PERSPECTIVES ON THE SUDAN: ISOLATION AT HOME AND ABROAD
ACAS BACKGROUND PAPER NUMBER 1
by A. F. Mazz, Association of Concerned Africa Scholars
Association of Concerned Africa Scholars
Contents: International and Regional Contexts • Domestic Perspectives • Observation & Implications • Sudan and the United States • Mazz writes that, since 1971, the Sudan reversed the majority of its socialist initiatives taken in 1969, seriously damaged the Communist Party, crushed the Mahdist revival with military force, and suspended multi-party democracy. Its relations with eastern Europe have been curtailed, and it has sought financial and political support from China and Western Europe and from the United States, in particular. Mazz explores the unusually close relations between the Sudan and Egypt, both of which have deep association with the U.S. and are markedly isolated in the Arab world. The hydropolitics of the Nile Valley connects them, as well. The July 1971 counter-coup which returned the Sudanese President Gaafar Nimeiry to power received essential logistical support from Egypt. Under their current military alliance, Operation Bright Star in 1981 saw joint war games between Sudanese, U.S., and Egyptian troops. The death of Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1970 paved the way for a realignment of forces in the Nile Valley. His successor, Anwar Sadat, began to reverse many of programs and policies, including the formation of the 'infitah' "open door" liberal economic policy which provided open access for western capital and ideology to the investment market and political arena in Egypt, and, subsequently, to the Sudan. Poverty and over-crowding in the urban areas of the Sudan is worsening; the Sudanese economy is weak and growing still weaker. The rising forces of Islamic fundamental revivalism remain a serious concern for both, as long as the U.S. remains such a reliable supporter of Israel. Egypt, the Sudan and the U.S. have been giving covert arms support to Hissene Habre. The report discusses Milton Obote, Idi Amin, Uganda, Ghoukouni Waddeye, Eritrea, Zaire, Central African Republic, the Gezira scheme, cotton, Sudanese Socialist Union, and the University of Khartoum.
Used by permission of several co-chairs of the Association of Concerned Africa Scholars.
Collection: William Minter Southern Africa Papers