Due to its large size and location, the Sudan is referred to as “The Heart of Africa.” This country has a rich history that is marred by constant war and religious oppression. The Sudan is located within a varied landscape and with a varied populace. Fundamentalist Muslims who pronounce freedom but practice religious oppression control the government of Sudan. Despite this, other religions exist in the Sudan, but this often leads to rebellion and armed conflict. The Sudan, a nation still budding from its first independence since the Empire of Kush, suffers from an oppressive religious government that condoned the murder of its citizens and contributed to the secession of South Sudan.
The Sudan has a very long and violent past. The remains of early human settlers are traced back 60,000 years along the Nile River in Sudan. Despite this long history, the first major developments began with Egyptian expansion into the upper Nile valley. This expansion eventually led to the rise of the Kingdom of Kush. Following this, the next significant occupation of Sudanese soil occurred at the hands of the Ottoman Empire. This brutal occupation ended with British colonization. After World War II, Britain gave Sudan its independence, but independent rule has been plagued by corruption and war.
Kush. The first true expansion of power by the indigenous people of what is now Sudan began around 2000 B.C., with the expansion of the Egyptian Empire along the Nile River. The Egyptians, under Thutmose I, expanded into what is now northern Sudan and further along the Nile River basin (britannica.com). The Egyptian expansion led to mingling of the Egyptian and North African Nubian culture. The Egyptians referred to this land along the southern portion of the Nile River as Kush. By the eight century B.C., the wane of Egypt’s power and the empowerment of local Kush rulers, the Kingdom of Kush arose. Eventually, the Kushite King Kashta led his army north through Egypt to the Mediterranean Sea. This Kingdom’s life was short and with 100 years, they fled south to their homelands in the wake of an Assyrian invasion (Snyder 26).
The Ottoman Empire. In the 19th Century, the Ottoman Empire, founded amongst what is now Turkey, expanded its influence through Egypt and into Sudan. Muhammad Ali, an Ottoman warlord who ruled in Egypt, initiated the expansion into Sudan. Today, the Sudanese people remember him for his extreme barbarism. As his ambitions for power grew, Muhammad Ali devised a plan to break Egypt away from the Ottoman Empire. Forming a powerful army was the first step in his plan. To do this he sent his son, south from Egypt, into the Sudan with rifles and orders to return human ears back to Egypt for a bounty. Soon, a collection of 3,000 ears was returned to Egypt. For 60 years, the Sudanese people suffered under this rule. During this period, the most profitable export from Sudan was slaves (Snyder 32).
British Imperialism. In 1882, the British Empire...