Sudan (region)

The Sudan is the geographic region to the south of the Sahara, stretching from Western to eastern Central Africa. The name derives from the Arabic bilād as-sūdān (بلاد السودان), or "the lands of the blacks", referring to West Africa and northern Central Africa.[1] The Arabic name was translated as Negroland on older English maps.

Historically, the name was understood to denote the western part of the Sahel region. It thus roughly encompassed the geographical belt between the Sahara and the coastal West Africa. In modern usage, the phrase "The Sudan" is also used in a separate context to refer specifically to the present-day country of Sudan, the western part of which forms part of the larger region, and from which South Sudan gained its independence in 2011.

Typical landscape of the Sudan region


The Sudan region extends in some 5,000 km in a band several hundred kilometers wide across Africa. It stretches from the border of Senegal, through southern Mali (formerly known as French Sudan when it was a French colony), Burkina Faso, southern Niger, northern Nigeria, northern Ghana, southern Chad, the western Darfur region of present-day Sudan, and South Sudan.

To the north of the region lies the Sahel, a more arid Acacia savanna region that in turn borders the Sahara Desert further north, and to the east the Ethiopian Highlands (called al-Ḥabašah in Arabic). In the southwest lies the West Sudanian Savanna, a wetter, tropical savanna region bordering the tropical forests of West Africa. In the center is Lake Chad, and the more fertile region around the lake, while to the south of there are the highlands of Cameroon. To the southeast is the East Sudanian Savanna, another tropical savanna region, bordering the forest of Central Africa. This gives way further east to the Sudd, an area of tropical wetland fed by the water of the White Nile.


The people of the Sudan region share similar lifestyles, dictated by the geography of the region. The economy is largely pastoral, while sorghum and rice are cultivated in the southern parts of the region.

The region was governed in colonial times by European powers, including the French in the latter half of the 20th century.

See also


  1. ^ International Association for the History of Religions (1959), Numen, Leiden: EJ Brill, p. 131, West Africa may be taken as the country stretching from Senegal in the west, to the Cameroons in the east; sometimes it has been called the central and western Sudan, the Bilad as-Sūdan, ‘Land of the Blacks’, of the Arabs.


Akal n-Iguinawen

Akal n-Iguinawen is a Berber phrase meaning "land of the black people." The phrase generally refers to Guinea (region) or the Sudan (region).

Anglo-Egyptian Sudan

The Anglo-Egyptian Sudan (Arabic: السودان الإنجليزي المصري‎ as-Sūdān al-Inglīzī al-Maṣrī) was a condominium of the United Kingdom and Egypt in the eastern Sudan region of northern Africa between 1899 and 1956, but in practice the structure of the condominium ensured full British control over the Sudan with Egypt having local influence instead. It attained independence as the Republic of the Sudan, which since 2011 has been split into Sudan and South Sudan.

Until 1914, Egypt itself was nominally part of the Ottoman Empire. During the 19th century it gradually expanded its control of the Sudan as far south as the Great Lakes region. In 1881 the Mahdist revolt broke out in Sudan and in 1882 the British invaded Egypt. Egypt became a de facto protectorate of Britain and together British and Egyptian forces gradually re-conquered the Sudan. In 1899, they formally agreed to establish a joint protectorate: Egypt on the basis of its previous claims and Britain by right of conquest.

Between 1914 and 1922, Egypt and thus the Sudan were formally a part of the British Empire. After Egyptian independence in 1922, Britain gradually assumed more control of the condominium, edging out Egypt almost completely by 1924. Increasing Egyptian dissatisfaction with this arrangement came to a head after the overthrow of the Egyptian monarch in 1952. On 1 January 1956, Egypt and Britain ceded Sudan its independence.


Auchenoglanis is a genus of relatively large, up to 70 cm (2.3 ft) SL, claroteid catfishes native to various freshwater habitats in Africa.Auchenoglanis is a primitive member of the subfamily Auchenoglanidinae (also includes Notoglanidium and Parauchenoglanis) and represents a stem group.Species of this genus occur predominantly in the Nilo-Sudan region and Western Africa, but also in the Congo River, Lakes Albert and Tanganyika.Auchenoglanis species mainly feed on insect aquatic larvae and eventually on small mollusks, alevin, and swimming insects. These feeding habits should also enable them to stand a relatively wide range of ecological conditions.

Burun language

(Northern) Burun (Arabic: بورون(?)) is a Nilotic language of Sudan. Blench (2012) lists the three varieties separately.

First Sudanese Civil War

The First Sudanese Civil War (also known as the Anyanya Rebellion or Anyanya I, after the name of the rebels, a term in the Madi language which means 'snake venom') was a conflict from 1955 to 1972 between the northern part of Sudan and the southern Sudan region that demanded representation and more regional autonomy. Half a million people died over the 17 years of war, which may be divided into three stages: initial guerrilla war, Anyanya, and South Sudan Liberation Movement.

However, the agreement that ended the First Sudanese Civil War's fighting in 1972 failed to completely dispel the tensions that had originally caused it, leading to a reigniting of the north-south conflict during the Second Sudanese Civil War, which lasted from 1983 to 2005. The period between 1955 and 2005 is thus sometimes considered to be a single conflict with an eleven-year ceasefire that separates two violent phases.

History of Mali

Mali is located in Africa.

The history of the territory of modern Mali may be divided into:

Pre-Imperial Mali, before the 13th century

the history of the eponymous Mali Empire and of the Songhai Empire during the 13th to 16th centuriesThe borders of Mali are those of French Sudan, drawn in 1891. They are artificial, and unite part of the larger Sudan region with parts of the Sahara.

As a consequence, Mali is a multiethnic country, with a majority of its population consisting of Mandé peoples.

Mali's history is dominated by its role in trans-Saharan trade, connecting West Africa and the Maghreb. The Malian city Timbuktu is exemplary of this: situated on the southern fringe of the Sahara and close to the River Niger, it has played an important role in the trans-Saharan trade from the 13th century on, with the establishment of the Mali Empire.

Iron Age

The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory and protohistory of humankind. It was preceded by the Stone Age (Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, and Chalcolithic) and the Bronze Age. The concept has been mostly applied to Europe and the Ancient Near East, and, by analogy, also to other parts of the Old World.

The duration of the Iron Age varies depending on the region under consideration. It is defined by archaeological convention, and the mere presence of some cast or wrought iron is not sufficient to represent an Iron Age culture; rather, the "Iron Age" begins locally when the production of iron or steel has been brought to the point where iron tools and weapons superior to their bronze equivalents become widespread. For example, Tutankhamun's meteoric iron dagger comes from the Bronze Age. In the Ancient Near East, this transition takes place in the wake of the so-called Bronze Age collapse, in the 12th century BC. The technology soon spread throughout the Mediterranean Basin region and to South Asia. Its further spread to Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and Central Europe is somewhat delayed, and Northern Europe is reached still later, by about 500 BC.

The Iron Age is taken to end, also by convention, with the beginning of the historiographical record.

This usually does not represent a clear break in the archaeological record; for the Ancient Near East the establishment of the Achaemenid Empire c. 550 BC (considered historical by virtue of the record by Herodotus) is usually taken as a cut-off date, and in Central and Western Europe the Roman conquests of the 1st century BC serve as marking for the end of the Iron Age. The Germanic Iron Age of Scandinavia is taken to end c. AD 800, with the beginning of the Viking Age.

In South Asia, the Iron Age is taken to begin with the ironworking Painted Gray Ware culture and to end with the reign of Ashoka (3rd century BC). The use of the term "Iron Age" in the archaeology of South, East and Southeast Asia is more recent, and less common, than for western Eurasia; at least in China prehistory had ended before iron-working arrived, so the term is infrequently used. The Sahel (Sudan region) and Sub-Saharan Africa are outside of the three-age system, there being no Bronze Age, but the term "Iron Age" is sometimes used in reference to early cultures practicing ironworking such as the Nok culture of Nigeria.

Islamization of the Sudan region

The Islamization of the Sudan region (Sahel) encompasses a prolonged period of religious conversion, through military conquest and trade relations, spanning the 8th to 16th centuries. The aftermath of religious incursion and sectarian conflict remains a source of ongoing tension throughout the Sahel states.Following the 7th century Muslim conquest of Egypt and the 8th-century Muslim conquest of North Africa, Arab Muslims began leading trade expeditions into Sub-Saharan Africa, first towards Nubia, and later across the Sahara into West Africa. Much of this contact was motivated by interest in trans-Saharan trade, particularly the slave trade.

The proliferation of Islamic influence was largely a gradual process. The Christian kingdoms of Nubia were the first to experience Arab incursion starting in the 7th century. They held out through the Middle Ages until the Kingdom of Makuria and Old Dongola both collapsed in the early 14th century. Sufi orders played a significant role in the spread of Islam from the 9th to 14th centuries, and they proselytized across trade routes between North Africa and the sub-Saharan kingdoms of Ghana and Mali. They were also responsible for setting up zawiyas on the shores of the River Niger.

The Sanusi order was highly involved in missionary work during the 19th century, with their missions focused on the spread of both Islam and textual literacy as far south as Lake Chad. The Mali Empire underwent a period of internally motivated conversion following the 1324 pilgrimage of Musa I of Mali. Timbuktu subsequently became one of the most important Islamic cultural centers south of the Sahara. Alodia, the last holdout of Christian Nubia, was destroyed by the Funj in 1504.

Consequently, much of contemporary Sudan is Muslim. This includes the Republic of Sudan (after the secession of Christian South Sudan), the northern parts of Chad and Niger, most of Mali, Mauritania and Senegal. The problem of slavery in contemporary Africa remains especially pronounced in these countries, with severe divides between the Arabized Berbers in the north and dark-skinned Africans in the south motivating much of the conflict. This primarily encompasses the Sahel states of Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad, and Sudan, as these nations sustain the centuries-old pattern of hereditary servitude that arose following early Muslim conquests. Ethnic strife between Arabized and non-Arab black populations has led to various internal conflicts in Sudan, most notably the War in Darfur, the Northern Mali conflict, and the Islamist insurgency in Northern Nigeria.

Keiga language

Keiga or Yega is a Kadu language spoken in Kordofan. Dialects are Demik (Rofik) and Keiga proper (Aigang).

List of regions of Africa

The continent of Africa is commonly divided into five regions or subregions, four of which are in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Nyolge language

Nyolge or Nyagulgule (Njalgulgule) is an Eastern Sudanic language of the Daju family, spoken in a single village in South Sudan.

Religion in Chad

The majority of Chadians are Muslims, with Christians making up a substantial minority of 40-45%. Among Chadian Muslims, 58% professed to be Sunni, 11% Shia, 4% Ahmadi and 23% just Muslim. Muslims are largely concentrated in northern and eastern Chad, and animists and Christians live primarily in southern Chad and Guéra.

Islam was brought in the course of the Muslim conquest of the Sudan region, in the case of Chad complete in the 11th century with the conversion of the Kanem-Bornu Empire. Christianity arrived in Chad with the French, by the end of the 19th century.The constitution provides for a secular state and guarantees religious freedom. Muslims are largely concentrated in northern and eastern Chad, and animists and Christians live primarily in southern Chad and Guéra.

Islam was brought in the course of the Muslim conquest of the Sudan region, in the case of Chad complete in the 11th century with the conversion of the Kanem-Bornu Empire. Christianity arrived in Chad with the French, by the end of the 19th century.The constitution provides for a secular state and guarantees religious freedom.

SIM (Christian organization)

SIM is an international, interdenominational Evangelical Christian mission organization. It was established in 1893 by its three founders, Walter Gowans and Rowland Bingham of Canada and Thomas Kent of the United States. The initials originally stood for "Soudan Interior Mission," Soudan being an older spelling of the Sudan region of West Africa. After various name changes and mergers, the mission simply goes by "SIM" today. In French-speaking countries it is known as "Société Internationale Missionnaire." SIM is also a member of the Forum of Bible Agencies International. The main headquarters is in Charlotte, North Carolina, United States.


The Sahel () is the ecoclimatic and biogeographic zone of transition in Africa between the Sahara to the north and the Sudanian Savanna to the south. Having a semi-arid climate, it stretches across the south-central latitudes of Northern Africa between the Atlantic Ocean and the Red Sea. The name is derived from the Arabic word sāḥil (ساحل, Arabic pronunciation: [ˈsaːħil]) meaning "coast" or "shore" in a figurative sense (in reference to the southern edge of the vast Sahara), while the name in Swahili means "coastal [dweller]" in a literal sense.

The Sahel part of Africa includes (from west to east) parts of northern Senegal, southern Mauritania, central Mali, northern Burkina Faso, the extreme south of Algeria, Niger, the extreme north of Nigeria, central Chad, central and southern Sudan, the extreme north of South Sudan, Eritrea, Cameroon, Central African Republic and the extreme north of Ethiopia.Historically, the western part of the Sahel was sometimes known as the Sudan region. This belt was roughly located between the Sahara and the coastal areas of West Africa.


The Senussi or Sanusi (Arabic: السنوسية‎) are a Muslim political-religious tariqa (Sufi order) and clan in colonial Libya and the Sudan region founded in Mecca in 1837 by the Grand Senussi (Arabic: السنوسي الكبير‎), the Algerian Muhammad ibn Ali as-Senussi. Senussi was concerned with what he saw as both the decline of Islamic thought and spirituality and the weakening of Muslim political integrity.

From 1902 to 1913, the Senussi fought French colonial expansion in the Sahara and the Kingdom of Italy's colonisation of Libya beginning in 1911. In World War I, they fought the Senussi Campaign against the British in Egypt and Sudan. During World War II, the Senussi tribe provided vital support to the British Eighth Army in North Africa against Nazi German and Fascist Italian forces. The Grand Senussi's grandson became king Idris of Libya in 1951. In 1969, Idris I was overthrown by a military coup led by Muammar Gaddafi. The movement remained active in spite of sustained persecution by Gaddafi’s government. The Senussi spirit and legacy continue to be prominent in today’s Libya, mostly in the east of the country.


A subregion is a part of a larger region or continent and is usually based on location. Cardinal directions, such as south or southern, are commonly used to define a subregion.


Sudanese or Sudanic may refer to:

pertaining to the country of Sudan

the people of Sudan, see Demographics of Sudan

pertaining to Sudan (region)

Sudanic languages

Sudanic race, subtype of the Africoid racial category

Tulishi language

Tulishi (Kuntulishi, Thulishi, Tulesh) is a Kadu language spoken in Kordofan. Dialects are Tulishi proper and Kamdang.


Zwila, also Zuila, Zweila, Zawila, Zawilah or Zuweila, is a village in southwestern Libya.

Conquered by Uqba ibn Nafi in 22 A.H. (643 A.D.), showing an evidence that Islam reached Fezzan early. It's one of the oldest inhabited places in Libya. It had already trade relations with Egypt, and with the Sudan region. The Fatimid Caliph Ubayd Allah Al-Mahdi made it a residence place for his people.

Regions of Africa
Central Africa
East Africa
North Africa
West Africa
Southern Africa

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