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Sudan: In Search of a Nation

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1 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) The title of this presentation Sudan: In Search of a Nation suggests the dilemma of this largest of all African states whose boundaries were shaped by external conquerors over the centuries, but more particularly in the 19th and 20th centuries when Sudan was governed under the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium. A primary theme of this presentation will be that the features that pose barriers to a functioning nation state in the Sudan today are historical, cultural, and geopolitical. As educators our challenge will be to consider how best to convey these three themes to our students. Historical. What have been the major periods of history in this part of the Nile Valley? How has history influenced today’s prospects and dilemmas? Cultural. What are the primary cultural features of Sudan? Geopolitical. What are the factors that create special issues for Sudan’s prospects for development? How are these internal factors complicated by international political, economic, and strategic concerns of powers external to the country?

2 Overview 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

3 The Ancient Nile Valley
The Legacy of Human Diversity A New Kingdom Vision: Four principal ethnic groups: Egyptians, Assyrians, Nubians, and Libyans When so much of the current day’s dilemmas in Sudan are couched in terms of ethnicity and religion, it may be helpful to realize that in ancient times, the people of the Nile Valley were very aware of cultural differences and noted them in their tomb paintings. Haynes, J.L. Nubia. Ancient Kingdoms of Africa. Boston: Museum of Fine Arts 1992, 15-17

4 Nubians, as in the preceding slide, nearly always are presented with the distinctive hairstyle shown here on the left, although skin color may vary. Haynes, J. L. Ancient Kingdoms of Africa. Boston: Museum of Fine Arts 1991,

5 Nubian Queens Queen Kemsit—Nubian Queen of Mentuhotep II, B. C. Haynes, J. L. Nubia. Ancient Kingdoms of Africa. Boston: Museum of Fine Arts 1992, p. 16

6 Kush and the 25th Dynasty The Sphinx of Taharqa B. C. from the Temple I at Kawa King Taharqa’s father had pioneered the Kushitic campaigns into lower Egypt, but Taharqa is known as the great builder and consolidator of the Kush Kingdom. The temples he refurbished at Kawa and elsewhere sought to demonstrate Kush’s appreciation for the classical Egyptian form. While Kush borrowed many things from Egypt, its art retained a distinctive style as shown here in the broad planes of the face of the king. The sphinx appears as a lion, but the horns surrounding his face are the expression of Aman the great ram-headed deity whose worship was paramount in Kush’s first capital, Napata. Its southern capital, Meroe, featured an urban center equipped with viaducts, and substantial processing of iron ore. It’s written language, Meroitic, has never been deciphered, and remains one of the fascinating puzzles of the ancient world. 10th image down Taylor, John H. Egypt and Nubia. Cambridge, MA: Harvard U Press 1001, Cover

7 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. This mask also shows features that were distinctive of Kushitic art: the broad face, the prominent ears, and the emphasis on neck is one of the oldest features of African human representation. Haynes, J. L. Nubia. Ancient Kingdoms of Africa. Boston: Museum of Fine Arts 1992, p. 31.

8 Sudan Political Map

9 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 Slightly more than ¼ the size of the United States, Sudan is the largest country territorially on the continent. The North-South division of the country integrated into the modern state is marked by the orange line. The area to the south is savannah grassland characterized by pronounced seasonal rains (roughly April to November), and by a vast inland delta of the Nile. Lying just to the north of the traditional boundary is grassland that provides some of the richest farmland in the country in the Nuba Mountains and Darfur. The far north is desert with the capital citiy of Khartoum lying at the junction of the Blue and White Niles on the southern edge of the desert. Sudan’s coastline lies along 853 km of the Red Sea with the principal port being Port Sudan. National Geographic 203, 2 (February 2003). Map., 39

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

11 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 Arabs. Among the many sub-tribes of the juhayna are the Baggara whose intermixture with black Africans has left them in many cases indistinguishable from them. Kawahla (nomadic north and west of Khartoum) and Ashraf (those claiming descent from the Prophet Mohammed and/or from Muhammad Ahmad ibn as Sayyid Abd Allah ( as the Mahdi). Nubians are largely found in Khartoum, Port Sudan, and Kassala. Often Arabic speaking, still retain awareness of cultural distinctiveness. Beja. Peoples living in the Red Sea Hills and while largely Arabized, speak a language that associates them with Cushitic-speaking people further south. Fur. An independent sultanate until Agricultural, most have become Muslim but do not consider themselves Arab. Settled in the area of the Jabal Marrah. Oriented politically and culturally towards Chad.

12 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

13 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 % of Sudanese population. Zaghawa. The Arabic term for a people who call themselves Beri. In recent times have developed cultivation, but often resort to gathering during times of drought. Masalit, Daji, Berti. Masalit, the largest, live on Sudan-Chad border; historically a minor sultanate positioned between the Fur and Wadai kingdoms they have in recent times skirmished into territories claimed by the Fur. The Berti are divided into two groups—one in the east in Kordofan, the other north of Al Fasher. Predominantly cultivators with some animal husbandry. Daju, a linguistic term for peoples scattered between Kordofan and Chad exhibiting no particular sense of political identity.

14 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. Nilotes. Largest group of peoples of Southern Sudan but some also living near Ethiopian border and in the Nuba mountains. Living largely on or near the Bahr al Jabal. Dinka. Living predominantly in the Aali an Nil and the Bahr al Ghazal regions of the northern part of southern sudan. Dinka and Nuer were dispersed among different tribal groups (Dinka 25) Nuer(9 or 10); while Shilluk of the Upper Nile were historically ruled by a “divine king” called a reth.

15 Two Principal Groups of Southern Sudan
Nuer Dinka and Cattle

16 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 Murle,Didinga, and others. Agricultural peoples originally of Ethiopian origin but many of whom had migrated into Sudan. Azande. Historically a kingdom that emerged in what is today northeastern Congo southwestern Sudan in 18th and 19th centuries. Marginalized despite British efforts to develop cotton production during the 20th century, they clashed frequently with the Dinka. Their support of the Anya Nya had led to their further deterioration as a group. Nuba. Living in the Nuba mountains of northern Sudan, the Nuba were cultivators divided among approximately 36 small groups of very diverging social organization—some patrilineal others matrilineal, and yet others bilineal. Some converted to Islam but held distinct from Arabization. However, many had been recruited into army and police

17 Economy 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) As noted on the preceding slide, I am using the figures from the latest (June 2006) Cia Factbook on Sudan found at 40% of the population lives below the poverty line. (2004) Inflation runs at 11% (2005) Sudan has been implementing an IMF Structural Adjustment Plan (SAP) since 1997.

18 Economy 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)

19 Economy 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)

20 Petroleum Insert map of oil fields and pipeline to the Red Sea

21 Petroleum 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: billion cu m (2005) but none is being produced. David Morse in an article in Sudan Tribune (23 August 2005) reported that seismographic studies begun following the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Treaty in January 2005 had the effect of doubling estimates of oil reserves to 563 million barrels. He estimated that oil revenues being received in Khartoum had reached $1 million/day (which he alleged was the amoung being funnelled into arms: helicopters, bombers from Russia, tanks from Poland and China, missiles from Iran (seen at )

22 Petroleum 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. Source: Sudan Tribune. June 25, seen June at

23 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)

24 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

25 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

26 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

27 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>

28 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

29 Era of First Civil War 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

30 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

31 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.

32 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 John Garang Image of Riek Machar Riek Machar

33 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.

34 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. Government backed militias in the South to be withdrawn in one year. Re jobs: In national administration: GoS to have 70:30 favor; in transitional areas of Abyei, Blue Nile States and Nuba Mountains, 55:45.

35 SPLM Challenges Image of John Garang
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

36 The Tragedy of Darfur Map of Dafur within Sudan destroyed villages
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

37 Darfur The region incorporated into the Mahdist state and then into the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan where it remained a backwater Image of Jebel …. Photo of Jebel Marra, a volcanic massif in Darfur

38 Darfur Today region has population of ca 6 million
Population before the war was relatively poor Historically, both nomads and cultivators would migrate Nomads migrate as much as 300 miles in search of pasture; cultivators when water and/or soil became depleted. The Jebel Marra—at 8,000 ft, an important area of rich land of fields, orchards and pastures

39 Darfur 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.

40 Darfur 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

41 Darfur 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

42 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.

43 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

44 Darfur—Origins of Sudan Liberation Army
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

45 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

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

47 Darfur and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM)
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

48 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,

49 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.

50 The War in Darfur 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

51 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

52 International Agents The African Union
April 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

53 International Agents The United States
June U. S. Congress passed resolution describing Darfur as genocide September 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

54 International Agents United Nations.
June UN Security Council Resolution 1556: Disarm Janjawiid Arrest leaders Allow access to humanitarian assistance September 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 The report of the ICID was presented in January The Commission had decided that there was no evidence of genocidal intent at the level of the central government. However, many individuals, including some government officials were held to have been likely perpetrators. A sealed list of 51 individuals was handed over with the recommendation for criminal investigation: 10 high-ranking members of central government; 17 local government officials; 14 Janjawiid members; 3 officers of foreign armies; 7 rebel commanders (Flint and DeWaal, 132).

55 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

56 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 There are many flaws in the agreement—not the least of which that one faction of the SLA—that of Abdel Wahid, and the JEM refused to sign. Re Security: Africa Union is overwhelmed, and there are no guidelines for turning over to the UN Disarmament of Janjawiid. Government has already incorporated many within Popular Defence Forces, Border Intelligence Units and Central Reserve Police; Sudan Government also denies that it is in any case able to disarm as they have maintained the stance that this is a civil conflict; No protection for civilians outside of the camps; Military re-integration with Sudanese army and/or disarmed and demobilized. But parties are asked to disarm themselves. The Chadian border is unstable because Chad government is supporting SLA and JEM; Khartoum supports opposition to Chad government. Power Sharing. Problem here is that the Central Peace Agreement is now a part of the country’s constitution that allocates power and seats between the north and the south. On the Presidency, the AU worked out an arrangement for a position of senior assistant to the president whose incumbent would rank fourth in the presidency (after Basher, Ali Osman Taha, and SPLA’s Salva Kiir (who succeeded John Garang). Three Cabinet posts currently held by Darfurians will be identified as Darfurian positions along with some additional offices in the central government—but to be determined by the government. Wealth Sharing. Differences of opinion over who should pay for compensation to individuals as opposed to reconstruction funding. The central government insists that the two funds are the same and will not accept a separate system for paying individuals; Darfur Victims Assistance Fund to be established—search for international funding; Darfur Reconstruction and Development Fund: SudanGovernment to provide $300 million initially followed by $200 million in 2007, 2008. Darfur-Darfur Dialogue and Consultation—to be taken up in the summer of 2006: hope to broaden support for the Peace Agreement; to settle issues about land ownership; work on inter-communal reconciliation.

57 Sources Africa, Justice. “Sudan: Prospects for Peace” In Review of African Political Economy 97, 30 (September 2003), Compare InfoBase Pvt Ltd. Sudan Political Map. Flint, Julie and Alex De Waal. Darfur International Crisis Group. “Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement: The Long Road Ahead” Africa Report No 106, 31 March 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), Rone, Jemera. Sudan: Oil and War” In Review of African Political Economy 97, 30 (September 2003), 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),

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