
  • Largest country territorially
  • Savannah Grasslands to South—Seasonal Rains April-November
  • Desert to the north
  • Confluence of Blue and White Nile

Scroll down to map and click to enlarge. Option to download printable map

National Geographic 203, 2 (February 2003). Map., 39

major socio economic indicators
Major Socio-economic Indicators
  • Population 41.2 million (July 2006 est.) growing at 2.55%/year
  • Life Expectancy: 57.69 yrs for men; 60.21 years for women
  • Infant Mortality Rate: 61.05/1,000 live births
  • Total fertility rate: 4.72 children born/woman


cultural features of sudan
Cultural Features of Sudan
  • Ethnic Groups: Muslim Peoples.
    • Arabs. 40% of population (1990). Divided between jaali (riverine, sedentary people) and juhayna (nomads).
    • Nubians. Largely dispersed by the construction of Aswan dam.
    • Beja. Cushitic speaking people now largely Arabized
    • Fur. Agricultural people of the Jabal Marrah
peoples of northern sudan
Peoples of Northern Sudan

Map and person

  • Tremendous variety of images – warning: one on the home page is inappropriate for students

Beja of the Sudan Coastal Region

Nuba Mountain People

cultural features of sudan13
Cultural Features of Sudan
  • Muslim Peoples (con’t).
    • Zaghawa. Herding and gathering populations north of the Fur
    • Masalit, Daju, and Berti. Cultivators speaking Nilo-Saharan languages
    • West Africans. Largely Bornuan or Fulani in origin, constituted in 1990 6.5% of Sudanese population.
cultural features of sudan14
Cultural Features of Sudan
  • Non-Muslim Peoples
    • Nilotes. 3/5 of population of southern Sudan (1990).
      • Dinka larges of the Nilotic groups.
      • Nuer
      • Shilluk
    • Bari, Kuku, Kadwa, Mandari. South and East of other Nilotes, although Bari and Mandari closely related to them.
two principal groups of southern sudan
Two Principal Groups of Southern Sudan


Dinka and Cattle

cultural features of sudan16
Cultural Features of Sudan
  • Non-Muslim Peoples (cont).
    • Murle, Didinga and others.
    • Azande. Western al-Istiwal and Bahr al Ghaza and constituting 8% of population of southern Sudan
    • Bviri and Ndogo. Southwestern Sudan speaking languages close to Azande.
    • Nuba. Cultivators of Nuba Mountains of southern Kurdofan
  • Gross Domestic Product/Capita (in PPP): $2,100 (2005 est.)
  • GDP Growth Rate 7% (2005 est.)
  • Composition of GDP
    • Agriculture 38.7% (80% of workforce)
    • Industry 20.3 % (7% of workforce)
    • Services 41% (13% of workforce)
  • Unemployment Rate. 18.7% (2002)
  • Exports
    • Oil and petroleum products
    • Cotton
    • Sesame
    • Livestock
    • Groundnuts
    • Gum Arabic and Sugar
  • Export Partners: China (66.9%), Japan (10.7%); Saudi Arabia (4.4%) (2004)
  • Imports
    • Foodstuffs
    • Manufactured goods
    • Refinery and Transport equipment
  • Import Partners: China (13%); Saudi Arabia (11.5%), UAE (5.9%); Egypt (5.1%); India (4.8%); Germany (4.5%); Australia (4.1%); Japan (4%) (2004)
  • Insert map of oil fields and pipeline to the Red Sea

  • Chevron discovered oil in southern Sudan in 1978.
  • First exported in 1999
  • Proven Reserves: 1.6 billion bbl
  • Oil production: 401,300 bbl/day (2005)
  • Oil Exports: 275,000 bbl/day (2004)
  • Natural Gas Proved Reserves: 84.95 billion cu m (2005) but none is being produced.
  • In 2005, Sudan had become the 7th largest oil producer in Africa after Nigeria, Libya, Algeria, Angola, Egypt, and Equatorial Guinea
  • In June 2006, Nigeria, the only African country in OPEC and holder of group’s presidency invited Angola and Sudan to join OPEC.
  • OPEC currently accounts for 42% of global oil production.
political history 19 th 20 th centuries
Political History 19th & 20th Centuries
  • Era of the Turkiyya under Muhammad Ali
    • Modernization of the Egyptian state
    • Institutionalization of slave raiding that penetrated areas of Middle and Upper Nile
      • At first a state monopoly, then licenses to commercial merchants who wreaked havoc on areas to the south

Egyptian Slavers ca 1820 (link is slavers of the 19th century)

history of sudan
History of Sudan
  • 1884-1898—The Mahdiya Islamist State
    • The Mahdi succeeded by Khalifa Abdullahi Ibn Muhammad.
    • With help of Baggara, attempted expansion into Ethiopia
the anglo egyptian sudan
The Anglo-Egyptian Sudan
  • Lord Herbert Kitchener conquers Khartoum and defeats the Mahdist State in 1898
  • Image of Lord Herbert

Courtesy of Robert O. Collins

britain s southern policy
Britain’s Southern Policy
  • Close off the South to northern merchants, bureaucrats, and Muslim clerics
  • Rely on Christian missions for education and civil services
  • Focus on development of cotton as cash crop through the al-Gezira scheme
key political figures of northern sudan 1956 2005
Key Political Figures of Northern Sudan 1956-2005
  • General Ibrahim Abboud
  • Hassan al Turabi
  • Jaffar Nimeiri
  • Sadiq al-Mahdi
  • Muhammad al-Mirghani
  • Ali Osman Taha
  • Omar al-Bashir
  • < see Sudan Readings and Bibliography for images of each of these>
the south after independence
The South After Independence
  • Agreements made at time of independence led many southerners to fear northern domination both politically and culturally
    • Arabic official language
    • Bureaucratic positions open to northerners
    • Consolidation of military under northern command—led to first signs of rebellion
  • Image of Sudan’s flag

era of first civil war
Era of First Civil War
  • 1955-1972 of northern hegemony following the opening up of the south
    • 1963. Emergence of Anya Nya as force to be contended with because of military support from outside.
    • Despite considerable military assistance to Government of Sudan, no victory over south seemed possible
    • Continued instability in north because of failure to resolve this crisis
    • Nimeiri’s government reached peace accord with Anya Nya in 1972
second war in the south
Second War in the South
  • 1983-1994
    • Declaration of SPLM/A as movement to achieve autonomy for southern Sudan
    • 1994 Cukudum Conference. First attempts to establish formal judicial system to work with local elders
    • Established National Congress, National Leadership Council, and National Executive Council
second war in the south31
Second War in the South
  • SPLM/A persisted as weak governance structure in south subject to outbreaks of ethnic rivalries—especially between the Dinka who dominate SPLM/A
  • John Garang remained dominant in both military and civil affairs
  • 1997 attempt to draft constitution for Southern Sudan unable to bridge gap between accountability and Garang’s power.
issues in southern politics
Issues in Southern Politics
  • Lack of a sound ideology of governance within the SPLM/A reinforced militaristic nature of Garang’s rule
  • Ethiopian support ended in 1991
  • Split between Nuer under Riek Machar of Sudan Peoples Defence Forces (SPDF) and SPLM/A
  • January 2002—reintegration of SPDF with SPLM/A
  • Image of John Garang
  • Image of Riek Machar

John Garang

Riek Machar

comprehensive peace agreement cpa january 9 2005
Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA)—January 9, 2005
  • Beginning in 1994, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) sponsored peace negotiations.
  • Formal peace process began in 2002 with additional support of the United States, the United Kingdom and Norway.
comprehensive peace agreement january 9 2005
Comprehensive Peace Agreement—January 9, 2005
  • Government of National Unity (GNU) to be formed for interim period of 6 years. At end of that time a referendum in the South will decide whether or not to secede.
  • During interim, the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) will be autonomous.
  • President of GsSS is to be the Vice-President of GNU.
  • Integrated military of 39,000
  • Oil wealth to be divided 50:50 between north and south
  • Jobs to be split in favor of GoS in national administration and in the transitional areas.
  • Sharia law to be applied only in northern Sudan.
splm challenges
SPLM Challenges
  • Untimely Death of John Garang in July 2005.
  • Succeeded by Salva Kiir, former military commander without diplomatic skills and contacts of Garang
  • SPLM must develop a program to implement peace, and to expand political alliances
  • Image of John Garang
the tragedy of darfur
The Tragedy of Darfur
  • Ancient History of close and amicable relations between Arab nomads and African cultivators
  • Famous Sultanate of Fur a preeminent power in central Sudan in 19th Century
  • Hakura system of feudal land grants given to followers who then had access to collection of dues from population.
  • Map of Dafur within Sudan destroyed villages

  • Image of Jebel ….
  • The region incorporated into the Mahdist state and then into the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan where it remained a backwater

Photo of Jebel Marra, a volcanic massif in Darfur

  • Today region has population of ca 6 million
  • Population before the war was relatively poor
  • Historically, both nomads and cultivators would migrate

The Jebel Marra—at 8,000 ft, an important area of rich land of fields, orchards and pastures

  • Map of Darfur

  • Darfurians are predominantly Muslim
  • Many, like Ali al Haj Mohamed—a Bornuan, ran as an Islamist for governship of Darfur but was defeated.
  • In 1994, when he was Minister of Federal Affairs, he divided up Darfur into the three states of today in hope that Islamists candidates might succeed.
  • Ecological pressures first in 1960s, then in 1980s—population pressures and drought meant that cultivators closed off some of the nomads migration routes in order to protect their fields.
  • Many Arabs lost herds and migrated out of the country for work—many to Libya
  • By late 1980s, a group that came to be called the Arab Gathering formed close ties with Muammar Gaddafi of Libya and began a critique of the central government for its neglect.
  • Their ideology exhibited a racist preference for “pure Arabs”, the Juhayna, in opposition to the riverine groups that controlled the government
darfur 1990s
  • Following coup of Gen Omar Bashir in 1989, the government sought to strengthen ties to the Arab World and in Darfur—to expand the position of Arabs by a proliferation of administrative titles that were given to Arabs and not non-Arabs.
  • Many non-Arab groups like Masalit were disarmed and youth sent to fight against the south.
darfur arabs in 1990s
Darfur Arabs in 1990s
  • Musa Hilal emerges as important leader of the Abbala Arabs in the north from his base in Misteriha
  • By 2000, both helicopters and weapons were amassed there.
  • Image of Musa Hilal
darfur origins of sudan liberation army
Darfur—Origins of Sudan Liberation Army
  • 1996. Setting up of a secret organization in Khartoum by men who were to be important to SLA:
    • Abdel Wahid Mohamed al Nur, the first chairman of SLA
    • Ahmad Abdel Shafi, SLA’s first coordinator
    • Abdu Abdalla Ismail, SLA’s first representative to the Ceasefire Commission set up under the African Union
origins of sla
Origins of SLA
  • Began to raise money and arms—explicitly in response to the threats made in Arab Gathering statements about killing all Blacks;
  • 1997. Had their first meeting with self-defense groups among the Fur in Darfur and began the mobilization of the area around Jebel Marra possible image of troops

early days of sla
Early Days of SLA
  • 1997-2002: Worked to expand ties with Zaghawa and with Masalit groups all coming under pressure and direct attacks from Arabs.
  • August 2002. Leadership conference to elect officers military commanders
  • January-March 2003. First meetings between SLA and SPLA
  • By 2005, SLA had 11,000 troops among Fur, Zaghawa and Masalit troops image

darfur and justice and equality movement jem
Darfur and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM)
  • 1993-1997. Formation of secret cells to discuss reform of the National Islamic Front
  • Decision taken to educate ordinary Sudanese—organized to conduct research
  • Image of dr. Khalil Ibrahim

Dr. Khalil Ibrahim—member of founding group

recollections of conditions that motivated their actions
Recollections of conditions that motivated their actions

From an interview with Abubaker Hamid Nur

There was too much suffering. I travelled 60 kilometres to go to primary school, in Kornoi, when I was 7; 350 kilometres to go to intermediate school, in Geneina; 400 kilometres to go to secondary school in Fasher; and 1,000 kilometres to go to university, in Khartoum. It was forbidden to speak the Zaghawa language in school. In primary school, the teacher gave us a blue ticket to pass to any boy who spoke Zaghawa. At the end of the day, anyone who had had the ticket was whipped. The whole of Kutum province, with a population of more than 551,000 had one general doctor and no specialists. Women walked more than eight hours daily to get less than 60 litres of water. We were excluded from all key posts and had no way of communicating with the international community to ask for help. Why: Because a gang in Khartoum was controlling everything. (Flint and De Waal, Darfur. 2005, 92-93.

jem philosophy
JEM Philosophy
  • Believed that the problems of Darfur require national solutions
  • 2003 a 5-Point Manifesto
    • Unified Sudan
    • Justice and equality
    • Constitutional reform guaranteeing rights to the regions
    • Basic services for Sudanese
    • Equitable development of economy and human services throughout the country.
the war in darfur 2003 2005
The War in Darfur 2003-2005
  • SLA and JEM cooperate militarily and meet with great success in 2003
  • By mid-year, Musa Hilal had returned to Darfur and expanded recruitment for Janjawiid
  • 2004. Throughout the year the Janjawiid, who had become a well-heeled paramilitary group led assaults on villages throughout the region at same time that negotiations were on-going with the United Nations and the African Union
the war in darfur 2005
The War in Darfur--2005
  • By 2005—nearly 2 million driven into camps inside Darfur
  • 200,000 had fled to Chad
  • Janjawiid operated with full support of Sudan Defence Forces, the Air Force, and the State Security.
  • The Arab Gathering could operate independently of Khartoum Series of images and account by an American observer

international agents
International Agents
  • The African Union
  • April 2004. First discussion of situation in Darfur at meeting of AU’s Peace and Security Council meeting
  • Humanitarian ceasefire agreement signed in N’Djamena calling on Sudan government to neutralise the armed militias image of African Union Soldiers/observers

international agents53
International Agents
  • The United States
  • June 2004. U. S. Congress passed resolution describing Darfur as genocide
  • September 2004. U. S. Secretary of State Colin Powell testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that genocide had occurred in Sudan. image Of US Sec’y of State Colin Powell testifying about genocide in Darfur

international agents54
International Agents
  • United Nations.
    • June 2004. UN Security Council Resolution 1556:
      • Disarm Janjawiid
      • Arrest leaders
      • Allow access to humanitarian assistance
    • September 2004. UN Security Council Resolution 1564
      • Mandate of International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur (ICID) to investigate human rights and to determine if genocide had occurred.
    • January 2005-Report of ICID
agreements for peace in darfur
Agreements for Peace in Darfur
  • 2005, July. Government of Sudan, SLA/M and JEM sign Declaration of Principles in Abuja
  • 2006, May 5. Signing of Darfur Peace Agreement in Abuja by Government of Sudan (largely represented by the National Congress Party); and a faction of the Sudan Liberation Army under Minni Arkou Minawi (SLA/MM
  • Image of Minnie Arkou Minawi

Minni Arkou Minawi

the darfur peace agreement
The Darfur Peace Agreement
  • Political cartoon of man labeled Sudan watering a desert flower by Al-Jazeerah
  • Three Protocols
    • Security Arrangements
    • Power Sharing
    • Wealth Sharing
    • Darfur-Darfur Dialogue and Consultation
  • Africa, Justice. “Sudan: Prospects for Peace” In Review of African Political Economy 97, 30 (September 2003), 489-497.
  • Compare InfoBase Pvt Ltd. Sudan Political Map.
  • Flint, Julie and Alex De Waal. Darfur. 2005.
  • International Crisis Group. “Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement: The Long Road Ahead” Africa Report No 106, 31 March 2006. Seen at (June 29, 2006).
  • International Crisis Group. “Darfur’s Fragile Peace Agreement”. Africa Policy Briefing No. 39. Nairobi/Brussels June 20, 2006 acceessed via (June 29, 2006)
  • Library of Congress Country Study on Sudan.
  • Mohammed, Adan Azain. “Women and Conflict in Darfur” In Review of African Political Economy 97, 30 (September 2003), 479-481.
  • Rone, Jemera. Sudan: Oil and War” In Review of African Political Economy 97, 30 (September 2003), 504-510.
  • Salopek, Paul. “Shattered Sudan. Drilling for Oil Hoping for Peace.” National Geographic February 2003,30-67.
  • Young, John. “Sudan: Liberation Movements, Regional Armies, Ethnic Militias and Peace” In Review of African Political Economy 97, 30 (September 2003), 423-434.