Sudan Culture

Sudan Culture and Mass Media

Newspapers in Sudan

According to EZINERELIGION.COM, Sudan is a country located in Africa. Sudan has only a few newspapers, with a modest spread (26 newspaper excl. Per 1,000 residents, 2000). Until the regime change in 1989, the press in Sudan was one of the freest in Africa. Censorship has subsequently been introduced and several publications have been banned.

The state-owned company Sudan National Broadcasting Corporation broadcasts radio in local languages, Arabic, English and French and television since 1962 in one channel. There are 464 radio and 273 TV receivers per 1,000 residents (2000).


According to ALLUNITCONVERTERS, the cultural influence of Islam is strong. The Sufic orders (Islamic mystics) have their own singing and dance traditions, such as Zikhs and Madiehs. Prior to the 1989 military coup, Arab popular music from the capital Khartoum reached radio far beyond the borders of Sudan and became style-forming on the Horn of Africa.

In Arabic there are older, written literature that often depicts holy men and their lives. Among modern writers are the poet Muhammad Mahdi Majdhub and the novelist Tayyib Salih, born in the late 1920s in the rural areas of northern Sudan and died in 2009 in London. His novels, such as “Season of Migration to the North”, depict the break between tradition and modernity.

Since hard-core Islamists seized power in 1989, many musicians, artists and intellectuals went on the run. However, the peace agreement between northern and southern Sudan 2005 brought relief to the music and cultural life. Now young people had to go back to dance or rap concerts. Public poetry reading was also allowed, and traditional musicians were allowed to perform, for example, at weddings. The radio again played Western and Arabic pop music.

A number of monuments from ancient cultures have been granted World Heritage status by the UN agency Unesco. This mainly applies to pyramids and remains of temples and palaces from the Kingdom of Kush (see Ancient History), including in Meroe northeast of Khartoum.



Parliament accepts the Prime Minister’s proposal

December 28

The country’s Legislative Assembly votes for President al-Bashir’s proposal to set up a prime ministerial post. The head of government will have limited powers compared to the president.

Civil disobedience in protest of price increases

December 19

In November and December, on at least a couple of occasions, protests against the regime’s austerity policy are carried out through civil disobedience rather than street demonstrations, which the police responded hard with tear gas. Students stay at home from schools and universities and employees (including civil servants) stay at home from work on certain days that are agreed on via social media. No leader or organizer of the actions is known.


Protests against sharp price increases

November 29th

A government decision to abolish subsidies on fuel and pharmaceuticals leads to sharp price increases, in some cases by 300 percent. Demonstrations and strikes erupt in protest of price increases. Four independent newspapers, which have written about strikes carried out by opposition groups, have their editions withdrawn by the security police.


Bashir: “Prime Minister’s post to be reinstated”

October 26th

As part of an ongoing dialogue on reforms between the government and parts of the opposition, Bashir decides to reinstate the Prime Minister’s post, which was abolished in 1989. According to official sources, a prime minister is expected to be in place in about two months.

The unilateral ceasefire is extended

October 10

President Bashir extends the one-sided ceasefire in Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan by two months.


“Nuclear weapons used in Darfur”

September 29th

The Government of Sudan is accused by Amnesty International of using chemical weapons against civilians in Darfur, where an uprising against the regime has been ongoing since 2003. According to the human rights organization, between 200 and 250 people have fallen victim to the bombs, many of them children. The attacks should have been directed at 32 villages in the Jebel Marra region. The data is denied by the Sudanese government, which says there is no reason to bomb the area because there are no rebels. The International Chemical Weapons Surveillance Authority (OPCW) announces that more evidence is needed to confirm the data.


Oil agreement with South Sudan “to be extended”

August 23rd

Sudan and South Sudan agree that the oil agreement between the two countries expiring in October should be extended, but the parties do not agree on what the agreement will look like. Under the current agreement, South Sudan pays such a high fee for oil transport through Sudan to the shipping port in the Red Sea that oil production is in fact at a loss. In the ongoing negotiations, which are being held in Khartoum, South Sudan promises to increase its oil production and to re-open the oil fields in the state of Unity that are now in decline.

The peace talks are on hold

August 18th

Already later in the month, it is clear to all involved that the signed agreement on a roadmap for peace has broken down. UN chief Ban Ki-moon expresses disappointment.

New peace attempt

9th of August

Three major rebel groups – JEM, SPLM-N and SLA-Minnawi (see Political system) – join the “roadmap for peace” developed by the African Union with the aim of ending conflicts in Darfur, the Blue Nile and South Kordofan. The government has previously approved the roadmap.


Unamid’s mandate is extended

June 30th

Despite strong protests from the Government of Sudan, the UN extends its mandate by one year to June 2017.

Bashir: ceasefire in the Blue Nile and South Kurdufan

June 18

Bashir orders a four-month ceasefire in the Blue Nile and South Kurdufan where the government fights the SPLM-N insurgency group. The decision is made before the impending rainy season as warfare becomes more difficult to implement.

EU: Five million in need of emergency assistance

June 16

According to a representative of the European Commission’s Humanitarian and Civil Protection Unit, more than five million people in Sudan are in need of relief. It is mainly refugees from South Sudan and Darfur who are in urgent need of assistance. According to the UN agency Ocha, more than 230,000 South Sudanese refugees have moved into Sudan since the civil war broke out in South Sudan in December 2013. No other country has received so many refugees from South Sudan.


China will build Sudanese nuclear power plant

24th of May

Sudan and China sign an agreement for China to build Sudan’s first nuclear power plant. According to the Sudanese government, China’s investments in the country’s oil industry now amount to the equivalent of $ 17 billion.

Reports of increased violence in Darfur

May 10

Information comes about a number of violent acts in Darfur. For example, a senior UN official states that six civilians (including two children) are killed when clan members attack a temporary camp for internal refugees in Northern Darfur.


The Darfurians vote no to merge

April 23

Sudanese authorities announce that 98 percent of the darfurians who participated in the referendum earlier this month have voted to retain the five states that Darfur consists of today instead of merging them into a single state. The Khartoum government says the results show that the conflict in Darfur is now finally over.

Referendum in Darfur

April 11

A three-day referendum is being launched in the Darfur region to decide whether to merge the current five states into one, as was the case until 1994. A single state has long been a requirement of ethnic minorities fighting the Sudanese state, but the calls for a boycott, on the grounds that a fair vote cannot be carried out during ongoing conflicts and relocations.


Hassan al-Turabi dies

4th of March

Islamist leader Hassan al-Turabi dies at the age of 84. During the 1990s he was Sudan’s most important politician and in practice the country’s leader. After breaking with President al-Bashir in 1999, he was jailed for several times.


South Africa leaves Unamid

February 25th

South Africa decides to take home its 850 soldiers from the UN and AU peacekeeping forces Unamid in Darfur. The last South African soldiers will leave Sudan on April 15.

New refugee stream in Darfur

February 17th

According to the UN, up to 73,000 people have fled their homes since new fighting broke out between the army and rebels in the Jebel Marra area of ​​central Darfur in mid-January. It is said to be the strongest refugee stream in the area in ten years.


The border to South Sudan opens

January 27

President al-Bashir orders to open the border to South Sudan. It has been closed since shortly after the neighboring country’s independence in 2011 due to disagreement between the two countries on a number of issues.

Sudan breaks with Iran

January 4th

Sudan breaks off diplomatic relations with Iran after protesters set fire to the Saudi embassy in Tehran in protest of the execution of a Saudi Muslim leader in Saudi Arabia. Sudan follows Saudi Arabia and Bahrain’s example of breaking ties with Iran.

Sudan Culture

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