*SUDAN AND THE ‘BORDERLANDS’ – AREA STUDIES IN AFRICAN AND DIASPORA HISTORY* by BF BANKIE mailto:bfbankie@gmail.com Paper delivered at the international colloquium ‘Teaching African history and culture to the Diaspora and teaching Diaspora history and culture to Africa’, held in Brasilia, Brazil, 9-13th November 2009, convened by CBAAC, PANAFSTRAG, Nigeria and The Special Secretariat for the Promotion of Racial Equality (SEPPIR) of the Government of Brazil, Brasilia, Brazil. ‘The linkage of Africa with its Diasporas on the basis of equality is the key to African unity’ - Pan-African adage. *Introduction* The name ‘Sudan’ has more or less been the same throughout history. Aside from the references relating to the south such as Wawat, the area of present day Sudan has always been associated with the color of blackness, with names such as Ta-Nehesu, Kush, Kerma, Ethiopia, Nubia, ana-al-Salt al-Zarqa and lastly al-Sudan (Sagheiroun, 1999), which was - and still is - the colour of its people, since the early times of the ancient civilizations of the Nile valley up to the present. The same name seems to have evolved by translation from one language to another in the course of time. This, regarding belonging and identity, puts Sudan in the heart of Africa , which is rightly called the Black Continent. What seem to be differences of colour among the Sudanese are nothing more than the shades of blackness. Sudan had its black African advanced cultures, predating Egypt, such as Kush and Naphata, which bequeathed us their pyramids, which remain visible in the sands of Sudan today. Chancellor Williams (Williams 1976 ) identifies some nine periods in the history of north-east Africa, where some of the earliest world civilizations centered, around the capital cities of Naphata and Meroe, in present day Sudan. The cultures spread from these northwards to the Nile delta. At that time north-east Africa was peopled by black Africans, with people Williams refers to as white Asians entering later, occupying Lower Egypt and north–eastern Ethiopia. This, in his view, marks the date of the beginning of the falsification, by western writers, of the contribution of black Africa to civilization. The significance of the name ‘Sudan’ is important, because it bears strong identity implications. The Arabized people of middle Sudan of various shades of brown, generally speaking, tend not to consider themselves black Africans and call themselves Arabs. As the state for the last five centuries has belonged ideologically to this group, Sudan has ended up identifying itself more with the Arabs than with black Africa . This issue is central to the contemporary problems of the reality of the Sudan and national integration. One of the consequences of the arrival of the Asians in north Africa was to push, more and more, the black people away from the Mediterranean coast into the interior. The traffic of black women into slavery northwards, gave rise to a new type of Afro-Asian, who due to their deliberate estrangement with their African Mothers came to be called Egyptians, Arabs and Moors, depending on where they lived in north Africa. This lead to the enslavement of Africans deeper into black Africa, which falls within William’s third period of the black history of Egypt, beginning in the seventh dynasty 2181BC, which lead to the Arab invasion and the destruction of black civilization. Nyaba ( Nyaba 2002 ) dates the Arab conquest of Egypt to 640AD. *The State* In what roughly constitutes the geography of present day Sudan, the state has prevailed throughout history. Archaeologically the state can be traced back seven thousand years at least (Welsby, 2000). Like in other parts of Africa, the state functioned in a kind of federal autonomy where the ethno-cultural entities were its political nucleuses. The vast geographical space necessitated that justice be the key for any ruler to reign for long. Seeking a better place to live in was convenient for every ethnic group, thus leaving any tyrant to rule either the desert or the jungle. Today’s demand for self-determination by different marginalized groups is the modern manifestation and formulation of a history-long practice, of pulling out from any state that does not answer satisfactorily the longing of its different subject-groups for freedom, justice and peace. At no time was there any kind of political vacuum in the Sudan. The traditional tribal federacy of ancient Sudan was maintained in the Christian era (650BC-1505AD) and was also to prevail later in the Funj Sultanate (1505AD-1821AD). *The People* All the people of present day Sudan contributed in making the ancient civilization of Sudan. The people who call themselves ‘Arab’ have their rightly recognizable share in building that civilization, since they are a mixture of Arabs and indigenous people. In the weaving of the ethno-linguistic map of Sudan, what is taken for granted to be heterogeneous, reflects homogeneity as well. For instance, taking the eastern Sudanic group, we see that the people living on the Sudan-Uganda border (e.g. the Bari) are related as cousins to people living on the Sudan-Egypt border (Nubians) and both people are related to others living on the Sudan-Ethiopia border in the Funj region (e.g. Ingassana) and all of them are related in the same way to other groups living on the Sudan-Chad border (e.g. Daju). We must bear in mind that before the Arabization of middle Sudan those people were in a dynamic contact with each other. This is an ancient land with ancient people and an ancient civilization; the least to be expected is that they are interrelated ethno-linguistically. *Religion * In this regard two things have characterized Sudan all through history; it has always been multi-religious and religiously tolerant. Ancient polytheism accommodated other deities which have survived in today’s traditional religions. The Treasurer of Meroe (800BC-450AD) was a Jew who converted to Christianity in its early days apparently without fearing persecution. Christianity did not invade the Sudan (Vantini, 1978; Werner et al, 2000); it was the Sudanese who asked for it. In Dongola, the capital of the Christian Kingdom of Nubia (650AD-1350AD), there was a Mosque for which the Christian state was responsible. In Soba (25km south of Khartoum on the Blue Nile), in the capital of the Christian Kingdom of Alodia (650AD-1505AD) there were about 300 Churches, there was also a Mosque within a hamlet assigned for the Muslims. In the 19th century Christianity would catch up again as a result of intensive missionary work. The biggest Christian communities are in the South, the Nuba Mountains and in the big urban centers. In the face of the rise of Islamization and Arabization as vehicles for facilitating the domination of the central state, Christianity would get involved and eventually it would become, along with Africanism, an ideological tool in countering Islamo-Arabism. Islam broke the encapsulation of Sudan and opened it to the outer world of that time. The transformation from Christianity to Islam was a gradual process thus giving way to a distinctive mix of Sudanese cosmology and the culture of tolerance. A Sudanese Islam was in the making that finally took its shape in the Sufi sects that flourished in post-Christian Sudan, thus bringing about an effective acculturation of indigenous practices and Islamic teachings. The local people transformed from the traditional and Christian choirs to Sufi chanting smoothly. The conversion to Islam culminated in the Funj Sultanate (1505AD-1820AD), which retained many ancient features with regard to administration and cultural symbols (Spaulding, 1980). The traditional system of tribal federacy, with its inherent democratic practices, was maintained. Other ancient practices such as the ritual killing of the king (regicide) and the Christian headgear and regalia were also retained. In the beginning Sufi Islam assumed supremacy in reflecting the ideology of the state. A little later a rival came into the scene represented in scholastic Islam that could only be acquired through classroom teaching at such religious centers as al-Azhar. Where Sufi Islam interacts with the local society, scholastic Islam challenges it in its persistent endeavor to reshape it according to its own norms. Where the former does not give heed to the penal code of the Sharia as literally stated in the scriptures, the latter only pays attention to the scriptures without giving any heed to the realities of setting and context. At the beginning many scholastic shaykhs took to denouncing their jurisprudence by throwing away their symbolic scholastic graduation robes, to declare themselves as Sufi. In the end this would be reversed. Sufi Islam could have won the rivalry if it were not for the Turco-Egyptian colonial rule in Sudan (1820AD-1885AD), which introduced the culture of official Muslim clergymen, who were appointed and paid by the state and who adhered to scholastic Islam as they were mostly graduates of al-Azhar Mosque-University in Cairo. That rule also introduced the modern educational system, where the classrooms were also made available for this kind of Islam to flourish. The Mahdia Islamic state (1885AD-1899AD) represents the ultimate victory of the scholastic Islam over the Sufi Islam. The Mahdi was a Sufi man who revolted against what he took to be leniency on behalf of the Sufi shaykhs towards the traditions of people which - according to his own views - did not follow the book of Sharia. The Mahdia state understandably followed a strict scholastic Islam. Thenceforth Sufi Islam would gradually identify with scholastic Islam so as to catch up in the long run. By the late decades of the 20th century the two could hardly be distinguished from each other. British-Egyptian colonial rule, ‘the Condominium‘ (1899AD-1956AD), resumed the same system as Turco-Egyptian rule with regard to government-sponsored education and the culture of official Muslim clergymen. By the time Sudan achieved self-government the educated class was mostly orientated to scholastic Islam. This showed in the rising tide of Islamic fundamentalist movements among the students of higher educational institutions. *Al-Jallaba: the Slave Traders of Sudan* Many Africans were taken into slavery via the trans-Sahara route, to Europe, or via Arabia. The Arab enslavement of Africans began a millennium before trans-Atlantic slavery. It continues in north-east Africa and the Afro-Arab Borderlands. The denationalized African descendants of slavery live in Arabia, the Gulf States and points eastwards, such as Iraq, in the African Eastern Diaspora, calling themselves Arabs. Slavery was practised in Sudan since ancient times. The Arabs in the Paqt Treaty demanded slaves from the Christian Nubians, that were brought from the hinterlands. However it was more or less African traditional slavery resulting from petty tribal feuds and wars. It continued like that in the early period of the Funj Sultanate, until the Europeans began making incursions into the continent to procure slaves. It was the Turco-Egyptian colonial rule that launched the era of mass slavery in the Sudan. They made it a state-policy loaded with the whole weight of Arab cultural stigmatization of the blacks. Locally, the Arabized people of the centre, which was growing fast, followed their lead. They played the role of intermediaries who organized the raids, captured the blacks and then sold them. The term al-Jallaba* * is a plural adjective in Sudanese colloquial Arabic literally meaning the procurers. The singular is jallabi. The term originated in reference to the intermediary slavers who were mostly Arabized Sudanese. The culture of al-Jallaba* *had a big impact in consolidating the establishment of the centre. When the Turco-Egyptian colonial rule was compelled to abolish slavery, al-Jallaba defied that and boldly continued to practice it. By that time their raiding squads had developed into formidable armies. In the last decade of Turco-Egyptian colonial rule, Al-Zubayr wad Rahama, their leading slaver, led his slaving army and conquered Dar Fur. In fact they were just one step from becoming the rulers of the Sudan . Turco-Egyptian rule not only recognized de facto al-Zubayr’s governorship of Dar Fur, but further bestowed on him the prestigious title of ‘Pasha’. The Jallaba cherished the prospects of inheriting faltering Turco-Egyptian rule. If it were not for the Mahdia revolution that took place, they would have assumed that power. The Mahdia state, strictly following the scripture of Islam, where there is no direct verse from either the Qur’an or the Prophet traditions abolishing slavery, indulged itself in reinstating the institution of slavery. However it abolished tobacco and snuff although there is no direct verse either from the Qur’an or the Prophet traditions to that effect. Understandably the Jallaba were among the first to declare their allegiance to the Mahdia. They put their huge military resources and expertise at the service of the Mahdia. That is one of the factors that made the Mahdia state belong ideologically to the Arabized centre. Backed with its colonialist pragmatism, the British-Egyptian rule that succeeded the Mahdia had soon consolidated its alliance with the Arabized centre. Although officially declared abolished, slavery was tolerated as a practice and culture (Saikinga, 1996). In self governing Sudan, national rule clearly showed its stand in this regard by naming a street in Khartoum after al-Zubayr Pasha, the most notorious slaver in Sudan’s modern history. In fact the culture of slavery is the catalyst behind the bad treatment of the black Africans of Sudan, who live in the periphery around the Arabized centre. Successive national governments have shown this ill-regard for black Africans, which took place under the pretext of curbing the north/south war. As elsewhere in the global African presence, for instance in Southern Africa and its contacts with Apartheid, the core problem in Sudan is one of Arab racism and the need to change the mindset of Arabs in general vis-a- vis African culture, and thus to resolve, in Sudan, the national question, because Sudan is and has always been an African country, populated in it’s majority, by black African people.. *The Arabization of the Sudan and power-related conflicts of identity* With the weakening of the Christian kingdoms, between the 14th and 16th centuries, many Islamic and Arabized kinglets began appearing and eventually succeeded in replacing the old regime (Fadl, 1973; Shibeika, 1991). The most important was the Funj Sultanate which came into existence in the early 16th century and which succeeded in spreading its influence over most of these kingdoms. The Funj Sultanate came into existence with slavery looming in the background and with the colour black fully stigmatized by being synonymous with ‘slave’. By the turn of the 15th century, Soba, the capital of the last Christian kingdom of Alodia , fell into the hands of Arabized people, known in middle Sudan as the Arabs. Having its founders being virtually blacks, it was understandably called ‘the ‘Black Sultanate’. As it came in response to the growing influence of Islamo-Arabized Sudanese, it explicitly showed an Arab and Islamic orientation. The new formations of Arabized tribes began claiming Arab descent supported with mostly fabricated genealogies. The small family units compensated for their vulnerability by claiming noble descent, i.e. descendants of the Prophet Muhammad; eventually in the name of this descent they would appropriate both wealth and power, something the immediate descendants were not ordained to have, while Prophet Muhammad was still alive. To be on an equal footing with these tribes in matters pertaining to power and authority, the Funj also claimed an Umayyad descent. Scholars in Arabic and Islamic sciences from other parts of the Islamic world were encouraged to settle in the Sudan . *Arabization and the Rise of Islam* Thenceforth the Arabized Africans of middle Sudan would pose as non-black Arabs. Intermarriage with light-skinned people would be consciously sought as a process of cleansing blood from blackness. A long process of identity change began in order to have access to power and to be at least accepted as free humans. African people tended to drop both their identities and languages and replace them with Arabic identity and Arab language. A new ideological awareness of race and color came into being. The shades of the color of blackness were perceived as authentic racial differentiations (Deng, 1995). A Sudanese-bound criterion for racial color was formed by which the light black person was called an Arab, i.e. white or at least non-black. The jet-black Sudanese were seen as Africans, i.e. slave (?abd). Then a host of derogatory terms were generated in the culture and colloquial Arabic of middle Sudan, which dehumanized the black Africans. So the seeds of the Sudanese ideology of Arab-oriented dominance over the Africans were sown. According to Jalal M. Hashim ( Hashim, 2006 ), Arab hegemony works through two mechanisms: 1) the stigma of slavery, blackness and people of African identity, who occupy the margins and surrounding periphery and 2) the prestigma of the free, non-black/brown Arabs, who occupy the centre. This ideology, in its drive to achieve self-actualization, underlines a process of alienation and domination. While posing as whites, Sudanese Arabs do not hold whites people proper in high esteem. They stigmatize Africans and prestigmatize the Arabs with whom they identify. This ideology of alienation has prevailed for the last five centuries up to the present moment. It has been consolidated by successive political regimes whether Turco-Egyptian or Egyptian-British or national rule. It finds its roots in the vice of slavery. Slavery was once again in full swing by the late 20th century as a result of the intensifying grip on the state by Islamo-Arabism. By placing on high the Arab model through their erroneous and confused concept of race, the Arabized people of Sudan have made themselves second-class Arabs, this is how they are perceived in Arabia. The repercussions of this would not only affect them, but the country and would lead to a widening divide between Arabism and Africanism. Sudan is a nation whose identity has been divisively distorted and is rediscovering itself, albeit in a tragically violent way. The silver lining is that a more constructive search for an identity framework around which Sudanese could unite may be within reach. As with most, if not all African countries, the colonial power brought together into a state framework, national groups that had been distinctive, separate and in some cases mutually hostile. The identities that are currently in conflict are the result of a historical legacy characterized by a form of slavery that classified groups into a superior race of masters and inferior enslaveable peoples. The north, two-thirds of the country’s land, is inhabited by ethnic groups, the more dominant of which intermarried with incoming Arab male migrants and traders and, over centuries, produced a mixed African-Arab racial group that resembles the African peoples in the Afro-Arab borderland of the Sahara, herein after called the ‘Borderlands’ of the African nation, and those further south. Indeed, the Arabic phrase, Bilad al-Sudan (‘land of the blacks’) refers to all of those sub-Saharan territories. Arab immigration and settlement in the south was blocked by distance, environmental barriers, the harsh tropical climate and resistance of the warrior Nilotic tribes. Those Arabs who ventured southwards were primarily slave raiders, driven by commerce, not interested in Arabising and Islamising the South. As the dominant partner in the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium, the British ended slavery and effectively governed the country as two separated colonies. They developed the north as an Arab-Muslim society and forged in the south an identity that was indigenously African, exposed to western influences through Christian missionaries, but otherwise denied any political, economic, social or cultural development. Until colonial policy dramatically shifted in 1947, it appeared that the British intended to prepare the south for independence as a separate state. The independence movement was pioneered and championed by the north, supported by Egypt. The cause was reluctantly supported by the south, which stipulated federalism and guarantees for it’s area, as conditions for endorsing independence. The south opted for independence on the basis of northern reassurances that their concerns would be given ‘serious consideration’. However, the north quickly reneged on promises to southerners and stepped into the British colonial shoes. As internal colonizers, northern governments sought to impose Arabisation/Islamisation as the basis of a unified homogeneous Sudan. Thus the north/south war started in Torit, in South Sudan in 1955, one year before Sudan achieved self-government, a war which continued till 2005, except for some eleven years of peace starting in 1972. The conflict finds its origins in the geo-political location of Sudan in the Borderlands, with it’s history of slavery and Arab expansion southwards, making conflict predictable. Southern opposition to impending Arab domination began in August 1955, six months before independence, when a battalion of Southern soldiers in the town of Torit mutinied and fled with their weapons. Their protest escalated into a rebellion which resulted in a civil war that was to rage intermittently for over half a century, starting as Anyanya I, which lead to another war, Anyanya II. The initial conflict, secessionist in its objective, lasted until 1972 and ended in a compromise – the Addis Ababa Agreement - that granted the South limited regional autonomy and ushered in a precarious decade of peace. Its subsequent unilateral abrogation by the government led by Gaafer Nimeiri – the military leader, who ironically had made the peace agreement possible in the first place – led to the resumption of hostilities in 1983. Southerners were incensed by Nimeiri’s embracing of Islamism and his enforcement of Islamic law in the south, his redrawing of the North-South border to incorporate southern oilfields and plans to construct the mammoth Jonglei Canal to divert the waters of the Sudd ( the White Nile’s vast floodplain) and channel its waters northwards to Egypt for irrigation. *Garang’s Vision* In 1983 Dr. John Garang de Mabior founded the Southern-based Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and Army (SPLA). The Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement/Army’s stated objective was not the secession of the South but the creation of a restructured New Sudan, uniting all of Sudan under a democratically elected SPLM government, in which there would be no discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, culture, religion or gender. Garang’s vision of the New Sudan was initially not understood, far less supported, in the north and the south and even within his movement. For southerners, who overwhelmingly preferred separation, it was incongruent with their aspirations, and in any case was utopian. For the north, it was arrogant and, at best, naive. The fighting men and women in the south took it as a clever ploy to allay the fears of those opposed to separation within Sudan, the international community and the Organisation of African Unity(OAU) and later the African Union (AU). Their attitude was reflected in the Dinka saying popular among fighters: ‘Ke tharku, angicku’, ‘What we are fighting for, we know’. While Garang was talking the language of a united Sudan , they were fighting for secession. Central to Garang’s philosophy was the conviction that the dichotomy between the Arab-Islamic north and the African south is largely fictional. While the north has been labeled Arab, even those who can trace their genealogy to Arab origins are a hybrid of Arab and African races and their culture is an Afro-Arab mix. Significant portions of the country in the Nuba, Ingassana or Funj areas bordering the South, are as African as any further south in the continent. The Beja in the eastern part of the country are also indigenously Sudanese. The Fur and several other ethnic groups in Darfur to the far west are black Africans. In the Darfur conflict black African Muslim pastoralists are being ‘ethnically cleansed’ and pushed off their lands by Khartoum to make way for Arab Muslim nomads, thus continuing the age-old march southwards by Arabs, pushing Africans further southwards, which takes place with the tacit approval of the Arab League. In most cases, non-Arab pockets in the north, such as the Nubians, though predominantly adherents of Africanised Islam, have been marginalized almost as much as the people of the south. The vision of the New Sudan therefore promised to liberate all these people and to create a country of genuine pluralism and equality, with a greater influence for the previously marginalized African groups. Over time Garang’s constructive approach neutralized those opposed to secession in the north, Africa and the world, and rallied support for justice in a reconstructed united Sudan. Garang incrementally challenged the whole country with the prospects of a nation enriched, rather than ravished, by its racial, ethnic, religious and cultural diversity. His vision began to appeal to those non-Arab groups that had been subsumed under the Arab-Islamic umbrella and eventually, even to northern progressives as many began to question their assumed ‘Arab’ identity. This national identity ‘renaissance’ challenged the dominant Arab-Islamic establishment. The reaction of the establishment throughout the 1990s was to adopt a radical offensive posture that fuelled Islamic fundamentalism and led to a sharp deterioration in Sudan’s relations with the international community. Islam, rather than the Arab race or culture, was their weapon for mobilizing the North. Although the South Sudan conflict was the oldest in Africa, starting in 1956, it was never put on the political agenda of either the OAU or the United Nations (UN). Sudan’s membership of the Arab League, permitted it to claim that South Sudan was a matter for the Arab League, which made no effort to broker peace and stop the fighting. The inability of Africa to act on the Sudan issue, whether it be South Sudan or Darfur, has made black Africans spectators of the slaughter of their fellow Africans in South Sudan, Darfur and elsewhere. *Addis Ababa and the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA)* The Addis Ababa Agreement of 1972 gave Southerners a corner of the country within which to exercise a limited degree of autonomy, while major national and international issues were left to be determined by the centre. The agreement did not provide the south with a financial base and Southern ministers remained dependent on the goodwill of central government and President Nimeiri for revenues. In 1983 war broke out again due to northern unilateral impositions in the south, such as Sharia Law and the use of Arabic. On 9 January, 2005, the Government of the Sudan and the SPLM/A signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), by virtue of which President Omar Hassan Bashir’s National Congress Party would have 52 per cent of all executive and legislative posts, while the SPLM would have 28 per cent. The remaining 20 per cent was split among other political parties in Sudan, with those in the North getting 14 per cent and those in the South 6 per cent. The CPA commits the Sudanese Government to confining Sharia Law to the North. It also grants South Sudan a six year period of administrative autonomy after which the population can decide in a referendum in 2011 whether to stay in a united Sudan or secede. It offers the Nuba Mountains and Southern Blue Nile significant regional autonomy. To a significant extent, the CPA ensured a more symmetrical or equitable relationship between the North and the South than was available under the Addis Ababa Agreement. The South now has its own government. The Government of South Sudan (GoSS) was supposed to be independent of northern interference. It has its own army and its own Bank, which unlike its northern counterpart, adherers to conventional – rather than Islamic – banking principals. It has its own resource base and was supposed to have access to oil revenues. In reality many of these provisions were manipulated, even withheld. * Sudan was to have a national foreign policy formed by Khartoum. The importance of this would become apparent later, for when the SPLM established Liason Offices around the world, they were noticeably quiet in explaining, especially in Africa, what had gone on in the South since 1955, which to many remains unknown and would shape Pan-African opinion globally on Sudan and the Borderland issues. *These Offices were to allow the South to develop bilateral relations with international trade and development partners. In the Government of National Unity announced in September 2005, the SPLM and other southern representatives have ministerial power within an arrangement set out in the CPA, which gives the ruling National Congress Party 52% of the places, the SPLM 28%, other northern parties 14% and other southern parties 6%. In order to maintain agreed quotas and to reflect Sudan’s ethnic and political balance, several ministries were to be represented by a minister and a state minister *Garang’s death* The complex framework of the CPA, being an agreement between only two parties, the SPLM and the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and which initially lacked broader support throughout the country, particularly in the North, was threatened by Garang’s sudden death in a helicopter crash on 30th July 2005. He had led the SPLM/A for twenty two years and, together with First Vice-President of Sudan, Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, had been pivotal in the negotiations that led to the CPA. He had been sworn in as First Vice-President of Sudan and President of South Sudan previously. The SPLM/A acted promptly by electing Garang’s deputy, Salva Kiir Mayardit, (formerly Deputy Army Commander ) to succeed him as Chairman of the SPLM, Commander-in-Chief of the SPLA and President of Southern Sudan. In the sprit of the CPA, President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir endorsed Salva Kiir as the First Vice-President of the Republic. While leaders in the North and South committed themselves to pursuing Garang’s vision of a New Sudan, many feared that Garang’s death had left a vacuum. Sudan was deprived of a man poised to address the country’s myriad crises, to bring to the East and Darfur the skills to facilitate peace and reconciliation he had displayed in the South. Under the CPA the ruling National Congress Party has the capacity to implement the Agreement but lacks the political will, whereas the SPLM has the commitment but is weak and disorganized. Corruption is a major problem. There is a real risk of future conflict unless the Congress Party implements the CPA in good faith and the SPLM becomes a stronger and more effective implementing partner. Late off the starting blocks and with a weak organizational structure, the SPLM has been overwhelmed and is ineffectual in ensuring the Congress Parties’ CPA compliance, due to what some analysts have called its incomplete metamorphosis from a liberation movement to a Government. This makes uncertain future projections as to peace. An added complication arises from Khartoum’s war in Darfur. As a consequence Al Bashir stands accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes. On the 4th March 2009 the International Criminal Court (ICC) indicted Bashir, who is now a fugitive from international justice. The Darfur conflict is a direct consequence of the north/south conflict, as the SPLM/A, under Garang, provided the inspiration and the means for the Darfurians to assert, by armed struggle, their rights. Given the fact that the CPA is a peace accord between opposite poles of an acutely divided country, it remains to be seen whether this much-needed peace will be sustainable. Respected projections are that Khartoum will abort the CPA, just before the referendum in 2011. In such an eventuality the South may chose to unilaterally declare independence (UDI).Several other regions of the country – foremost among them Darfur in the West – are challenging the Arab power centre. Though Muslim and Arabised in varying degrees, they now see themselves as non-Arab, marginalized and discriminated against on racial grounds. While marginalized groups in Kordofan, including those who have been generally labeled as ‘Arab’ though reflecting strong African features and cultural characteristics, still identify with the Arab centre, dissident voices are complaining about their marginalization. The Nubians of the North, who have been marginalized and in whose lands Egyptians are being settled by Khartoum, who were in recent generations close to Egypt and the Arab world, are reviving their pride in their ancient Nubian civilization and disavowing the Arab label. *The international relations of the Sudan state* The Islamist parties in government, previously the National Islamic Front (NIF) of Dr Hassan Abdalla El Turabi,( who in 2009 declared his exit from public affairs but maintains a profile in his Popular Congress Party [PCP] ), now called the National Congress Party (NCP) of Omar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir, adopted a political survival strategy of diverting attention from internal contradictions by fomenting conflict and instability in neighboring countries, as well as by actively supporting Islamic and dissident groups fighting the governments of neighboring countries, such as Tchad and the Central African Republic (CAR). The objective of this strategy, used by Libya’s Gaddafi in Liberia and Sierra Leone, is first and foremost to de-stabalise and then, where possible, assist in the overthrow of the regimes, in order to pave the way for the take over of the state by Islamic groups in those countries. The expansionist and political survival strategies, mediated by the export of a brand of Islamic fundamentalism, utilizes subtle means including drug trafficking, corruption and terrorism. It aims to create a halo of satellite regimes around Khartoum as the centre for fresh Arab conquest and colonization in Africa. It was Turabi who said in February 1999 ‘we want to Islamise America and Arabise Africa’. Sudan is a springboard into the Horn of Africa, the Great Lakes Region etc. The tactics of this expansion reveal a remarkable resemblance to those of the seventh century. These include inter alia, scorched earth policy and ethnic cleansing against the African people, formerly used in South Sudan and today in the Darfur region of Sudan. These wars are characterized by pillage, plunder and the enslavement of the conquered African peoples, with their conversion to Islam, bringing to mind the seventh century Arab wars of conquest in North Africa and other parts of the world. The current petroleum revenues coming mainly from oil extraction along the north/south border, rather than being shared in accordance with the CPA, are being used to finance the internal and external wars of the NCP. Sudan under the NCP acts in concert with its partners in the Arab League and in time of stress is able to count on Arab support, especially in international forums. Without doubt Sudan’s domestic and international policies are harmonious with general Arab League strategies in the Middle East. Sudan in December 2006 provided a large cash gift to the Palestinian Hamas organization, by way of solidarity, in the face of Israel’s refusal to allow money into the Palestinian economy, Africa and elsewhere. Sudan sets itself up as a front for a fresh wave of Arab conquest and the Arabisation of Black Africa. It is important to recognize that the problems of the Sudan are not accidental and flow from its geo-political location along the Nile river, in the Afro-Arab Borderlands, stretching from Mauritania on the Atlantic ocean through Mali, Niger and Tchad, to Sudan on the Red Sea. The relationship between Africans and Arabs in this area, dating back a millennium, has been called ‘ambiguous’ by Prof Helmi Sharawy, Director of The Arab Research Centre for Arab-African Studies and Documentation (ARAASD ) in Cairo, Egypt. In Mauritania today hereditary slavery is still in practice on a wide scale, despite the passing of laws to abolish it. Such an antiquated social basis for state formation can only render problematic the future of Mauritania. In northern Uganda, Kenya, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Tchad, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia, Sudan has or is active in stirring up instability and conflicts. It does so primarily to promote Arabisation and Islamisation, either in the short, medium or long term. Khartoum believes that the best method of defence is attack and that offensives should be unforeseen, unpredictable and constant. Despite Sudan being a pariah state, the Khartoum government has remained in office. It is unlikely that this is set to change, given the general global preference for the statuo quo ante and resistance to the resolution of the African national question, whether in Southern Africa or the Borderlands. The Khartoum regime is feared and loathed by its neighbors. Sudan straddles the river Nile in the north-east area of the Borderlands of Africa and maintains its hegemony over this water resource for the benefit of its northern neighbor. Sudan also is the outpost for the promotion of Arab interests in north, east and central Africa. It’s outreach extends culturally and physically into places such as Mali and Niger in west Africa, where there are Touaregs, a black ethnic group, who have been effectively Arabised and are being settled in the burnt villages in Darfur, recently abandoned by the Fur, Massalit and Zaghawa of Darfur. Arabs in general look down with contempt on African people as an inferior race, deserving enslavement. This is also seen in Mauritania. Thus being a Muslim is not a sufficient criteria to save an African from scorn and contempt, as the black Muslims of Darfur found out. This is exacerbated by the conviction among many Arab thinkers and writers that Africans do not have a culture of their own, leaving a vacuum after western decolonization, which must be filled by Islamic and Arab culture. Consequently many Arabs believe that Africans do not have rights to self-determination. This creates fertile soil for international Islamic fundamentalist Jihadists to implant themselves in Africa, starting in Somalia today. The conflicts in Sudan receive a hearing in Arab forums, such as the Arab League, but no resolute action. Whereas the South Sudan situation was never raised or placed on the agenda of the OAU. The Arabs, lead by Egypt, tenaciously resisted the inclusion of the conflict in the various OAU summits and Ministerial meetings, on the basis that South Sudan was an internal affair of the Arab League. Even so Africa has, since the time of Nasser’s Egypt , supported the Palestinians versus Israel. This has not been reciprocated by the Arab north African states. Worse still, Africans in general are either ignorant of the Sudan situation, or do not wish to support fellow Africans in Sudan, due to a wish not to offend Arabia, because of favors received or an inadequate sense of African national solidarity. . *The rise of the Khartoum proxy, the Lords Resistance Army/Movement (LRA/M) and its deployment in central Africa* In the 1980s the forces opposed to Yoweri Museveni’s government in Uganda, those of Tito Okello and Alice Lakwena’s Holy Spirit Movement, sort refuge in eastern Equitoria in South Sudan. The arrival of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in south Sudan in 1993-4 began a decade of fighting involving Ugandans on Sudanese soil, cutting off large parts of Southern Sudan, causing thousands to flee. Initially the LRA had been fighting only in northern Uganda against Museveni’s Movement army, the Ugandan People’s Defence Force (UPDF). The LRA came to South Sudan from Uganda seeking refuge. In 1993 the Khartoum government harnessed the LRA, to crush the SPLA. By 2005 the LRA had moved into the DRC, spreading mayhem, brutality, displacements, abductions and the use of child soldiers. By 2009 the LRA was operating in CAR. Under the command of Joseph Kony, the LRA/M is one of the most notorious terror groups in the world. Whereas Alice Lukwana had formed a group inspired by Christianity, to promote the genuine grievances of the people of northern Uganda, especially the Acholi, the structure she founded has become a mercenary force, used by Khartoum to terrorize its neighbors and to implement its Arabisation/Islamisation project. Having depopulated northern Uganda with its terror tactics and strategy, Kony settled in Juba, South Sudan, where the LRA was seen as yet another invasive armed group. When the LRA engaged the SPLA, typically the LRA fighters attacked first, followed by a second attack by the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) of Khartoum. Vincent Otti, who was for many years Kony’s deputy until he was executed, is quoted as saying, as regards the LRA’s relationship with Khartoum :- ‘We had a very good relationship with Khartoum and the Chairman (Kony) went there. Even me, I went several times’. Kony had an official residence in Juba and received all-round support from the Khartoum government. The South was at that time governed by the South Sudan Independence Movement (SSIM) lead by Riak Machar, presently Vice-President of GOSS and a former associate of Garang, who had split from the SPLM to form SSIM. According to Mareike Schomous ( Schomous 2007 P25 ) Machar and Kony met at least once, in 1997. Ugandan government information has tended to drive the public perception of LRA activities. Talks arbitrated by GoSS lead by Riak Machar, between the LRA/M and the Ugandan government started in 2006, with oversight from Joachim Chissano, former Head of State of Mozambique. Despite the stop/start nature of these meetings, they ultimately broke down, when Kony’s outstanding writ issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC), could not be cancelled, leading him to return to military activity. The LRA is but the latest proxy used by Khartoum to fulfill its aims. The Janjawid of Darfur is another. There have been many armies used over the centuries to fight the African people of the south and other parts of the country, by the central authority, for pacification purposes. *The unity of the Africans at home and abroad * Apparently the Founding Fathers of the OAU, or at least some of them, did not know the real nature of Afro-Arab interaction in the Afro-Arab Borderlands, and were ignorant of the grassroots relations of conflict which exploded into violence in Nouakchott, Mauritania for the first time in 1966 ( Diallo,1993). As the movement, which was largely driven by Libya , gained momentum towards the revision of the OAU structures, some observers monitored closely the formulation of the Charter of the emerging African Union (AU). This was not easy, given that the elaboration took place, at least in the early stages, away from public scrutiny and knowledge. From the ‘Report of the meeting of Legal Experts and Parliamentarians on the establishment of the African Union and the Pan-African Parliament’ dated 17-20 April 2000, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Ref Cab/Leg/23.15/6/Vol IV, paragraph 48, under the rubic ‘ Consideration Protocol relating to the Pan-African Parliament’ at the section referring to article 4 ‘ Objectives’, it is stated :- ‘ On the issue of composition it was proposed that the prospective members should represent not only the people of Africa and those who have naturalized, but peoples of African descent as well. However, other delegations were of the view that only African people should be represented in the Parliament…..’ At paragraph 55 appearing under the same rubic as paragraph 48 ( ie Consideration Protocol relating to the Pan-African Parliament ) in the section referring to Articles 2 and 3 ‘ Establishment and relationship with the OAU’, it is reported:- ‘After effecting certain amendments to paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 3, the reference to members of Parliament representing all people of ‘African descent’ was deleted’ It is no secret that Arabia in the OAU never saw a place for the African Diaspora in its deliberations, reason being - to divide and rule the African Nation - whereas Africans in general embrace their ‘ kith and kin’ taken out of Africa through slavery. Mohamed Fayek, Director-General, Dar Al-Mustaqbal Al-Arabi, Cairo, Egypt, in his contribution to the Amman Seminar on Afro-Arab relations points out that prior to the Nasserite Revolution of July 23, 1952 Egypt had no organic relationship with the rest of Africa and there existed no linkage movements. He goes on to state that:- ‘…The African movement itself, which was initiated by Black Americans in reaction to discrimination against them, adopted the theme of the black man’s dignity and freedom and his returning to his roots – while the black Americans had neither knowledge nor concrete links with the African continent, other than the colour of their skin. Hence the birth of what is called ‘Africanism’ based on their African descent – but only with black Africa in mind. African unity was to them as much a way of living the ancient African empires of Ghana, Songhai, Mali and others, as it was the unity of black Africa. With this, Africanism, before reaching the African continent itself, took a separate path from Arab Africa. Egypt therefore, as well as the rest of North Africa , had no connection with this particular African movement’. *Conclusions* Like the rest of the West, the United States and Britain have persistently dealt with the civil war in Sudan as between the African and Christian South against the Muslim Arab North. On the Wednesday 2nd September 2009, in Cairo, the European Union foreign policy head, Javier Solana stated - ‘It is very important to have the country (Sudan ) united’, going on to say ‘ I do look at the map, I do look at the distribution of resources, I do look at the situation…. I am for unity of the country’. It does not make sense to put an end to the war in the South and leave it to flare up in the Ingassana, Darfur, Nuba Mountains or Beja, especially when the causes of the war are the same and the fighting groups have achieved a kind of unifying body. Whereas the war is a circular one, the Naivasha peace initiative and its CPA is a linear solution. Two areas in Africa where the issue of racism has been at issue are South(ern) Africa and South Sudan. How the issue was managed in both instances provides some salutary lessons for the marginalized people of the Borderlands in general, where millions of impoverished, unseen, black Africans live in countries such as Libya and Algeria. In South Africa western finance capital brought about, with minimum loss of life, the timely end of apartheid, which was no longer internationally socially sustainable as an intensive system of capital accumulation. In South Sudan there were no such financial interests of the international community, to end Arab oppression of Southern Sudanese Africans, who consequently had to fight Khartoum in a bloody war in which over two million lost their lives. Problems such as Mauritania and Darfur, with long historical antecedents, will not be resolved by the North Americans, the Europeans, the Chinese or by the United Nations, because they have shown, through the history that they have little capacity to resolve core African historical weaknesses. B.F.Bankie bfbankie@gmail.com Windhoek, Namibia, November, 2009 *General bibliography * Bankie,B.F.2005 Pan-Africa or African Union ?. In African Renaissance of May/June 2005, London, UK: Adonis & Abbey Publishers Ltd. Deng,M.D.2005 African Rennaisance: towards a New Sudan . In Forced Migration Review No 24 of November 2005, entitled Sudan : prospects for peace , Oxford , UK : Refugees Studies Centre Deng,L.B. 2005 The Comprehensive Peace Agreement : will it also be dishonoured ? In Forced Migration Review No 24 of November 2005, entitled Sudan propects for peace , Oxford , UK : Refugee Studies Centre. Hashim,M.J. 2006 Islamisation and Arabisation of Africans as a means to political power in the Sudan: contradictions of discrimination based on the blackness of skin and stigma of slavery and their contributions to the civil wars. In Bankie.B.F and Mchombu.K (Eds) 2006. Pan-Africanism Strengthening the unity of Africa and its Diaspora, Windhoek , Namibia : Gamsberg Macmillan Publishers Kenyi,I. 2006 Shall war return to South Sudan? In Khartoum Monitor of 17th November 2006, Khartoum , Sudan . Lagoye,L.D. 2006 CPA : Provided one Sudan , two systems . In Khartoum Monitor of 10th October 2006, Khartoum , Sudan . Nyaba,P.A. 2002 Afro-Arab conflict in the 21st century . In Tinabantu – Journal of African National Affairs Vol 1, No 1, Cape Town, South Africa : Centre for Advanced Studies of African Society (CASAS) Schomerus,M. 2007 The Lord’s Resistance Army in Sudan: A history and overview. Geneva, Switzerland, Small Arms Survey Sharawy,H. 1999 Arab culture and African culture : ambiguous relations. In The dialogue between Arab and other cultures, Tunis, Tunisia, The Arab League, Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organisation (ALECSO ). Williams,C. 1976 The destruction of black civilization. Chicago, Third World Press Distributed and Posted by Kwasi Akyeampong – TheBlackList https://theblacklistpub.ning.com/ http://facebook.com/kwasia __
Votes: 0
E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of TheBlackList Pub to add comments!

Join TheBlackList Pub


  • hetep,

    "The Arabs in the Paqt
    Treaty demanded slaves from the Christian Nubians, that were brought from
    the hinterlands. However it was more or less African traditional slavery
    resulting from petty tribal feuds and wars. It continued like that in the
    early period of the Funj Sultanate, until the Europeans began making
    incursions into the continent to procure slaves. It was the Turco-Egyptian
    colonial rule that launched the era of mass slavery in the Sudan. They made
    it a state-policy loaded with the whole weight of Arab cultural
    stigmatization of the blacks. Locally, the Arabized people of the centre,
    which was growing fast, followed their lead. They played the role of
    intermediaries who organized the raids, captured the blacks and then sold

    the above should sum up our problem, which means religious warfare has been practiced against afrikan people by two opposing groups, who are at war with each other as we speak. in essence both religious factions have been tossing afrikan people around back and forth between them, with the same agenda in mind. therefore, afrikan people are gonna have to overthrow both camps if we are gonna have peace, as we once knew it in ancient sudan, or at least cohesion that we shared in common which can be termed social collectivism.

    but, we keep on taking the position that we can plea, or talk our way out of a condition that has been predicated on organized violence or the use of alien force, which has disillusioned us so much that we think we are arabs, or anything but afrikan. it is called cultural annihilation, which was then replaced with an alien construct that only benefitted the benefactors. so, until we quit playing footsie with both camps and take on the attitude that freedom ain't to be given, that it must be taken, we'll stay in the condition that we find ourselves in the land of the blacks.

This reply was deleted.