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Sudan

Sudan: Darfur, Islamism and the World

RICHARD COCKETT
Copyright Date: 2010
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 320
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt1nq3d9
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    Sudan
    Book Description:

    Over the past two decades, the situation in Africa's largest country, Sudan, has progressively deteriorated: the country is in second position on the Failed States Index, a war in Darfur has claimed hundreds of thousands of deaths, President Bashir has been indicted by the International Criminal Court, a forthcoming referendum on independence for Southern Sudan threatens to split the country violently apart.

    In this fascinating and immensely readable book, the Africa editor of theEconomistgives an absorbing account of Sudan's descent into failure and what some have called genocide. Drawing on interviews with many of the main players, Richard Cockett explains how and why Sudan has disintegrated, looking in particular at the country's complex relationship with the wider world. He shows how the United States and Britain were initially complicit in Darfur-but also how a broad coalition of human-rights activists, right-wing Christians, and opponents of slavery succeeded in bringing the issues to prominence in the United States and creating an impetus for change at the highest level.

    eISBN: 978-0-300-16556-2
    Subjects: Political Science, History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
    (pp. vii-x)
    Richard Cockett
  4. LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
    (pp. xi-xi)
  5. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-5)

    This book is about one of the greatest humanitarian and political disasters of our age: Sudan. Why it came about, and how it became so bad. And why, despite the prolonged involvement of almost every major country and humanitarian agency in the world, conflict still rages across most of the country.

    The scale of suffering in Sudan, a country of about 40 million people, is daunting. The killings and destruction in Sudan’s western region of Darfur, described as a ‘genocide’ by the US Secretary of State Colin Powell in 2004, have become synonymous with Sudan in the eyes of most...

  6. CHAPTER ONE THE ONE-CITY STATE
    (pp. 6-55)

    Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, is situated at the junction of the White Nile and the Blue Nile. Not that there is usually anything very colourful about either river – suffice it to say that in the middle of a desert, this is an obvious place for a city. Traditionally, whoever controlled Khartoum commanded the transport links (and water supply) of much of east and central Africa. By the time the two rivers merge into one, their precious water has already travelled hundreds of miles from what is now Uganda. Beyond Khartoum, the Nile carries on into Egypt and eventually...

  7. CHAPTER TWO POPULISTS AND CIVIL WAR, 1956–89
    (pp. 56-95)

    Contrary to what an outsider might conclude from the two decades of one-party authoritarian rule in Sudan since 1989, in fact there has always been an impressive plurality of religious and political visions in the country. Indeed, if anything there has probably been a surfeit of political competition. For, as we shall see, the democratic system inherited from the British quickly collapsed under the dead weight of Sudanese politicking. This failure to govern effectivelyby consenthas been Sudan’s principal weakness since independence.

    Throughout, though, there has been only a handful of political groupings or parties that have mattered in...

  8. CHAPTER THREE THE NATIONAL ISLAMIC FRONT AND TURABI IN POWER, 1989–2000
    (pp. 96-142)

    While Sudan’s last democratic government was tottering to its shameful end, at some point in 1988 or early 1989 Hassan al-Turabi, the avowed democrat, decided on acoup d’étatto get into power. For some of his followers, Turabi’s complicity in the execution of Taha in 1985 and his apparent enthusiasm for amputations had already shaken their faith in his decency. Now Turabi disappointed them yet more by turning against the very democratic values that he had previously championed.

    Why? Because by now it was clear that the ballot box was not going to give him the power he craved....

  9. CHAPTER FOUR SUDAN AND THE WEST: SLAVERY, CONSCIENCE AND AL-QAEDA
    (pp. 143-167)

    Like most others in the West and the Middle East, US diplomats had been confused at first as to the exact nature of the regime that took over in Khartoum in June 1989. Numeiri, in the second half of his presidency, had been a good friend to the USA, and, in return, by the mid-1980s Sudan had become the biggest recipient of US aid in sub-Saharan Africa. The relationship had even bumbled along without much change under Sadiq al-Mahdi. The coup of 1989 obviously marked a rupture – but how serious a rupture?

    Over the next few years, as we...

  10. CHAPTER FIVE DARFUR: HOW THE KILLING WAS ALLOWED TO HAPPEN
    (pp. 168-210)

    On 1 April 2003, Dr Mukesh Kapila stepped off the plane at Khartoum airport to take up his new post as the UN chief in Sudan. Kapila was in an optimistic mood. He knew Sudan reasonably well; he had spent a year at the University of Khartoum as a medical student and had also dealt with the country as a career official for Britain’s overseas development ministry, DfID. And like almost everyone else in Sudan at the time, after decades of civil war he was anticipating the signing of a peace deal between the northern Islamic regime in Khartoum and...

  11. CHAPTER SIX DARFUR: THE VORTEX
    (pp. 211-249)

    In October 2005, about a year and a half after Jan Egeland’s briefing to the UN Security Council, I visited Darfur for the first time. I tagged along with a team accompanying the British government’s newly appointed minister for Africa, David (Lord) Triesman. It was a high-profile official visit, so visas were procured in a day (rather than months or never). I felt somewhat safer amidst the protective embrace of the minister’s generous allocation of armed ‘close protection’ officers – six in all. The two-day visit was a very visible sign of the importance that Western governments now attached to...

  12. CHAPTER SEVEN SURVIVING IN THE NORTH, FAILING IN THE SOUTH
    (pp. 250-288)

    Darfur was only one part of Sudan, of course. But the incessant concentration on the region after 2004, particularly by the West, meant that the problems there overshadowed everything else that was happening in the country. In particular, many people seemed to forget about the peace agreement signed between the north and the south on 9 January 2005. Signing the peace deal was one thing, but the success of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) depended on much more than just a few signatures. Both sides had committed themselves to a complex series of joint projects and actions that had to...

  13. AFTERWORD
    (pp. 289-299)

    What of the Darfuris themselves, the victims of Sudan’s most recent conflict? For them, unfortunately, little seemed to change during the course of the five years I visited them, mostly in the internally displaced person (IDP) camps. Indeed, the only substantial difference that I could register was the gradual erosion of any real hope that they would one day return to where they had once lived. Having first visited the camps in El Geneina in West Darfur in 2005, in February 2008 I visited the camps again, this time on the outskirts of El Fasher, the capital of Darfur. Three...

  14. NOTES
    (pp. 300-303)
  15. SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 304-306)
  16. INDEX
    (pp. 307-316)