How religious is Sudan's Religious War?

Sandenbergh, Hercules Alexander (2006-03)

Thesis (MPhil (Political Science))--Stellenbosch University, 2006.


Sudan, Africa’s largest country has been plagued by civil war for more than fifty years. The war broke out before independence in 1956 and the last round of talks ended in a peace agreement early in 2005. The war started as a war between two different religions embedded in different cultures. The Islamic government constitutionalised their religious beliefs and imposed them on the whole country. This triggered heavy reaction from the Christian and animist people in the South. They were not willing to adhere to strict marginalising Islamic laws that created cleavages in society. The Anya-Anya was the first rebel group to violently oppose the government and they fought until the Addis Ababa peace accord that was reached in 1972. After the peace agreement there was relative peace before the government went against the peace agreement and again started enforcing their religious laws on the people in the South. This new wave of Islamisation sparked renewed tension between the North and the south that culminated in Dr John Garang and his SPLM/A restarting the conflict with the government in 1982. This war between the SPLA and the government lasted 22 years and only ended at the beginning of 2005. The significance of this second wave in the conflict is that it coincided with the discovery of oil in the South. Since the discovery of oil the whole focus of the war changed and oil became the centre around which the war revolved. Through this research I intend to look at the significance of oil in the conflict. The research question: how religious is Sudan’ Religious war? asks the question whether resources have become more important than religion.

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