Sudan
Diversity and Identity
22 October 2008
developed by: Martha Saavedra
UnderstandingSudan.org
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Sudan: Diversity and Identity
Goals
• An appreciation of:
– Dimensions of Diversity
& Identity
•
•
•
•
•
Geography
Ecology
Demography
Culture
[HISTORY]
– Essence of cooperation,
collaboration, conflict
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Sudan: Diversity
• Geography
• Ecology
– Environment
– Relationship to the land
• Demography
– Who are the Sudanese?
• Culture & Livelihoods
–
–
–
–
Ethnicity
Language
Religious practice
Occupations
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Identity
• Key factors
– Mutability
– Power
• Access to resources
• Process of “Sudanization”
– Paul Doornbus has observed that once "Sudanized", a person is able to
participate spiritually and materially as a member of the top stratum of
traders and officials and to be taken seriously, be considered trust- and
credit-worthy through Sudan and its trade periphery beyond international
frontiers. (Doornbus 1988, p. 100)
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Geography
Nuba Mtns
Sudan in the Region2
Darfur1
South
Sudan in the World
1. http:// rightsmaps.com/html/sudmap1.html and
2. http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L03772791.htm
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of California,
California,Berkeley
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2008
Sudan - Historically
1885
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Ecology
Ecology of region
•
•
•
•
The Intertropical
Convergence Zone (ITCZ)
The migration ITCZ in
Africa affects seasonal
precipitation patterns
across that continent.
North to South increase in
precipitation
Transhumant Routes
Variation in arability of
terrain and soil
•
Affect on livelihoods
Climate changes?
e.g. 1980’s:
Drought/Desertification
•
pressures on land 
increase conflicts
Rainfall Analysis - Cumulative Amounts in
relative terms : % of long term average
Sudan Agromet Dekadal Bulletin, Vol 2, Issue 19, 11-20
September 2004 http://www.mundo.u-net.com/samis/
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Demographics
Yr 2006 Population, total
Population growth
Surface area (sq. km)
37.7 (millions)
2.2 (annual %)
2505.8 (thousands)
Life expectancy at birth, total
58.1 (years)
Mortality rate, infant
61.4 (per 1,000 live births)
Literacy rate, youth female
71.4 (% of females ages 15-24)
GNI (current US$)
33.5 (billions)
GNI per capital, Atlas method
780 (current US$)
Prevalence of HIV, total
1.4 (% of population ages 15-49)
Source: World Development Indicators
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Administrative Divisions
As of 14 February 1994:
The 26 Wilayat
mostly old provinces or
administrative subprovinces.
Under the CPA, 2 wilayat
were merged
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Ethnicity in Sudan:
Multiple and
Mutable
Academics prefer the phrase
“ethnic group” over “tribe”
• Meanings have changed
internally and have external
references as well
– “African”
– “Arab”
• Gabila – Arabic term
• 600 Ethnic groups
• 400 Languages
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Janjaweed during the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium?
British defeated Sultan Ali Dinar in 1916 by force and used
local nomads as militias in process. The Sultanate of Darfur was then
incorporated into Sudan. Aerial bombing was also part of the British
campaign to subdue recalcitrant natives.
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Native Administration
Map of Kordofan
Province
– Approximates a vision
of reality, but at base
was arbitrary
– “Nuba”
– “Arab”
Original located in National Archives, Khartoum,
First drawn in 1938, updated in 1941
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A Tale of Two Brothers
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Religious Practices
• Main categories
– Muslim
– Christian
– African Traditional
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Religious Practices
• But more complicated
– Muslim
•
•
•
•
Sufism
Religious-political sects
Orthodoxy
Political Islam
– Christian
• Coptic, Catholic, Protestant
– African Traditional
• Various and woven into other practices
• Zar cult? Islamic, but…?
– International influences on all
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The Mahdi
Mohamed Ahmed
defeated the TurcoEgyptians along with
British mercenaries
(Charles “Chinese”
Gordon”) in 1885. He died
soon after, but his
successor, the Khalifa
Abdullah al-Ta’aishi,
established an
independent state that
lasted until British – with
Egyptian help – reconquered much of Sudan
in 1898.
•The Ansar
•The Umma Party
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How to deal with Diversity?
• Governments
– Conquer, subdue – directly
– Divide & Rule – indirect
• e.g, Use of militias
– Co-optation
• Invested in system
• Native Administration
– Autonomy
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Dedicated to the future of Sudan…
© UNICEF/HQ05-0943/Ron Haviv
http://www.unicef.org/childalert/darfur
Hamudi Abdullah Mohammed
in Kalma IDP Camp, South
Darfur
©UNICEF/2004/Westerbeek
http://www.unicef.org/emerg/darfur/index_24605.html
Cover Photo from UNICEF Darfur Emergency September – October 2005 Report
http://www.unicef.org/emerg/darfur/files/DARFUREMERGSEPT_OCT2005.pdf
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