Sudan. According to CountryAAH, the total population in Sudan is 43,849,271 people in 2020. The conflict that erupted in early 2003 in the western region of Darfur developed during the year into the most acute humanitarian disaster in the world. The origin of the conflict was a revolt among the resident, black “African” population against an Arabized, cattle-owning equestrian militia called Janjawid (“Armed Men on Horse”), which drove the peasants off their land. The revolt, led by the guerrilla movements Sudan’s Liberation Army (SLA) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), was met with great brutality by government-backed Janjawid and the army. Hundreds of thousands of people were driven away from their villages in forms described as ethnic cleansing, and Janjawid was accused by humanitarian organizations of systematically raping them as a method of forcing the population into submission.
The unwillingness of the Sudanese government to admit aid organizations in the vast and inaccessible area led to alarm reports of impending mass violence. The UN, the EU and other international organizations made comparisons with the situation in Rwanda in 1994 and it was discussed whether this was also a genocide that would force the outside world to intervene.
A ceasefire that was concluded in April was broken by all parties and did not make rescue efforts significantly easier. The government promised to remove all barriers to humanitarian efforts but not much happened, and at the end of July the UN threatened Sudan with “economic and political measures” unless the government disarmed Janjawid and prosecuted its leaders.
The request by the African Union to send a military force to oversee the formal ceasefire was delayed by the government. Up to the turn of the year, more than 1,000 men with a very limited mandate had been sent to Darfur. Although the government only partially fulfilled the UN requirements, the Security Council could not agree on appropriate measures. The United States, through its Secretary of State, Colin Powell, declared in September a genocide in Darfur, while UN chief Kofi Annan decided to appoint a commission to investigate if the case was the peace talks, first in Addis Ababa and then in Nigeria’s capital Abuja. resultless and guerrilla movements were accused of delaying tactics, possibly in the hope of being able to drive a sanction decision.
By the end of the year, 2 million people were estimated to have been driven away from their homes and around 70,000 had been killed. In December, US Ambassador to the United States John Danforth bitterly stated that the outside world had failed to achieve anything at all in Darfur and that everyone involved in the conflict was complicit in the disaster.
On the last day of the year, representatives of the government and the South Sudanese SPLM guerrillas wrote during the final stages of a peace agreement to mark the 21-year war in southern Sudan. The agreement will give SPLM part of the political power and southern Sudan half of the country’s oil income.
Sudan’s contemporary history
Sudan’s contemporary history is the country’s history from the 1980s to the present. The period is marked by the conflict between the Arab / Muslim North and the African Christian / Animist South, which flared up again in the early 1980s after a period of about ten years.
Sudan has evolved into a fundamentalist Islamic state, and has been linked to international terrorism several times. A peace agreement between the North and the South was signed in 2005. In a 2011 referendum, the majority of the population in the South voted for a secession, and South Sudan is now an independent state. There is still conflict over the border crossing in the oil resource areas.
Islamization and civil war in the south
In the 1980s, the influence of conservative Islamic forces continued to prevail, partly influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood. Resistance to Nimeiri’s regime in the south increased after he introduced Sharia, Islamic law, in 1983, accelerated by the influence of Islamists in the military as well. The civil war in South Sudan broke out again in 1983, much as a result of dissatisfaction with the Nimeiri regime.
The Khartoum regime responded with a military campaign aimed specifically at the civilian population, by destroying crops, preventing food supplies, and displacing people from their homes – with widespread distress in South Sudan and widespread international condemnation.
In 1984, the president allowed thousands of Ethiopian Jews to be evacuated to Israel. Cooperation with Israel further weakened Nimeiri’s position, and he was dismissed in 1985. Following a transitional government led by Defense Secretary Abdel Rahman Swar ad-Dahab, parliamentary elections were held in 1986, won by former Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi’s Ummah party.
Al-Mahdi tried to find a peaceful solution to the war in South Sudan, which failed because of opposition from his government partner Hassan al-Turabi and his National Islamic Front (NIF). When al-Mahdi was deposed in a military coup in 1989, led by Brigadier Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir, al-Turabi gained more influence and was regarded as the real leader of Sudan in the 1990s. In doing so, the fundamentalist Islamist opposition had emerged and gained political power.
A number of opposition groups, parties and unions gathered from 1989 in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).