3. Consequences of Mohammed Ali’s Success
The conquest of South Sudan offered an opportunity for the extension of the ancient Arab-Islamic frontier to continue a forced “civilizing process” of Islamic and Arab assimilation in South Sudan and beyond. This process now appears as “the civilization project,” the comprehensive propagation of Islamic faith and religion, the education system, the public control of mass media and the government-controlled humanitarian work and general governmental protection.
4. The Traditional Rulers of Sudan
The people who have been ruling the Sudan since 1/1/1956 are known as Jellaba. They are a social group which have developed since the fourteenth century from elements of foreign and local traders. They have established themselves in trading centers that later became important urban centers and towns like Dueim, Omdurmara, Sennar, etc. A hybrid of different races, and nationalities from the indigenous Africans and the immigrant Arabs, Turks, Greeks and others, they interacted and intermarried in the long historical process which took place mainly in the riverine Northern Sudan. It is hard today to trace the original inhabitants of the riverine areas and the Gezira. They have undergone a precise and complete assimilation. The Jellaba were better prepared to inherit the political and state power in 1956. They were also developed and aided by the colonial regime to assume power when direct colonialism became untenable. As such the independence was an affair between the Anglo-Egyptian colonial regime and the Jellaba. The South was not consulted.
The tragedy of the Jellaba is their narrow Arabo-Islamic outlook and their total failure to look beyond these two parameters of Arabism and Islamism as the sole uniting factors for the Sudan The Jelluba have set up an economic system which is responsible for the deepening of the inherited disparities among the regions of the Sudan. The funds and other resources of the marginalized areas were always transferred and invested in the Jellaba areas of Central Sudan.
5. Response of South Sudan
The South has drawn clear lines to resist the forced assimilation. Despite the heterogeneous nature of the people of South Sudan, regional nation has been expressed in armed movements (the Anyanya in the 1960s and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement from 1980-s to date), formation of Southern political parties (the Liberal Party, the Federal Party, the Southern Front, Sudan Africa National Union and Union of Sudan African Parties) to mention but a few. The people of South Sudan reject the imposed unity. They are aware their assimilation means forever assigning them to the tasks of “hewers of wood and drawers of water.”*While we have excellent reason to affirm and publish these reports, because of only very limited knowledge of the situation, RMNI is not responsible for the accuracy of this report in every particular.