Sudanese Writers Union

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The Sudanese Writers Union was founded in 1985 in Khartoum, the year that democracy was restored in Sudan for a short period. It promotes dialogue and seeks solutions for the conflicts in Sudan. It emphasizes freedom of expression within a multicultural society and tries to bring together writers of different cultural groups.[1] The first president until 1986 was Ali El-Maak.


Four years after the foundation, in 1989, a coup d'état took place and the union was banned[1] and expelled from the historic building in Khartoum.[2]

Members of the union were teased, arrested and tortured. It took until shortly after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005/06 that the union could be revived again. A year later, in 2007, the union numbered 50 members again, in Sudan as well as in exile.[1] Altogether it lasted twenty years until the organization was able in 2009 to reopen a settlement in the capital of Sudan. The same year the union claimed back its building in Khartoum.[2]

In 2007 the Sudanese Writers Union was honored with a Prince Claus Award from the Netherlands. The jury presented the award in the theme Culture and conflict and appraised the work of the union because of the "combination of intellectualism and activism, for offering a platform for free expression, cultural diversity and social justice, and for the courage of the use of 'words' in the battle against tirany"[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Prince Claus Fund (2007) profile
  2. ^ a b Miraya (August 17, 2009) Sudanese Writers Union launches a new House after 20 years