Sudan - Country history and economic development

7TH CENTURY. The territory is conquered by Arab fighters and added to the Arab-Islamic empire.

1820-21. Mohammed Ali conquers the areas and incorporates it with Egypt. Gold extraction and slavery flourish.

1885-98. Mohammed Ahmed al-Mahdi, an Islamic spiritual leader, brings independence to Sudan.

1898. Sudan is conquered and proclaimed a Egyptian-British condominium. The British dominate the ruling of the government.

1956. Independence is declared.

1958-64. Ibrahim Abbud becomes president. Abbud prohibits political parties and starts the Islamisation of the country. Arabic is introduced as an official language, replacing English. First conflicts with the south begin. In 1964, Abbud resigns after mass protests.

1964-69. Relative stability, prosperity, and parliamentary democracy come to Sudan.

1969. Jaafar al-Nimairi organizes a coup d'etat. Nimairi grants wide autonomy to the south but follows socialistic and nationalistic policy influenced by the Communist countries.

1971. Communists try to overthrow the government, but Nimairi's forces defeat them, and Nimairi orders the leaders to be executed. Nimairi breaks off relations with the Communist countries in favor of cooperation with conservative Islamic oil producing countries of the Persian Gulf.

1983. Nimairi introduces Islamic law into the civil legal system. Autonomy for the south is terminated and the economy deteriorates. The civil war starts.

1985-89. Sadiq al-Mahdi, descendant of the legendary Mohammed Ahmed al-Mahdi, overthrows Nimairi. Al-Mahdi's regime brings relative stability and some economic growth to Sudan. But Al-Mahdi is unable to stop the conflict in the south.

1989-99. Umar al-Bashir overthrows al-Mahdi's regime and institutes a dictatorship. Hasan al-Turabi, the Islamic spiritual leader and chairman of the parliament, becomes the second most important state official. Together, al-Bashir and al-Turabi enforce one of the worst totalitarian regimes in the world. Strict Islamic laws and fundamentalist rules are implemented. Sudan supports international terrorism. The civil war rages in the south. Sudan is practically isolated internationally.

1996. Bashir is popularly elected as president of Sudan.

2000. Bashir is popularly elected for a second term as president.

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