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History of the Sudan: What Led Up to the Genocide in Darfur. By Reid Rosenberg, Katie LaBarre, Charlie Carroll, Laura O’Friel and Sandrine Fimbi. Ancient History of Kush. Kingdom in northern Sudan from 11 th century BC to 4 th century AD Province of Egyptian Pharaohs

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history of the sudan what led up to the genocide in darfur

History of the Sudan: What Led Up to the Genocide in Darfur

By Reid Rosenberg, Katie LaBarre, Charlie Carroll, Laura O’Friel and Sandrine Fimbi

ancient history of kush
Ancient History of Kush
  • Kingdom in northern Sudan from

11th century BC to 4th century AD

  • Province of Egyptian Pharaohs

until 8th century BC

  • 23 BC- Northern region a

Roman province, after Egypt is conquered by Romans

christian nubia
Christian Nubia
  • 350 AD- Christian invasion from Ethiopia
  • 6th Century AD-

Three Christian Kingdoms of Nubia

  • 9th-10th Century AD

-Peak of prosperity

-Isolation from Muslim

dominated Middle East

muslim domination
Muslim Domination
  • 16th century AD-Kingdom of Sennar

Black Muslims known as the Funj begin Sultanate

  • 19th century AD-Internal corruption and discord weakens Sennar
  • 1822 AD- Defeat of Sultanate

Ruled by Ottoman Turks and Egyptians

darfur arab vs african
Darfur: Arab vs. African
  • Dar Fur—independent Sultanate (c.1600-1916)
    • 1600-1700 Fur identity
    • Traces roots to Arab past—Mohammed
      • The Arabs of Dar Fur are Bedouin Arabs who trace their lineage directly to Mohammed. In their view, they see themselves as more Arab than the Riverian Arabs of lighter skin tone.
      • Riverian Arabs treat Bedouin Arabs as second class citizens.
  • Nilocentrism—three Sudans
  • Labels—“Arabs” and “Africans”
    • Response to Turco-Egyptian state (1821-84)
    • “From the viewpoint of Dar Fur, the distinction between ‘Arab’ and ‘African’ [had] not [yet] arise[n]” (de Waal, 2005)
arabs and islam
Arabs and Islam
  • Islam—Came from the west.
  • Hakura—land awarded by Fur sultanate in exchange for loyalty (de Waal, 2005)
    • Southern, Baggara (cattle-men) received these. The Rizegat were a main Baggara tribe who received a great portion of the Hakura.
    • Northern Abbala (camel-men) nomads became subjects of Dar Fur and they received no land or Hakura
  • The Janjaweed (who later became Arab militias) were mostly made up of Abbala – i.e. their clans were poorer because they did not have land.
1820 1870s
1820 - 1870s
  • 1820: Northern Sudan was unified by Ottoman Turks and Egyptian forces, “Turkiyah” government
  • Egypt was a rising economic and military power under the Khedive Muhammed Ali so took advantage of its place on the Nile and near the Sudan for natural resources, slave trade
  • 1870s: European slave trade caused an economic crisis in the south, which caused widespread poverty and paved the way for the rise of the Mahdists
  • Muslims believe in a “Mahdi”, a redeemer who will come to the world unannounced as a prophet to redeem the world
  • Muhammad Ahmad claimed to be the Mahdi in the 1830s and gained followers
  • Capitalizing on the discontent resulting from Anglo-Egyptian rule, he declared a jihad against Egyptian rule and started a nationalist revolt that peaked at the siege of Khartoum (the capital of Sudan) in 1885
independence part i
Independence: Part I
  • The Mahdi raised an army of followers (“Ansar”) and led a successful revolt against Ottoman rule in 1881
  • Khartoum was held by the British (Col. George Gordon), the Mahdi and his Ansar began a siege of the city in 1884
  • Khartoum finally fell to the Mahdists in 1885, the Mahdiyya (Mahdist government) took over. The Mahdi died in 1885 but a successor, the Khalifa took over his government
independence part ii
Independence: Part II
  • In 1895, England started to make plans for the reconquest of the Sudan
  • 1898: Battle of Omdurman (near Khartoum) between Horatio Kitchener’s English army and the Ansar “dervishes”
  • In 5 hours, 11,000 Ansar were killed, compared to 40 English (400 wounded)
  • The Mahdiyya was clearly ended, England took control again
foreign rule
Foreign Rule
  • From 1898 on, England and Egypt were in charge of the Sudan (this was a strange relationship because England was the dominant world power and it ruled Egypt, which was a dominant power in Africa)
  • They divided the country into 2 distinct zones (north and south)
  • Northern Sudan: Main languages were Arabic and English, Muslim population
  • Southern: Main languages were African and English, Christian population (missionaries)
british conquest 1916 darfur
British Conquest 1916Darfur
  • Darfur finally incorporated into Sudan
  • Native Administration established to create new tribal hierarchy. It also “contributed to tidying up the confusion of ethnic identities” (de Waal 2005). “Definitions” of tribes.
  • Hakuras become Dars
    • Ethnic territory where dominant ethnicity had control
    • Hakuras were racially and culturally mixed almost entirely by 1970s
  • 1946: England decided to reverse its policy of dividing the coutry and unify it into one country
  • Southerners felt betrayed:
    • New govt’s language was Arabic, but the southerners had not been trained in that language (or much English)
    • South not as politically organized, so it was not as well represented in new gov’t.
  • 1945: formation of political parties. The National Unionist Party, headed by Al-Azhari, was the political faction of one of the most powerful Muslim sects in the country at the time, the Khatmiyah brotherhood. This party wanted union to Egypt and was facing the opposition of the Umma Party of the Ansar, who favored sole independence
  • 1953: British and Egyptians grant Sudanese-self government for 3 years.
  • 1956: Independence proclaimed on January 1, after unanimous vote of senate.
summary general trends
Summary/General Trends
  • The Mahdists had a big effect on keeping the British out from 1885-1898, although it was a primarily Muslim movement centered from the north.
  • Colonizing powers divided the Sudan into 2 regions: North and South. They had different languages, governments, etc.
  • The powers then unified the country without consulting the Southerners. Many Southerners don’t recognize the Sudan as a legitimate state
government supported islamic groups
Muslim Brotherhood

1930s: originates in Egypt as a nationalist movement during decolonization

-goal of institutionalizing Islamic Law, Muslim values, restoring a global Caliphate, anti-colonial, anti-Zionist, contains armed wings

Other radical movements, some using violence, have been partially inspired by them in later years (Bin Laden)

National Islamic Front (NIF)

1960s: Founded by HassanAl-Turabi

-government official under Nimeiri and Al-Bashir

- strongly promotes nationalism through Shari’a (Islamic law)

1983:September Laws

Shari’a= National Law

- great opposition to this in South who are largely NOT Muslims

1990s:led by President Al-Bashir

who funds militias that perpetrate genocide in South

Government Supported Islamic Groups
national democratic alliance
National Democratic Alliance

*umbrella group for opposition parties*

1993:Formation of NDA as opposition force to NIF/Al-Bashir Government

Current Goal: Overthrow of Bashir regime and replace with democratic government

1. Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement (SPLA/M)

1980s: Founded by John Garang

- From Sudanese military unit that defected to rebel side

- Promotes democratic reform, against imposition of Islamic law nationally

2005: Garang becomes Vice-President of Sudan and administrative head of South after Comprehensive Peace Agreement

-Killed same year in helicopter crash, provoked riots throughout the country because of suspicion of assassination

national democratic alliance1
2. Sudan Liberation Army/Movement (SLA/M)

Darfur Liberation Front

-Wanted secession from Sudan

2003: Changed goal and name

New Goal: greater autonomy, democracy,

distribution of resources throughout all Sudan

3. Justice and Equality Movement (JEM)

1993: Islamic dissidents within the IMF meet secretly to plan reform

2000: Publish The Black Book: Imbalance of Power and Wealth in the Sudan

-focuses on the disproportionate distribution of power in Sudan

Goal: Overthrow Bashir,

Reform of law so that Shari’a applies only to Muslims

Current: Suspicions of leadership by exiled Al-Turabi (he denies)

National Democratic Alliance

*SLA/M and JEM merge in 2006

major people in modern history
Major People In Modern History

Al-Turabi: Founder of NIF

-Government positions under Nimeiri and Al- Bashir

-previously pro-Shari’a, suspicions of now heading JEM

Nimeiri: Semi-Dictator from 1969-1986, who rose to power in coup d’etat

-gradually enforced strict Islamic Law to retain political support

Al-Bashir: President of Sudan since another military coup in 1989

-Head of NIF, supports Islamization and Shari’a Law

-his current regime funds militants such as the Janjaweed and turns blind eye to genocide in South

John Garang: Founder of SPLA/M

-Insistance on keeping one Sudan instead of secession of Darfur caused divisions within the rebel groups during the 1990s

-Appointed Vice-President in 2005 after peace talks with Khartoum,

killed same year in helicopter crash

national democratic alliance2
2. Sudan Liberation Army/Movement (SLA/M)

Darfur Liberation Front

-Wanted secession from Sudan

2003: Changed goal and name

New Goal: greater autonomy, democracy,

distribution of resources throughout all Sudan

3. Justice and Equality Movement (JEM)

1993: Islamic dissidents within the IMF meet secretly to plan reform

2000: Publish The Black Book: Imbalance of Power and Wealth in the Sudan

-focuses on the disproportionate distribution of power in Sudan

Goal: Overthrow Bashir,

Reform of law so that Shari’a applies only to Muslims

Current: Suspicions of leadership by exiled Al-Turabi (he denies)

National Democratic Alliance

*SLA/M and JEM merge in 2006

sudan and libya
Sudan and Libya
  • Old relationship (long before colonization)
  • Very amicable until Qaddafi seized power in Libya in 1969.
  • Qaddafi failed attempts to unify Egypt, Sudan and Libya, then Chad, Sudan, and Libya, under a common Islamic state.
  • Coup d’etat sponsored by Qaddafi against Numeiry in 1976 failed. Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Sudan unite against Libya.
sudan and libya1
Sudan and Libya
  • 1989: Bashir coup d’etat. Relations warmed up between Sudan and Libya. Possibility of unification of Chad, Libya, and Sudan once again discussed.
  • Bashir and Qaddafi fell out. Qaddafi then accused of supporting the southern rebels and also, later, the Darfur rebels.
  • Nevertheless, Qaddafi tried to use his influence to resolve the Chad-Sudan conflict with the February 2006 Tripoli Agreement, which was signed by Libya, Sudan, and Chad. The tensions between Chad and Sudan result from the fact that each of the two countries believes that the other has a hand in destabilizing the civil order in its territory.
sudan chad conflict
Sudan-Chad Conflict
  • Starting in September 2005, some Janjaweed began to cross over the Chadian border presumably to follow the Darfuri who succeeded in escaping, but in fact attacking Chadian population and stealing food.
  • Around the same period, the UFDC (United Front for Democratic Change) rebels, who are based in Darfur, started some attacks on Chadian soil. This Chadian rebel group is, according to the Chadian government, backed by Sudan.
  • On December 23, 2005, Chad declared state of belligerency with Sudan
sudan chad conflict1
Sudan-Chad Conflict
  • Sudan denied Chadian accusations of backing the UFDC and claimed Darfur rebels are backed by Chad.
  • Tentative peace agreement reached in Tripoli on February 8, 2006, but neither rebels nor Janjaweeds invited at the meeting.
  • Janjaweeds and UFDC continue attacking and massacring the Chadian population.
  • Bilateral relations between the two countries severed first in April 2006, and have been on and off since.
why do chad and libya matter
Why do Chad and Libya Matter?
  • Chad is important to the resolution of the Darfur conflict not only because it is neighboring Darfur, but mostly because it supporting the Darfuri rebels as Sudan is supporting the Chadian rebels. This war of tit for tat must be solved first to have lasting peace in the region. For more information on that dynamic, click here.
  • It is essential to have Libya on board for peace in Darfur because Libya is the big power of the region, and Qaddafi is known for his love of interfering in the internal affairs of other countries. Also Libya has been providing arms to Darfuri and Southerner rebels, contributing to the instability in the region.
musa hilal
Musa Hilal
  • Powerful leader of Janjaweed, member of Um Julal clan of Rizeigat tribe
  • Pride in position as government agent to fight rebels and organize militias
  • Arab Supremacist
  • Hilal issued a directive in 2004 to military intelligence agencies to “change the demography of Darfur and empty it of African tribes.”
origins of janjaweed history of the rizeigat
Origins of Janjaweed: History of the Rizeigat
  • Janjaweed developed from tribal and economic conflicts involving the Abbala Rizeigat
  • Began with Sheikh Hilal Mohamed Abdalla of the Um Julal
  • Moved to Aamo to ally himself with Ereigat [who are they?] and bring in Arabs from Chad to develop a following
origins of janjaweed history of the rizeigat1
Origins of Janjaweed: History of the Rizeigat
  • Great drought of 1984-85: Pastoral lands devastated and Rizeigat migrate south to farmlands of Fur and Tunjur & they are only given poor land
  • 1985: Fall of Nimeiri; Libyan Islamist exiles flood into Darfur with weapons
  • By 1990, weapons become easily available and crime increases
arab supremacy
Arab Supremacy
  • 1981 – Darfurian Arabs demand more representation and control
  • The Tajamu al Arabi organization, also known as the “Arab Gathering” creates militant Arab supremacy movement that pushes for Arab representation in government and majority rule in Darfur
  • Prior to Darfurian governor elections, the Arab gathering had published and sent a letter to the government threatening more Arab representation. They published the “Quraish Manifesto” after election of Fur governor, which preached the supremacy of the Abbala and Baggara Arabs as pure Muslim descendants of Mohamed and called Arabs to action against Africans.
  • Hilal receives arms from Ibn Omar, leader of Chadian opposition front (CDR) sympathetic to his cause
  • 1989 conference – Warring Fur and Janjaweed militias disarmed at conference
  • 1987-89—First conflict in Darfur between Fur militias and the Abbala Arabs Janjawiid
  • Native Administration Council—NAC
    • Recreated by Sudanese government to find solutions between groups
    • Could not find solutions. Renewed conflict in 1994
    • Gave land to certain ethnic groups as means of reinforcing central authority
government backing of the militias and arab rule
Government Backing of the Militias and Arab Rule
  • Militia used by government in two ways: 1) tool of military control and 2) to mask ethnic conflict
  • 1991, SPLA enters Darfur and Militias used by government for first time
  • 1994 – Ali al Haj, the Arab Minister of Federal Affairs, divides Darfur into three regions. More leadership positions go to Arabs, while non-Arabs made into minorities
the masalit conflict
The Masalit Conflict
  • Governmental leaders known as “Amirs” arm themselves and persecute the Masalits, a non-Arab Darfurian tribe
  • 1999: General Mohamed al Dabi from Sudanese Army sent to Darfur by Bashir in Khartoum to train youth militia, worsening militarization of the conflict
  • For first time militia leaders are paid by government
  • 2000: Arab becomes North Darfur governor and support for Janjaweed increases
  • 2001: SLA growing and Arabs recruit for Janjaweed with promises of benefits
  • October 2002: 1st offensive against non-Arab civilians. Sudanese government ignores this and never punishes Janjaweed
reflections and analysis
Reflections and Analysis
  • Riverine Arabs believed that the Bedouin Arabs in Darfur were less Arab than themselves, even though the Bedouins trace lineage directly to Mohammed. Thus, they tried to “arabize” Darfuris and promoted Arabized Darfuris to prominent government posts.
  • African versus Arabs is way too simplified to understand this conflict
  • SPLA influenced “Africans” and SLA which used to be Darfur Liberation Army.
  • Visualization of conflict—a Westerner would imagine this as a conflict between light skinned Arabs and dark skinned Africans. Americans especially imagine aggressive Arabs as terrorists and black Africans as an oppressed people. When the two are combined, Westerners see light-skinned, dominant terrorists oppressing poor black people. This is not the case, both sides share a nearly identical skin tone. The term genocide further polarizes two sides by making them believe that the conflict is all about race, and if one side does not defend itself, the other will wipe them out causing more people to pick up arms. This escalates the violence.
  • (2006, June 22). Chad: Armed Groups Maraud along Sudan Border. Retrieved November 17, 2006, from Human Rights Watch Web site: http://www.hrw.org/english/docs/2006/06/21/chad13603.htm
  • (2006, November 15). Chad/Sudan: End Militia Attacks on Civilians. Retrieved November 15, 2006, from Human Rights Watch Web site: http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/11/15/darfur14609.htm
  • (2006, June 28). Chad/Sudan: Sowing the Seeds of Darfur. Retrieved November 15, 2006, from Amnesty International Web site: http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGAFR200062006
  • Hennig, R (2005, September 7). Eritrea, Chad Accused of Aiding Sudan Rebels. Afrol News Online, Retrieved November 19, 2006, from http://www.afrol.com/articles/13898
  • Holliway, R (2006). Sudan/Darfur/Chad. Retrieved November 27, 2006, from CountryWatch Web site: http://www.countrywatch.com/facts/facts_default.aspx?type=text&topic=SESDC
  • (1991). Libya. Retrieved November 19, 2006, Web site: http://countrystudies.us/sudan/77.htm
  • (2006, November 22). Mubarak, Gaddafi, and Al-Bashir Discussed Means for Achieving Peace in Darfur through an International Effort. Retrieved November 30, 2006, from Egypt State Information Service Web site: http://www.sis.gov.eg/En/EgyptOnline/Politics/000007/0201000000000000006952.htm
  • Reuters, (November 20, 2006). West's Oil Greed behind UN Darfur Push: Gaddafi. Retrieved November 30, 2006, from TradeArabia Business News Information Web site: http://www.tradearabia.com/tanews/newsdetails_snINTNEWS_article114756.html
  • (2006). Sudan-Chad Peace Deal. Retrieved November 19, 2006, from Arab Media Watch Web site: http://www.arabmediawatch.com/amw/CountryBackgrounds/Sudan/SudanChadPeaceDeal/tabid/224/Default.aspx.
  • Flint, Julie & De Waal, Alex. (2005). Darfur: A Short History of a Long War. New York: Zed Books.
  • de Waal, A. (2005). “Who Are The Darfurians? Arab and African Identities, Violence and External Engagements.” African Affairs, 104/415 , 181-205, Retrieved November, 2006 from JSTOR database