Sudan. According to
has a population of 41.8 million (2018). Presidential and parliamentary elections were held
in April, the first since 1986 to be held in completely
democratic forms. But the elections did not bode well for
the 2011 referendum on a possible division of the country.
Most opposition candidates for President Omar al-Bashir
jumped off with insufficient preparation and suspicions of
planned cheating. The EU withdrew its observers from the
Darfur region due to lack of security. Southern Sudan's
leading party SPLM (Sudanese people's liberation movement)
boycotted elections in most provinces in the north, also
citing planned cheating and risk of violence.
As a result, al-Bashir was re-elected with 68 percent of
the vote, while SPLM leader Salva Kiir got 93 percent of the
vote in the presidential election for the semi-autonomous
South Sudan. The ruling party NCP (National Congress Party)
consolidated its large majority in parliament. Both EU
observers and the US Carter Center judged the confused
election arrangements and the lack of transparency in the
The rest of the year was marked by a rising concern that
the referendum on independence for the South would be
sabotaged. Uncertainty also increased over whether a
separate referendum in the oil-rich border region of Abyei
could be implemented at all. The residents of Abyei must
decide whether they should belong to northern or southern
Sudan. Struggles in the area in July were interpreted as
attempts to drive away people who are supposed to feel
closer to the South. Negotiations on the conditions for the
Abyei vote ended in October. Both sides also blamed each
other for troop contractions along the possibly future
national border, the stretch of which is not entirely clear
either. The Khartoum government heard statements that cast
doubt on both referendums,
In November, the US government offered to remove Sudan
from its list of states that support terrorism, if the
referendum on the status of the south is carried out
according to the timetable. However, the sanctions punishing
the government for the violence in Darfur would continue. In
Darfur, it was relatively calm during the year, but
ceasefires that the government closed at the beginning of
the year with several rebel groups were broken quite soon.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague
brought further charges against President al-Bashir, now for
genocide. He was accused of planning to partially destroy
the peoples fur, masalite and zaghawa. A year earlier, the
ICC had prosecuted and called for the president of war
crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur.
In February, the ICC dropped the charges against a Darfur
rebel leader in lack of evidence. Two other daredevil rebels
voluntarily arrived in The Hague in June, where they were
charged with war crimes. The ICC reported the Sudanese state
to the UN Security Council for its refusal to arrest and
extradite a former minister and a rebel leader who is
charged with 51 points for war crimes and crimes against
humanity. They are accused, among other things, of murder,
torture, mass rape and forced escape of a number of villages
in Darfur. The minister was the government's responsible for
Power struggle and state of emergency
In 1992, a designated parliament of 300 members came
together, as a first step on the road to democratization.
New political reforms in 1993 led to the deployment of a
civilian government dominated by the NIF, and then to
elections in 1996, when al-Bashir was elected president of
Sudan and al-Turabi as president of parliament.
A new constitution of 1999 provided a somewhat greater
leeway for political opposition. In 1999, a growing power
struggle between al-Bashir and al-Turabi took place, after
which the latter lost its formal power; al-Tourabi was
jailed in 2001–2003 and in 2004–2005. Al-Bashir dissolved
parliament in 1999 and set aside the constitution.
Parliament met again in 2001 after the election the year
before, but the state of emergency continued.
In the election, which was boycotted by the opposition,
al-Bashir was re-elected, after defeating former President
Nimeiri. NCP won 355 out of 360 seats in the National
Assembly. A failed coup attempt took place in 2003.
Autonomy for South Sudan
As a result of the peace agreement signed between the
government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement
(SPLM) in South Sudan in 2005, the seats of parliament and
government from the same year were proportionally
distributed, while a separate government was formed in it
from the then autonomous South Sudan; the president here
also became vice president throughout Sudan.
According to the agreement, NCP was given 52 per cent of
seats, SPLM 28 per cent, while 20 per cent went to
opposition groups (14 per cent to groups in the north; 6 per
cent to groups in the south).
On July 9, 2011, South Sudan became an independent state.
Sudan's recent history has been largely characterized by
political conflicts between the dominant Arab elite and
various parts of a complex opposition, which have also been
reflected in armed uprisings and war in several parts of the
country - especially in South Sudan and beyond. especially
in Darfur west of the country, but also in central and
The conflicts have consequences not only for Sudan but
also for the region: The civil wars in Sudan are closely
linked to conflicts in several neighboring countries;
especially in Central Africa (Chad and Central African
Republic, as well as in Uganda and Congo) and on the Horn of
Africa (Eritrea and Ethiopia).
The armed conflicts are all different and there is
basically no direct connection with them. However, they have
in common that they express an experienced political and
economic marginalization, which the Arab-dominated central
government is behind, essential to fencing their own power.
There is also a great difference between the actors in
the conflicts: for example, the war in South Sudan has also
had a religious dimension in that the population,
essentially Christians and animists, was further provoked by
the Islamist government's introduction of Sharia.
In comparison, the conflict in Darfur has a cultural and
economic dimension - the whole area is Muslim, but people
groups with different industries have come into conflict due
to deteriorating natural conditions: nomadic livestock
farmers (essentially 'Arab') against permanent farmers
(essentially 'Africans')). The Arab-dominated central
government supports local 'Arab' militia.