History of Sudan and Secession of South Sudan
From 1899 until 1946, the British government, in collaboration with the Egyptian government (under a
condominium governing arrangement) administered south Sudan and north Sudan as separate regions.
At this time, the two areas were merged into a single administrative region as part of British strategy in
the Middle East.
After the February 1953 agreement by the United Kingdom and Egypt to grant independence to Sudan,
the internal tensions over the nature of the relationship of north to south were heightened. Matters
reached a head as the 1 January 1956 Independence Day approached, as it appeared that northern
leaders were backing away from commitments to create a federal government that would give the
south substantial autonomy.
Independence resulted in the composition of a democratic parliament and Ismail al-Azhari was elected
first Prime Minister and led the first modern Sudanese government. However, democracy in Sudan was
short-lived due to a coup d'état on 25 May 1969. The coup leader, Col. Gaafar Nimeiry, became prime
minister, and the new regime abolished parliament and outlawed all political parties. Disputes between
Marxist and non-Marxist elements within the ruling military coalition resulted in a briefly successful
coup in July 1971, led by the Sudanese Communist Party. Several days later, anti-communist military
elements restored Nimeiry to power.
In parallel to these events a bloody civil war between north and south was taking place. The 1972 Addis
Ababa Agreement led to a cessation of the north-south civil war and a degree of self-rule. This led to ten
years hiatus in the civil war.
Until the early 1970s, Sudan's agricultural output was mostly dedicated to internal consumption. In
1972, the Sudanese government became more pro-Western, and made plans to export food and cash
crops. However, commodity prices declined throughout the 1970s causing economic problems for
Sudan. At the same time, debt servicing costs, from the money spent mechanizing agriculture, rose.
In 1978, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) negotiated a Structural Adjustment Program with
the government. This further promoted the mechanized export agriculture sector which caused great
economic problems for the pastoralists of Sudan
On 30 June 1989, Colonel Omar al-Bashir led a bloodless military coup, established a new military
government, suspended political parties, and introduced an Islamic legal code on the national level.
Later al-Bashir carried out purges and executions in the upper ranks of the army, the banning of
associations, political parties, and independent newspapers, and the imprisonment of leading political
figures and journalists. On 16 October 1993, al-Bashir appointed himself "President" and disbanded the
Revolutionary Command Council. The executive and legislative powers of the council were taken by al- Bashir. In the 1996 general election he was the only candidate by law to run for election. Sudan became
a single-party state under the National Congress Party (NCP).
In February 2003, the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) and Justice and Equality Movement
(JEM) groups in Darfur took up arms, accusing the Sudanese government of oppressing non-Arab
Sudanese in favor of Sudanese Arabs, precipitating the War in Darfur. The conflict has since been
described as a genocide, and the International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued two arrest warrants for al- Bashir.
On 9 January 2005, the Nairobi Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed between the Sudan
People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) and the government, with the objective of ending the Second
Sudanese Civil War. The United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) was established under the UN
Security Council Resolution 1590 to support its implementation. The peace agreement led to the...
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