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Fri 15 December 2017

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Report on Sudan for Foreign Office



"Islam.. (in the south)' influence is not widespread… it is the policy of the govt to oppose rather than encourage Northern infiltration"

Sovereignty of Anglo-Egyptian Sudan is shared by Great Britain and Egypt (Condominium Agreement of 1899) Governor General of the Sudan is appointed by the Egyptian King on "the recommendation of His Britannic Majesty's Govt" and is vested with supreme military and civil command and full legislative powers.

"Egypt has not , however, entirely discarded her argument that the Sudan is an integral part of Egypt, but British control is secured by the appointment of a British Governor General, who naturally turns for advice in the first place to His Britannic Majesty's Govt."

"The tribal sheikhs (of North Sudan) are by interest and inclination loyal to the govt and the tribes as a whole being guided principally by self interest are also perfectly loyal.. Almost the only sect with a natural bent for fanaticism is a portion of West Africans resident in the Sudan, whose belief in the Mahdi and adherence to Sayed Sir Abdul Rahman, the former Mahdi's son, make them a potential danger spot which, without being overrated, has to be remembered"

Southern Sudan

"..[The numerous different tribes] are a happy hunting ground of the anthropologist, their tribal structure ids less developed than that of the Northern population and they are less subject to the authority of the their chiefs, whom it is the policy of the government to support and to use to as channels for administering them.. Islam has acquired certain strongholds in the south, but its influence is not widespread and it is the policy of the government to oppose rather than encourage Northern infiltration."

The "New" Nationalism in the Sudan

Developed post 1924 when the old nationalist movement calling for union with Egypt was "betrayed" by Egypt when Egypt did not support the Sudanese against the punitive action taken by the govt.

Principles of the new nationalism

"a) Preservation of Sudanese identity i.e. repudiation of the desire for fusion with Egypt.
b) Recognition that immediate independence is neither possible nor desirable
c) Acceptance of British Guardianship (in theory the guardianship if the Condominium govt) as being (until the Sudan is in a position to govern itself) preferable to any possible alternative.
d) The formulation and pursuance of legitimate aspirations by peaceful and legal means.


Headed by El Sayed Sir Abd el-Rehman el-Mehdi KBE,CVO, son of the man who ruled Sudan previously. Not much support in the north and east. His main followers are: " Firstly fanatical persons who believe in him as the Moslem liberator of the Sudan from Christian domination (the Backward Mahdists of the Western tribes)...
secondly persons of moderate and sophisticated views, who regard him as head of a religous sect, to be venerated accordingly...thirdly persons interested in the political future of Sudan, who regard him as the most suitable man to lead a nationalist movement..
He proposes , however, to achieve his ends [recognition and power according to the report] not by violent but by constitutional means."

PRO File: WORK 16 1575/6  

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