Chronography of Sudan and South Sudan

Page last modified 2/10/2022


For events in North Africa relating to the Islamic World and Arab Spring see also Islam & Middle East


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20/2/2017, The UN declared a famine in South Sudan; the first famine it had declared for six years.

9/7/2011, The new country of South Sudan officially seceded from Sudan, following a pro-independence referendum in January 2011.

9/1/2011, A referendum in Sudan resulted in a mandate for the independence of Southern Sudan.

31/7/2007, The UN passed Resolution 1769, authorising more UN peacekeepers to be deployed in Darfur, Sudan.

9/9/2004, US Secretary of State Colin Powell accused the Sudanese Government and the Janjaweed militia of pursuing a policy of genocide against non-Muslim Africans in Darfur, Sudan.

6/8/2004, The UN published a report accusingthe Sudanese Government of crimes against humanity in the western province of Darfur. By now the fighting had displaced over one million people and 70,000 were reported to have died from famine and disease.

2005, South Sudan was granted limited autonomy.

8/4/2004, The Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement was signed between the Sudanese Government and two rebel groups, the Justice and Equality Movement and the Sudanese Liberation Army. However the Darfur insurrection continued as rebel attacks continued.

2003, Pro-Government Janjaweed militias systematically slaughtered African villagers in the Darfur region, a policy amounting to genocide.

2001, Bashir expelled fundamentalist al-Turabi from the government. He also attempted to make peace with rebels in southern Sudan.

14/8/1994. Carlos the Jackal was arrested in Sudan.

20/1/1991, Sudan instituted Sharia Law across the whole country. This exacerbated tensions between the Muslim North and the Christian South.

1989, In Sudan, the National Islamic Front seized power in Khartoum. General Omar Bashir became leader. This further antagonised the rebel Christian/Animist South.

16/11/1988, A peace pact signed between the Khartoum Government and southern Sudan rebels this day soon fell apart.

1988, The war and a crop failure in southern Sudan caused a major famine.

6/4/1985, Coup in Sudan, led by General Swar al Dahab.

1984, Severe drought hit Sudan.

1983, Southern rebellion resumed; the Khartoum Government rescinded the autonomy of southern Sudan, and imposed Sharia Law across the entire country. Rebel army units in the south formed the SPLA (Sudan People�s Liberation Movement). The SPLA and Anyanya rebels joined forces.

1981, The Anyanya insurgency restarted in southern Sudan; known as the Anyanya 2 Rebellion.

1973, The Sudanese Socialist Union became the only legitimate Party.

1972, Peace agreed in Sudan between southern Anyanya rebels and the government. Limited autonomy for the South. Ethiopia acted as peace broker.

5/1969, After a series of unpopular governments, Colonel Jafar al-Nimeire staged a coup and became Prime Minister. His regime abolished both Parliament and political Parties.

1959, Military rule began in Sudan. Lasting until 1964.

19/1/1956, Sudan joined the Arab league.

1/1/1956. Sudan became independent, having been administered jointly by Britain and Egypt.

18/8/1955, The Anyanya I Rebellion in Sudan, by southern Anyanyas against the northern Muslims, began.

Anyanya Rebellions of south began


1954, Sudan became self-governing.

13/10/1952, Egypt signed an agreement with Sudan on use of the water from the Nile.

25/6/1924, Britain said it would not relinquish control over the Sudan, despite Egyptian demands for it to do so.

24/11/1899, Last Madhi resistance in Sudan was crushed.

19/1/1899. Britain and Egypt established a condominium over Sudan.


Sudan retaken by Europeans from the Madhi.

2/9/1898. Sir Herbert Kitchener led the 25,000-strong British forces to victory over the Mahdists at Omdurman, Sudan, killing 10,000 of the Dervish force, for 500 British deaths, and took Khartoum. This ended 14 years of Dervish rule after the Mahdi, Muhammad Ahmad, had massacred General Charles Gordon and his entire garrison at Khartoum in 1885.

8/4/1898, The Battle of Atbara, Sudan. Madhists defeated by the British

7/8/1897, The town of Abu Hamid was captured by the British from the Mahdists, Sudan.

21//9/1896. Herbert Kitchener, who took control of the Anglo-Egyptian army in March 1896, with the aim of re-conquering the Sudan, took the town of Dongola.

17/7/1894. Italians took Kassala on the Eritrea/Sudan border from the Mahdists.


9/3/1889, King Yohannes IV was killed in the Battle of Metemma; Sudanese forces, almost routed, rallied and destroyed the Ethiopian Army.

20/12/1888, The Battle of Suakin, Sudan.


Mahdi victory in Sudan, Europeans expelled.

21/6/1885, In Sudan, the Mahdi died and was succeeded by the Khalifa Abdullah el Tasshi, who managed to conquer the entire country.

26/1/1885. General Gordon, British commander and Governor of the Sudan, was killed by a spear whilst besieged by the Mahdis at Khartoum. Two days after the city fell, a relief force under General Wolseley arrived.

17/1/1885. British forces marching to relieve General C G Gordon at Khartoum were attacked by the Mahdists, at Abu Klea, but repelled them.Khartoum fell to the Mahdis on 26/1/1885.

16/4/1884, The siege of Khartoum by the Mahdi began, see 26/1/1885.

29/3/1884, At the Battle of El Teb, or Trinkitat, British forces defeated the Mahdi in Sudan.

13/3/1884, At the Battle of Tamai, British forces defeated the Mahdi in Sudan.

18/2/1884. General Gordon, sent by the British to evacuate Khartoum, decided to stay there.

3/11/1883 Anglo-Egyptian forces under General Hicks were heavily defeated by Mahdist forces, causing a British withdrawal from the Sudan.

17/1/1883, In Sudan the city of El Obeid, under seige from the Mahdists, surrendered.

12/8/1881, In Sudan., the Madhi defeated British forces at the Battle of Aba.

1881, Muhammed Ahmed al Mahdi declared a Holy War against the British administration in Egypt.


1821, Northern Sudan was conquered by the viceroy of Egypt, Muhammad Ali. Much of the southern population died as a result of the slave trade. The city of Khartoum was established this year as a military camp.

641, Islamic armies conquered the lands south of Egypt. At that time the �Bilad al Sudan�, the Arabic term meaning �Country of Black Men�, encompassed all the Sahel, anywhere south of the Sahara.


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