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Political and social restructuring underway in Sudans, June 10-12, 2013

The CEDEJ-Khartoum and the CFEE-Addis Ababa are organizing a roundtable conference in Addis Ababa on June 10-12, 2013 regarding Sudans’ reconstruction.

The independence of South Sudan in July, 2011 created as many opportunities as it aroused difficulties and threats. The resumption of confrontations between the North and the South in 2012 further complicated dialogues among intellectuals from each country and showed how perilous it was to reorganize power systems, both in North and South, and how difficult it could be to reach stabilization. Facing secession, euphoria in the South and acceptation in the North gave way to heavy political, economic and safety challenges.

From an academic point of view, the separation between the two States opens new research fields in social sciences. The analysis themes regarding ongoing political and social restructuration are various, and for a majority of them, not much studied, given the recentness of the partition. Therefore, the CEDEJ-Khartoum and the CFEE-Addis Ababa launched a scientific dialogue process on Sudans. That work finds its originality in the will to give an academic content to the debate, often missing in official talks.

Moreover, this process of prolific scientific meetings contributes to compensate for the lack of current and searched academic works led by Sudanese and South Sudanese researchers together. The 2013 conference aims at opening the debate to a large panel discussion, in the perspective of publishing the conference’s proceedings.

Check out the call for papers on our website! ◼

Islam and Society in Sudan and South Sudan

The CEDEJ Khartoum led a two years project on Islam in Sudan, part of an overall research program, “Strengthening Knowledge of and Dialogue with the Islamic/Arab World” commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.

The research program started in April 2011, at a critical moment of Sudan’s history, right after the referendum in South Sudan and the birth of the new State. The multifaceted relationship between religion and society in Sudan has been deeply affected both by twenty-three years of the Islamist regime, the secession of South Sudan in 2011 and the departure of almost one third of the population, the majority of whom were non-Muslims.

The new political context following the secession in Sudan has not only affected actors of Islam and  the Muslim majority but also religious minorities that included non-Muslims and Muslims who are not part of the Sunni majority.  The secession of South Sudan had affected in a significant manner the status of Muslims from Southern Sudanese Muslims in the new state of South Sudan as well as the non-Muslim minorities in Sudan.

The objective of this study is to analyze these recent developments in the religious spectrum during the past two decades in Sudan by focusing first on the emerging actors/trends and new religious practices, and second on the status of religious minorities and interreligious relations in Sudan and South Sudan. In the first part of the study, the authors seek to highlight the pluralism of expression of Islam and new forms of urban religiosity and link these with the social and political changes. The second part covers the issue of the status of religious minorities in Sudan and South Sudan. The category of minority in this research includes non-Muslims in Sudan, Muslims who are not part of the Sunni majority and Muslims in South Sudan. The authors highlight the state’s policies (legal, political and administrative) to manage their religious minorities, explaining the current fragile status of religious minorities.  The issue of how minorities perceive themselves and how they are perceived and protracted in the public opinion is an important aspect of their status in the state and society. This is dealt with in a closing chapter that focuses on the public discourse on minorities. The public discourse on minorities is an interesting area to identify the influence of new religious trends.

This study has been conducted by researchers from different disciplines in social sciences. This multidisciplinary approach contributes largely to relate the socio-political and legal dimensions of the problematic of Islam and society in Sudan. For more details, read the synthesis report available on our website. ◼

Researching Sudan

Les carnets du CEDEJ-Khartoum doivent permettre de suivre les activités du CEDEJ au Soudan ainsi que ‎l’actualité sur les Soudans en matière de recherche en sciences humaines et sociales.
L’identité et l’actualité du centre y seront présentées (histoire, équipe, programmes de recherche en cours, conférences, publications etc.). Mais il s’agit également de faire du blog Hypothèses un lieu de partage de l’actualité des Soudans vue par les chercheurs en sciences humaines et sociales spécialistes de la région. ◼