In its half century of independent statehood, Sudan has only rarely and briefly been at peace. From the eve of independence until 1972, a separatist rebellion in the South caused hundreds of thousands of deaths. Peace in the South coincided with an on-off civil war in the North between a secular leftist government and conservative sectarian forces. 'National reconciliation' between the Northern foes in 1977 prompted a slow slide into renewed war in the South, which crystallised into all-out rebellion in 1983 and the spreading of the conflict to adjoining areas in the North in 1985 and to eastern Sudan in 1994. Intermittent low-level conflicts in Darfur from 1987 exploded into full-scale insurrection in 2003, just as efforts to conclude the Southern war were leading towards a landmark peace agreement.
This paper locates the internationalisation of Sudanese governance in a historical context and highlights some of the implications for post-independence politics. It also examines Sudan's relationship with its donors and creditors and analyses how successive Sudanese governments have dealt with the debt burden and with financing its wars. Finally, it considers Sudan's relationships with its neighbours and its place in the region.
Occasional Paper No. 3, London, UK; Crisis States Research Centre, 27 pp.