All posts by cedejsudan

Conférence – Soudan, causes et conséquences des conflits

Forum réfugiés-Cosi reçoit Marc Lavergne, directeur de recherche au CNRS, spécialiste du Soudan pour une conférence partage et expertise à l’IEP de Lyon.

Le Soudan, plus vaste pays d’Afrique depuis son indépendance en 1956 jusqu’à la sécession du Sud en 2011, est depuis l’origine en proie à des conflits autour des questions d’unité nationale et de partage des ressources. L’accaparement du pouvoir et des ressources par une minorité privilégiée, au détriment des périphéries du pays sont à l’origine ou au cœur de ces conflits.

Dans ce contexte, la jeunesse n’a souvent pour seule issue que de fuir à l’étranger. En 2016, le Soudan était le premiers pays d’origine des demandeurs d’asile en France. Marc Lavergne apportera un éclairage sur les causes des conflits, les acteurs en présence et les raisons de cet exil.

Inscriptions :, 04 27 82 62 61

Lieu: Science Po Lyon | Amphi Leclair | 14 avenue Berthelot, 69007 Lyon

Horaires: 18h-20h

Date de début : 27/02/2017


Programme of the French-Sudanese Autumn School (Master/Phd) – From October 24th to 31st 2015, in Khartoum

The CEDEJ Khartoum, together with the University of Khartoum, will organize from October 24th to 31st 2015 a French-Sudanese Doctoral School in Khartoum.

The main aim of this School will be to train Master/Doctoral students coming from Sudanese/French universities to all the different aspects of the fieldwork in social sciences: interviews, questionnaires, selection and delimitation of a field work, as well as data processing and analysis.

TEACHING TEAM: The team is composed by French and Sudanese advanced researchers and teachers from various social sciences backgrounds (Anthropology, Geography, History, Socio-Linguistics, Political Sciences, Urban Studies) with longstanding experience of fieldwork and scientific research in Sudan. It will take in charge the coordination of the school both by the implementation of workshops (methodology, research questions, data processing) and the training and coordination of fieldwork surveys, aiming at matching the various competences for stressing the interdisciplinary approach both at methodological and theoretical level.

  • French partners :
    Alice FRANCK, CEDEJ coordinator CEDEJ-PRODIG (Geography)
    Barbara CASCIARRI, University Paris 8-LAVUE (Anthropology)
    Catherine MILLER, CNRS-IREMAM Aix-Marseille University (Socio-Linguistics)
    Elena VEZZADINI, CNRS-IMAF (History)
  • Sudanese partners :
    Munzoul ASSAL, University of Khartoum (Anthropology)
    Ibrahim BAHAR AD-DIN, University of Khartoum (Urban Studies)
    Al-Amin ABU MANGA, Institute of Afro-Asian Studies (Linguistics)
    Noha TAYB HAMZA, University of Khartoum (Anthropology)
    Zahir M. ABDEL-KARIM, University of Khartoum-Max Planck Institute (Anthropology)
    Salma M. ABDALLA, University of Khartoum-Bayreuth University (Political Sciences/Geography)

STUDENTS TEAM: The team is composed by French, European and Sudanese Master and PhD students with analogous social sciences backgrounds, whose research projects are based on qualitative approaches and focus on different topics and African countries (not only Sudan). They are supposed to follow the training both to implement their capacities in different steps of fieldwork inquiry, fieldwork/theory connection, interdisciplinary and comparative approach, and to make the group benefit of their former experience on different fieldwork contexts. Beside the work they will carry out under the coordination of the teaching staff in workshops and surveys, they are supposed to share moments of autonomous collective work for data processing and reflection.

  • French students :
    Jeanne BOSSY, Master, Lyon University (Geography):
    Clément DESHAYES, PhD, University Paris 8-LAVUE (Sociology/Anthropology)
    Peter MILLER, Master, University Paris 8 (Anthropology)
    Francesco STARO, PhD, University Paris 8-LAVUE (Anthropology)
    Paolo SANTAGOSTINI, PhD, University Paris 8-LADYSS (Geography)
    Anne-Laure MAHÉ, PhD, University of Montréal (Political Sciences)
  • Sudanese students :
    Aroub AL FAKI TAHA , Master, UoK (Anthropology)
    Doria AL-HADY, PhD – Lecturer, UoK (Economy)
    Hind MAHMOUD HUSSEIN, PhD, Ahfad University (Gender studies)
    Khadega MOHAMMED SALIH, Master, University of Khartoum (Anthropology/Gender Studies)
    Mariam SHARIF, Master, UoK (Anthropology)
    Mohasim YOUSSIF, PhD, University of Khartoum (History)

Here is the programme of the School:

DAY 1. Saturday, October 24th – in CEDEJ

9:30 – 11:00 am

  • Welcoming of the students by the supervising team
  • Presentation of the main goals of the School and of the working agenda
  • Presentation of the supervising team and their respective research in Sudan
  • Presentation of the students and their respective ongoing research

11:00 am – 1:00 pm

  • Introduction: approaches, methods, research questions. Each supervisor is invited to synthetically introduce an overview of its academic discipline following these 4 common lines of thought:
    – The history and bases of the discipline
    – The connection between theories, categories and survey methods
    – Inequalities as a research question
    – Academic production on Sudan

2:00 – 6:00 pm

  • Preparation for the field trips
  • Tools for the collection of data: observation, directive and semi-directive interviews, life stories, genealogical charts, maps, sketches
  • Identification of common research questions around the theme of inequalities
  • Illustration of the main operational concepts and categories to be used for the surveys
  • Reflexivity and issues about ethnographic dialogue : common protocol of the survey
  • General background about the selected places for the field trips

DAY 2. Sunday, October 25th – Tuti Island / CEDEJ

9:00 am – 2:00 pm. First survey

“Urban agricultural practices and land conflicts in Khartoum: the case of the island of Tuti amid the Three Towns” – coordinators: A. Franck and I. Bahr El-Din

3:00 – 5:30 pm. Group work, in CEDEJ

Debriefing, classification of data, writing of the field notebook

DAY 3. Monday, October 26th – Deim / CEDEJ

9:00 am – 2:00 pm. Second survey

“The market as ethnographic site in a transforming popular area in the center of Khartoum: the Suk of Deim” – coordinator: B. Casciarri, accompained by Noha Hamza

3:00 – 5:30 pm. Group work, in CEDEJ

Debriefing, classification of data, writing of the field notebook

DAY 4. Tuesday, October 27th – CEDEJ / UoK

9:00 am – 2:00 pm. Follow up and synthesis workshop 1

  • Monitoring with the supervisors:
  • Analysis of the data collection carried out by the students on survey 1 and 2
  • Questions of methodology for field data collection (stemming from the surveys)
  • Synthesis discussion about the two first surveys:
    – Singular perspective on each field (Tuti and Deim)
    – Comparative perspective
    – Analytical perspective with focus on “inequalities”
    – Disciplinary perspective: crossing approaches of Social Sciences

3:00 – 5:30 pm. Autonomous group work by the students, in CEDEJ

  • Briefing on the issues discussed with the supervisors in the workshop 1
  • Back to data: reformulation of the research questions
  • Documentation work and reading focusing on the surveys

DAY 5. Wednesday, October 28th – Institute of Afro-Asian Studies/ Hajj Yusif

9:00 – 12:00 am. Documentary sources

Visit and work on the documentary sources (written and audiovisual) of the IASS – coordinators: C. Miller and A. H. Mugaddem.

1:00 – 6:00 pm. Third survey

“Spatial, social and linguistic reconfigurations in former marginal neighborhoods recently integrated in Greater Khartoum: the case of Hajj Yusif “, coordinators: C. Miller and Al-Amin Abu Manga

DAY 6. Thursday, October 29th – Omdurman / CEDEJ

9:00am – 2:30 pm. Fourth survey

“Oral history workshop: historical dynamics and inequalities in the integration of former rural villages in Greater Khartoum: cases of Al-Salha and Serau” – coordinators E. Vezzadini and M. Assal, accompanied by Salma Abdalla and Zahir Abdel-Karim.

3:00 – 6:00 pm. Group work, in CEDEJ

Debriefing, classification of data, writing of the field notebook

DAY 7. Friday, October 30th – CEDEJ / outside

9:00 – 11:30 am. Follow up and synthesis workshop 2

  • Monitoring with the supervisors:
    – Analysis of the data collection carried out by the students on survey 3 and 4
    – Questions of methodologies regarding the combination of sources
    – General comments on the salient characteristics identified during the data collection, and methodological reflection on “survey practices”
    – Instructions for the preparation of synthesis papers/presentations for the conclusion

12:00 am – 4:00 pm. Autonomous group work by the students, in CEDEJ

  • Briefing on the issues discussed with the supervisors in the workshop 2 and on data development
  • Preparation for the presentations for the conclusion by French-Sudanese student “pairs”

4:30 – 8:00 pm. Final field trip and “participant observation”

  • During this final field trip, supervisors and students meet at the end of the day to attend one of these weekly events: either the Nuba wrestling in Hajj Yusif or the Sufi halaga in Sheikh Hammed An-Nil in Omdurman.

DAY 8. Saturday, October 31st – University of Khartoum


9:00 am – 1:00 pm. Presentations by the students of their final work

2:00 –4:30 pm. “Out from fieldwork”: comparative reflection, interdisciplinary perspectives, grounding theoretical debate on inequalities in fieldwork contexts

4:30 – 5:30 pm. General conclusion of the Doctoral School and future developments

Publication – The 2015 Sudanese General Elections: Political readjustment and authoritarian reinforcement, By Soliman Chaouche (Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne University)

Last April, Sudanese people have been called to the polls for the 2015 general elections. It represented a significant challenge, given the fact that this ballot was the first in Sudan since the secession of South Sudan in 2011.

Despite a call for boycott by the main opposition parties, Omar El Bechir, in power since 1989, has decided to maintain the vote. This choice was all the more surprising at a moment where the government was facing many issues: a major economic crisis, more violent opposition movements in peripheral regions, infightings within the ruling party…

Soliman Chaouche’s fieldwork was carried out during the two-month campaign before the elections. His paper is based on the final electoral results and on the analysis of the Sudanese political system. It argues that these elections have led to the weakening of the main opposition parties and to the consolidation of the current regime. Indeed, far from the path to democracy, this ballot has been, paradoxically a strengthening tool for El Bechir.

Soliman Chaouche’s paper in French:

This paper is the result of a collaboration between the CEDEJ Khartoum, the CFEE, the Multiannual Observatory of Political and Security issues and the Regional Council of Aquitaine.

The Multiannual Observatory of Political and Security Issues is a research program dedicated to the historical perspective of political developments. It is co-financed by the Directorate General for International Relations and Strategy (DGRIS, http : // ) and by Africas in the World (LAM, UMR-CNRS 5115) at Sciences Po Bordeaux ( .html).

Les soudanais se sont récemment rendus aux urnes à l’occasion des élections générales de 2015, conformément au calendrier électoral mais dans un contexte inédit puisqu’il s’agissait des premières élections depuis l’indépendance du Soudan du Sud en 2011. Malgré l’appel de la grande majorité des parts d’opposition à repousser le scrutin, le régime d’Omar El Béchir au pouvoir depuis 1989 a décidé de maintenir le vote. Une décision d’autant plus surprenante qu’elle s’inscrit dans un contexte particulièrement difficile pour le régime en place (crise économique majeure, opposition armée dans les régions périphériques et luttes internes au sein du parti au pouvoir).

Revenant sur les deux mois de campagne ayant précédé le scrutin, les résultats électoraux, mais aussi le fonctionnement du régime politique soudanais, cette Note revient sur les mécanismes par lesquels ces élections ont conduit à l’affaiblissement des principaux partis d’opposition et au renforcement du pouvoir en place. En effet, bien loin d’avoir mis le Soudan sur la voie de la « démocratisation », ce scrutin s’est davantage révélé un formidable outil de renforcement du régime autoritaire en place.

La note de Soliman Chaouche :

Cette note est le fruit d’une collaboration entre le CEDEJ Khartoum, le CFEE, l’Observatoire pluriannuel des enjeux politiques et sécuritaires dans la Corne de l’Afrique et le Conseil régional de l’Aquitaine.

L’Observatoire pluriannuel des enjeux politiques et sécuritaires dans la Corne de l’Afrique est financé par la Direction Générale des Relations Internationales et de la Stratégie (DGRIS) et par le Laboratoire Les Afriques dans le Monde (LAM, UMR CNRS 5115) de Sciences Po Bordeaux (



Article – Khartoum, A changing capital, By Alice Franck and Claude Iverné

Khartoum’s current situation is special. After experiencing a decade of rapid changes due to the entry of Sudan in the circle of oil producing countries, the Sudanese capital – just like the rest of the country, although to a lesser extent – has been facing a strong economic recession since the independence of South Sudan in 2011 and the loss of the most part of its oil income. The economic malaise (rampant inflation, devaluation…) is palpable when you engage in a conversation with Khartoum people.

But strangely enough, this did not impact the urban landscape yet, and new buildings are still rising at a rapid pace.

This article goes back on the decade 2000-2010 during which there was an economic growth, and land and property sectors were the main outlet for the petrodollars. This period was also characterized by the historical peace agreement between the North and the South that has lead to the partition of the country. This partition has also contributed to the in-depth transformation of the capital, in particular with regard to the demographic situation.

In this article, Claude Iverné, photographer specialized in Sudan, shares some of his pictures.

Those pictures are the starting point of this analysis on the transformations of Khartoum, such as the new projects on the Nile, the apparition of towers in Khartoum, the renovation of the city center, as well as the transformation of the internally displaced persons camps.

Alice Franck & Claude Iverné, « Khartoum, capitale en mutation », La Vie des idées, 29 décembre 2014. ISSN : 2105-3030. URL :

Here is the link to the article (in French)

Publication – The legal statute of Nuba people in South Kordofan and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ rights, By Philippe Gout

Philippe Gout is a Phd candidate in international law at the Institute of Higher International Studies (Paris 2 Panthéon Assas). He was granted a scholarship from the CEDEJ.

His article deals with the rigidity of the international statute on indigenous peoples and of the absence of a pragmatic approach which would enable its application in specific situations.

 The article specifically addresses the situation of Nuba populations from South Kordofan. The heterogeneity of Nuba groups, as well as the interests pursued by the different Nuba actors, show the artificiality of the claims in favor of a unified legal statute. Actors instantiate their claims for this protective status through an ongoing, unfinished process of objectiying their unified identity.
Besides, recent innovations of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ rights do not help the clarification of a unified statute for Nuba people. Last but not least, the structural dualism of Sudanese constitutional law definitely excludes the eventuality that such unified statute applies in the Sudanese legal order.

The research on Sudan highlighted at two recent international scientific conferences in Paris

The research about Sudan was highlighted at two scientific conferences that were held recently in Paris: the 6th European Conference on African Studies (ECAS 2015) and the 1st Conference of the group of scientific interest (GIS) on the Middle-East and on Muslim Worlds.

Untitled Collective mobilizations in Africa: Contestation, Resistance, Revolt”, the 6th European Conference on African Studies (ECAS 2015) was held in Paris from July 8th to 10th. Among the objectives of this international conference, ECAS 2015 aimed to promote the emergence of new concepts and issues of research on Africa in order to better identify and understand the current changes in the African continent, as well as the historical roots of those changes.

We are pleased to see that several Phd candidates/researchers associated with CEDEJ-Khartoum has participated to this conference. Anne-Laure Mahé, from the University of Montreal, has introduced her paper untitled “Thriving on chaos: violent conflict as a factor of authoritarian resiliency in Sudan”. Philippe Gout, a Phd student in International Law with University Paris 2 Panthéon Assas, has presented his paper “The halt of ICC’s war crimes investigations in Darfur: the limits of Prosecutor’s definition of the crime of genocide and the full-scale resistance to ICC’s investigations”. Dr. Raphaëlle Guibert, researcher in political sciences, has presented her research about gold mining – “Le gouvernement de l’or au Soudan: remodelage des pratiques et contrôle du secteur”. And Dr. Elena Vezzadini, an associate researcher with CEDEJ-Khartoum and with the University of Bergen, has also contributed to this conference.

Furthermore, several researchers specialized in Sudan were present at the conference: Dr. Siri Lamoureux, Dr. Greit Steel, Dr. Clémence Pinaud and Dr. Lotjes de Vries.

Another international scientific conference can be noted: from July 7th to 9th, the 1st Conference of the group of scientific interest (GIS) on the Middle-East and on Muslim Worlds was held in Paris. This international conference aimed to create an overview of the current state of the French research, with the contribution of numerous foreign guests. Its objective was to encourage the collaboration between researchers, as well as the improvement of the visibility of the scientific studies on the Middle-East and on Muslim Worlds.

In this conference as well, we are pleased to see that research on Sudan was highlighted: Dr Raphaëlle Guibert has introduced her work about the Sudanese Islamic experience – “Bourgeois islamiste vs  entrepreneur  nomade  ?  Oppositions  et  convergences  des  modèles  de  la  réussite dans  l’expérience  islamique  soudanaise” ; as for Dr Iris Seri-Hersch, she has presented her research about the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan – « Arabisation, Islamisation et (dé)colonisation dans  le  Soudan anglo-­égyptien (1946-­1964)».

Research on Sudan: The British Museum and the Anthropologists’ Fund for Urgent Anthropological Research offer a second Research Fellowship in Urgent Anthropology

The British Museum and the Anthropologists’ Fund for Urgent Anthropological Research offer a second Research Fellowship in Urgent Anthropology. The Fellowship provides (non-salaried) financial support for an eighteen month period of field research and writing, with a specific focus on Sudan.

The Research Fellowship in Urgent Anthropology is designed to facilitate ethnographic research on peoples whose culture and language are currently threatened. The programme’s primary aim is to contribute to anthropological knowledge through detailed ethnography, and also if possible help the peoples being described in their particular circumstances. The British Museum is hosting the fellowship programme for three years from 2014: this is the second fellowship.

The British Museum Urgent Anthropology Fellowship Programme has a specific focus, on threatened Nile Valley communities in northern Sudan. The 20th century riverine communities of northern Sudan and Nubia have been the subject of relatively little anthropological field research, and are facing radical transformations, brought about by a variety of infrastructural developments, including dam construction, large-scale agricultural development, the arrival of mobile technologies and changing foodways. These are village communities based on subsistence agriculture and date palm cash-cropping; Arabic is widely spoken, as is Nubian.

The British Museum currently runs three ongoing archaeological research projects, at Amara West near Abri; Kawa near modern Dongola ; Dangeil near the cities of Berber and Abidiya . The first fellowship is currently held by Dr. Karin Willemse, who is focusing on the Abri area, with the following research questions:

· How do Nubians living in the Abri area, and those in the diaspora (mainly Khartoum), construct a notion of “the” Nubian community in the sense of an imagined community in the way they talk, reminiscence about the Nubian past, present and future?

· How do ‘Nubians’ thereby refer to spatial, cultural (material, visual, virtual and moral), and historical aspects of ‘Nubian-ness’ based on one Nubian core-culture?

The second fellowship will be offered to an anthropologist proposing a fieldwork project in these areas of northern Sudan, thus availing of the necessary logistical support, assistance with research permits and access to communities. Preference will be given to projects with a different focus from that of Dr. Willemse.

The Fellowship makes it possible for a budgeted project to be carried out over about 18 months: this period to include both field research and writing-up. Fellows are required to spend part of their fellowship period in the field and part in the Museum, and where they are expected to contribute to its academic life. In the Museum, the fellows will be affiliated to both the Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas, and the Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan.

The Fellowship will provide £30,000 to be spent over 18 months, inclusive of all costs except overheads to be borne by the Museum for time spent in London, but exclusive of salary. The Fellowships, are awarded to post-doctoral applicants by open competition without restriction of nationality or residence. Applicants should send an application comprising project proposal (maximum 4 pages) including research plan and timeline, intended outputs and budget; a CV and two letters of reference. The budget should include all personal and research expenses (within Sudan and the UK), insurance, and costs of equipment necessary for the project.

The Urgent Anthropology Fund is managed through the Royal Anthropological Institute.

Please submit applications to

Closing date is 31 July 2015.

Publication – Gender, Home and Identity: Nuer repatration to South Sudan, by Katarzyna Grabska

How and where did returning Nuer refugees make their ‘homes’ in southern Sudan? How were gender relations and identity redefined as a result of war, displacement and return to post-war communities? And how were those displaced able to recreate a sense of home, community and nation?

During the civil wars in southern Sudan (1983-2005) many of the displaced Sudanese, including many Nuer, were in refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia. In the aftermath of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, they repatriated to southern Sudan. Faced with finding long-lost relatives and local expectations of ‘proper behaviour’, they often felt displaced again.
Gender, home and identityThis book follows the lives of a group of Nuer in the Greater Upper Nile region. The narratives of those displaced and those who stayed behind reveal the complexity of social change, in particular, the crucial yet relatively unconsidered transformation of gender and generational relations, and how this has impacted on state formation in what is now South Sudan.
Katarzyna Grabska is a research fellow with the Department of Anthropology and Sociology of Development at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) in Geneva. She is also an associate researcher at the CEDEJ-Khartoum.