Physically, culturally, and ethnically the Republic of the Sudan is a microcosm of Africa. Its achievements, problems, and potentialities are in many respects typical of those of other African or Afro-Asian countries—particularly the belt of ‘Sudanic’ states which runs across the continent from the Horn and the Red Sea in the East to the Atlantic Ocean in the West. Thus, like the great majority of Afro-Asian countries, the Sudan has been subjected to alien rule for considerable periods during its modern history; its existing boundaries, administrative institutions, and cultural outlook have been largely moulded by its colonial masters; it developed a nationalist movement whose primary objective was the achievement of independence; and, since the fulfilment of that objective, it has been faced with a host of problems, chief amongst which is the erosion of nationalism, in the sense of loyalty to the homeland as a whole, and the resurgence or development of a variety of particularistic tendencies, loyalty to which has in some cases equalled or even surpassed loyalty to the nationalism under whose banner independence was won.
* Formerly Head of the Department of Political Science, University of Khartoum; now Visiting Professor at Makerere University College, Kampala. This article is a revised version of a paper presented at the international conference on ‘The Sudan in Africa’ which was convened by the University of Khartoum's Sudan Research Unit in 1968.