History of Sudan: Chronology
Middle Ages: Christian kingdoms along the Nile coexist with Muslim neighbours.
End of Middle Ages: Collapse of Christian kingdoms; rise of Funj Sultanate
17th century: emergence of Sultanate of Darfur.
1821: Turco-Egyptian conquest of Sudan "unifies" small independent Sudanese
1840: Captain Salim Bey occupies areas along the Nile to Gondokoro, near Juba.
Bahr al-Ghazal is invaded and occupied by other Turco-Egyptian officials.
1881: Start of Mahdist uprising against the government.
1883: Mohamed Ahmed "al-Mahdi" captures Al-Obeid.
1885: Mahdist forces capture Khartoum after a long seige; British General C.G
Gordon is killed.
1885: Al-Mahdi dies; the Khalifa Abdullahi takes over.
1892: Belgians from Congo/Zaire capture Western Equatoria up to Mongalla - the
"Lado enclave" is made part of the Belgian Congo. French forces under Major
Marchand occupy parts of Bahr al-Ghazal and Western Upper Nile to Fashoda
settlement on the river; by 1896 the French had an administration in these
1896: Belgians agree to release the Lado enclave to British control when King
Leopold of Belgium dies.
1897: French forces from Djibouti set off across Ethiopia aiming -
unsuccessfully - to link up with the Fashoda expedition and annex Southern
Sudan to French West Africa. The "Fashoda incident" results from Marchand's
encounter with British forces.
1898: Anglo-Egyptian forces led by General Kitchener overthrow the Mahdist
state in the battle of Omdurman. The two countries begin to establish
1899: Condominium Agreement signed. French agree to withdraw.
1908: Wad Haboba uprising in the Gezira.
1910: Belgium's King Leopold dies; the Lado enclave is added to British-held
1916: Reconquest of Darfur.
1900-1920s: "Pacification" of the country, characterized in the south and Nuba
mountains especially by periods of extreme violence.
1920s: Sayyid Abdel Rahman al-Mahdi, head of Ansar sect and Sayyid Ali
al-Mirghani, head of Khatmiyya sect, are encouraged by the British to
reconstitute their movements into political organizations along quasi-secular
The British concentrate on development in the North, building railways and a
modern civil service. The West and South are maintained under "native
administration" using chiefs and sheikhs identified or created by the colonial
government, with little investment for social or economic development.
Education, using English in the South rather than Arabic as the lingua franca,
is minimal. After "pacification", Southern Policy brings the Closed District
Ordinance to the South and the Nuba Mountains and Southern Blue Nile. Some
governors want to incorporate the South with Uganda: Southern region governors
attend administrative conferences in East Africa, not Khartoum.
1922: Passports and Permits Ordinance controls travel between North and South.
1924: The "White Flag" military uprising - ejection of Egyptian forces from
Sudan. Assassination of Sir Lee Stack.
1925: Permits to Trade Order limits Arab trading in the South.
1928: Language policy for the South establishes English as the lingua franca
and encourages local languages at the expense of Arabic.
1930s-1940s: Nationalist politics develop rapidly in the North.
1937: Establishment of the Graduates' Congress.
1947: Juba Conference organized by colonial government - Southern chiefs agree
with northern nationalists to pursue a united Sudan. A crash programme of
integration follows, as Southern Policy is abandoned.
1953: The 800 administrative posts vacated by the British are "Sudanized" as
"self-rule" is introduced, with a Westminster-style parliament. A provisional
constitution is introduced, and Ismail al-Azhari is made Prime Minister.
Northern politicians allocate four posts to Southerners, reflecting both racial
prejudice and the inadequacy of Southern education. In the south,
'Sudanization' is regarded as 'Northernization'. Southerners are not
represented at the Cairo Conference on self-rule, on the grounds that they have
'no party or organisation'.
1955: In Equatoria, the Torit mutiny of southern soldiers refusing transfer to
the north marks the beginning of the first civil war, lasting 17 years.
Massacres of northern administrators, teachers and traders in the south follow
1956: Independence on 1 January follows growing political pressure and British
exhaustion. Ismail al-Azhari becomes Prime Minister of the first national
government, formed by the conservative Unionist and Umma parties.
1958: Military takeover headed by General Abboud is precipitated by economic
crisis and growing parliamentary division. Abboud dissolves the political
parties and institutes a state of emergency.
1962: Missionaries Act expels Christian missions from the South.h7
1963: The Anya-Nya movement for southern secession is formed.
1964: The Abboud regime steps up military action in the south, forcing
thousands of southerners to seek asylum in neighbouring countries.
October 1964: A general strike and popular uprising brings down the military
regime. Civilian rule is restored by an alliance of trade unionists, students
and other "modern" forces. Transitional government headed by Sirr al-Khatim
March 1965: Most parties from north and south attend Round Table Conference on
the "Southern Problem" organised by Professor Mohamed Omar Bashir, later
founder of Sudan Human Rights Organisation. Southern parties split over
1965: Parliamentary elections are held; government formed under Mohamed Ahmed
Mahjoub, an independent turned Umma Prime Minister.
December 1965: Hassan al-Turabi's Islamic Charter Front forces expulsion of
Sudan Communist Party from Parliament, assisted by Umma's Mohamed Ibrahim
Khalil. Chief Justice resigns.
1966-67: Aged 30, Sadiq al-Mahdi is elected as MP, becomes Prime Minister
(from 26 July 1966 to 15 May 1967) after an acrimonious challenge to Umma
1967: Sudan sides with the Arab world and declares war on Israel; it breaks
relations with the United States and looks to the Soviet Union for assistance.
1967-present: Period of consistently lower rainfall than previous long-term
1968: Mechanized Farming Corporation established to channel international
loans (World Bank et al) into expansion of rainfed agriculture in southern
Kordofan, White Nile and Upper Nile.
1968: Parliamentary elections follow a period of divisions within Umma and
May 1969: A group of officers led by Colonel Jaafar Mohamed Nimeiri takes
power in a military coup with leftist and Communist support.
1970: Joseph Lagu becomes sole leader of the Anya-Nya.
March 1970: After threats from religious right-wing leaders, Nimeiri
retaliates. In Wad Nubawi, Omdurman, 35-40 rebellious officers and 300-400
civilians are killed.
March 1970: Thousands of Ansar loyal to the Mahdi family are massacred when
the air force, with Egyptian assistance, bombs their stronghold at Aba Island.
Imam al-Hadi al-Mahdi is killed trying to flee to the Ethiopian border.
November 1970: Nimeiri begins to rid his government of left-wingers and
July 1971: After a shortlived coup by Hashim al-Ata and officers allied to the
Sudan Communist Party, Nimeiri is returned to power. He purges the leftists
from the army and government and accuses the Eastern (Soviet) bloc of
complicity, eventually severing relations. Nine army officers are executed; 38
others die in mysterious circumstances.
1972: Relations with the US and the West are opened, and an "open door" policy
is adopted towards the "free market".
March 1972: Addis Ababa Agreement ends 17 years of civil war. Signed by
Nimeiri and Joseph Lagu following talks between Khartoum and the South Sudan
Liberation Movement, it is based on regional autonomy for the South and the
ending of discrimination on the basis of religion, sex or ethnic background.
1972-75: Severe drought fails to create widespread famine: the population is
still buffered by agricultural production primarily for local needs.
April 1973: Sudan adopts a "permanent constitution" as a one-party state under
Nimeiri's Sudan Socialist Union. The judiciary is made answerable to the
president, who also commands the armed forces. The State Security Act is
adopted, which creates numerous political offences and gives the security
services broad powers of search and arrest.
1973: Large-scale Sudanese emigration to the oil-rich Arab states begins.
August 1973: Widespread unrest led by students and backed by Muslim
Brotherhood. An unknown number killed.
1974: Riots in Juba follow rumours that Egyptian farmers will be settled in
the area drained by the prospective Jonglei canal.
1975: Sudan hailed as potential "breadbasket of the Arab world"; large-scale
mechanized agriculture is expanded into southern Kordofan.
September 1975: Failed military coup attempt by Lt-Col Hassan Hussein, linked
to Muslim Brotherhood and Umma/Ansar families in Kordofan. Dozens of rebel
1976: Major failed coup attempt by Brigadier Mohamed Nur Saad, using elements
of army with exiles trained in Ethiopia and Libya; Ansar-led with Muslim
Brotherhood and DUP. 1-2,000 killed in fighting; 100+ executed. Unexplained
disappearance of 800 others after special trials under Vice-President AbulQasim
1976: Sadiq al-Mahdi tried in absentia, sentenced to death.
1977: International debt repayments become due.
1977: Nimeiri embarks on "national reconciliation" with elements of the Umma,
DUP and Muslim Brothers.
1978: A joint Sudanese-Egyptian project is launched to construct a canal
through the Sudd marshes of the South, employing the French CCI company. Oil
is discovered near Bentiu, Upper Nile, Southern Sudan, and Chevron company
announces discovery of oil in Kordofan.
1978: Faisal Islamic Bank opens in Sudan, the first Islamic banking operation
in the country.
1978: Despite export-oriented mechanized agricultural policies, economic
crisis comes to a head as international primary commodity prices plummet and
oil prices soar. The IMF intervenes and negotiates the first of several
structural adjustment programmes.
1979: Fall of Idi Amin in Uganda leads to the return of many well-qualified
Equatorians to Southern Sudan. The balance of power in the South starts to
shift away from the Nilotic Dinka and Nuer.
1980: Jonglei Canal construction begins, despite concerns of local people.
1981: Sorghum becomes Sudan's second biggest export.
April 1981: Chevron announces discovery of commercial oil deposits in the
Unity (South) survey field. Coupled with the Heglig (Kordofan) fields, the
recoverable reserves are estimated at 236m barrels.
January 1982: Widespread unrest - Defence Minister and 22 senior army officers
dismissed after criticising political situation.
1982: Renewal of Nile Valley Waters Agreement with Egypt.
September 1983: Nimeiri introduces "Sharia" or "September" laws. In eighteen
months 200 people - mostly displaced - suffer amputation for theft.
1983: South is "redivided" into three regions, and the single regional
government is abolished. Equatorians celebrate while unseated Dinka and Nuer
1983: Civil war resumes after mutinies at Bor garrison, Pibor, Pochalla,
Wangkai and Ayod, leading to the formation of the SPLA/SPLM.
February 1984: After SPLA attacks on its oil fields in the south, Chevron
1984: Jonglei canal work is halted by SPLA activity.
1984-85: Severe famine in western and eastern parts of the country follows
successive years of inadequate rains. Agriculture aimed at external markets
means the population is increasingly vulnerable to shortages.
18 January 1985: Execution of Ustaz Mahmoud Mohamed Taha, progressive Islamic
philosopher, sentenced to death for "apostasy" by Emergency Courts.
16 April 1985: Widespread strikes and demonstrations follow rises in food
prices. Nimeiri is overthrown after a popular uprising headed by the "National
Alliance for National Salvation" leads to a military coup by his defence
minister, General Abd al-Rahman Swar al-Dahab. A Transitional Military Council
is set up; Swar al-Dahab (later head of the Dawa Islamiyya) declines to revoke
Sharia laws but "huddud" penalties are suspended.
1985: First SPLA incursion into the Nuba mountains: 100 Baggara Arabs are
killed at Gardud. The Transitional Military Council begins supplying arms to
the Misiriya Zurug and Hawazma clans of the Baggara.
March 1986: Koka Dam Agreement in Ethiopia, between SPLA/SPLM and northern
National Alliance, the civilian leadership within the TMC, reaches formula for
peace and a consitutional conference. Endorsed by the Umma party, it is
rejected by the DUP and the NIF.
April 1986: Elections - Sadiq al-Mahdi becomes Prime Minister of a coalition
Umma/DUP government. Veteran Nuba leader Fr Philip Abbas Ghaboush wins a seat
in Khartoum North, defeating the NIF candidate, while his Sudan National Party
wins 12 seats. Overall the Umma and DUP share 70 per cent of the 300-seat
parliament while the NIF gains 18 per cent of the northern-dominated ballot:
there is no voting in half the 86 southern constituencies on grounds of
June 1986: Sudan signs the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman
or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
September 1986: Change in Army leadership: Lt-Gen Fawzi Ahmed al-Fadil
appointed chief of staff.
1986: First case of AIDS in Sudan officially notified.
1987: Sadiq al-Mahdi abandons Koka Dam Agreement on receiving arms from Libya
and Iraq, declares a state of emergency and begins a policy of arming militias
of Baggara as parallel force. His government introduces a "kasha" campaign of
forced expulsions of war-displaced southerners from the capital.
March 1987: Hundreds of displaced Ngok Dinka are massacred by Rezeigat in
Ed-Da'ein, Darfur, in apparent retaliation for an SPLA attack on a Rezeigat
militia at Sahafa. A subsequent report on the massacre details the kidnapping
and enslavement of Dinka women and children as part of the militia raiding
pattern in northern Bahr al-Ghazal.
1987: SPLA starts a unit in the Nuba Mountains.
1988: Famine in Southern Sudan, growing since 1986, becomes intense: 250,000
die of hunger-related diseases in 1988. Deliberate "scorched earth" and relief
denial policies of government, militias and SPLA are the primary cause of food
shortage, compounded by drought, floods and pest infestations.
November 1988: "November Accord" negotiated by the DUP with the SPLA/SPLM,
agreeing in principle to freeze Sharia laws, cease-fire and cancel the state of
emergency. Returning DUP leader Muhamed Osman al-Mirghani receives a popular
hero's welcome at Khartoum airport. Initially rejecting the accord, Sadiq
forms a coalition with the NIF, excluding the DUP.
February 1989: Army issues ultimatum to Sadiq demanding progress towards peace
and disbandment of militias. NIF leader Hassan al-Turabi is appointed deputy
March 1989: Reports say two million Southern Sudanese - one in five
Southerners, mostly Dinka, Nuer and Shilluk from Upper Nile - are displaced;
one million live in and around Khartoum.
March 1989: NIF leaves government; DUP rejoins coalition. Sadiq begins peace
talks with SPLA/SPLM; a cease-fire is announced. UN Operation Lifeline Sudan
resumes famine relief to the south.
April 1989: Sharia laws are frozen; a date is set for a constitutional
conference on 18 September 1989.
June 1989: On the eve of a key cabinet meeting, and with the government
delegation ready to meet Garang in Addis Ababa on 4 July, a military coup on 30
June thwarts the peace process. Coup leaders deny alignment with the NIF, and
ban all political parties, but NIF policies and individuals are prominent. A
new security agency is created, originating in the NIF's pre-coup security
apparatus. Referred to as the "Security of the Revolution" or "Islamic
Security", the agency is primarily responsible for the mass arrests and torture
after the coup.
July 1989: The Bashir regime holds meetings with the SPLA and the cease-fire
September 1989: Government appoints "steering committees" to manage the assets
of trade unions and professional associations dissolved when it took power.
October 1989: The cease-fire between Khartoum and the SPLA breaks down when
the regime embarks on an offensive to recapture SPLA-held territory. The
failure of the offensive eventually leaves the SPLA in complete control of the
territory bordering Uganda and parts of Zaire.
21 October 1989: The formation is announced of the National Democratic
Alliance, a coalition of northern and southern Sudanese opposition forces
including the Umma, Democratic Unionist and Communist parties and the SPLM.
27 October 1989: An attack by Murahaleen militia on Kamda in the Nuba
Mountains leads to 20 villages being destroyed and 98 people killed, despite
army attempts at intervention.
November 1989: The Special Courts Act is introduced: security courts to try
violations of constitutional decrees and emergency regulations, and drug and
currency offences. Sentences are severe.
5 November 1989: With its Popular Defence Act, the RCC establishes the Popular
Defence Force (PDF), a paramilitary organization which includes the militias
operating in the south and west and has the added role of training members of
December 1989: War escalates in the South; large shipments of arms from China,
ordered by Sadiq, are paid for by Iran.
December 1989: At least 600 Shilluk Southern migrant agricultural workers at
Jebelain on the White Nile are massacred by an Arab militia.
March 1990: Sudan and Libya announce an agreement to "integrate" the two
countries, signing a trade protocol.
April 1990: 28 officers are executed a few hours after a failed coup attempt.
May 1990: Four privately-owned newspapers, ostensibly non-political, are
July 1990: A group of lawyers is allowed to address a special court and
cross-examine prosecution witnesses in a case against a journal editor. Since
the 1989 coup lawyers had only been allowed to attend proceedings as "friends"
September 1990: Dozens of army officers, mostly lower-ranking officers from
Darfur and Southern Sudan, are arrested in Khartoum and accused of conspiracy
to overthrow the government. Some are reportedly executed.
September 1990: Military intelligence begins detaining educated Nuba men in
Kadugli and Dilling.
November 1990: Widespread arrests in major northern towns including Wad
Medani, Atbara, Al-Obeid and Khartoum, following demonstrations by students and
trades unionists against government policy.
31 December 1990: Bashir announces that Shari'a law is to be implemented with
immediate effect in northern Sudan.
End 1990: UN Food and Agriculture Organization warns of wide-scale famine in
Sudan, launching an appeal for 1.3 million tonnes of food. Khartoum is
reluctant to acknowledge the crisis, referring only to a "food gap".
March 1991: New penal code introduced, based on an interpretation of the
Islamic shari'a, originally drafted by Dr Hassan al-Turabi of the National
Islamic Front when Attorney General in 1988.
March 1991: 300 southern civilians are killed by Arab militias at Rokon,
between Maridi and Juba, reportedly for refusing to act as human shields
against SPLA attacks on the military.
April 1991: Dr Hassan al-Turabi is elected secretary general of the first
Popular Arab Islamic Conference in Khartoum.
April 1991: Khartoum announces general amnesty for all political prisoners;
those freed include 300 prisoners of conscience, but at least 60 more are not
released. Those released are put under tight restrictions.
April 1991: 17 Zaghawa people are shot in the courtyard of a Darfur mosque by
May 1991: After the fall of the Mengistu regime in Addis Ababa, some 300,000
Southern Sudanese are forced to return to Sudan from border areas in Ethiopia,
and are bombed by the Sudanese air force.
June 1991: Amendments to the National Security Act do nothing to prevent
arbitrary incommunicado detention and torture, according to Amnesty
July 1991: Members of the Revolution Security police open fire on
demonstrators at Khartoum University, killing one. Dozens of students are
arrested; 12 detained student leaders are reportedly beaten.
August 1991: A thwarted coup attempt is announced by the government; 81
supporters of banned political parties are detained, as well as military
officers. At a military tribunal, death sentences for 11 are announced but
August 1991: SPLA Commanders Riek Machar and Lam Akol lead a "creeping coup"
attempt against Colonel Garang. They say Garang is too authoritarian and lacks
political direction. The coup is unsuccessful but leads to the formation of a
breakaway "Nasir" faction.
September 1991: Rising malnutrition, especially in the western region. UN
attempts to assist 4.5 million people out of an estimated 8.7 million Sudanese
and refugees in need of food aid. Tens of thousands die by the end of the year
from hunger-related disease.
October 1991: Army seals off the Nuba Mountains and begins operations to drive
out the Nuba and destroy SPLA strength there.
November-December 1991: Over 200,000 flee Bor district after 5,000 civilians
are massacred by forces loyal to SPLA-Nasir.
December 1991: The secret war against the Nuba is highlighted by reports from
Africa Watch and Survival International, which point to growing incidence of
"disappearances" of educated Nuba and the deaths of thousands of men, women and
children in raids by the army and government-backed militias.
December 1991: Renewed government attempts to evict migrants from southern and
western Sudan from the squatter areas of Khartoum; at least 47 are killed.
7 January 1992: Speaking for the European Community, the British Ambassador
and the Dutch Charge d'Affaires protest to RCC member Col Muhammad al-Amin
Khalifa at the mass bulldozing of displaced people's homes, after 16 were
killed on 22 December 1991.
January 1992: Jihad declared in Nuba Mountains at Al-Obeid meeting of regional
governors of Southern Kordofan. The regional military commander pledges to
"cleanse" every area "sullied by the (SPLA) outlaws".
January 1992: University of Khartoum Vice-Chancellor Prof Muddathir al-Tangari
is dismissed after protesting at government behaviour concerning the
university. He is replaced by his deputy, NIF militant Prof Ma'mun Humayda.
January 1992: $12m in donations from Iran and Gulf-based businessmen are
deposited in the Faisal Islamic Bank to help the FIS (Front Islamique du
Salut), which has won the first round of elections in Algeria. Dr Hassan
al-Turabi of Sudan's National Islamic Front predicts that Algeria will become
the world's second Islamic republic and advises it to seek unity with Iran.
January 1992: 'The physical elimination' of 3,000 SPLA fighters in southern
Darfur is announced by State Governor Col Tayib Ibrahim Muhammad Kheir (Tayib
Sikha). The Darfur SPLA leader, former NIF member Daoud Yahya Bolad, is
arrested in Wadi Salih province and killed.
February 1992: 300 member transitional national assembly appointed as
legislature until parliamentary elections promised for an unspecified date.
March 1992: Khartoum launches its largest-yet offensive against the SPLA. One
aim is to cut off sources of relief to civilians in SPLA-held areas. 100,000
people are displaced.
1992: Nearly half a million displaced people and squatters are forcibly
expelled from their homes in the Khartoum area to desert camps with inadequate
water, food and shelter.
April 1992: 23 women and a child are imprisoned in Omdurman after holding a
peaceful demonstration in memory of the 28 military officers summarily executed
in April 1990.
May 1992: Hassan al-Turabi tells the US Congress that Khartoum has only a few
political prisoners, treats women fairly, receives no arms from Iran and wants
to live in peace with non-Muslims. He is later assaulted by a Sudanese
protester in Canada.
May 1992: SPLA-Mainstream tightens its siege of Juba, capital of Equatoria.
May 1992: After a government attack on the SPLA-held town of Kapoeta, some
22,000 Sudanese seek asylum across the Kenyan border, including 12,500
June 1992: The government begins in earnest the forcible mass relocation of
the Nuba from the conflict zone in the Nuba Mountains. Thousands of civilians
are moved to "peace villages" - displaced persons' camps - further north. Some
of the camps are attached to mechanized commercial farming projects, often on
land previously farmed by Nuba villagers. Others are in inhospitable desert
areas; men and women are often segregated.
June 1992: SPLA infiltrates Juba city and briefly captures the military
headquarters on 7 June. Over 80 government officers - from the armed forces,
police, prison and wildlife services - are subsequently detained and many are
September 1992: William Nyuon Bany, former deputy commander-in-chief of
SPLA-Mainstream and negotiator at Abuja, separates from Garang and begins
independent military operations in eastern Equatoria. His group is loosely
allied to SPLA-Nasir.
September 1992: Catholic bishops from SPLA-controlled Southern Sudan accuse
government troops of genocide in Juba, and call on Catholic bishops throughout
east Africa to press for international consideration for Sudan.
September 1992: UN temporarily suspends Operation Lifeline Sudan after SPLA
rebels kill three UN workers and a photojournalist.
17 October 1992: Malakal, main town in Upper Nile, is attacked and briefly
occupied by a group led by young Nuer religious prophet Wut Nyang and the
Anya-Nya II militia in part allied to SPLA-Nasir (renamed SPLA-United), which
claims credit. After the government recovers the town, 135 Southern Sudanese
civil servants are detained and reportedly tortured in "ghost" houses.
November 1992: SPLA-Nasir peace proposals include a 2-3 year period of
temporary unity pending a referendum among southerners and border peoples on
November 1992: Under external pressure, the government establishes a committee
to investigate hundreds of arrests and disappearances during the siege of Juba.
December 1992: UN General Assembly condemns Bashir regime for gross violations
of human rights.
December 1992: Government troops in the south are allegedly offered financial
rewards for impregnating southern women. The "largest ever" massacre of Nuba
people, at Heiban, is carried out on 25 December, and Amnesty International
later reports operations tantamount to "ethnic cleansing".
December 1992: The three factions of the SPLA agree at UN-supervised meetings
in Nairobi to guarantee the flow of relief supplies to citizens affected by war
in Southern Sudan.
The number of foreign asylum seekers in Sudan increases to over one million by
the end of 1992.
January 1993: Egypt and Sudan at loggerheads over territorial rights to the
Red Sea region of Halaib. Each accuses the other of harbouring opposition
elements, with Egypt claiming that Egyptian fundamentalists are being trained
in Sudan to destabilize the Mubarak government.
January 1993: An estimated 60,000 people are said to have died from kala-azar
(leishmaniasis) in Parayang, bordering Upper Nile and Bahr al-Ghazal.
January 1993: Turabi suggests that the RCC will hand over to civilian
administration within months.
January 1993: SPLA claims Khartoum has executed four senior southern Sudanese
generals for collaborating with SPLA fighters during the July 1992 SPLA siege
February 1993: Pope John Paul II stops over in Khartoum; tells a public
gathering that peace will only come with respect for freedom, justice and human
February 1993: Garang urges Khartoum to hold new peace talks under the
auspices of the United Nations.
February 1993: Lonrho company chairman Tiny Rowland reveals his "membership"
of the SPLA.
March 1993: Minister of Planning Ali al-Haj reports 40,000 applications from
Arab agricultural entrepreneurs to buy land in Southern Kordofan for mechanized
27 March 1993: SPLA-Mainstream attacks anti-Garang (SPLA-United) leadership
meeting in Kongor. Veteran politician Joseph Oduho is killed; a UN WFP worker
March 1993: Temporary cease-fire in southern war zones. Plans for new round of
peace talks in Abuja, Nigeria.
April 1993: The opposition National Democratic Alliance meets for five days in
Nairobi and announces a "historic" agreement on religion and the state.
April 1993: A group of people is detained in connection with an alleged
Egyptian-supported invasion of Sudan. They are later paraded on television in
chains and appear to have been tortured.
April 1993: Thousands of displaced from Nuba Mounains and Bentiu reach
northern Kordofan. Women say the PDF raped them: there is an unusually high
rate of pregnancy.
April 1993: World Bank and Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development
suspend loans to Sudan, which has failed to pay its arrears.
April 1993: Garang proposes a referendum on Southern self-determination,
shortly before resumption of Abuja peace talks.
May 1993: Peace talks collapse at Abuja.
June 1993: Yusif Kuwa, leader of the Nuba SPLA-Mainstream division, appeals
for aid on his first visit outside Africa.
June 1993: Mosques and headquarters of the Ansar, Khatmiyya and Ansar al-Sunna
al-Muhammadiya are the targets of crackdowns by NIF security on Sudan's
traditional religious leadership. Several leaders are briefly arrested, and
the Mahdi's tomb is "nationalized". Turabi describes the old sects as
obstacles to democracy.
June 1993: UNHCR in Uganda takes on the protection of 96 Sudanese children who
had returned from military training in Cuba, helping prevent them being
transported back into Sudan by SPLA-Mainstream.
July 1993: Egypt's President Mubarak and Sudan's Lt-Gen al-Bashir meet at the
Cairo summit of the Organization of African Unity, for the first time in 18
months, following mediation by PLO leader Yasser Arafat. Hostilities over the
Halaib territory are temporarily patched up.
July 1993: SPLA factions fight over Kongor.
18 August 1993: US State Department adds Sudan to its list of states
August 1993: Jimmy Carter flies to Khartoum for informal talks with the Bashir
government; he says there is "no proof" that Sudan supports international
August 1993: Khartoum denies allegations that it is assisting Somali leader
General Aideed. A ship carrying sugar from Port Sudan to Somalia is searched
by the US Navy.
August 1993: One of several attempts by the NIF at dialogue with members of
the exiled northern opposition parties fails to reach a positive conclusion in
August 1993: 60,000 Southern Sudanese flee to Uganda in three weeks, after
government troops begin an offensive against SPLA in Western Equatoria, backed
by MiG fighters and Antonov bombers. 38,000 were already under care in Keruwa
camp. Another 42,000 cross into Ethiopia in August, and 4,800 into Zaire.
August 1993: Talks between government representative Ali al-Haj Muhammad and
SPLA-United's Dr Lam Akol in Fashoda, during the coronation of the new Shilluk
king, lead to further SPLA-Mainstream accusations of United's complicity with
August 1993: 47,000 displaced Dinka civilians are told by SPLA-Mainstream not
to cross into Uganda. Equatorian refugees in Koboko, Uganda, claim that
Garang's Dinkas looted their property in Kaya and raped their women.
September 1993: Food shortfall of 73,000 tonnes in Northern Kordofan is
predicted by aid agencies but denied by government. Drought and locusts, plus
fighting in Southern Kordofan, are blamed.
September 1993: Five government officials are killed in an air crash en route
to Bentiu for further talks with the SPLA-United faction. They include Fadl
al-Seed Abu Gaseissa, Director of the Peace and Development Foundation, which
promoted Islam in the South through development assistance.
September 1993: The heads of state of Ethiopia, Eritrea, Uganda and Kenya
establish a committee to resolve the civil war in Sudan, in their capacity as
members of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Drought and Development. Bashir
accepts the initiative but warns against foreign intervention.
September 1993: Arakis Energy of Canada says it will press ahead to explore
develop the former Chevron oil concessions it has acquired in Southern Kordofan
and Southern Sudan. Experts are sceptical of the small company succeeding in
the instability of the area.
September 1993: Riek Machar arrives in Nairobi, emerging from Southern Sudan
for the first time since his attempted coup against Garang in August 1991.
2 October 1993: The Patriotic Resistance Movement of South Sudan is launched
in Nairobi by veteran politician and former Garang ally Alfred Lado Gore. It
appears to represent members of Equatorian tribes who reject the
SPLA-Mainstream (dominated by the Dinka) and the SPLA-United (dominated by
4 October 1993: Three days of riots in Omdurman, Wad Medani and Al-Obeid in
response to the economic crisis, following a fuel shortage and rises in fuel
13 October 1993: Turabi meets the Pope in the Vatican.
16 October 1993: The ruling Revolutionary Command Council dissolves itself.
It has been waning in the last year, and its dissolution assists the promotion
of a civilian image.
October 1993: A brigadier imprisoned in Suakin is subjected to renewed violent
assault after he details in a letter to the Justice Minister the grotesque
torture he had previously undergone in Shalla prison, Western Sudan.
22 October 1993: Washington declaration signed by rival SPLA faction leaders
Garang and Machar. They concur on "self-determination for the people of
Southern Sudan, Nuba Mountains and marginalized areas", and on opposition to
the NIF regime and any subsequent regime that denies the right to
November 1993: William Nyuon is accused of breaking the cease-fire between the
SPLA factions by launching attacks against SPLA-Mainstream positions in Eastern
10-11 November 1993: Khartoum University students protest at alleged
vote-rigging of union council elections in which National Islamist candidates
won all 40 seats. Over 300 are arrested amid the most militant demonstrations
20 November 1993: Foreign ministers of the Horn of Africa countries belonging
to IGADD (Inter-Governmental Authority on Drought and Development) meet in
Nairobi to address the conflict in Sudan. The IGADD initiative follows the
resolution passed in Kampala by African members of the Eastern and Southern
African Preferential Trade Area to seek a solution to the conflict.
November 1993: Interim report by UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Gaspar
Biro corroborates the "grave violations" that have taken place in Sudan.
November 1993: Between 15 and 20 Chinese ground attack aircraft are delivered
to Sudan, reportedly financed by Iran.
November 1993: The Popular Defence Force militias are being boosted while up
to three thousand are being retired from the regular armed forces. 45,000 new
militia members are on public display at the PDF's fourth anniversary
November 1993: Hassan al-Turabi flies to Afghanistan, ostensibly to mediate
between warring Islamic factions.
December 1993: The opposition National Democratic Alliance fails to agree on a
common response to the question of self-determination for Southern Sudan.
December 1993: Senior government figures celebrate Christmas in the three main
Southern towns to dispel allegations that the regime is anti-Christian.
December 1993: Military Industrialization Authority Act.
December 1993: Sudanese universities are scheduled to admit 30,000 new
students, six times the number of admissions in 1991. There are now 18
universities compared with five in 1989.
December 1993: Thousands of militia fighters died in Southern Sudan and the
Nuba Mountains in the last year, and the practice of arming teachers,
government officials and students is coming under question because of the
January 1994: Eritrea's President Afeworki complains that "foreign Muslim
extremists" have declared war on his nation after 20 invaders from Sudan are
January 1994: Archbishop of Canterbury flies to Southern Sudan for three
days. A diplomatic row over his cancellation of a visit to northern Sudan
leads to the mutual expulsion of ambassadors from Britain and Sudan.
January 1994: Unprecedented build-up of government military forces is reported
in Southern Sudan. Over 1,000 people are said to be fleeing towards the
borders. Towns and displaced people's camps near the Ugandan and Zairean
borders are subjected to high-altitude bombing.
February 1994: Two dozen worshippers are killed in a machine-gun attack on a
mosque of the Ansar al-Sunna al-Muhammadiya minority religious sect, whose
leader had recently criticised the religious credentials of the Bashir regime.
February 1994: Lam Akol, Shilluk member of SPLA-United, is dismissed.
April 1994: Members of the ultra-conservative minority Ansar al-Sunna sect
stage a sit-in protest to demand the release of their leader, Sheikh Abu Zeid
Muhammad Hamza, and the return of mosques "confiscated" by the authorities.
April 1994: Egypt expresses anxiety at the SPLA's announcement of a "New
Sudan" and rejects the idea of secession for Southern Sudan.
April 1994: Student demonstrations at Gezira University lead to 1,000 arrests.
April-May 1994: Southern Sudanese refugees are crossing into Gambela, Western
Ethiopia, at over 1,000 a month, according to UNHCR.
May 1994: Arok Thon Arok, a key Dinka member of SPLA-United and a founder of
the SPLA, resigns blaming Riek Machar's "dictatorial tendencies". News emerges
separately that Martin Majier, an SPLA-Mainstream commander detained by Garang,
was killed in March 1993.
June 1994: SPLA-United spokesman John Luk is arrested by his own faction at
Waat, and accused of siding with the dismissed Commander Lam Akol.
June 1994: Kajo-kaji in Equatoria is retaken by government forces.
June 1994: Bad harvest and civil war mean that famine threatens Bahr al-Ghazal
July 1994: SPLA-United commanders Faustino and Kerubino advance into Wunrok,
northern Bahr al-Ghazal. Battles with SPLA-Mainstream lead to 1,000 mostly
civilian deaths; both factions loot possessions from local people.
July 1994: More than 50,000 displaced people are expelled from Khartoum in a
series of night raids over two weeks. Areas such as Haj Yusif, Kalakla and Umm
Bedda are targeted for "restructuring".
July 1994: Sadiq al-Mahdi, released from detention, adds to confusion over
allegations of conspiracy levelled against him and senior Umma party colleagues
by the regime. He retracts claims that two Umma officials were tortured, and
describes their actions as regrettable.
July 1994: Fighting is reported among groups loyal to different leaders within
SPLA-United, with hundreds of lives lost. Gordon Kong, one of the original
three Nasir rebels, is detained on the orders of Riek Machar.
August 1994: Sudan boycotts the Cairo International Conference on Population
and Development. Bashir describes it as "a stark call for the demolition of
August 1994: The wanted Venezuelan terrorist known as Carlos the Jackal is
captured in Khartoum and taken away by French forces. It emerges that in
addition to assisting Khartoum obtain right of passage for its armed forces
through Central Africa, Paris has made available satellite photographs
identifying the positions of the SPLA in Southern Sudan.
August 1994: The Beja Congress in Cairo reports that a "terror" campaign is
being waged by the government against Beja people in Eastern Sudan.
August 1994: Sudan reiterates its refusal to deal with the UN Special
Rapporteur on Human Rights, Dr Gaspar Biro. Two converts to Christianity are
lashed for apostasy, but a crucifixion sentence against them is lifted.
September 1994: The IMF reverses its decision to expel Sudan.
September 1994: Uganda alleges that breakaway SPLA commander William Nyuon has
helped channel arms from Khartoum to the Lords' Resistance Army of Joseph Kony
in northern Uganda.
September 1994: Bashir claims some of the IGADD states convening peace talks
in the Horn of Africa are "not neutral": there is deadlock over the issues of
self-determination and the separation of state and religion. Garang endorses
the IGADD declaration of principles
October 1994: Lam Akol, dismissed from the breakaway SPLA-Nasir (United)
faction in February, challenges Riek Machar's leadership. He claims to command
forces in mid-west Upper Nile under the name SPLA-U.
October 1994: In Akobo, a reconciliation conference is held between warring
Lou and Jikany clans of the Nuer, under the aegis of Riek Machar's
newly-renamed Southern Sudan Independence Movement.
October 1994: Squatter settlements in Gamayir and Khuddair, Omdurman, are
destroyed during the forcible removal campaign: armed riot police engage in a
shoot-out and at least five squatters are killed and fourteen severely injured.
October 1994: A new offensive is launched in the Nuba Mountains: government
forces seek to encircle the area under SPLA control and deny villagers access
to water points, with a "shoot to kill" policy.
October 1994: Over a hundred civilians are killed in an attack on Akot by Riek
Machar's "Southern Sudan Independence Movement". Five thousand families are
made temporarily homeless, and SPLA-Mainstream is accused of looting the town
when its forces re-take it.
October 1994: Most female prisoners in Omdurman prison are to be released,
according to the Chief Justice.
19 October 1994: Southern Sudanese women asylum-seekers and their children in
Cairo stage a sit-in protest at the UNHCR office, asking for assessment
interviews to be speeded up. They are expelled by Egyptian security forces
with water hoses and sticks.
December 1994: Eritrea breaks diplomatic relations with Sudan, claiming that
300 "Islamic Jihad" members are being trained inside Sudan as insurgents.
Sudan responds with a claim that Beja dissidents are using Eritrean territory
December 1994: Chukudum agreement - Umma Party and SPLA Mainstream concur on
"self-determination" for South using existing boundaries.
January 1995: Opposition representatives meet in Asmara at the invitation of
Eritrean head of state.
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