Acknowledgments and Preface

Acknowledgments and Preface

The authors wish to acknowledge the contributions of the writers of the 1982 edition of Sudan: A Country Study, edited by Harold D. Nelson. Their work provided general background for the present volume.

The authors are grateful to individuals in various government agencies and private institutions who gave of their time, research materials, and expertise in the production of this book. The individuals included Ralph K. Benesch, who oversees the Country Studies Area Handbook program for the Department of the Army. The authors also wish to thank members of the Federal Research Division staff who contributed directly to the preparation of the manuscript. These people included Sandra W. Meditz, who reviewed all graphic and textual material and served as liaison with the sponsoring agency, Marilyn Majeska, who managed editing and book production, and Joshua Sinai, who contributed additional research.

Also involved in preparing the text were editorial assistants Barbara Edgerton and Izella Watson; Ruth Nieland, who edited chapters; Catherine Schwartzstein, who performed the prepublication editorial review; and Joan C. Cook, who compiled the index. Malinda B. Neale and Linda Peterson of the Library of Congress Composing Unit prepared the camera-ready copy under the supervision of Peggy Pixley.

Graphics were prepared by David P. Cabitto, and Tim L. Merrill reviewed map drafts. David P. Cabitto and Greenhorne and O'Mara prepared the final maps. Special thanks are owed to Marty Ittner, who prepared the illustrations on the title page of each chapter, and Wayne Horne, who did the cover art.

Finally, the authors acknowledge the generosity of many individuals and public and private agencies, especially the embassy of the Republic of Sudan, who allowed their photographs to be used in this study.


This edition of Sudan: A Country Study replaces the previous edition published in 1982. Like its predecessor, the present book attempts to treat in a compact and objective manner the dominant historical, social, economic, political, and national security aspects of contemporary Sudan. Sources of information included scholarly books, journals, and monographs; official reports and documents of governments and international organizations; and foreign and domestic newspapers and periodicals. Relatively up-to-date economic data were lacking.

The transliteration of Arabic words and phrases posed a particular problem. For many of the words--such as Muhammad, Muslim, Quran, and shaykh--the authors followed a modified version of the system adopted by the United States Board on Geographic Names and the Permanent Committee on Geographic Names for British Official Use, known as the BGN/PCGN system; the modification entails the omission of all diacritical markings and hyphens. In numerous instances, however, the names of persons or places are so well known by another spelling that to have used the BGN/PCGN system may have created confusion. The reader will find Khartoum for the city rather than Al Khartum (the latter form is used for the state by that name), Roseires Dan rather than Ar Rusayris, and the Mahdi rather than Muhammad Ahmad ibn as Sayyid Abd Allah. Place names pose another problem in the government changed the administrative divisions of Sudan in February 1991. The country was then divided into nine states, generally with names and borders similar to the historical provinces of the colonial period and early independence. Readers will thus find Bahr al Ghazal and Kurdufan, for example, referred to either as states or as provinces depending on the context.

The body of the text reflects information available as of June 1991. Certain other portions of the text, however, have been updated. The Bibliography lists published sources thought to be particularly helpful to the reader.

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