Sudan. In January, 14 UN agencies reported that their humanitarian efforts in the Darfur region risked collapsing unless security was improved. According to CountryAAH, Khartoum is the capital city of Sudan. The situation in Darfur engaged the world community throughout the year, but despite the fact that 2.5 million people in the region lost their homes and over 200,000 were killed since 2003, this year no significant progress was made in efforts to stop the violence.
The conflict in Darfur also affected the situation in the eastern parts of Chad and led to some border fighting on some occasions. In May, the governments of both countries pledged to work with the UN and the African Union (AU) to stabilize the entire region. The Sudanese regime was pressured to allow a larger peacekeeping force than the weak AU force of 7,000 men who tried in vain to curb the violence. The plans for a so-called hybrid force led jointly by the UN and the AU began to take shape during the year, and in July the UN Security Council granted such a force a total of about 26,000 men. The infantry soldiers would primarily be taken from African countries, while countries outside Africa would assist with engineer troops and command. Sweden and Norway planned to send a joint engineering union of 350 men but encountered political opposition from the Sudanese regime, which accused them of planning espionage. On New Year’s Eve, the hybrid force, called the United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), formally took over the responsibility of the AU force. The clearest sign of the hitherto most symbolic change was that the soldiers exchanged their green bases for UN blue.
Proof that the UN/AU mission is not harmless was given when an AU federation was attacked in late September and at least ten soldiers were killed. Both organizations – the UN represented by Sweden’s former Foreign Minister Jan Eliasson – made great efforts during the year to bring the parties in Darfur to new peace negotiations to create a basis for the military peacekeeping operation. However, the fragmentation among the “African” rebel groups was very large, and peace talks in the Libyan city of Sirte were boycotted by most important groups. When a Chinese engineering squad arrived in Darfur in November, it was the rebel movement JEM (the Justice and Equality Movement) that had objections. The suspicious China, which it believed was too close to the Sudanese government.
While the opportunities for a major international effort remained obscured, the humanitarian crisis continued to worsen. When the United Nations Humanitarian Affairs Secretary, John Holmes, issued a report in November, he could only state that the security situation that had been in crisis in January was now even more precarious.
Parallel to the disaster in Darfur, a new crisis emerged in the old conflict between northern and southern Sudan. The South Sudanese former guerrilla SPLM (Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement) in October left the unification government in Khartoum on the grounds that the north side had not complied with the peace treaty on troupe retreat from the southern provinces. Nor was there any solution to the disputed and oil-rich Abyei region’s future. Both sides initially optimistically said that the crisis would soon be resolved, but in late autumn everything indicated that the mediation talks had stalled.
Sudan – Khartoum
Khartoum,, Arab al-Kharṭūzūm, Khartum, capital of Sudan; 2. 7 million residents (2012). Khartoum is located between the Blue and White Nile where they form the Nile. Together with the neighboring cities al-Khartum Bahri (North Khartoum) on the eastern side of the Nile and Omdurman (Umm Durman) on the Nile’s west side, the city forms a conurbation with 4. 2 million residents (2012). Khartoum has an international airport and is Sudan’s cultural, political and economic center.
Khartoum was founded in 1825 by the Turkish-Egyptian rulers in Sudan and in 1833 became the capital of Sudan. The city grew rapidly; In 1840 it had more than 10,000 residents and in 1883 about 50,000, of which about 1/3 were slaves. During the Mahabist revolt of 1885–99, Omdurman was instead the capital. After the British-Egyptian conquest of Sudan in 1898, Khartoum was re-established as the capital.
Khartoum came to the center of attention in 1884 in connection with the so-called Mahdist rebellion, which aimed to break British rule over the country. The city was defended by a British-Egyptian garrison under Charles Gordon. The Mahdis besieged the city, which was finally stormed on January 26, 1885. In the massacre that followed, Gordon was killed, and Khartoum was largely destroyed. The incident initiated a domestic political crisis in the UK, which led to the resignation of Cabinet Gladstone. Khartoum was rebuilt as the capital by Lord Kitchener after the British-Egyptian conquest in 1898. The street network is a copy of the British flag.