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A History of Modern Sudan by Robert O.…
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A History of Modern Sudan

by Robert O. Collins

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http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/1263632.html?#cutid1

It is a good basic political overview of the history of Sudan since Mohammed Ali, the Albanian Ottoman ruler of Egypt, conquered it in 1821; followed by the religious rule of the Mahdi and his successors, and then then the peculiarly named condominium arrangement which preserved Egyptian sovereignty in theory but was completely British-led in practice. Independence brought an alternation between elected governments, military rule and (as at present) mixtures of the two.

Sudan was soon cursed with Africa's first civil war, as the southern part of the country, promised autonomy by London but not given it by Khartoum, chafed under direct rule and various southern armed movements, with varying degrees of popular support, territorial control and external backers, challenged the central authority of the state (and Khartoum's inclination to establish Islam as the state religion) and made parts of the south ungovernable and ungoverned. An autonomy deal in the early 70s was abrogated by Khartoum in the early 80s, and the most recent war kicked off, with horrible loss of life and destruction. Eventually in 2005 the southern leader, John Garang, and Sudan's President Bashir signed a new deal for autonomy for the south (without Islamic law applying there) and an independence referendum in 2011.

Just a few weeks after the Comprehensive Peace Agreement came into effect, Garang died in a helicopter crash; meanwhile, elsewhere in Sudan the province of Darfur, long an arena of conflict between neighboruing Libya and Chad, had become the scene of appalling attacks upon civilians by government-led forces.

(Points not mentioned in the above summary: the southern oil reserves, the period of sponsorship of worldwide Islamic terrorism by Khartoum, Sudan's previous and subsequent relations with the US and the West, questions of 'Arab' and 'tribal' identity, involvement of Ethiopia and Uganda, etc: all hugely important issues which I can't do justice to here.)

Collins has all this, (usually) soberly explained, with perhaps a mild bias towards an enlightened Khartoum perspective (which survives despite the decades of repression). If you need a run down of the basic political facts, Collins provides them. ( )
  nwhyte | Jul 9, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0521674956, Paperback)

Sudan's modern history has been consumed by revolution and civil war. The country attracted international attention in the 1990s as a breeding ground of Islamist terrorism and recently tensions between the prosperous centre and the periphery, between north and south, have exploded in Darfur. In his latest book, Robert Collins, a frequent visitor and veteran scholar of the region, traces Sudan's history across two hundred years to show how many of the tragedies of today have been planted in its past. The story begins with the conquest of Muhammad 'Ali in 1821, and moves through the Anglo-Egyptian condominium to independence in 1956. It then focuses on Sudanese rule in the post-independence years when the fragile democracy established by the British collapsed under sectarian strife. It is these religious and ethnic divides, the author contends, in conjunction with failed leadership, which have prolonged and sustained the conflict in Sudan.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:54:13 -0400)

From the Publisher: Sudan's modern history has been consumed by revolution and civil war. The country attracted international attention in the 1990s as a breeding ground of Islamist terrorism and recently tensions between the prosperous centre and the periphery, between north and south, have exploded in Darfur. In his latest book, Robert Collins, a frequent visitor and veteran scholar of the region, traces Sudan's history across two hundred years to show how many of the tragedies of today have been planted in its past. The story begins with the conquest of Muhammad 'Ali in 1821, and moves through the Anglo-Egyptian condominium to independence in 1956. It then focuses on Sudanese rule in the post-independence years when the fragile democracy established by the British collapsed under sectarian strife. It is these religious and ethnic divides, the author contends, in conjunction with failed leadership, which have prolonged and sustained the conflict in Sudan.… (more)

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