Sudan and South Sudan: an overview

Topics: Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, Southern Sudan Pages: 6 (946 words) Published: December 10, 2013
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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