Sudan History

Sudan History

The state territory of today’s Sudan is one of the oldest settlement areas in Africa. Until the 9th century BC it belonged to the Egyptian Empire as Nubia and played an important role as a supplier of gold, ivory and slaves. It was also the country from which the Nile’s life-giving water came for Egypt, one of the main reasons for the Egyptians to want to rule this region. Around the year 1000 BC. The Kingdom of the Kushites developed on Nubian soil, which continued until the 4th century AD. existed and even provided the pharaohs for a time (approx. 712 to 664 BC). In the 5th century BC. the kingdom of Kush was restricted to Nubian territory, the capital was Meroe, the ruins of which are still preserved in the Nubian desert. Invading tribes from neighboring Ethiopia (Aksumites) left the Kingdom of Kush around the middle of the 4th century AD. perish.

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From the 6th century AD Further kingdoms developed in Nubian territory, which could not resist the increasing Christianization (Egypt, Ethiopia) for long.

The southern empire of Aloa (Alodia) was able to defend itself against the movement of Islam coming from the north over the next centuries until the beginning of the 16th century, only then was it conquered by Muslims. Around 1504 the empire of Sennar (Sannar, also Fung) emerged, into which the Arab way of life and religion were gradually introduced. Independent of Sennar, the Sultanate of Darfur (from the 17th century) emerged in the west of today’s Sudan as the second Islamic center in the north.

In the 19th century, Sennar was conquered by Egypt, southern Sudan was explored under Egyptian rule, and a new capital, Khartoum (Al-Khartum), was founded. Governors-General appointed by Egypt oversaw the trade in ivory and slaves. In the middle of the 19th century, the European trading power of Great Britain appeared on the scene, British trading branches were established on Nubian soil. More and more British people took on important key positions in politics and business. Foreign rule led to the so-called Mahdi uprising: Muhammad Ahmad Ibn Abd Allah (1844-1885), who described himself as Al Mahdi (ie the Redeemer, the innovator of Islam), countered the uprising of the tribes (mainly of the north) the Egyptian-British foreign rule.It was not until 1898 that Great Britain was able to recapture what is now Sudan. Under the direction of the British crown, the cultivation of cotton was expanded as the central point of the economy. The entrances to the Red Sea were expanded for transport. The south of today’s Sudan became increasingly Christian again through missionaries, and when the north advocated a connection to Egypt, Great Britain sought to separate the south from the Islamic north. As part of this project, the South was granted more and more autonomy; in the mid-1920s, the south was declared a closed area to which Islam should not have access.

When the country was released from Great Britain into independence in 1956, two economically unevenly developed and culturally opposite parts of the country faced each other. A year earlier, a civil was broken out in the south, sparked by demands for autonomy. In 1954, a Sudanese president was first elected who rejected partition plans in favor of an independent state. The most politically powerful party in Sudan at that time was the anti-Egyptian UMMA, which was the political arm of the mahdist Ansar sect. This party was rivaled by the Unionists, whose goal was to connect the north to Egypt.

According to AbbreviationFinder, a coup d’¨¦tat under General Abboud in 1958 brought the military to power (until 1986 with the interruption from 1964 to 1969). In 1964, a civil united front was formed by civilians, which overthrew the general but only lasted until 1969. The military took over again, this time under Djafar Muhammad an-Numayri. Numayri ruled with changing alliances until 1985. Then, after years of mismanagement that brought the country to the brink of economic ruin, he was driven out by the army. The old conflict between north and south flared up again when Islamic law, Sharia law, was introduced for all of Sudan in 1983. Another civil war broke out in the south, which has not ended to this day. The SPLA (“Sudans People Liberation Army”, Liberation Army of the Peoples of Sudan), which calls for the separation of the south from the Islamic north.

After Numayri’s removal, elections were held in 1986, leading to a coalition between the UMMA and the Democratic Unionist Party. The civilian government was overthrown three years later. The “Revolutionary Command to Save the Nation” (RCC) was founded under the new ruler General Omar Hassan al-Bashir and Sudan was increasingly transformed into an Islamic state. Although the application of Sharia law in the Christian regions of the South was discontinued, there was no ceasefire.

In 1991, the government of Sudan sided with Iraq in the Gulf War and was isolated from foreign policy. Due to the isolation, foreign aid deliveries to the civil war zones of the south also stalled, which further worsened the catastrophic conditions in large parts of the country. More than two million Sudanese had to leave their ancestral areas, fled to Kenya or Uganda or were settled in camps.

In 1993, the United States placed Sudan on the list of “terrorist states” due to the country’s ties to Islamic fundamentalism and international terrorist organizations. Hassan al-Turabi, a fanatical fundamentalist and leader of the leading National Islamic Front, which considered the real mastermind in the Sudanese government.

In December 2000, Head of State al-Bashir was confirmed in office for another five years. In July 2002, the government and the “Liberation Army of the Sudan Peoples” (SPLA) agreed on a framework agreement that would allow the drafting of a peace plan for Sudan. State and religion should be separated; a schedule for voting on an independent Christian southern part of the country was also agreed. With the signing of the peace agreement on January 9, 2005, the North-South Civil War was formally ended. Partial autonomy was granted to South Sudan within a transition period. The former SPLA was involved in a government of national unity. The civil war cost about two million lives; around four million people were displaced.

However, the conflict in the Darfur region in the west of the republic, which escalated in 2003 and led to the worst violations of human rights and displacement, continues. After another major government offensive in West Darfur, rebels attacked the capital Khartoum in May 2008. They retreated after fighting with government troops. Sudan then broke off diplomatic relations with Chad because the Sudanese government suspected the neighboring country of supporting the rebel advance; Chad responded by closing the border.

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A referendum on the whereabouts or secession of the south from the north was agreed in the 2005 peace agreement, which was held in January 2011. 99% of the population of the south spoke out in favor of detaching from the northern part. On July 9, 2011, the independence of the new state of South Sudan was announced. As a result, Sudan lost almost a quarter of its population, around a third of its area and the oil fields of the south. South Sudanese oil needs to be transported via Sudan’s pipelines to the Red Sea. In February 2012, South Sudan completely stopped producing oil. The reason is that Sudan’s transit fees are too high. This brought about a collapse in the state revenue of both countries.

In terms of domestic policy, Head of State al-Bashir is facing growing dissatisfaction. An arrest warrant for war crimes and crimes against humanity had already been issued against him by the International Criminal Court in The Hague in 2009. Since June 2012 there have been demonstrations and riots that have claimed more than 50 lives.

Sudan President