Having achieved independence from the Anglo-Egyptian condominium in 1956, Sudan has been torn apart for much of its recent history by the conflicts between the various cultural, religious and economic components which then produced, in 2011, the secession of South Sudan. In relation to the principle of colonial derivation of the intangibility of borders, which has characterized the international relations of African countries since their independence, the division of the largest state on the African continent has a historical significance. The reasons for the dispute were mainly two: the secular or Islamic character of the state and its federal or unitary structure. The Arab and Muslim elite, who reside in the major northern urban centers of the north, have historically shaped the forms of political and economic power, so much so that Sudan is a member of the Arab League. Central power has been repeatedly questioned by the non-Arabized peripheries and in particular by the southern provinces, which were administered separately by the British during the colonial period. After the first conflict, which lasted from 1955 to 1972, in 1983 the rivalry between the north and the south of the country exploded again. A state of emergency was then proclaimed to counter the claims of the south for a different distribution of resources between central government and local communities. Since the 1989 coup, Sudan has been ruled by the authoritarian and Islamist regime of General Omar al-Bashir, at the head of the National Islamic Front (renamed National Congress Party, Ncp in 1998). training born from the Sudanese branch of the Muslim Brotherhood on the initiative of Hassan al-Turabi (later ousted from the regime in 1999). The fight against the guerrillas of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SplM), the militia that, under the leadership of Colonel John Garang, fought for the secession of the south, was addressed in a radical way by the Bashir regime, to the point of conditioning the relationships with all partners, near and far, and trigger one of the most serious humanitarian crises in recent decades. While conducting its ferocious repression at home, the Bashir regime overseas flanked major radical Islamist movements such as Osama Bin Laden’s al-Qaida, Islamist groups in Algeria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Palestine, the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda and other armed opposition groups to the governments of Egypt, Eritrea and Ethiopia. Activities abroad ended up imposing a state of isolation and various sanctions on the regime. In 1996 the United Nations Security Council condemned the Sudanese government for its involvement in the failed 1995 attack on then Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, visiting Addis Ababa, while in 1997 it was the United States that imposed economic sanctions against the Sudan (renewed in October 2013), accused of violating human rights and supporting terrorism. In 1998, the US also launched a missile attack on a factory near Khartoum suspected of producing chemical weapons. After the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 in New York and Washington, relations between Sudan and the United States improved thanks to the collaboration offered by the Sudanese secret services against terrorism. The US administration, however, retained a strong mistrust of the regime that re-emerged when, in 2007, economic sanctions against Sudan were strengthened, in response to the escalation of the conflict in Darfur. The international community’s attention for the conflict peaked on September 9, 2004, when US Secretary of State Colin L. Powell summoned the ongoing ‘genocide’ in Darfur by government-backed Janjaweed gangs to the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee. Sudanese. Despite the sending of an African Union peace mission in 2004 (Au Mission in Sudan, AMiS), the conflict continued, without the Darfur Peace Agreement (Dpa), signed in Abuja in 2005, and the strengthening of the international contingent., which had risen to 7000 soldiers, had the desired effect. The Dpa was signed in 2006 by only a part of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SlM) and this resulted in a split within the movement. The Au-Un joint peacekeeping force has been operating in Darfur since 2007, UnaMid (United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur), which incorporated the AMiS, becoming the first hybrid mission in the history of the United Nations, as well as the largest peacekeeping force: as of August 2014, the mission had in uniform of over 16,000 units, on more than 1000 units of international civilian personnel and more than 3000 local civilian personnel, as well as on 310 volunteers Un. UN Security Council Resolution 1593 of 2005 mandated the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the massacres in Darfur. In 2010, the court officially sentenced President Bashir, Ahmed Haroun (minister for humanitarian affairs) and Ali Kushayb (one of the Janjaweed leaders) of crimes against humanity and war. Thanks to the support of some African countries,
The relationship with China and the Arab countries, especially the Gulf, is proving to be fundamental to remedy the deterioration of relations with the West. The decision taken by the Sudanese government in September 2014 to close Iranian cultural centers in the country, accusing Tehran of using these centers to carry out Shiite proselytizing, has been traced by international observers to Khartoum’s desire not to upset the patrons of the Gulf.. However, Khartoum and Tehran are unlikely to break off relations: Iran is and remains one of the country’s main suppliers of military equipment.
On the home front, too, Bashir faces several challenges. The first is the popular discontent for the very long duration of his mandate. The worsening of the country’s economic conditions also weighs heavily. With the secession of South Sudan, Khartoum lost 75% of its oil reserves, which greatly reduced its tax revenues. To increase the bargaining power in the deal for the sharing of the proceeds between the two states (reached in April 2013), the Bashir regime resorted to a prolonged interruption in the supply of oil (whose pipelines belong to Sudan) but caused damage to both countries. The climate of instability is then fueled by some territorial issues that were not clearly defined at the time of Juba’s independence. status in the Abyei region (rich in oil fields), the claim of which has caused bitter tensions between Khartoum and Juba and resulted in both a series of incidents between armed groups and the blockage of oil production for a few months. The subsequent austerity measures adopted to deal with the consequent lack of revenue, have provoked street demonstrations of such intensity that international observers speak of the ‘Sudanese Spring’. In September 2013, the government even decided to cut fuel subsidies, thus triggering more protests that were repressed again. Bashir also has to deal with the requests for annexation to South Sudan made by the populations of South Kordofan and the Blue Nile,