First Workshop of Andromaque Project – Sudan at CEDEJ, Khartoum

The Sudanese team of the Andromaque project held a first Workshop in Khartoum in the reading room of the CEDEJ, on Sunday 24th November, from 10:00 am to 17:00 pm.

Andromaque is the acronyme for Anthropologie du Droit dans les Mondes Musulmans Africains et Asiatiques (Law Anthropologie in the African and Asian Muslim Worlds), a scientific research project supported by the French ANR (National Agency for Research) and led by Baudoin Dupret, director of the Centre Jacques Berque (Rabat, Morocco). It was launched in 2011 and will be achieved at the end of 2014. Its aim is to inquiry the relation between different sources of law (mainly customary and Islamic law) starting from the observation of actual legal practices and related social dynamics among Muslim groups in various regional contexts (Morocco and Sudan in Africa, India and Indonesia in Asia). It is coordinated with Prometee, a project whose aims and issues focus on the same approach and which analyzes similar situations of “legal pluralism” in Mauritania, Algeria and Lebanon.

Andromaque wokshop on 24/11/2013 in the CEDEJ center of Khartoum.(Musa Adam Abdul-Jalil 2013)
Andromaque workshop on 24/11/2013 in the CEDEJ center of Khartoum. (Musa Adam Abdul-Jalil 2013) 

The Andromaque Sudan Team gathered 6 European and Sudanese researchers, whose main background is social anthropology, and has recently integrated 2 researchers with a law background. The members of the research team are: Barbara Casciarri (anthropologist, University Paris 8 Saint Denis, France, team’s scientific coordinator); François Ireton (socio-economist, CNRS, France); Yazid Ben-Hounet (anthropologist, Laboratoire d’Anthropologie Sociale, France); Munzoul Assal and Musa Adam Abdul-Jalil (Department of Anthropology, UoK); Zahir M. Abdelkarim (anthropologist, PhD candidate at the Max Planck Institute, Germany); Mohamed Abdessalam Babiker (Department of Law, UoK) and Philippe Gout (PhD in Law, University Paris II Panthéon Assas, France).

The main topics tackled by the research team are: issues of land property and transmission in contemporary Sudan (pastoral collective “tribal” lands; agricultural land along the Nile Valley; residential land in the peripheral areas of Greater Khartoum); processes of conflicts’ legal resolution in various contexts (“informal courts” in IDPs areas around the capital town; mechanisms for settlement of disputes between farmers and pastoralists in the Eastern region; trials in “state courts” of Khartoum); overviews of the evolution of legal system(s) in Sudan concerning mainly land ownership, customary and statutory courts, and the relation between international law and shari’a law concerning the definition of minorities.

The aim of the workshop was to present the evolution of the various fieldwork cases, to establish a stronger relation between the social anthropology and the law approaches to legal practices and systems in contemporary Sudan and to link them to the wider common questions raised by the Andromaque project as a whole. The participants to the workshop also discussed the project of an edited book, that should be published soon after the end of the research program (2014) and would hopefully represent an interesting contribution for an interdisciplinary insight to this domain (legal practices and normative law systems) that is so crucial for understanding social dynamics in contemporary Sudan. Another meeting of the Andromaque Sudan Team would be held between February and March 2014, whose aim will be both the follow up of the editorial project and the organization of a final open workshop for the end of 2014.

Barbara Casciarri

Ongoing Research – Philippe Gout

Philippe Gout is a Ph.D student in international law at the Institute of Higher International Studies (Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas University). His research relates to The Protection of Minorities in Peacebuilding Process and mainly addresses ethnic groups. Relying on a regional approach, Philippe essentially focuses on the African context and on the legal innovations of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

His research brings closer two different issues: Peacebuilding – which is often equated to the new legal and controversial concept of jus post bellum – and the law of minorities. So as to associate these two issues into one comprehensive study, the research combines two objectivist approaches to international law: the sociological approach (G. Scelle) and the more recent democratic approach to international law (built upon J. Habermas’ thought).

Starting with Sudan as his main field research, Philippe intends to widen the scope of his study to Sudan’s surrounding States in order to challenge the classic legal dichotomy between international and internal armed conflicts. In so doing, the research aims at testing the consistency of the new legal concept of jus post bellum and at determining the nature and scope of the legal responsibility and accountability of peacebuilding stakeholders: from local tribal units to international organizations’ agencies.

The research otherwise aims at determining the extent to which international and regional legal systems rely on traditional laws of ethnic – and religious – groups in an attempt to uphold the peacebuilding process.  It notably tries to determine whether ethnic units can be granted collective status and rights additional to standard individual minority rights. It finally calls into question the international legal personality of ethnic minorities in the African regional legal context (either as legal or natural person).


After two experiences within the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (Office of the Prosecutor) and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (Trial Chamber), Philippe was granted a scholarship by CEDEJ and is now carrying Ph.D research in Sudan. He is also a contributor to the Andromaque-Sudan Project (ANR – CJB) related to The Anthropology of Law in African and Asian Muslim Worlds: The Sudan.


The team

The permanent team of the CEDEJ-Khartoum is:

– Alice Franck, coordinator of the branch

– Alice Koumurian, project officer

Moreover, several researchers are attached to the center as associate researchers.

– Einas Ahmed, political scientist, Associate researcher

– Franck Derrien, geographer, Associate researcher

-Katarzyna Grabska, Anthropologist, Associate researcher

– Raphaelle Chevrillon Guibert, political scientist, Associate Researcher

-Agnès de Geoffroy, political scientist, Associate researcher

-Elena Vezzadini, historian, Associate researcher

Apart from them, and according to programs carried on, the center hires ad hoc researchers, both Sudanese and international.

Moreover, the CEDEJ-Khartoum is deeply rooted in the Sudanese academic environment. It maintains particularly strong links with the University of Khartoum.


Mission and activities

  • Research Programs

The CEDEJ-Khartoum has been focusing its scientific activities around three main themes:

Islam and Society in Sudan and South Sudan 

The Islam Research Project (IRP) has mobilized a team of Sudanese and foreign researchers around the themes of new religious trends in Sudans and that of the status of religious minorities after the partition. This project was funded by the Dutch Ministry for European Affairs and International Cooperation.

Political and social restructuring underway in Sudan and South Sudan 

The CEDEJ-Khartoum has been closely following up political events and their consequences since the partition. Several research projects were launched to underline challenges and opportunities faced by Sudans. For instance, the centre organizes conferences in Addis Ababa to offer Sudanese, South Sudanese and foreign researchers a debating space.

Access to resources and their management

The centre worked on the access to resources and resources management in Sudans. A publication is in progress. Moreover, it took part in the Wamakhair program, led jointly by French, German and Sudanese institutions and dealing with water management in reater Khartoum.

  • Seminars and conferences

The CEDEJ-Khartoum wishes to favor research and exchanges among Sudans’ specialists. In that perspective, the center regularly organizes conferences and workshops to present and share its works, in Sudan as well as abroad. Moreover, the branch welcomes PhD seminars, which consists of a series of presentations given by PhD students regarding Contemporary Sudan and South Sudan in human and social sciences.

  •  Grants

The CEDEJ welcomes and supports students willing to carry researches on Sudan and South Sudan. It offers short-lived grants to young researchers in human and social sciences, Sudanese as well as foreigners. Moreover, in collaboration with the Cultural Cooperation Department of the French Embassy in Sudan, it supports a few Sudanese PhD students who were granted a scholarship to go study in France. Finally, the branch provides European PhD students with an International Mobility Grant (Aide à la Mobilité Internationale – AMI), aiming at supporting research on contemporary Sudan and South Sudan in anthropology, sociology, geography, political science, economy, history or law. ◼


Documentation centre


In 2007, the CEDEJ Khartoum opened a documentation centre in its facilities (Khartoum 2, cf. map reverse) for students and researchers working on Sudans.

The centre is opened to the public every day, from 9am to 12am and from 2pm to 5pm. Its development constitutes a priority for the branch in the years to come. It gathers about thousand documents in English, Arabic and French. Internet connection and working space are available.


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. ◼

CEDEJ Khartoum