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keskiviikko 17. kesäkuuta 2015

Sudan, Cool Facts #37

<= 36. Egypt                                                                                                           38. South Sudan => 

1. Sudan's size

Before the division of Sudan in 2011, it was the largest country in Africa and the Arab world. Now after the separation to Sudan and South Sudan, Sudan is the third largest country in Africa after Algeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and third largest country in the Arab world after Algeria and Saudi Arabia

2. Sharia law 

In Sudan the legal system is based on Islamic Sharia law. Here are some crazy facts about Sudan's law system.

  1. Stoning is a judicial punishment. Between 2009 and 2012 many women were sentenced to death by stoning
  2. Flogging is a legal punishment. Between 2009 and 2014 a lot of people were sentenced to 40-100 lashes. 
  3. Police officers are allowed to publicly whip women who are accused of public indecency
  4. Crucifixion and hanging are legal punishments
  5. Muslims who convert to Christianity can face the death penalty for apostasy
  6. Child marriages are allowed

3. Independence

In 1956 Sudan became independent from Egypt and United Kingdom. Sudan had unified with Egypt in 1820, when Mohammed Ali Pasha conquered it. Sudan was administered as a part of Egypt while Egypt was then a part of the Ottoman empire. Then in 1881 Egypt asked Britain's help when the Sudanese rebelled against Egypt but at the end Egypt became occupied by Britain. In 1899 the Anglo-Egyptian administration was established in which Britain and Egypt governed Sudan together, but actually Sudan was more like a colony to Britain. Britain had its own interests in North Africa so that's why it wanted Egypt and Sudan to stay as one state but when Arab nationalists rose in power in Egypt after the Egyptian Revolution in 1952, Britain let Sudan become independent in 1956.

4. Arab North and Black South

During the British administration in Sudan before the independence, Sudan had split into two territories already. The Muslim north where Arabs were the majority and the black south where black Christians where the majority. After independence the civil war started and lasted until 1972 when South Sudan got autonomy. That ended when oil was found in South Sudan in 1983, the loss of autonomy started the second civil war, which lasted until 2005. Finally in 2011 there was a referendum about independence and as a result South Sudan became independent. So the division of Sudan wasn't only ethnical and geographical but also political and financial. 

5. Land renting

Sudan has rented land to China, Saudi-Arabia, South Korea and Egypt which is suitable for agriculture. Land renting has become an important source of money for Sudan. Egypt produces yearly more than two million tons of wheat and Saudi-Arabia has rented more than million hectares of land for growing crops and livestock. 

So it's a rather strange situation that other countries produce food for their own needs on Sudan when the Sudanese population is starving in hunger while most of the people live in poverty and don't have enough food. 


500s Christianity spreads to the area. Coptic Christian kingdoms of Nobatia, Alodia and Makuria flourish in the current Sudan
600s Islam starts spreading around Northern Africa
678 The Nubian Christian states sign a treaty with the caliphate of Umayyad called "Ablaut al-sharim", which ensures their sovereignty. Arabic and Islam spread to Sudan through the Arab traders.
1504 The sultanate of Sennar is established. Abyssinia managed to stop Sennar's expansion
1600s The sultanate of Darfur is established, which was independent until the end of the 1800s
1821 Mohammad Ali Pasha conquers the sultanate of Sennar and established Khartoum
1881 Rebellion against the Egyptians. Egypt asked help from the British but became occupied by them
1885 The British-Egyptian troops are defeated
1898 British soldiers suppress the revolt and Sudan is governed by the British then
1952 Arab nationalists rise in power in Egypt, until that the British had wanted to keep Sudan and Egypt as one state
1956 The British gave Sudan independence. Civil war had begun because the blacks from the south requested autonomy
1958 Military coup
1964 Civil power again
1969 A military coup by Jaafar Nimeiry
1972 Nimeiry ensures South Sudan's autonomy and thus ends the civil war
1983 Oil is found from South Sudan and South Sudan loses autonomy. The civil war begins again
1985 Nimeiry is superseded in an uprising in Khartoum
1989 General Omar al-Bashir leads a coup after a short period of civil power
1993 Sudan transforms into an authoritarian single-party state
1998 Sudan gets an islamic constitution
2003 Black farmers rebel against the ruling arabs in Darfur
2005 The government and Sudan People's Liberation Army sign a peace treaty. South Sudan gets autonomy back
2005 Chad declares war against Sudan
2011 After a referendum South Sudan becomes independent. The dispute over the border in the oil areas have continued in battles between SPLA and Sudan's army

"Maailman liput maat ja historia" by Kimmo Kiljunen

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