Sudan’s Current Struggles Reflect Its History



Sudan has been in one conflict after another, as one government after another strove for ownership of this oil-rich nation. This history has set the basis for what is now the Republic of Sudan.


Under the valiant leadership of Muhammad Ahmad ibn Abdullah, who became known by the title ‘Mahdi’, and those who fought beside him, gave their lives in an effort to unite the tribes in western and central Sudan; their descendants make up the largest political group today, the Ummah Political Party, originally founded in 1945. Its supporters followed the strict teachings of the Mahdi, most of whom lived in rural areas of western Darfur and Kurdufan.
During this time in history, Sudanese people where constantly subjected to kidnapping, torture, rape, murder, and marauders from various European countries, especially the British. It was under the leadership of Horatio Kitchener or Lord Kitchener, as he was dubbed after the slaughter of thousands of Sudanese people in 1898 during the Battle of Omdurman, that Muhammad Ahmad would come face to face with British imperialism. Kitchener, like most of his British counterparts, were known for committing atrocities against their enemies; after his “victory” he went on to slaughter the wounded and also to desecrate the body of Muhammad Ahmad ibn Abdullah, removing it from the mosque where it was entombed; his body was then burnt and the ashes thrown into the river, and the mosque itself was also destroyed. Kitchener’s brutal carnage across Africa is well documented and Sudan itself is only one of the places this vile entity left his mark.
It is alleged that at the conclusion of the battle, Winston Churchill wept. He wrote to his mother on the 26th of January, 1899: ‘Our victory was disgraced by the inhuman slaughter of the wounded and Lord Kitchener was responsible for this.’
Divide and Conquer
Sudan’s first “civil war” took place between 1955-1972; tensions and conflict continued thereafter, fueling the second civil war, which many consider a continuation of the first. Between the years1983-2005, this civil war saw of millions Sudan’s people killed and millions more displaced.
Those in pursuit of Sudan’s riches desire to keep the country’s Arab/ Muslim and African/Christian people divided in their perverted desire for global domination. Muslims are the majority in the northern part, with a Christian majority in the south; both north and south are systematically victims of genocide under the guise of political, religious, and tribal conflict. Yet, the reality is what it has always been- that when broken down into geography, its soil is rich in resources: oil/petroleum. It has the fifth largest endowment in Africa, fertile land with several water resources like the River Nile, the Blue Nile, the White Nile and Bahr Al- Arab, abundant mineral resources like silver, iron, gold, nickel, zinc, copper, and diamonds. The largest ever diamond found in South Africa in 1905, along with 105 others make up the British crown jewels.
The discord that existed then still continues. As the country faces the referendum results it is hoped that this will end the conflict and bitterness between the north and south of Sudan. Although it is commonly believed to be a division between Muslims and their Christian brethren, the numbers tell a different story. According to the CIA Factbook, an estimated 70% of the Sudanese population adheres to Islam, while the remainder of the population follows either animist and paganistic beliefs (25%) or Christianity (5%). There are Muslims in the South and many Christians in the north are descended from the pre-Islamic Christian communities.
Although Southern Sudan is predicted to become the 193rd member state of the United Nations, the shadow of the dark history of imperialism still lurks. Will the Sudanese people fall to the same fate of Darfurians or like that of Rwanda, whose 1990’s genocide is purported to be one of the worst killing sprees in history, prompted by the racism of the original Belgian colonists? The Belgian colonists decided that as a result of the Tutsi being tall, thin and more European in their appearance than the Hutus, the two tribes could not possibly belong to the same race. It is hoped that the same minute distinctions of ethnicity will not ramp up the same strife in a divided Sudan, as year after year, the true axis of evil -societies divided by race, ethnicity and religion- leaves its mark on world history.
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