Sudan The war in the South The war in the West: Darfur
Historical overview • Turco-Egyptian Rule, 1821-1884: all of north and central Sudan under Turco-Egyptian rule. • The Mahdist Period, 1884-1989: included the west, north and central regions. • Anglo-Egyptian condominium, 1899-1955: jointly ruled by British and Egyptians. • British largely closed off the south to Northern rule, separating it. • Darfur region added to Sudan in 1916, ending Fur sultanate. • “Arabized” elite of the north gain control of state • Independence, 1956.
Post-colonial Sudan Sudanese independence saw its northern elite take over the central government. They envisioned a country with a unified language, religion and culture. And they controlled resources, focusing on the spreading the benefits very narrowly.
Alex de Waal: “Sudan is not a state but a process. The process in question is the spread of a set of exclusivist social values and political-economic structures associated with the Arab ‘core’ of Sudan. …The second feature is instability at the centre of power. A ruling coalition has yet to emerge, and politics has swung between authoritarianism and liberalism, secularism and adherence to political Islam. The third feature is orientation: to foreign patrons and creditors, expatriate Sudanese and the Islamist financiers who control their remittances, and international aid institutions. “
Sudan at war • 1955 – 1972: southerners fight against northern rule. Ends with Addis Ababa Accord, March 1972. Southern autonomy, incorporate fighters into national army, English recognized as South’s principal language. • 1972 – 1983, peace.
War in Sudan, continued. • In 1983, President Nimeiri, losing support in North, breaches accords by imposing Sharia law and dividing south into separate administrative units. • SPLM and SPLA created in 1983 oppose above, call for a new Sudan. • 1985, Nimeiri deposed. Sadiq Al-Mahdi becomes president, escalates war by arming Baggara militia in West. As possibility of ending war appears, he is overthrown in 1989 by General Omar Al-Bashir, whose National Islamic Front espoused a politicized and intolerant Islam. • 1985 – 2004, war in the south and Nuba Mountains (1992).
Atrocities: • A divide-to-destroy strategy of pitting ethnic groups against each other, with enormous loss of civilian life • The use of mass starvation as a weapon of destruction: manipulation of aid access and resources • Toleration of the enslavement of women and children by government-allied militias • The incessant bombing of hospitals, clinics, schools and other civilian and humanitarian targets • Disruption and destabilization of the communities of those who flee the war zones to other parts of Sudan • Widespread persecution on account of race, ethnicity and religion
2 million dead 4 million displaced Primary victims: Nuer, Dinka, and Nuba. Oil.
Peace and War • Machakos Agreement, July 2002. • A comprehensive peace agreement signed on January 9, 2005. • Self-determination after six years • Access to resources and profits from resources • Separation of state and religion • Power sharing • Darfur, 2003: a place at the table in new Sudan. • Responding to Darfur, 2003 - today: “genocide by habit”
Who is who? • Primary victims: Fur, Masaalit, Tunjur, Zaghawa speakers. • African languages, people tend to be agriculturalists. • Rebel groups, Justice and Equality Movement and the Sudanese Liberation Army/Movement, are largely composed of these ethnic groups. • Primary perpetrators: largely from Beni Halba tribe and northern nomadic herders called “janjaweit.” Supported and armed by the military of the Sudanese government. • Speak Arabic, tend to be animal herders. • Largely attack only civilian sites.
Stakes of the conflict • Estimates of tens of thousands dead. Range of numbers from 250,000 – 400,000. • 2.4 million displaced. • Some 250,000 refugees in neighboring Chad. • Widespread rape.
U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Committee on Conscience www.ushmm.org/conscience
Update on the conflict • African union United Nations Hybrid peacekeeping force. • Currently 10,000 • Authorized 26,000 • UN can’t find willing nations to donate resources • Negotiations between government and rebel forces. • Declaration of principles signed July 6. 2006 • Potential Bashir indictment before the ICC • John Garang, leader of SPLA sworn as vice-president of Sudan, July 11, 2005. He died 6 months after taking office.