Roots of Sudanese conflict are in the British colonial policies


By Savo Heleta

January 13, 2008

Sudan Tribune


What is wrong with Africa? Why is the largest number of failed states on the continent? Is something fundamentally wrong with Africans or could there be another explanation? Trying to find answers to these questions, let’s see what historians and social scientists believe are the roots of the conflict in Sudan, an African country where peace lasted for little over a decade since 1956.


Like in all other parts of the world, there was always some form of conflict in the region that became Sudan at the Congress of Berlin in 1886, where the European colonial powers drew the borders of African countries. Bechtold (1976) writes that the animosity between the northern and southern Sudanese can be traced back to the Arab slave raids when northern tribes had been contracted by the Arabs to conduct raiding activities in the south. However, before the late 19th century, the Sudanese conflict was not strictly ethnic, between the Arab north and the African south, writes Prunier (2005), but tribal conflict over territory and resources. Similar fighting occurred all over