‘Apartheid’ Sudan: Rebel Narratives of the “Southern Problem”

  • Sebabatso C. Manoeli
Part of the African Histories and Modernities book series (AHAM)


The chapter examines the emergence of an exile movement of rebels from the South, namely, the Sudan African National Union (SANU), that developed the discourse of the “Southern Problem” to advocate for the region’s self-determination. Among the range of discursive strategies the rebels employed was the analogy to Apartheid South Africa. A critical comparison designed to elicit international sympathy, the analogy was designed to enable the Southern cause to gain international visibility. The chapter shows that the analogy had limitations as SANU confronted the slippery nature of explaining racialisation and racism in Sudan to international audiences. Drawing on the parlance of the period—influenced by Negritude and Black Nationalism—SANU used racial essentialism to make the case for Southern secession. In sum, by focusing on this rivalry of ideas, this chapter holds that an intellectual history approach offers a vital reading of the conflict in Sudan.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sebabatso C. Manoeli
    • 1
  1. 1.Columbia UniversityNew York CityUSA

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