Sudan History

(Al-Jumhūrīyat as-Sūdān). State of Central-Eastern Africa (1,844,797 km²). Capital: Khartoum. Administrative division: wilayate (17). Population: 41,984,512 (2018 estimate). Language: Arabic. Religion: Sunni Muslims 90.7%, Catholics 3%, Animists / Traditional Beliefs 2.8%, Protestants 2.1%, others 1.4%. Currency unit: Sudanese pound (100 piastres). Human Development Index: 0.502 (167th place). Borders: Egypt (N), Red Sea (NE), Eritrea and Ethiopia (E), South Sudan (S), Chad and Central African Republic (W), Libya (NW). Member of: COMESA, Arab League, OCI, UN, WTO observer, UA, EU associate.


The ancient and medieval history of Sudan coincides with that of Nubia. From the beginning of the century. XVI, Sudan was an independent state, built on the ruins of the ancient kingdom of Aloa, the last of the medieval Christian kingdoms of Nubia, and dominated by the warrior lineage of the fungi. For three centuries the fungs repelled the attacks brought from Abyssinia and from neighboring Darfur, but they could not resist the Egyptian invasion of 1820, so Sudan first became an Egyptian governorate and in 1899, after the liquidation of the Mahdī of Khartoum, an Anglo-Egyptian “condominium” (actually an English ). The autonomist instance of Sudan began to take shape between the first and second world wars, advocated by the patriotic party Umma; but in 1922, when England recognized the independence of Egypt, it did not want to give up Sudan and in 1936 the old condominium was reconfirmed. Even after the end of World War II, Egypt’s petitions to England and the UN for the recovery of Sudan they fell on deaf ears. On the other hand, they began to listen to the Umma appeals for absolute independence, especially after G. Nasser came to power in Egypt., in favor of Sudanese nationalism. In 1953 the leaders of this nationalism managed to enter into an agreement with the British government that established the preliminaries for the independence of Sudan, which took place on January 1, 1956. The new national government was faced with five serious fundamental problems: the separatism of Sudan. relations with Egypt, the right-left antithesis, Sudan’s commitment to the Arab-Israeli conflict, economic, social and cultural development. In southern Sudan, the Nilotic and Niloto-Hamitic, animist or Christian populations intended to defend their identity from Arabization and, from the very beginning, manifested a decisive and combative separatist will, supported, in particular, by the Sudan African National Union (SANU). The first attempts at repression of separatism aroused a reaction of unexpected vigor from the SANU and the Southern Front, which resulted in an armed revolt, mainly led by the Anya-Nya guerrillas who inflicted heavy losses on government forces. As the situation worsened, a coup d’état carried out on November 17, 1958 by General Ibrāhīm ʽAbbū’d ended for the moment. However, even the authoritarian regime of the latter in November 1964 had to give way to a civil government which, dominated by the communist unions, was unable to solve the problems of the country. In May 1969, a new military coup d’état assigned full powers to a Revolutionary Council chaired by Colonel Ga’far an-Nimeiry, which proclaimed the Democratic Republic of Sudan. Initially assuming leftist positions, Nimeiry severely repressed the right and forged ties with the countries of the Communist bloc. Then, driven by the overriding need to pacify the nation, he initiated a policy of reconciliation with the separatists of the South, of internal rebalancing between right and left and of gradual disengagement from the aspirations of pan-Arab nationalism. The turning point took place in 1971, when Nimeiry dissolved the Communist Party and established the Sudanese Socialist Union as the only legal political formation.

In 1972 he finally managed to agree with the separatists on the establishment of a Southern Region autonomous (peace of Addis Ababa), temporarily putting an end to a guerrilla war that cost a million dead. The structure given internally to the country was formally sanctioned by the new Constitution of April 1973. The difficult work of national unification however clashed with persistent ideological dissensions and territorial rivalries. This resulted in incessant plots and violent protests against the person and the regime of Nimeiry who, in order to face the situation, alternated the hard line with various attempts at conciliation. To these tensions were added, especially after 1977, the effects of an acute economic crisis exacerbated by the influx of thousands of refugees from Eritrea and Chad. In foreign policy, internal difficulties were reflected in a tightening of relations with the Ethiopia and with Libya (accused several times of threatening the stability of Sudan) and in a clearer inclusion in the moderate camp. With military and financial support from the US and Saudi Arabia, Nimeiry strengthened ties with Cairo. The activism of the Muslim Brotherhood and the continuous revolts of the blacks of the South were added to the economic crisis: Nimeiry in 1983 revoked the peace of Addis Ababa and established an authoritarian and strongly characterized regime in the Islamic sense, reintroducing the shari’ah. On April 6, 1985, General Abdel Rahman Sewar el Dahab deposed Nimeiry in a coup d’état, promulgated a new Constitution and re-established relations with Tripoli.

Sudan History

You may also like...