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Racism in Sudan is a complex matter due to the racial mixture of various populations. The name Sudan comes from "al-Sudan" or "land of the blacks." Sudanese Arabs are of a mixed African and Arab descent, but some of them identify themselves as Arabs, in culture if not race, and at few times elements of their society view "blacks" with disfavor.[1][2] Sudan has been in the Arab League since 1956. Sudan is also among the African nations where skin whitening is relatively common.[3]

The main issues of racism have involved the civil war. In the Sudan, black African captives in the civil war were often enslaved, and female prisoners were often used sexually, with their Arab captors claiming that Islamic law grants them permission.[4] According to CBS news, slaves have been sold for US$50 apiece.[5] In September, 2000, the U.S. State Department alleged that "the Sudanese government's support of slavery and its continued military action which has resulted in numerous deaths are due in part to the victims' religious beliefs."[6] Jok Madut Jok, professor of History at Loyola Marymount University, states that the abduction of women and children of the south by north is slavery by any definition. The government of Sudan insists that the whole matter is no more than the traditional tribal feuding over resources.[7]

It is estimated that as many as 200,000 people had been taken into slavery during the Second Sudanese Civil War. The slaves are mostly Dinka people.[8][9]

The Darfur conflict has been described by some as a racial matter. Unlike the Southern Sudanese the Fur people are primarily Muslims so the conflict has been argued to be more ethnic rather than religious.[10] Although debates about water and land usage were also a factor.


See also

  • The Black Book: Imbalance of Power and Wealth in the Sudan


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