1899-1918 1939-1956

Sudan, 1939-1956

Administration . Under British rule, the Sudan consisted of a number of diverse provinces; in 1943 the British established the North Sudan Advisory Council responsible for advising the administration of the northern provinces (Khartoum, Kordofan, Darfur, and Eastern, Northern and Blue Nile). In 1946 it was decided that the southern provinces were to be integrated, a policy implemented in 1948. The official language was to be Arabic; the administration, hitherto by and large in British hands, underwent Sudanification (1953). In this process, few southerners managed to get a position; the administration was dominated by northerners. Self-government was decided on in 1953; the first Sudanese parliament opened in 1954, independence was declared in 1956.

World War II . In July 1940 Italian forces, from Ethiopia, invaded the Sudan and took Kassala. Their attempt to take Port Sudan was foiled by the Sudan Defence Force (SDF). Kassala was retaken in January 1941, and Italian East Africa occupied by British forces later that year.

Social History . Jan Lahmeyer gives the estimated population of the Sudan for 1939 as 6.3 million, for 1956 as 10.4 million.

Ethnic Minorities . The southern provinces differed from the northern provinces in numerous aspects, climatic, in regard to fauna and flora, in regard to language, lifestyle, history and tradition of its populace. The Nilotic population of the southern provinces did not share the Muslim faith of their neighbours to the north, but was animistic, except for converts to Christianity and their descendants. In not to recent past the southern provinces had been exposed to episodic slave raiding expeditions conducted by their northern neighbours, and therefore the population was suspicious of the intentions of the northerners. The population of the south was divided in a number of tribes, lacked urban centers and an infrastructure of its own.
In 1943 it seems that the British administration foresaw a separate political organization for north and south, a policy which was abolished in favour of establishing a unitary Sudan.

The Economy . In preparation of independence the colonial administration announced development programs 1946-1950, 1951-1955 which, due to the deficiency of both qualified personnel and investment, amounted to little; three new industrial enterprises, a meat factory, a cement factory and a brewery (in a largely Muslim country !) emerged in 1949-1952. Sudan continued to depend on the irrigation agriculture concentrated in the Gezira region, and on her railroad network. In 1939, Sudan produced 53,000 metric tons of cotton (1/7th of the production of Egypt), in 1956 128,000 metric tons (1/3rd of the production of Egypt; IHS p.246). In 1953 the expansion of Sudan's railroad network, interrupted in 1933, was resumed, reaching a combined length of 3,604 km in 1956 (IHS p.682).

Timeline, from BBC News; from timelines.ws; Chronology of Sudanese History, from African-American Studies 112A, at UCB; another timeline by Muriel Mirak-Weissbach
Library of Congress, Country Studies : Sudan
Encyclopedia of the Orient : Sudan
History of the Sudan, from Sudan Home, 11 chapters; from Country and People of Sudan, concise; from Sudan Net
British Policy and Mission Education in the Southern Sudan, 1928-1946, by David Sconyers
The Nile Waters Agreement, from Transboundarywaters
Articles Anglo-Egyptian Co-Dominium, Juba Conference, from Wikipedia
Sudan, from Land Forces of Britain, the Empire and Commonwealth
Sudan : The Party System in 1950-1956 and 1957-1962, in : Kenneth Janda, Political Parties : A Cross-National Survey
DOCUMENTS World Statesmen : Sudan, by Ben Cahoon
Memoranda on Southern Policy, 1929, 1930, posted by David Sconyers
Historical Population Statistics : Sudan, from Population Statistics by Jan Lahmeyer
REFERENCE P.M. Holt, A Modern History of the Sudan, NY : Grove Press 1961, esp. pp.109-124 [G]
Article : Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1944 p.64, 1945 pp.53-54, 1946 p.55, 1947 p.57, 1948 pp.53-54, 1949 pp.47-48, 1950 pp.49-50, 1951 pp.49-50, 1952 pp.45-46, 1953 pp.45-46, 1954 pp.46-47, 1955 p.107, 1956 pp.42-43 [G]
Article : Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, in : Statesman's Year Book 1943 pp.254-260 [G]
Article : Sudan, Anglo-Egyptian, in : Americana Annual 1940 pp.733-734, 1943 pp.680-681, 1944 pp.656-657, 1945 pp.672-673, 1946 pp.53-54, 1947 pp.31-32 [G]
Article : Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, in : New International Year Book Events of 1940 pp.25-26, 1941 pp.24-25, 1942 p.32, 1943 p,32, 1944 p.32, 1945 pp.37-38 [G]
Article : Sudan, Anglo-Egyptian, in : Funk & Wagnall's New Standard Encyclopedia Year Book 1940 pp.485-486, 1941 pp.453-454, 1946 pp.35-36, 1952 pp.35-36 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on September 28th 2007

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