Sudanese and Somali Refugees in Jordan

Hierarchies of Aid in Protracted Displacement Crises

by Rochelle Davis , Abbie Taylor , Will Todman , Emma Murphy
published in MER279

In late 2015, hundreds of Sudanese staged a sit-in outside the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Amman, Jordan. Their hope was to obtain recognition of their rights as refugees and asylum seekers, and to receive better treatment from the agency. A previous protest in 2014 had ended when Jordanian police persuaded (or compelled) the Sudanese to leave the site. This time, however, after the Sudanese had camped out for a month in the posh neighborhood of Khalda, the police arrived in force in the early hours of a mid-December morning. They dismantled the camp and transported some 800 protesters and others—men, women and children—to a holding facility close to Queen Alia International Airport.

The Responsibilities of the Cartoonist

An Interview with Khalid Albaih

by Katy Kalemkerian , Khalid Mustafa Medani
published in MER274

Khalid Albaih is a political cartoonist “from the two countries of Sudan,” in his words, who is now based in Qatar. His drawings appear at his Facebook page, entitled Khartoon! in a play on the name of the Sudanese capital. Katy Kalemkerian and Khalid Medani spoke with him in Montreal on November 9, 2014, and conducted a follow-up interview by Skype after the January 2015 attack on the offices of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, notorious for its regular caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in degrading or humiliating poses.

Letter from the Horn

by Lynne Barbee
published in MER92

Khartoum, May 1980: Hundreds of Eritreans, Ethiopians and Somalis were rounded up and put in prison in nearby Omdurman when Ethiopian leader Menguistu Hailemariam visited here May 25 to help celebrate the eleventh anniversary of Sudanese President Jaafar al-Numayri’s seizure of power. The purpose of the visit was to consolidate and formalize newly improved relations between the two countries. Sudan and Ethiopia have been at loggerheads since the 1960s, when Sudan provided assistance and haven for the Eritrean liberation movement and Ethiopian dissidents, and Ethiopia became the base for southern Sudanese opposition.

War Crisis Escalates

by Dan Connell
published in MER106

Political developments in Africa have lately slipped out of the headlines, but the confrontations brewing there could dwarf earlier conflicts in both military fury and political complexity. The US-backed regimes in Somalia and Sudan each face the possibility of sudden coups d’etat or civil wars. The Soviet-supported Ethiopian government is losing another in a long sequence of campaigns to stamp out nationalist guerrillas in the former Italian colony of Eritrea. Addis Ababa also faces ongoing revolts by three minority nationalities who are increasingly linking up with one another to topple the military authorities.

China and the Sudans

Wars and Peaces

by Daniel Large
published in MER270

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. South Sudan and Sudan had agreed to share oil revenue, oil was flowing again and, despite considerable problems, relations appeared headed in a slightly better direction. Both governments were drawn to China as a key provider and practical enabler of economic assistance, a political partner and international ally. In early December 2013, South Sudan and China had made progress on negotiations about a package of support to expand a serious non-oil Chinese role. Then, on December 15, the irruption of violence in Juba and its rapid spread to other parts of South Sudan changed everything.

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Mahmoud, The Sudanese Bourgeoisie

by Cindi Katz
published in MER135

Fatima Babiker Mahmoud, The Sudanese Bourgeoisie, (London: Zed Press and Khartoum: Khartoum University Press, 1984).

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Letter from a Devastated Land

by Ellen Cantarow
published in MER135

I arrived in Khartoum on April 15, nine days after the coup, as soon as the borders opened. In Cairo, I had watched film clips of the noisy, jubilant crowds that had brought down Numairi, but Khartoum was eerily silent now. The high of the revolution" had given way to the sense of crisis that once again grips this country. While political skirmishes went on concerning who would be in the civilian cabinet, the abiding, bedrock realities that pervaded the country were the civil war in the south and the drought and famine in the west and northeast.

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George Bush in Khartoum

by Gayle Smith
published in MER135

Khartoum. The hand-painted sign on Nile Avenue here best captured the attitude of urban Sudanese toward the visit of Vice President George Bush to their country in early March, just four weeks before the popular overthrow of President Ja‘far Numairi. “Vice-President and Mrs. Bush,” read the sign, “are mostly welcome.” The millions of Sudanese starving in the countryside would have been much less hospitable.

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The Generals Step In

by Abbas Abdelkarim , Abdallah el-Hassan , David Seddon
published in MER135

Mass demonstrations in Khartoum at the end of March 1985 initiated a series of events which culminated in the overthrow of President Ja‘far Numairi’s regime in Sudan by the Sudanese military. What began as popular protest against increases in the price of basic commodities was transformed within a week into a broad movement of political opposition. The rise in food prices was only one manifestation of the deep economic problems facing Sudan. The outbreak of overt opposition to the regime was a clear indication of the political bankruptcy of Numairi’s economic and social policies.

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Sudan's Economic Nightmare

by Tim Niblock
published in MER135

Ten years ago, Sudan was described in a Food and Agriculture Organization report as a potential “breadbasket of the world.” Hopes for the development of Sudan’s economy were running high at the time: the investment of Arab oil-generated revenues in Sudan's agricultural sector seemed to hold immense promise. Vast quantities of hitherto unused arable land could be brought under cultivation. This would transform the Arab world from an area of food deficit into one of food surplus, laying the basis also for the development of extensive processing industries in Sudan.

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