Funding Fundamentalism

The Political Economy of an Islamist State

by Abbashar Jamal
published in MER172

While Islamic fundamentalism has become a major political force in the Arab world in recent years, particularly in the countries of the Maghrib, it is in Sudan where the Islamist movement has realized its greatest ambition: controlling the levers of state power and setting itself up as a model for similarity oriented movements. Its leaders in Sudan have actively supported groups elsewhere -- reportedly helping to plan a recent failed military coup in Tunis and convening meetings with high officials of Algeria’s Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) in Khartoum. [1]

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Sudan: Politics and Society

by Martha Wenger
published in MER172

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From the Editors

published in MER172

Iraq and Kuwait, on the eastern frontier of the Arab world, represent one face of the region’s future. Sudan, on the southern frontier, represents another. Unlike the regimes of Saddam Hussein and the Sabahs, the Khartoum junta led by Omar al-Bashir has experienced neither constraint nor favor from the “new world” moral custodians in the White House. The depredations of this regime are homegrown.

Democracy and Liberation Movements: The Case of the SPLA

by Gill Lusk
published in MER174

The Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) has been fighting a succession of Khartoum governments since 1983. Though its stated goal is to build a unified “new Sudan,” it is widely perceived as representing the interests of the south, where most of its fighting is done and which it now almost entirely controls.

After more than eight years of remarkable cohesiveness, the SPLA witnessed its first serious coup attempt on August 28, 1991. Since it posed no immediate threat to the rule of SPLA commander-in-chief John Garang, in conventional terms the coup was a failure. But it raised issues of crucial importance to the SPLA, to Sudan, and to all liberational and nationalist movements, issues which are rarely acknowledged and even more rarely tackled.

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The Islamist State and Sudanese Women

by Ellen Gruenbaum
published in MER179

The Islamist government in Sudan recently celebrated the third anniversary of the military coup that brought it to power by building a huge public park south of the Khartoum airport, featuring hundreds of hurriedly transplanted trees, bushes and flowers. The impressive determination and efficiency the project commanded seemed calculated to prove to Khartoum’s masses that this is a can-do government.

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War, Development and Identity Politics in Sudan

Interview with Robert Shaloub

by Lisa Hajjar
published in MER200

Sudan’s colonial history of Turco-Egyptian and Anglo-Egyptian rule paved the way for highly unstable and divisive relations throughout the country. Since independence, civil war between governments based in Khartoum and rebel movements operating in the south has raged for three of the last four decades. There are several overlapping fault lines that explain the ongoing war. First, Sudan is divided between an Arab north and an African south and west. Second, Sudan is divided between a Muslim north and west and a south where Christian and traditional faiths dominate. Third, the north has historically extracted resources from its southern periphery without investing in it, a pattern which dates back at least to the colonial period. The civil war started in 1955.

Making It on the Middle Eastern Margins of the Global Capitalist Economy

by Janet Bauer
published in MER202

Victoria Bernal, Cultivating Workers: Peasants and Capitalism in a Sudanese Village (Columbia, 1991).

Jenny White, Money Makes Us Relatives: Women’s Labor in Urban Turkey (Texas, 1994).

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Political Islam Under Attack in Sudan

by Dan Connell
published in MER202

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On Nuba Women and Children in Sudan

published in MER205

We are writing to inform you of a Women’s Action Alert for Nuban Women and Children. As MERIP readers know, an unabated civil war has been in progress in Sudan for decades. However, since the National Islamic Front and its military wing took power in 1989, the viciousness of the war has intensified. The relentless attacks by government forces and Islamist militias on the Nuba mountains area of southwestern Sudan have produced some of the worst atrocities of the war. The situation in the area has reaches crisis proportions in which large portions of the civilian population are trapped and starving. Aid corridors have been blocked, as have various relief agencies.

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