Migration from Sudan into the United States
In recent years the US has experienced a large influx of migration. Immigrants come from many different countries, races, religions and for many different reasons. One group of immigrants that received national attention is a group from Sudan that has been called “The Lost Boys”. The reason behind the national attention is due to the dramatic circumstances that brought them to America. To understand these circumstances it is important to understand their history. Sudan is the largest country in Africa. It is between two powerful cultural regions, the Islamic north and the Christian south. Africa has more than 400 languages and dialects. There are 597 different ethnic groups with a variety of traditional indigenous religions, many of these fall into the two major religious groups of the Islamic north and the Christian south (South Sudanese Friends International 1).
In the 1940s a nationalist movement arose along with two major northern political parties, this movement excluded the southern people’s ability to take part in determining their future. The two major northern parties were the Umma Party, which represented the Muslim, Mahdi sect and the National Unionist Party which had the support of al-Maghani who was the head of another Muslim sect. The National Unionist Party was calling for union between Egypt and Sudan while the Umma Party was demanding independence from Egypt.
The disagreement between these two parties along with the exclusion of southern Sudan fueled civil unrest. Civil war broke out in 1955, in 1956 Sudan had become an independent nation, but the civil war continued. In 1972 a peace agreement was signed between the Southern Sudan Liberation Movement and the Nimeiry government. This agreement did not last. In 1983 civil war broke out, with President Nimeiry announcing that, Sudan’s civil law had been revised to conform with Islamic Law. This Law seriously violated the 1972 peace agreement, forcing the south to adopt Arab culture, language and the religion of Islam. The Nimeiry government was strengthening Sudan’s ties to Egypt and Saudi Arabia, as economic hardships drew it away from the Soviet Union and closer to western nations. During the 1980’s, strikes, riots and shortages of goods and services had devastated the nation. The discovery of natural resources, such as minerals and petroleum that were discovered in the south added to the problem. Although the discovery of natural reserves should have helped Sudan’s economic situation, it became another source of conflict between the north and the south over who would control it.
The southern forces backed indirectly by the Soviet Union through Ethiopia reorganized into the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army and rose up against the North. At this point in the civil unrest, the war took on a religious aspect, fueled by Nimeiry‘s implementation of the Sharia, which is Islamic law. In 1986 a coup...