Portal:Sudan

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The Sudan Portal - بـوابـة الـسـودان

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Flag of Sudan
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Sudan (/sˈdæn/ soo-DAN; officially the Republic of the Sudan) (Arabic: السودان ‎As Sūdān) is a country in northeastern Africa. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the southwest, Chad to the west, and Libya to the northwest. The world's longest river, the Nile, divides the country between east and west sides.

Sudan is home to one of the world's oldest continuous major civilizations, with historical and urban settlements dating back to 3000 BC. The people of Sudan have a long history extending from antiquity, which is intertwined with the history of Egypt, with which it was united politically over several periods. After gaining independence from Egypt, and the United Kingdom in 1956, Sudan suffered a civil war, lasting 17 years, subsequently followed by ethnic, religious, and economic conflicts between the Northern Sudanese (with Arab and Nubian roots), and the Christian and animist Nilotes of Southern Sudan. Thus this led to a second civil war in 1983, and due to continuing political and military struggles, Sudan was seized in a bloodless coup d'état by colonel Omar al-Bashir in 1989, who thereafter proclaimed himself President of Sudan.

Sudan then achieved great economic growth by implementing macroeconomic reforms and finally ended the civil war by adopting a new constitution in 2005 with rebel groups in the south, granting them limited autonomy to be followed by a referendum about independence in 2011.

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Khartoum
Credit: Chris

Khartoum, the capital city of Sudan.

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Darfur refugee camp in Chad.jpg

The Darfur Conflict began in Darfur, Sudan, in February 2003 when the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) in Darfur took up arms, accusing the government of oppressing black Africans in favor of Arabs. There are various estimates on the number of human casualties. One side was composed mainly of the Sudanese military and the Janjaweed, a Sudanese militia group recruited mostly from the Afro-Arab Abbala tribes of the northern Rizeigat region in Sudan. These tribes are mainly camel-herding nomads. The other side was made up of rebel groups, notably the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army and the Justice and Equality Movement, recruited primarily from the non-Arab Muslim Fur, Zaghawa, and Masalit ethnic groups. The Sudanese government, while publicly denying that it supports the Janjaweed, is accused of providing financial assistance to the militia, and of participating in joint attacks targeting civilians.

The Janjaweed started to become much more aggressive in 2003, after two non-Arab groups, the Sudan Liberation Army and the Justice and Equality Movement, took up arms against the Sudanese government, alleging mistreatment by the Arab regime in Khartoum. The Sudanese government has been accused of tampering with evidence, such as attempting to cover up mass graves. They also arrested and harassed journalists, thus limiting the extent of press coverage of the situation in Darfur. (Read more...)

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MeroeSouthcemetery.JPG
Credit: LassiHU

Royal cemetery at Meroë, Sudan.

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Amanishakheto pyramid


Did you know?


  • ... that the English of Selim Aga, a former slave from Sudan, was so faultless that his book was believed to be fabricated by a Briton?


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Muhammad Ahmad al-Mahdi.jpg

Muhammad Ahmad bin Abd Allah (otherwise known as The Mahdi or Muhammad Ahmed Al Mahdi Arabic:محمد أحمد المهدي) (August 12, 1844 – June 22, 1885) was a Sufi sheikh of the Samaniyya order in Sudan who, on June 29th, 1881, proclaimed himself as the Mahdi or messianic redeemer of the Islamic faith. His proclamation came during a period of widespread resentment among the Sudanese population of the oppressive policies of the Turco-Egyptian rulers, and capitalized on the messianic beliefs popular among the various Sudanese sufi sects (or tariqa/turuq) of the time. More broadly, the Mahdiyya, as Muhammad Ahmad's movement was called, was influenced by earlier Mahdist movements in West Africa, as well as Wahabism and other puritanical forms of Islamic revivalism that developed in reaction to the growing military and economic dominance of the European powers throughout the 19th century.

From his announcement of the Mahdiyya in June 1881 until the fall of Khartoum in January 1885, Muhammad Ahmad led a successful military campaign against the Turco-Egyptian government of the Sudan (known as the Turkiyya). During this period, many of the theological and political doctrines of the Mahdiyya were established and promulgated among the growing ranks of the Mahdi's supporters. After Muhammad Ahmad's unexpected death on 22 June 1885, a mere six months after the conquest of Khartoum, his chief deputy, the Khalifa Abdullah took over the administration of the nascent Mahdist state.

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