Beyond the ideology of 'Civil War': the global-historical constitution of political violence in Sudan.
Abstract: It is commonplace to characterise political violence and war in Africa as 'internal', encapsulated in the apparently neutral term 'civil war'. As such, accounts of political violence tend to focus narrowly on the combatants or insurrectionary forces, failing to recognize or address the extent to which political violence is historically and globally constituted. The paper addresses this problematic core assumption through examination of the case of Sudan, seeking to contribute to a rethinking of protracted political violence and social crisis in postcolonial Africa. The paper interjects in such debates through the use and detailed exposition of a distinct methodological and analytical approach. It interrogates three related dimensions of explanation which are ignored by orthodox framings of 'civil war': (i) the technologies of colonial rule which (re)produced and politicised multiple fractures in social relations, bequeathing a fissiparous legacy of racial, religious and ethnic 'identities' that have been mobilised in the context of postcolonial struggles over power and resources; (ii) the major role of geopolitics in fuelling and exacerbating conflicts within Sudan and the region, particularly through the cold war and the 'war on terror'; and (iii) Sudan's terms of incorporation within the capitalist global economy, which have given rise to a specific character and dynamics of accumulation, based on primitive accumulation and dependent primary commodity production. The paper concludes that political violence and crisis are neither new nor extraordinary nor internal, but rather, crucial and constitutive dimensions of Sudan's neo-colonial condition. As such, to claim that political violence in Sudan is 'civil' or 'internal' is to countenance the triumph of ideology over history.
Article Type: Report
Subject: Civil war (Analysis)
Civil war (Sudan)
Political violence (Analysis)
Postcolonialism (Analysis)
Author: Ayers, Alison J.
Pub Date: 01/15/2012
Publication: Name: Journal of Pan African Studies Publisher: Journal of Pan African Studies Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Social sciences Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2012 Journal of Pan African Studies ISSN: 0888-6601
Issue: Date: Jan 15, 2012 Source Volume: 4 Source Issue: 9
Topic: Event Code: 290 Public affairs
Product: Product Code: 9103571 Civil Conflict NAICS Code: 92812 International Affairs
Geographic: Geographic Scope: Sudan Geographic Name: Sudan; Sudan Geographic Code: 6SUDA Sudan
Accession Number: 306596690
Full Text: It is commonplace to characterise political violence and war in Africa as 'internal', encapsulated in the apparently neutral term 'civil war'. Usage of this problematic notion is "partly habitual" but the concept of 'civil war' "might also be ideologically and politically convenient" (Cramer, 2006:10). Categorical distinctions such as so-called 'civil wars' are not simply descriptive or definitional frames but rather shape the production of knowledge, including "what is viewed and how it is interpreted." As has long been argued by critical scholars, "classification systems are generally determined by some purpose--they are not 'natural' and they should always be questioned" (Cramer, 2006:51). Analytical borders are therefore at the heart of much debate (and policy formulation) in the social and other sciences ... This is very much the case in the study of violent conflict. Here too what matters is whether or not a set of categories hides more than it reveals (Cramer, 2006:51).

This paper contends that the ideology of 'civil war' and the assumption that the principal causes of political violence are intrinsic to the 'domestic' sphere (that is, predominantly internally-constituted) excludes from consideration global structures of economic and political inequities as well as those of social and cultural exclusion. Orthodox accounts of political violence tend to focus narrowly on the combatants or insurrectionary forces, failing to recognize or address the extent to which political violence is historically and globally constituted (Hanlon, 2006a). As such, the assumption and privileging of internality lends credence to imperial narratives which aver that the degrading conditions of the vast majority result solely from the ineptitude of certain despotic and self-serving rulers and/or fanatic primordialist groups--whilst casting the western-led 'international community' as the "unconditional protector of all civilian victims, the impartial agent of peace, the zealot of the rule of law, and the promoter of reconciliation" (Feher, 2000:40).

The ideology of 'civil war' and the privileging of internality have attained particular salience in the post-cold war period. From the end of the Second World War until the late-1980s, western powers and their soviet bloc rivals had systematically projected the logic of the cold war onto most conflicts, thereby investing virtually all wars and insurgencies with a political and ideological stake (Feher, 2000). The assessment of these conflicts was influenced by the political allegiance of the concerned parties, but the political character and the role of 'external' forces in such 'proxy wars' was readily evident. With the end of the cold war and the 'end of history', accounts of international disorder could no longer be ascribed to an 'expansionary communism'. Thus, various explanations have emerged to account for conflict and crisis--explanations that "have been largely internal" (Hanlon, 2006a:5). Indeed, Chester Crocker, former US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, is explicit in foregrounding internality: with the end of the cold war, the very nature of conflict changed. "Conflicts became internal" (Crocker et al 2001:xv).

Particularly pervasive amongst these (parochial) explanations of conflict have been the 'primordialism' thesis, whereby conflicts are officially attributed to "the existence of old and intractable 'bad blood' between neighbouring or intertwined communities", and relatedly, "the exploitation of these ingrained feelings by ruthless warlords" (Feher, 2000, 40). Although the relative significance of group antagonisms and the actions of selfserving elites varied across conflicts, throughout most of the 1990s,

the leading members of the international community contended that all post-cold war conflicts were about 'tribal' disputes--over land, resources, ethnic or religious supremacy, and so forth--rather than rival ideologies and adverse political projects (Feher, 2000:40).

Essentialist accounts of identity politics continue to exert considerable sway (cf. Horowitz, 2000; Gurr, 2001; Fearon and Laitin, 2003). 'Constructivists', meanwhile, have argued that identities are not fixed and immutable but rather socially constructed. As such, identities are said to be exploited by avaricious elites for their own individual ends (cf. Brown, 1996, 2001; Walter, 1999; Nafziger and Auvinen, 2002). Despite apparent differences, both narratives nonetheless excogitate 'identity' as "an internal root of war" (Hanlon, 2006b:110).

Relatedly, Malthusian arguments have posited an escalation of inter-group conflict as a result of increasing population levels, environmental stress and scarcity (cf. HomerDixon, 1994; Kaplan, 1994); as have accounts which focus on resource abundance or the 'resource curse' (cf. Ross, 1999; Soysa, 2000); as well as explanations based on relative deprivation and pronounced 'horizontal' inequalities between social groups (cf. Nafziger and Auvinen, 2002; Addison and Murshed, 2002). However, with neoclassical economists increasingly on the analytic war path, the centrality of individual behaviour and the self-serving actions of elites have tended to dominate accounts of political violence--manifest particularly in the claim that 'greed' trumps 'grievance' as a prime cause of conflict (cf. Collier and Hoeffler, 1998; Collier 2000). More recent versions of World Bank analysis have modified this claim, arguing that 'greed' perpetuates war (rather than initiating it), as the imperative of war-financing spawns "entrepreneurs of violence" (Collier et al, 2003:79). Nonetheless, the enduring theme of 'bad leaders' echoes the extensive literature on violent predation and 'warlordism' (cf. Reno, 1998; Ellis, 1998), such that theorists of post-cold war violence claim 'new wars' to be apolitical: "Violence has freed itself from ideology." Contemporary 'civil wars', which constitute a form of "political retrovirus", are "about nothing at all" (Enzensberger, 1994 in Cramer, 2006:77).

The purpose of this paper is not to engage in an exhaustive critique of orthodox accounts of 'civil war.' Rather, the paper addresses the problematic core assumption of internality which underwrites such narratives. Following Hanlon (2006a:5), it argues that previous accounts of conflict "have been largely internal." Moreover, to the extent that 'non-civil' factors are examined, the paper contends that the relationship has been construed as external and contingent (cf. Brown, 1996; Reno, 1998; Levy, 2001; Kaldor, 2001), thereby failing to grasp the complex organic set of social relations which constitute the global political economy. As such, orthodox accounts of 'civil war' are predicated on an atomistic social ontology which endorses notions of artificially-disaggregated and bounded classificatory systems and analysis, whereby given social phenomena can be allocated and therefore understood in one 'domain' or another - in this case - externally-related 'sovereign' states. Thus, the narrative of 'civil' war rests upon the highly problematic conception of the state as a reified entity, with interests and capabilities analytically separate from the totality of global social relations within which states inhere.

By contrast, the paper argues that the sources of the production and reproduction of political violence and war are to be found not only in the 'internal' characteristics of individual states but in their globally- and historically-constituted social relations. In particular, that political violence is to be located within the long history of imperialism, understood as a system of unequal global relations of power that has prevailed over the past several hundred years, through which the subaltern are individually and collectively governed and through which surplus is extracted and accumulated. This "power to rule" (Fieldhouse, 1999:71) has been and continues to be embodied variously in regimes of governance and authority, military power, finance, property, socialisation, knowledge, and so on. The paper does not seek to argue that domestic factors are simply derivative of a state's location within the global imperial order. Indeed, accounts of cold-war era 'proxy wars', in subsuming local disputes within the grand narrative of the struggle against 'communism', constituted another means of obfuscating the political stakes of such conflicts (Feher, 2000). Rather, the paper argues for an understanding of political violence and war as globally- and historically-constituted, with the 'global' understood, not in a Waltzian discrete levels-of-analysis sense, but rather as mutually constituted by local, domestic, regional and international relations and exchanges. Accordingly, the abstraction of 'internal' factors constitutes a form of (analytical) violence in that it disassembles and falsifies reality.

Such abstraction does not constitute simply benign neglect. Whilst empirically unsustainable, the claim that the principal causes of conflict are intrinsic to the 'domestic' sphere underpins political qua civilizational interventions and world-ordering by Western powers as the requisite condition for the attainment of the 'collective good.' This includes the articulation of biopower, or "the right to make live and to let die" (Foucault, 2003:241), according to whether Western politico-economic interests are perceived to be at stake.

That is to say, the ideology of 'civil war' enables the self-appointed 'international community' to adopt, selectively, a position of "powerless righteousness" in favour of a professed 'humanitarian', 'impartial' and 'conciliatory engagement' (Feher, 2000:xi). As such, the ideology of 'civil war' affords a legitimating function in the long history of imperial recourse to moral obligation or duty cloaked in the language of salvation, emancipation, modernisation, development, good governance, democratisation, human rights, peace-building, and so on (Grovogui, 2002).

Critique of the ontological primacy of internality is developed through examination of the case of Sudan. As Harir (1994) has noted, 'civil war' in Sudan is commonly portrayed according to essentialist differences between groups based on 'racial', ethnic and religious antagonisms, and/or to the self-seeking behaviour of local elites. Such accounts reproduce the orthodox portrayal of post-cold war violence and war. Esses and Jackson (2008), for example, characterise conflict in Sudan as resulting from ethnic differences between an Arab, Muslim north and a non-Arab or Black African Christian and animist South. Huntingdon (1993) similarly focuses on the clash between 'Islamic' and 'African' cultures, while Peterson (2000) documents religious antagonisms. Others privilege 'racial' enmities: "Race--not religion--is the fundamental fault line in Sudan" (Mutua, 2004:10), while Lind (2004) invokes ancient and immutable hostilities, claiming that conflict arises from people's fighting for "their primary loyalty" to tribe and race, as they have done since "history's dawn" (in Johnson, 2006:92). Environmental scarcity factors have also been foregrounded. Sachs (2006) argues that conflict in Darfur "has roots in an ecological crisis", as does the UN's Ban Ki-moon (2007): "the Darfur conflict began as an ecological crisis." Sudan also figures prominently in portrayals of the criminality of 'warlords' and as an example of the predatory social condition/s of the 'new war' economies (Kaldor, 2001, Duffield, 2001).

The paper contends that such accounts are highly partial and analytically inadequate. It argues for an analysis of the global-historical constitution of crisis and war in Sudan. As such, the central purpose of the paper is not to proffer new empirical material but rather to contribute to a rethinking of how we understand and make sense of protracted political violence and social crisis in postcolonial Africa. The paper interjects in such debates through the use and detailed exposition of a distinct methodological and analytical approach. Specifically, it interrogates three related dimensions of explanation which are ignored by orthodox framings of 'civil war': (i) the technologies of colonial rule which (re)produced and politicised multiple fractures in social relations, bequeathing a fissiparous legacy of racial, religious and ethnic 'identities' that have been mobilized in the context of postcolonial struggles over power and resources; (ii) the major role of geopolitics in fuelling and exacerbating conflicts within Sudan and the region, particularly through the cold war and the so-called 'war on terror'; and (iii) Sudan's terms of incorporation within the capitalist global economy, which have given rise to a specific character and dynamics of accumulation, based on primitive accumulation and dependent primary commodity production.

In examining these questions, the paper also engages the more critical literature on Sudan. Such accounts have tended to focus on one or more of the strands of analysis detailed in this paper but neglected other aspects. Mahmood Mamdani's (2009) high-profile Saviours and Survivors, for example, focuses primarily on the construction of identities and aspects of global geopolitics but remains curiously silent on the fundamental issues of production and accumulation. This paper seeks to bring the three dimensions together as organically-related aspects of Sudan's postcolonial crises and political violence.

Late Colonialism and the Forging of Group Identities

As noted above, conflict in Sudan is perceived, experienced and executed, in large part, along 'racial', ethnic and religious lines. To the extent that such narratives ascribe to a primordialist viewpoint of "timeless antagonisms", they affirm the problematic culturalist account whereby pre-modern culture is proffered as the explanation for ("senseless") political violence (Mamdani, 2003:140). Rejecting such essentialisms, the paper argues that political violence is made comprehensible by locating it within a global-historical context. As such, 'identities' are significant but we need to understand the process through which group identities are produced, reproduced and (potentially) transcended: "Even if the identities propelled through violence are drawn from outside the domain of politics - such as race (from biology) or ethnicity or religion (from culture)--we need to denaturalize these identities by outlining their history and illuminating their links with organized forms of power" (Mamdani, 2003:136).

Legacies of the Imperial Past; Or 'When The World Was Spoiled' (1)

It is in the context of modern colonialism, the process of state formation and Sudan's integration in the capitalist world economy, that salient "social and economic problems found, if not their origin, then certainly their expression in terms of the modern state" (Khalid, 1990:39). With the Anglo-Egyptian reconquest, Britain's interests became paramount in the Nile valley, engendering the radical transformation of Sudan's politico-economic structure: Colonial rule and its attendant processes of capitalist accumulation spawned the profound inequalities of wealth, nascent class formation, factional conflict, sectarianism and 'retribalization' of state and society, uneven development, problems of regional integrity and disunity of the 'nation', that characterise modern Sudan (Khalid, 1990; Mamdani, 2009).

Whilst inherent in the exploitation of colonial dominions was the expropriation of surplus (Rodney, 1972), the colonial polity was, in every instance, a historical formation (Freund, 1998). In implementing differing political forms and technologies of government, colonial rule across Africa appropriated and repackaged particular dimensions of local cultures and social practices, bequeathing an authoritarian and fissiparous legacy, which has beleaguered African postcolonies. Both the divide and rule policy of colonial powers and mode of domination effected through the legal-political project of indirect rule "redesigned the administrative and political life of the colonies by bringing each under a regime of group identity and rights" (Mamdani, 2008:3). Across colonial Africa, specific 'native' institutions were forged through which to rule subjects with 'tribal' leadership either "selectively reconstituted as the hierarchy of the local state or freshly imposed where none had existed, as in 'stateless' societies" (Mamdani, 1996:17). Colonial technologies of government thereby fractured and containerised "the singular, racialized and majority identity, native, into several, plural, ethnicized, minority identities--called tribes'" (Mamdani, 2003:137). Sudan was no exception but the fracturing of 'tribal' identities was compounded and at times over-determined by religious, 'racial', regional and class formations, producing complex and multiple fissures.

The colonial regime in Sudan maintained its rule through a combination of brutal military repression together with strategies of divide, 're-identify', co-opt and rule (Mamdani, 2009). In establishing its own conditions for exploitation and privileging particular groups, the colonial regime exacerbated tensions between the different regions, and widened disparities between, on the one hand, avaricious modern as well as 'traditional' elites, and on the other, less privileged sectors of society. This, "inevitably, set the ground for post-colonial class formation and the rise of the northern bourgeoisie that has since dominated Sudanese politics" (Khalid, 1990:73). From the outset this was not only a 'racialised' project of colonist and 'native' but also one which adapted antecedent socio-political 'racialized' hierarchies to colonial ends, privileging and co-opting a narrow northern elite which self-consciously identified as 'Arab' (Idris, 2004; Sharkey, 2008). As such, the Jellaba--northern riverine Arab(ized) Muslim religious leaders, merchants, 'tribal' notables, and latterly, higher civil servants and politicians--emerged as the "better class of native" through which the colonists sought "to influence the whole population" (Kitchener in Medani, 1993:204). Their politico-economic fortunes heightened through British patronage and the manner in which independence was negotiated, these "traditional and modern elites have held, for the greatest part of Sudan's history, a total monopoly on political power, garnering all the wealth derived from the exercise of such power" (Khalid, 1990:11).

Dominance through the colonial policy of divide, co-opt and rule was evident also in the politicisation of religion (Khalid, 1990). Indeed, a "consciously institutionalized Islamic policy in the Sudan is a British invention" (O'Fahey, 1993:30-31). Fearful of the Sufi religious orders (tariqah) and the possibility of a resurgent Mahdism, the colonial powers opposed mystical Islam and sponsored rival religious orders, exacerbating antagonisms, particularly between the Ansar and Khatmiyya. These sectarian loyalties became the basis of political support for the mainstream (northern) political parties--the National Union Party and the Umma party--giving rise in the postcolonial period to a politics of "deep sectarian rivalry based on the mobilization of Islam as a basis for identity in national politics" (Woodward, 1988:3). Christianity meanwhile was also used as instrument of colonial politics in an attempt to reduce the influence of Islam and its perceived association with nationalist sentiment (Khalid, 1990).

In addition to religious leaders, also co-opted were the merchant elite that had prospered throughout the Turkkiya and Mahdiyya. Whilst import-export was dominated by foreign traders, northern Sudanese merchants accumulated considerable funds from the export of key commodities--gum, livestock, oilseeds and cotton (Niblock, 1987). Likewise, the politico-economic status of northern 'tribal' leaders was also considerably enhanced through indirect rule. Reinstated with a highly authoritarian bent, the 'customary' authority of 'chiefs' ('sheiks' and 'omdas') was vested with specific administrative and judicial powers to dispense certain aspects of 'customary' and shari'a law largely at the behest of the colonial administration. Being able to extract only limited tribute prior to Anglo-Egyptian rule, 'traditional' leaders now accumulated funds through control of trade licences and the privatisation and leasing of land - predominantly for large-scale colonial agro-commercial schemes (Niblock, 1987; Johnson, 2003).

Throughout the vast marginalised 'peripheries', the ideology of indirect rule prevailed--particularly in the wake of the nationalist uprising of 1924. As the colonial regime sought to 'preserve' the 'innate' qualities of native cultures, it sharpened and essentialised inter-ethnic divisions (Salih, 1990). Moreover, as elsewhere in Africa, the reconstitution of 'tribal' authority in Sudan was frequently "an anomalous attempt to 'tribalize' people who had no memory of tribal authority or desire to recall it" (Daly, 1986:367). Across the south, indirect rule was deployed following particularly brutal 'pacification', but the lack of executive authority within acephalous societies stymied colonial attempts to work through so-called native structures. Differing administrative patterns emerged between the agricultural and pastoralist communities, but the administrative structures created "owed as much to British innovation as to indigenous custom" (Johnson, 2003:12-13). Similarly, when annexed in 1916, Darfur was subjected to a "new regime that was insistently reactionary and determined to rule through 'traditional authority' even where there was none" (Daly, 2007: 117).

After decades of dislocation, destruction and forced migration as a result of colonial conquest, "many of Darfur's tribal units were unviable alone and dispersed from their original dars" (Daly, 2007:132). The attempts at amalgamation and hierarchical reordering resulted inevitably in the accession and despotism of "supra-tribal overlords," whose authority was conferred by the colonial power rather than derived from kinship (Daly, 2007:133). Moreover, in reorganising the province as an "administrative mosaic of tribal politics," British rule discriminated against so-called 'settler' tribes in terms of entitlements to land and posts in the native administration. Such systems fuelled ethnic tensions between residents in every dar, based on discriminatory political and land rights. More fundamentally, it separated "tribes with a dar from those without." It was this 'tribal' division pertaining to rights of access to productive natural resources that erupted in the Darfur crisis of the mid-1980s (Mamdani, 2009:166-69, 244).

Related to the ideology of indirect rule was the policy of institutionalised neglect, with the vulgar conservatism of indirect rule inhibiting education and economic development (Daly, 2007). In Darfur, for example, modern education was actively discouraged with the partial exception of the sons of sheiks. Meager allocations to the outlying regions for health, agriculture and communications, trapped "the poorer regions in a cycle of poverty from which they could not escape" (Khalid, 1990:64). Indeed, Darfur, "subsumed statistically with 'the North', arguably suffered even more than the famously neglected south" (Daly, 2007:137). In the latter, the Condominium maintained long-standing practices of exploitation, notably of cattle and ivory, with commerce controlled almost exclusively by foreign and northern Sudanese merchants. Intent on maintaining the separation of north and south, the 'Southern Policy' mandated regional qua racial segregation, whereby "the South was to be developed along 'African', rather than 'Arab' lines" (Johnson, 2003:11; Idris, 2004). Institutionally-segregated as so many 'tribes', and isolated from the economy of the north, economic development of the south was severely impeded; formal education was also actively discouraged with the exception of mission schools. Accordingly, when for reasons of political expediency Britain bequeathed independence to a unitary Sudan--rescinding on earlier assurances to the south--far greater disparities prevailed between the north and the south than had existed at the close of the Mahdiyya (Johnson, 2003).

Meanwhile, infrastructure, public works, social services and large-scale commercial production schemes were concentrated almost exclusively in the central riverine regions of Sudan dominated by the Jellaba. Facing competition from German and US textile production, Britain determined that centralised, large-scale, irrigated cotton production, concentrated in the large-scale Gezira scheme, would ensure a reliable source of high quality cotton to its industrial mills.

Such schemes disrupted agro-pastoral production and rural economies, undermining, for example, the pastoral economy of the Beja in the Red Sea region (Pantuliano, 2006), and led to widening disparities between the merchant-investor class, and peasants, labourers and (ubiquitous) unfree labour, establishing the framework for social relations in an independent Sudan (Mahmoud, 1984; Niblock, 1987; Barnett and Abdelkarim, 1991).

The colonizers' technologies of rule and expropriation bequeathed therefore a fissiparous legacy of politicized group identities founded on divisions of class, 'race', religion, ethnicity and region. These 'identities' constitute important explanans of the dynamics of the conflict but the privileging of 'identity politics' per se naturalizes these socio-historical constructs, abstracting questions of identity from power and history. The British used the policy of divide-and-rule "to great effect" (Khalid, 1990:54) and postcolonial regimes have mirrored such technologies of rule: "elites have mastered the divide-and-rule tactics inherited from the colonial era through their territorial organization of the modern Sudanese state" (el-Battahani, 2006).

The Imperial Present: 'a house divided' (2)

In contrast to much of colonial Africa, Sudan attained formal independence largely as a result of international rivalry, rather than through the mobilisation of a nationalist mass movement (Freund, 1998). Seeking to thwart the Egyptian crown's long-standing claim to sovereignty, and compounded by widespread disaffection in the south and the 1955 mutiny, Britain circumvented the legal process established between the co-domini and granted formal independence based on a temporary constitution drafted by the British--eschewing the exigent issues of whether Sudan would become a unitary or federal state and with a secular or Islamic constitution (Johnson, 2003).

Embroiled in the rival ambitions of Britain and Egypt, Sudan's nationalists aligned with the two dominant (northern) religious sects to mobilise electoral support, eroding the possibility of developing a broad-based national political movement. Both the Graduates' Congress and the labour movement thereby succumbed to party political and sectarian influences, being unable to establish organisations which transcended ethnic and religious affiliations (Holt and Daly, 2000). The politics of the 'centre' were thus determined by social relations forged in the earlier colonial period. Those who had not been part of these original assemblages of power were largely denied a voice in national affairs. Southerners, for example, were largely excluded from constitutional negotiations and the 'Sudanization' process.

The crisis of national identity which ensued has beleaguered the Sudanese polity, with attempts to "define and constitute a viable nation" from the colonial legacy of "many Sudans within a single state" seeking to mobilise social forces behind nation-building projects defined variously as: Arabist; secular and territorial (Sudanist); Islamic; and African. Each of these movements has propagated exclusive as well as inclusive narratives of the nation, fuelling the dynamics of political conflict (Mamdani, 2009:174).

The Arabist project constituted the first attempt at nation-building in post-independence Sudan. In coalescing around 'Arabization', Sudan's political elite echoed the specious narrative of the colonial intelligentsia that "civilization in Sudan had been mainly an exogenous affair, narrowly a product of 'Arab' immigration and intermarriage and broadly an outcome of 'Arabization' of the indigenous population of Sudan" (Mamdani, 2009:200). Successive parliamentary and military regimes thereby sought to define Sudanese national identity along Arab-Islamic lines, equating national identity with cultural particularity (Khalid, 2003; Jok 2007). But as state-sponsored Arabization (ta'rib) sustained a self-consciously Arab power at the centre, it also engendered widespread resistance in the peripheries (Johnson, 2003; Sharkey, 2008). However "fictitious its actual base", pan-Arab ideology connected "local groups to a wider international community and offer[ed] them an opportunity to mobilize that support for internal conflicts" (Johnson, 2003:141). For example, the central governments' appeals "to wealthy Muslim states for military hardware in the face of 'anti-Arab' insurgency in the South" and "the alliance of 'Arab' tribes in Darfur" appealing to Libya and other Arab communities (Johnson, 2003:141; Harir, 1994).

Influenced by the modernist developmental projects sweeping post-independence Africa, nation-building through Sudanism dominated the political agenda of the Nimeiri era. Intent on overcoming the colonial legacy, the Nimeiri regime sought successive alliances with the Communist Party, the southern insurgents, and finally the political Islamists (Khalid, 1990). These different allies all championed a 'modernist' agenda as the means to overcome sectarian politics and the forces of 'tradition'. Whilst premised on an increasingly autocratic political foundation, the ill-fated reforms of the May regime nevertheless constituted an attempt to address the profound fractures generated through colonial governmentalities (Mamdani, 2009:185). This included not only the Addis Ababa Agreement of 1972 which ended the first phase of the war with the south, but also attempts to fundamentally reform the local government system inherited from colonial rule. However, extending regional autonomy to the northern provinces and reforming the laws pertaining to landholding and local governance had a destabilising effect--most notably in Darfur where it exacerbated internal political competition and the "fuller ethnicization of politics in the region", intensifying local disputes such as the Arab-Fur conflicts of the late-1980s and the Arab-Massalit conflict of the late-1990s (Mamdani, 2009:188).

The Omar Beshir-led coup of 1989 and the ascent of the National Islamic Front, dominated by Hassan al-Turabi, marked the culmination of attempts to characterize the nation along Islamist lines (Sidahmed, 2004; El-Affendi, 1991). Despite significant differences with other modern Islamic movements, the NIF embodied the post-war global rise of Islam as a state project (din)--marking a "radical shift in political Islam, from a society-centred (with a focus on the ummah) to a state-centred ideology" (Mamdani, 2007:119). Turabi's pan-Islamism received widespread support from Islamist movements from Algeria to Asia (Elnur, 2009). Within Sudan, Turabi's "seismic impact derived from the distinction he made between the universalism of Islamic principles and the parochialism of Arabic cultural practices" (Mamdani, 2009:196). This distinction accounted for the NIF's initial support from many non-Arab groups. The breakdown of the distinction and blatant ('Arabist') sectarianism also contributed to the split amongst the Islamists (Mamdani, 2009:196). Turabi was explicit on Darfur, for example, as early as 1992, that the Islamists of the "Negroid tribes" had become the enemies of the movement; the "plan of the Islamic Front" was thus to arm the Arab tribes and to disarm and forcefully relocate the Fur and Zaghawa from Darfur (quoted in Suliman, 2008:22). Turabi's highly politicised Penal Code outlawing apostasy (al-ridda) was also crucial in identifying opposition to the government as an expression of 'anti-Islamism.' Such developments set the context for the ultimate extension of jihad, giving legal sanction to continued violence, including war against Muslim populations in the north (Johnson, 2003, 2006).

A final nation-building initiative has been the rise of an oppositional if, at times, inchoate 'Africanism' (Sharkey, 2008:24). Africanism in Sudan has deep connections to continental and diasporic relationships and histories, but its expression as a political project in Sudan is most evident in the struggles of the south. Whereas the first phase of the war embodied a southern separatist agenda, the subsequent phase led by the SPLM/SPLA demonstrated an ability to transcend "sacrosanct ethnic boundaries" to include marginalised peoples of the north (Mamdani, 2009:203). Rejecting 'monoculturalism' and 'assimilation', the SPLM/SPLA under Garang extolled the possibility of a New Sudan--a Sudan that would be ethnically pluralistic and socially inclusive, and inherently 'Africanist' (Sharkey, 2008:38, 42). However, as with rival notions of Islamism in Sudan, questions remain about the reorganisation of state and society along 'African' lines (Mamdani, 2009:201), and the SPLM/SPLA remains somewhat ambiguous on its position a propos separatism.

Geo-Politics and Spheres of Influence

These multiple attempts to "define and constitute a viable nation" from the colonial legacy of "many Sudans within a single state" (Mamdani, 2009:174) did not exist autonomously of contemporaneous global processes and trends.

Following the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, Sudan had aligned more closely with the Arab League and successive 'Arabist' regimes pursued interventionist foreign policies in the region, supporting, for example, the Simba rebellion in Congo, as well as the Eritrean separatists. Regional governments responded with military support to the separatist Anyanya movement in the south; as did Israel, through the clientelist regime of Idi Amin (Jok, 2007; Johnson, 2003). Nimeiri's coup and his initial alliance with the communist party resulted in backing from the eastern bloc, but the communist-inspired coup attempt in 1971, repulsed with international support, led to the resumption of closer ties with the west (Johnson, 2003). The period to the mid-1970s marked the American struggle over the strategic geo-political 'Bridge', as the US endeavoured to contain 'communism' and Nasserism, pursuing a strategy of informal (non-territorial) imperialism which sought to co-opt Sudanese forces as part of "the scrupulous cultivation of pro-capitalist orientation and the installation of pro-Western regimes in the area." By 1976 Sudan had been officially designated as the chief anchor of US policy in the Horn of Africa, drawing the region squarely into the Cold War (Yohannes, 1997:262, 306). As elsewhere, US patronage propped up the increasingly repressive regime, which, furnished with arms, subsequently used this military arsenal against domestic opponents. As part of a tripartite alliance with the US and Egypt, Nimeiri also facilitated the shipment of weapons to Chad via Darfur, participated in military operations and provided a rear base for Chadian forces as part of US proxy warfare against Libya. Qaddafi countered by furthering relations with the Soviet Union and the arming of proxy forces, such as the 'Arab Gathering' (Tajamu al Arabi). The regionalisation of proxy wars as a "flashpoint in the Cold War" resulted in a massive influx of Chadian political refugees, as well as a heavily militarized environment, with devastating consequences for D arfur (Mamdani, 2009:211; Yohannes, 1997).

Faced with economic crisis and the declining legitimacy of his regime, Nimeiri effected a degree of reconciliation with the Islamists. The US position was initially favourable--corresponding with the Reagan administration's attempts to harness radical versions of political Islam in the fight against 'communism.' Indeed, Sudanese political Islamists were valued by Washington for the CIA-backed contribution they had made in Afghanistan (Yohannes, 1997). But, as elsewhere, the US cold war strategy empowered the political Islamists (Mamdani, 2004) and when the NIF seized power in 1989, US hostility increased as the regime developed contacts with Libya, Iraq and Iran. By 1991 Sudan was considered the epicentre of an 'Islamist revolution' within the Horn, extending into sub-Saharan Africa, presaging a declining role for Sudan within the circuits of Western capital and as a key US ally. In response, the US terminated assistance, except limited 'humanitarian' aid, and pressured the IMF and World Bank to do likewise. The George Bush administration instigated "two counter-offensive strategies: the diplomacy of famine and human rights, and the use of the SPLM as a pro-insurgency force against the Khartoum regime" (Yohannes, 1997:327-8).

The Clinton administration furthered such strategies, seeking "ways to bring about [regime] change in Sudan": It classified Sudan as a state-sponsor of 'terrorism', increased military aid to proxy neighbours (Uganda, Ethiopia and Eritrea), increased direct assistance to the armed opposition NDA and SPLM (through the Sudan Peace Act), and sought to construct 'civil society' (through, for example, the Sudan Transitional Assistance and Relief programme), in addition to cruise missile strikes on the al-Shifa pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum North (Woodward, 2006:94). Sanctions were also imposed-- although gum arabic, Sudan's principal export to the US, was exempted, due to pressure from Coca-Cola and other US corporations (Cramer, 2006).

Not successful in effecting regime change and with the opportunities for the exploitation of Sudan's oil dominated by Asian and European interests--US companies being excluded in the wake of sanctions--one of the George W. Bush administration's earliest foreign policy objectives was to secure a peace agreement between the SPLM and Khartoum (Dixon, 2004). The US also continued long-standing (covert) collaboration with the GoS on intelligence and 'counter-terrorism', particularly with the declaration of the 'war on terror' (Woodward, 2006; Silverstein, 2005). With the intensified violence in Darfur, labelling the conflict 'genocide' sought to provoke UN action through the Security Council-sanctioned AU monitoring force, furthering the 'new' "international regime of total paternalism" underwritten by an external 'responsibility to protect' (Mamdani, 2009:284). With the ICC's arrest warrant for Beshir, the major powers of the Security Council continued to arrogate to themselves the powers of interventionism and world-ordering, including the long-standing subordination of international law to the dictates of power (Mamdani, 2009; Anghie, 2004; Grovogui, 1996).

Sudan's Mal-Integration in the Global Political Economy

Analytically much neglected but organically-related is the (mal)integration of African states in the global capitalist economy (Amin, 2002). War in Sudan is a means to effect, as well as a result of, the unprecedented exploitation of resources--including fertile land, oil, minerals, water, and cheap labour--carried out by the Sudanese capitalist class, prompted by their assimilation into the global political economy in the restricted role of extractors of primary wealth. The IFIs have furthered the restructuring of resource utilisation away from local needs and towards the international market. In creating a dependent "class of local resource-extractors", the (mal)integration of Sudan in the global political economy has directly impoverished both the environment and the majority of the population of Sudan, precipitating a profound and enduring social and ecological crisis (Suliman, 1994:5, 2008:2).

Whilst at the time of independence, primary identification was almost certainly with religious or 'tribal' associations, Sudanese society comprised three broad groupings: "the incipient 'bourgeoisie'; an intermediate stratum of sub-bourgeoisie; and the broad mass of the urban and rural poor." The "rising classes" had a vested interest in the maintenance of the socio-economic system, for it was the source of their standing and profit (Khalid, 1990:75). As such, although political power was transferred to the national bourgeoisie, the forms of production and appropriation did not change. The principal difference was that capitalist penetration was now subject to various forms of neo-colonialism (Mahmoud, 1984; Freund 1998). The hegemony of colonialism affected this incipient bourgeoisie "from its very origins", and the opportunities for accumulation have continued to be determined by the degree of dependence on foreign capital (Mahmoud, 1984:3-4). As such, accumulative strategies have sought the intensification of Sudan's (mal)integration within the global political economy through the expansion of capitalist relations of production and the subversion of non-capitalist production to the imperatives of capitalist accumulation (Mahmoud, 1984). Modernisation strategies have consistently emphasised production for the international market, in particular through the expansion of export-oriented commercial agriculture (Elnur, 2009; Niblock, 1987).

The period since 1972 and the 'open door policy' (infitah), in particular, has witnessed the abandonment of all attempts at independence from international capital. Rather, external factors have come to play a "far more important role in the shaping of national policies and strategies", restructuring the Sudanese economy and shifting resource utilisation increasingly from the domestic needs to the imperatives of global capital (Elnur, 2009:40; Mahmoud, 1984). The creation of a more conducive environment to foreign capital included denationalisation, suppression of trade unions and the introduction of new investment Acts. Through such policies and widely-available petrodollar loans, Sudan dramatically expanded mechanised agricultural production as its 'breadbasket strategy' prioritised "export-oriented products ... based on the accelerated expansion of large-scale capitalist farm[ing]" (Elnur, 2009:48). Despite the rapid increase in the land under cultivation and the increased export capacity, the breadbasket strategy failed (Suliman, 1994; Johnson, 2003). With the systemic crisis of global capitalist accumulation in the 1970s, Sudan saw the value of its primary commodities decline on international markets, and oil prices soar, as debt and debt-servicing obligations increased. The crisis reached its nadir in 1977-8 as Sudan became reliant on the US to negotiate the rescheduling of debt and further loans from the IMF, and became the largest recipient of US aid in sub-Saharan Africa.

As a result of conditionalities imposed by IFI-sponsored structural adjustment programmes, Sudan's 'open-door' policy, reduced the state budget, privatised stateowned enterprises, devalued the Sudanese currency, and promoted export cropping (Johnson, 2003:43; Elnur, 2009). But in prioritising the expansion of mechanised cash-cropping at the expense of staple food production, reducing the land available to subsistence farmers and pastoralists whilst devaluing their monetary assets and reducing subsidies for basic needs and social services, "the whole edifice of agropastoralism, the livelihood of 14 million Sudanese, began to collapse" (Suliman 1994). Thus, as the national economy was further integrated within and subjected to the imperatives of global capitalist accumulation, the crisis of the subsistence economy deepened, with the interaction of ecological and socio-economic factors producing widespread poverty--evident in the severe famine of 1984-5 (Duffield, 1990).

Investment in mechanised commercial agricultural schemes by the northern bourgeoisie has a long history (Niblock, 1986; Suliman, 1994) but the Nimeiri regime's local government reforms, including land reform and the abolition of Native Administration, facilitated the reorientation of the economy towards production for the international market, undermining local peoples' access to land and resources as 'customary' rights of land use and access were abolished, and the central state furthered empowered to lease land for large-scale commercialised agriculture (Johnson, 2003). The land available to subsistence farmers and pastoralists has consequently declined substantially as huge tracts of land have been reallocated to large-scale mechanised agricultural production, frequently owned by absentee landlords. The expansion of mechanised farming rapidly exhausts the soil. In the degraded lands, yields of sorghum, millet and groundnuts have fallen by as much as 80%, and some 17 million hectares have been denuded by soil erosion. In some areas the land has been depleted within 3-4 years. As such, the "appetite for new land is rapacious and continuous", hence the relentless expansion into the 'peripheries' (Suliman 1994, 1998; Elnur, 2009).

In the Nuba Mountains, the 'new land war' was a major factor in the outbreak of conflict, with increasing amounts of fertile land in the Nuba plains expropriated throughout the 1970s and 1980s to facilitate the expansion of commercial agriculture under the World Bank-sponsored Mechanized Farming Corporation (MFC). Similarly, land in southern Blue Nile was expropriated as Gulf investors provided loans to the MFC to establish commercial agricultural schemes in the lowlands, in addition to timber and mineral extraction in the uplands. In eastern Sudan, land was increasingly appropriated for cotton plantation schemes and mechanised farming (Johnson, 2003; Suliman, 1998). Meanwhile, as the populations of northern and central Darfur have been forced to migrate southwards in response to drought, the commercialisation of agriculture has disrupted long-standing symbiotic relations between farmers and pastoralists as the enclosure movement has limited access to pasture and water and blocked established migration routes (Mamdani 2009).

In addition to conflict over land, hostilities also emerged over the exploitation of oil and water resources in the south. Draining the Sudd marshes through the construction of the Jonglei canal by a Sudanese, Egyptian and French joint venture, was motivated in part by demand for more water downstream--itself part of interstate tensions regarding the distribution and utilisation of water between the ten riparian countries of the Nile basin (Klare, 2001; Yohannes, 2008). But also intended was the expansion of mechanised agriculture in the vast tracts of fertile land drained by the canal (Johnson, 2003). Absent within the scheme was provision for the local people--approximately 1.7 million Dinka, Shilluk, Nuer, Murle, Bari and Anuak affected by the project (Suliman, 1994). Moreover, in the early 1980s, commercial deposits of oil were discovered in southern Sudan--as Western countries sought to diversify their supplies of oil in the wake of Saudi Arabia's embargo and the Yom Kippur War (Patey, 2007). Initial plans were made to process the oil in the south but, with Chevron's patronage, the Nimeiri government opted instead to pipe the oil to the north. The response to these schemes based on oil, water and land resources in the south was the formation of the SPLM/SPLA. But northerners, including people from the Nuba Mountains and southern Blue Nile, also joined the SPLM/SPLA which claimed to be defending the whole of rural Sudan against the "onslaught of the Jellaba" (Suliman, 1993:108).

With the plans of the "resource bourgeoisie" frustrated by the war in the south and the general crisis of primary production, "the call for 'strong' government . began to spread" (Suliman, 1994). In response to the declining profitability of agricultural and mercantile capitalism, using the state as an instrument for economic empowerment has increased in importance (Elnur 2009). Indeed, one effect of the austerity measures and currency devaluations of the SAPs had been the "impoverishment of the middle classes and a marked polarisation among the Jellaba themselves. In the new economic atmosphere only the Jellaba with strong connections to finance capital and to state power could prosper" (Suliman, 1994). Control over the Islamic banking system has been central to this new economic regime, finding its political expression in the NIF: "The Salvation revolution was the era that witnessed a complete fusion between the Islamist empowered businessmen and the state" (Gadir 2006 in Elnur, 2009:76). As a result, commodity speculation and rentier activity, including taxation of remittances as well as the traditional agricultural sector (particularly livestock), have increased in importance (Elnur, 2009). The latter impacted significantly on the government's alliances in the west, with livestock constituting Darfur's principal contribution to the national economy and the Jellaba acting as middlemen for the internal market and the international livestock trade (Suliman, 2008)

Also central to accumulative strategies has been the exploitation of oil, with the NIF coup "carried out with an eye on the potential oil wealth ... as the financial pillar" for the regime (Suliman, 2001b). With the advent of oil exports in 1999, the ruling elite has acted as the agent of foreign corporate interests in Sudan, whilst obtaining advantages for its own class interests through rentier activities parasitic on Western and Asian capital. Oil thus became the "main objective" and the "most potent of all the causes" of conflict (Suliman, 2001b; HRW, 2003:48). Oil revenues have also enabled the GoS to dramatically increase military expenditure, expanding and upgrading its military hardware and developing a domestic arms industry, as well as utilising oil infrastructure to prosecute war (Taylor, 2009; HRW, 2003; Sharkey, 2004). By 2007 concessions had been granted across Sudan, significantly increasing the opportunities for primitive accumulation and its attendant violences in the exploitation of oil as well as the projected mining of natural gas, gold, silver and uranium (ECOS, 2007; Suliman, 2008). The entry of Russia, China and other Asian states in the exploitation of Sudan's oil has increased such opportunities. Mirroring the US, China has defined the procurement of imported oil as a matter of national security and sought to diversify its dependence on oil suppliers. Sudan ranks as one of China's most important energy endeavours: "In no other country does China play such a prominent role in the energy field" (Klare, 2004:171). With the establishment of USAFRICOM and its key role in furthering US access to energy resources in Africa, Sudan looks set to become further engulfed in a 'new Cold War' (Hunt, 2007; Foster, 2006).

The intensification of primitive accumulation has also resulted in the increased appropriation of vast tracts of agricultural land in the 'peripheries' (Suliman, 2001a). In the Nuba Mountains conflict increased from 1992 with the NIF government's declaration of jihad. Once again, economic imperatives held sway as the Government announced "the sale of new parcels of land in the Nuba Mountains and received 40,000 bids . Since that time large areas of the plains have been cleared of their original population and sold off to the regime's supporters" (Johnson, 2003:131-3). Similarly, in Darfur, vast areas of land have been appropriated. In one single public announcement in 1993, the government distributed some 7 million hectares in southern Darfur alone (Suliman, 2001a, 2008). More recently, the rise in global commodity food prices has seen land in southern Sudan (as elsewhere in Africa) appropriated by foreign investors, including postcolonial Africa's largest private land deal between US Jarch Capital and partner company, Leac, run by the eldest son of long-time Khartoum ally, Paulino Matip (Blas and Wallis, 2009)

As a result of such accumulation strategies, millions have been forced to abandon their homelands and livelihoods. Population displacement "is not an incidental outcome of the fighting but is one of its objectives; it involves not just the removal of whole groups and individuals from their home areas, but the incorporation of those populations either into competing armies, or into a captive labour force" (Johnson, 2003:152-157).

Renewed slaving, the targeting of 'relief' centres in order to accelerate labour flight, and the forcible resettlement of the 'war displaced' have contributed to the formation of this captive labour force, with the dispossessed often resettled in so-called 'peace villages' near agricultural schemes where they work as poor- or unpaid labourers, or are "managed and manipulated" to attract external resources from a complicit international 'aid' industry (Johnson, 2003:152-157; Duffield, 2001).

Finally, an essential element of the resource bourgeoisie's primitive accumulation has been the skilful manipulation of factionalism and the fomenting of proxy wars through the use of 'tribal' militias--techniques appositely compared to colonial strategies of rule (Sharkey, 2004; Mamdani, 2009). Post-independence governments initially co-opted and later established local militias to pursue destabilisation, displacement and counter-insurgency strategies. The ideology of 'tribalism' has been exploited therefore "by the interacting interests of the Sudanese post-colonial bourgeois parties, governments and capitalists . in order to maintain political power, accumulate capital and guarantee the continuity of tribalism in the process of societal reproduction" (Mahmoud, 1984:13). Following the NIF coup, the Islamist junta elevated tribal militias from a local to a national phenomenon, the Popular Defence Forces, legalising war by proxy (Salih and Harir, 1994; Mamdani, 2009).

In the north-south borderlands, the government sponsored both the 'Arab' murahileen militia of southern Darfur and Kordofan, and the Rufa'a militia in southern Blue Nile. The militia strategy was subsequently extended to "the heartland of the south", arming 'tribal' militias, such as those of the Murle, Toposa, Mandari, Acholi and Nuer, as well as former Anyanya II, to fight the SPLA. This divide-and-rule strategy was particularly effective following the 1991-split in the SPLM/SPLA, as the government fomented south-south differences increasingly articulated in a "tribal idiom" (Johnson, 2003:115). Militias have often-times been mobilised to execute a two-pronged strategy of "divide and displace" (HRW, 2003:67) thereby furthering processes of primitive accumulation. In the 1980s, Nimeiri's regime adopted "scorched earth" tactics including attacks by government troops and the murahileen, seeking to depopulate the initial oil exploration areas in Upper Nile. This tactic has continued in the oil-rich regions with coordinated attacks displacing the population of the oilfield regions, enabling the government to create a cordon sanitaire around concessions to facilitate the foreign exploitation of oil (HRW, 2003; Gagnon and Ryle, 2001; Christian Aid, 2001; Amnesty International, 2000).

Similar tactics were also used to depopulate areas of agricultural land. In its 1992-93 assault on the Nuba Mountains, the government defined its objective as forcibly relocating the entire Nuba to 'peace camps' (Mamdani, 2009). The government also sought to sabotage local peace agreements between militias and insurgent forces following a series of local peace accords (Suliman, 1998).

Similar tactics, including proxy wars and forced population transfers, were repeated with devastating consequences in Darfur, where militias on the ground were supported by the central government's military intelligence and aerial bombardment campaigns (Sharkey, 2008). The deadly tactic continues with support to militias in the south, seeking to destabilize the region in advance of national elections and the referendum on self-determination. Notwithstanding widespread evidence of government sponsorship of militias, successive regimes and their foreign corporate collaborators have sought to dismiss fighting as merely 'tribal clashes' (HRW, 2003; Harker Report, 2000). Yet, despite the articulation of 'tribal' and jihadist ideology, many "militia leaders have no 'tribal' base at all, but are from the merchant class and have gone into the raising of militias ... as an extension of business" (Johnson, 2006:97).


Sudan is mired in a profound and highly intractable social crisis, manifest not only in the increasingly fragile 'peace' in the south and ongoing 'low-intensity' violence and mass displacement in Darfur, but also in tensions and conflict within the eastern, northern and central regions. However, as the paper has sought to elaborate, key dimensions of current conflicts and crises constitute temporal permutations of events and structures that can be traced through: the history and process of modern state formation and the institutional legacy of colonial governmentalities; geo-politics and spheres of influence on the continent; and the global economic relations of Sudan's dynamics of capitalist accumulation. This continuation of processes which are both historical and structural includes, inter alia, (i) discrimination based on those who 'belong' and those who do not, evident not only at the local level (such as those with a dar and those without) but also who 'belongs' in the various exclusionary imaginaries of the nation; (ii) associated with this, the politicisation of religion, 'racialization' as a mode of governance, and the naissance an exclusionary essentialist ethnicism; (iii) the use of paramilitaries as a key instrument of political power and ordering, in the interests of capital and in the context of the geopolitics of the moment; and (iv) the circumvention of democracy and local legitimacy as a requirement of domestic and global imperatives of accumulation. As such, political violence and crisis are neither new nor extraordinary nor internal, but rather, crucial and constitutive dimensions of Sudan's neo-colonial condition. To claim that political violence in Sudan is 'internal' is to countenance the triumph of ideology over history.


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Alison J. Ayers

Assistant Professor, Departments of Political Science, Sociology and Anthropology, Simon Fraser University, BC, Canada

(1) The violent exploitation of south Sudan in the nineteenth century was, "as the Dinka remember it, 'when the world was spoiled'" (Markakis, 1987:29)

(2) Khalid (1990:69)
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