Ethnic Politics in Sudan: Dynamics of Instability

Author: Abdu Mukhtar Musa
Institution: Islamic University of Omdurman (Sudan)
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5927-8344
Year of publication: 2022
Source: Show
Pages: 77-88
DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/ajepss.2022.1.06
PDF: ajepss/1/ajepss106.pdf

This paper explains how multiple identities have been formed in this highly diversified country through a historical and descriptive approach. The main objective of this paper is to probe the depth of the root causes of instability and civil wars in Sudan and examine the major factors of conflicts in the country since its independence from Britain in 1956. It also aims at explaining the dynamics that are interacting in Sudan’s political scene and perpetuating instability. The paper is based on the hypothesis that Ethnic identities and tribal politics – practised by the ruling elite – hinder stabilisation and democratisation. It notes that the failure of the political elite to create a ‘melting pot’ for the diverse society resulted in a crisis of identity and conflicts and jeopardised national unity. The outcome of this is the secession of the South (in 2011) and the continuation of tensions in other “marginalised areas such as Darfur, South Kordofan, and the Blue Nile State. The absence of adequate and sound democracy, a lack of rational governance, and equitable socio-economic development aggravated grievances and led to wars in the country’s south, west, and east. The paper believes that it is not only diversity that matters but that many other factors do – notably the failure of the elite to adopt sound policies for properly managing diversity. The paper suggests some sort of consociationalism along with proportional representation to put an end to military interventions and civil wars.

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(in)stability tribal conflicts ethnic identities marginalisation diversity democracy

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