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The Politics of Sudan: Analytical Factors Proposal Essay

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Updated: Jun 16th, 2020


Sudan is a sub-Saharan country that is situated at the North of Africa. Sudan has undergone various transitional dynamics with respect to politics since its attainment of independence. As a result, the sub-Saharan nation has remained politically unstable for a long time. Indeed, the country has recorded longstanding political instability and civil wars in history. Sudan has experienced civil wars for over 4 decades. Recurrently, factors such as traditional authority, poor governance, and political arginalisation, clashing religious identities, and greed for natural resources usually result in unrelenting civil debates that develop into civil conflicts amongst the various Sudanese groups.

Generally, the political dynamics of the country have numerously become a challenge for the country due to underrepresentation of some Sudanese groups, deprivation of power, exclusion, power discrepancies, and existence of a government that has always been characterised by impunity leaders. This proposal provides an overview of the analytical factors, including traditional authority, which affected the politics of Sudan.

The Analytical Factors that Affected the Politics of Sudan

Curless and Rodt reveal that one of the crucial factors that have affected the politics of Sudan is traditional authority (101). After independence, Sudan had to integrate the traditional authorities to new systems of governance in an attempt to strengthen leadership responsibilities. This strategy was aimed at streamlining the performance of a weak state that had just gained independence. However, traditional authorities clearly divided the Sudanese people along ethnic lines. This situation resulted in social and political divides. Social and political differences create power-sharing problems, as leaders from different tribal groups seek equal representation of their groups in the state government.

In addition, Sudanese traditional authorities only exercised their powers over their local jurisdictions (Curless and Rodt 102). As a result, the traditional authorities disputed directives that emerged from the state government. Traditional authorities represent issues of the local government. Consequently, the state government charges the traditional authorities with the authority to manage state issues at the local level. This situation created a power sharing differences that led to political disputes between the traditional authorities and the state government.

Marginalisation of Sudanese groups also affected the politics of Sudan significantly. Political marginalisation together with economic and social insecurity gave rise to political volatility and protests, especially in the state’s peripheries. This situation led to politically plotted active conflicts amongst the people of the North and the South.

According to Idris, there has been unrest over governmental marginalisation, especially in the eastern peripheries of Sudan (120). The author attests that the Sudan government has variously committed war crimes that have resulted in dreadful conflicts in areas such as Abyei and Nuba mountains. This state of affairs has always worsened political tensions. At some point, political marginalisation led to a call for separation of the North from the South.

Religion has also played a pivotal role in the politics of Sudan. Medani attributes clashing religious identities to political instability in Sudan (276). The author advances that Sudan has been experiencing a confrontation between the Arab Muslims, the Christians, and the African Animists. Demographically, the North of Sudan represents two-thirds of the country’s population. Recurrently, this situation has led to rhetoric mobilisation of political leaders. In the North, the Arab Muslims have constantly aspired to adopt Arabism. This situation resulted in segregation of Sudanese groups along religious lines. As a result, religious identity has influenced political power since the various religious groups seek equal representation in the state government. Medani reveals religious divide has numerously led to political trivialities that have given rise to civil wars amongst the Sudanese people.

Moreover, the greed for natural resources amongst the Sudanese leaders has significantly shaped the political landscape of Sudan. Faria reveals that oil politics have always characterised Sudanese top leadership (1053). The discovery of oil in Sudan during the 1990s created an enduring stalemate between the Northern and Southern regions. Unequal distribution of power together with the discovery of oil often leads to dirty oil politics.

Eventually, these oil politics result in inexorable civil wars between the Northern and Southern groups. Sudanese leaders have had remorseless greed over oil resources. Generally, the distribution of oil and other natural resources has created a big gap between wealth and social predisposition amongst the Sudanese people (Faria 1063).

Lastly, poor governance that has remained a central source of state illegitimacy in Sudan has lured the acuities and prospects of the Sudanese people in both the North and the South. This situation has adversely affected the South due to underrepresentation in the state government (Schomerus 165). Consequently, poor governance has significantly contributed to political conflicts over power representation and distribution amongst the various Sudanese groups.

Schomerus reveals that poor governance led to deterioration of both state and social security (167). The author emphasises that some Northern elites who had a larger share in the state government controlled most of the economic functions of the government. Generally, the favouritism government of the Northern elites established political structures that undermined the Southerners. This state of affairs gave rise to violent conflicts and political insecurity.

Works Cited

Curless, Gareth and Annemarie Rodt. “Sudan and the Not So Comprehensive Peace.” Civil Wars 15.2(2013): 101-17.Print.

Faria, Caroline. “I Want My Children to Know Sudan: Narrating the Long-Distance Intimacies of Diasporic Politics.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 104.5(2014): 1052-67. Print.

Idris, Amir. Conflict and Politics of Identity in Sudan. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005. Print.

Medani, Khalid. “The Horn of Africa in the shadow of the cold war: understanding the partition of Sudan from a regional perspective.” Journal of North African Studies 17.2(2012): 275-94. Print.

Schomerus, Mareike. “War and Politics in Sudan: Cultural Identities and the Challenges of the Peace Process.” The Journal of Modern African Studies 52.1(2014): 165-67. Print.

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