1956 Sudan Becomes Independent



In 1956, large- scale opposition to French rule forced the French to grant independence to Morocco where M'barek Bekkai became Premier, and Tunisia where Habib Bourguiba became Prime Minister..


Sudan's colonial history is unique due to its dual colonization by both Egypt and Britain. The arrangement began in 1899 when Sudan became a condominium, meaning it was governed by both Egypt and the British Empire. This joint rule was formalized as the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium. While, in theory, Sudan was governed jointly, in practice, the British had the upper hand and exercised significant control over Sudan's administration.

The first half of the 20th century witnessed a rising tide of nationalism across the African continent, and Sudan was no exception. Various political parties and movements emerged, advocating for Sudanese autonomy and independence. The political landscape was complex, with various groups having different visions for Sudan's future. Some advocated for union with Egypt due to shared cultural and historical ties. Others were in favor of complete independence to ensure a distinct Sudanese identity and to avoid dominance by either Egypt or Britain.

By the early 1950s, it became clear that the status quo in Sudan could not continue indefinitely. Both Britain and Egypt recognized the changing tide of political sentiments in Sudan. This led to negotiations and the eventual decision to hold a referendum, allowing the Sudanese people to determine their own destiny.

In 1953, an agreement was reached between Britain and Egypt to grant Sudan self-government. This paved the way for the aforementioned referendum, in which Sudanese were given the choice between forming a union with Egypt or opting for complete independence. The result was overwhelmingly in favor of independence.

On January 1, 1956, the aspirations of the Sudanese people were realized when Sudan was officially declared an independent nation, marking the end of the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium and the start of Sudan’s journey as an independent country.