The world is slowly falling apart, with many nations, such as Sri Lanka, Lebanon and Papua New Guinea bordering on being failed states. What people also do not realise is that there is a Sudan crisis and the country is falling apart at the seems.
To read if it safe to travel Sudan click here.
What is the background to the Sudanese state?
Historically Sudan has been an integral party to ancient human history, hosting many major Kingdoms, such as the Nubians, as well as being the forbearer to the Ancient Egyptians. In fact while the Pyramids of Sudan are less impressive than those of Egypt, they do help show the continuum that lead to some of the most complex buildings from up to 12,000 years ago.
To read about camping in Meroe click here.
They also in my mind prove that in fact the Pyramids were not built by Aliens, but I digress somewhat.
In modern times the area was inevitably going to colonised and ended up technically a condominium between the United Kingdom and Egypt, but was in fact a British colony, a controversial fact, but perhaps not for the reasons you might think….
Posy independence the country has tried three rimes at democracy, but has for all intents spent most of its time as a one party state, at some points socialist, or Nasserite, and for the last 30 years, or so essentially as an Islamic republic. And not only that, but also one so Islamic they were once hot to Osama Bin-Laden
To read about Nassrism click here.
Arabisation and the secession of South Sudan
During the almost 30 year rule of Omar Al-Bashur the main issue was the civil war, largely unsolved and and driven by the Arab elite financially and religiously oppressing the largely Christian south.
To read about Abyei click here.
This would eventually lead to South Sudan succeeding in 2011, but it did not quell the problems of the country, with much of it leading back to the dominance of the whiter Arabs within the nation
This has particularly been evident in places such as Darfur, on the Sudanese border with the South and even the east of the country. A point not missed by locals, with a priest in Khartoum telling us “Everyone thought (it was) about religion, but it boiled down to race”- (while pointing at his dark arms) “People in Darfur are Muslim, but they are black. This is purely about colour”.
This alongside economic hardship would eventually lead to the coup of 2019, which while ending the dictatorship, sadly did not bring the reforms people had hoped and expected.
The Sudan Crisis 2019 to present
The coup was led bt the military, who in many ways and much like in Egypt promised eventual democracy. A power sharing government was later agreed, and implemented with some civilian governance, only for the military to again take over – stating the usual need for “national security”
This has led to protests and indeed deaths, but largely and at least according to our Sudanese friends most of the protesters are essentially impotent and lack the power or even desire for any kind of armed uprising, although this is not the state in all of the country.
The Sudan Crisis in 2023
The current Sudanese problems, or Sudan crisis manifest themselves in many different ways currently. The economy has gone to hell, with the Sudanese Pound going from 45 to the USD to 540 in just three years, but the existential problems are much more diverse.
Sudan has now gone from a centralised controlled state, to what is essentially now a bunch of fiefdoms with very little control from the central government. This is relatively well known in places like Darfur and the East of Sudan, but even in the north tribes like the Ababda treat not just Bir Tawil, but the whole of the north as their personal fiefdom, supported no less than by Russian arms that help control the gold mines of the area.
And the Sudanese response? “We cannot protect you in these areas”. and that is a verbatim quote. Sudan is now a hot mess of different factions, tribes and armed movements without a truly functioning central government, particularly in any of the border areas.
To read The men In No mans Land click here.
The Sudan Crisis going forward – what do people want in 2023
People overwhelming want “change” and while many favour a coalition style government, what exact change they want most people simply just do not know, This was something our local fixer, who I shall leave nameless put intro perfect context when he said “We tried three times with democracy and it was a failure. We need change, but to what I do not know. I am personally a communist, but it is hard to make communism work in a capitalist world”
Sudan has one of the biggest communist parties in Africa, which you can read about here.
Interestingly was both his and other peoples views about British colonialism, with one person we met on the street, who was monied enough to be traveling to the worlds cup in Qatar proclaiming “Things were better under the British and I wish they could just come back. Look at our roads and our railways, we are worse off in 2023 than we were in the 1950’s. There’s just too much corruption”.
Colonialism from the British might and indeed rightly receive criticism, but despite what many would have you believe it does not ways provoke anger and hatred, much as we saw with the riots and British flags being waved in Hong Kong. Nothing is black and white and no pun intended this includes the former British colonies of Africa and beyond.
And ironically many of the current problems in the country do boil down to injustices based around race, with the lighter Arabs embarking on what has been described as apartheid by many in the media and indeed the black African communities in places like Darfur. It truly is amazing that hundreds of thousands can be killed with organisations such as Black Lives Matter barely batting an eyelid. Racism sadly is far from the sole proprietorship of the white man, as is sadly seen across Africa and the Middle-East, with the 7000, or so dying whilst building World Cup stadiums in Qatar being testament to.
And yet while the military are far from liked, or indeed trusted, their goals are it would appear not just about keeping power. Sudan only has to look north to Egypt and indeed to South Sudan ti see how experiments with democracy can and do end.
What should happen next and what will happen next are anyones guess, one though can only hope that things get better for the Sudanese people, of all colours races and religions.
Want to see Sudan for yourself? Then buckle up and book our next tour to this wonderful country.