Desktop versionMobile Version
OpenEdition Books

The First World War from Tripoli to Addis Ababa (1911-1924)

 | 
Shiferaw Bekele
, 
Uoldelul Chelati Dirar
, 
Alessandro Volterra
, 
et al.

International and Regional Politics/Developments

Transnationalism from Below after the First World War: The Case of the 1924 Revolution in Anglo-Egyptian Sudan

Elena Vezzadini

Zusammenfassung

After the First World War, a nationalist movement quickly gained momentum in Sudan, eventually leading to the outburst of the 1924 Revolution. While the peculiar status of Sudan as an Anglo-Egyptian Condominium and the political struggle between Egypt and Great Britain have often been seen as the main reasons behind the uprising, this article seeks to reinterpret the international factors leading to the Revolution, first by connecting it to the transnational diffusion of both ideas and techniques of protest that went well beyond Egypt and Great Britain, and second by analysing it in light of that peculiar global moment which occurred in many sites of the colonial world during and after the Great War. Moreover, contrary to the tendency of global history to focus mostly on transnational elites, the case of Sudan has the merit of showing the impact of international diffusion on local political cultures “from below.” Various aspects of this “transnationalism from below” will be explored: the role of international news and the press in feeding the 1924 Revolution and the way in which the activists “wrote back” to reach an international audience; the creation of secret societies in Sudan, another highly transnational structure of protest; but also how this era of mass protests caused the transformation of the structure of secret societies so that they would become tools to mobilise the masses.

Volltext

Introduction: the 1924 Revolution in History and Historiography

  • 1 See: Bakheit Gafaar 1965; Beshir Mohamed Omar 1974; Diyāb Aḥmad Ibrāhīm 1977; Diyāb Aḥmad Ibrā (...)

1In 1924, a wave of protests shook Sudan. Sudan, one of the largest colonies of the African British Empire, but also one of the most scarcely populated and least developed (with only six million inhabitants and a very poor rate of urbanisation), became the theatre for a series of demonstrations, mutinies, and other protests in what is known in Sudanese historiography as the thawra 1924, “the 1924 Revolution.”1 In the name of their right for self-determination, the Sudanese asked for freedom from British colonisation and union with Egypt.

  • 2 See three different takes on British domination in Egypt: Mitchell 1991; Tignor 2015; and Vatikioti (...)
  • 3 Sharkey 2000, 279-314; Mills 2014; Vezzadini 2010, 359-387.
  • 4 Beshir Mohamed Omar 1974, 198.

2In order to understand this request, some indications regarding the context are needed. Sudan had had a special status as an Anglo-Egyptian Condominium since the Anglo-Egyptian Agreement of 1899. At the time, this dual rule did not appear to be excessively problematic since Egypt itself was an informal colony of Great Britain. The British power was however strongly contested by a vociferous opposition in Egypt, and it was not done with the major Egyptian political institutions.2 This context affected the nature of the Egyptian domination in Sudan: while the Egyptian sovereignty there was limited, it had an important symbolic role for politically-minded Sudanese, who believed that Egyptian presence was essential to limit the British exploitation of Sudan. The presence of Egypt in the country was, however, a very concrete reality as well in many ways.3 In the first place, Sudan did not have its own armed forces and relied on the Egyptian Army, which was manned by both Sudanese and Egyptian battalions in Sudan, with the Sudanese swearing an oath to both the British Sirdar (commander) of the army and the Egyptian ruler (the Khedive, Sultan or King, depending on the time period). Secondly, until 1924, the government was mostly staffed by Egyptian clerical personnel. During this year, there were about 1,800 Egyptian clerical employees working in Sudan, for about 1,500 Sudanese.4 Thirdly, the families of Egyptian-Sudanese traders were the principal handlers of the prosperous –and socially significant– cattle trade between Egypt and Sudan.

  • 5 There are not so many works on the 1919 Revolution in English, probably because of the abundance of (...)
  • 6 Blaustein, Sigler, and Beede 1977, 204-205.

3The beginning of the Great War had given the British an excuse to transform Egypt from an informal colony into a formal Protectorate. When at the end of the war –and contrary to the promises made in 1914– the British authorities refused to lift the Protectorate, millions of Egyptians took to the streets for months. This episode is known in Egyptian history as thawra 1919 “the 1919 Revolution.”5 After waves of demonstrations, general strikes, political assassinations, boycotts, and disobedience, a Unilateral Declaration of Independence was finally granted to Egypt in 1922, with four “reserved points,” one of which was the future status of Sudan, which was to be decided after further negotiations.6 In January 1924, the popular anticolonial leader of the Wafd party, Sa‘d Zaghlūl, was elected in Egypt by an overwhelming majority of votes, and a round of negotiations on the status of Sudan was therefore scheduled for September 1924. Zaghlūl asked for the independence of Sudan from the British and its union with Egypt, and so did the protestors of 1924 within Sudan.

  • 7 The National Archives UK (NA), Kew, WO 33/999, Sudan Monthly Intelligence Report (SMIR) no. 361, Au (...)
  • 8 There is a wealth of sources on the cadet mutiny. NA, FO 407/199, ‘Demonstration by Cadets of Khart (...)

4Initially, in June and July, pro-Egyptian demonstrations were held weekly in the capital of Sudan, organised by a movement known as Jam‘iyyat al-Liwā’ al-Abyaḍ, “the White Flag League.” The first demonstrations brought together just a few hundred people, but after the League was dismantled in July the demonstrations became larger and appeared to be more threatening. For example, a crowd of two to three thousand protestors joined the demonstrations in Khartoum and Omdurman on August 15.7 Other demonstrations, such as the march conducted by all the cadets of the Military School of Khartoum on 8 August 1924, revealed that the discontent had spread to key sectors of the colonial state.8

Fig. 1: Cover of vol. 2, part 1 of Al-Riwāyāt al-Shafawiyya li-Thuwwār 1924 [Oral Witnesses of 1924 Revolutionaries], 1974. (al-Khurṭūm: Ma‘had al-Dirāsāt al-Ifrīqīya wa al-Āsīwīya, 1974).

  • 9 For a summary of the British point of view on the events, see Appendix to SMIR no. 361, August 1924 (...)
  • 10 National Records Office Khartoum (NRO), Khartoum, Palace 4/10/52, ‘Memorandum on events at Atbara f (...)
  • 11 For a comprehensive overview of the spread of the protests, see Vezzadini 2015, 107.
  • 12 I have given an account of the events of 1924 here: Vezzadini 2015, 67-95.

5Some protests remain shrouded in mystery. It is the case of a demonstration in Port Sudan, for which various oral accounts reported that the colonial authorities had lost the city to the protestors, albeit for a brief period.9 Other demonstrations led to tragedy, as in Atbara, where the army shot at the demonstrators, killing four and wounding nineteen, an event that caused a wave of indignation inside and outside of Sudan, and led to further demonstrations.10 In the meantime, reports of anticolonial activities poured into the offices of the Intelligence Department. They were sent not only from the centres where demonstrations had occurred, but literally from all over Sudan: places such as Shendi and Wadi Halfa in the North; El Obeid, Bara, Nuhud in the West; Dilling in the Nuba Mountains; El Fasher in Darfur; Wad Medani and Sennar in the Blue Nile; and Wau and Malakal in South Sudan.11 The level of repression increased constantly from mid-July on; Kober, the infamous prison in Khartoum North, became congested with political prisoners, and the dramatic conditions there eventually led to a mutiny. From September, as a consequence of the increasing repression and the number of arrests, the demonstrations faded away, but the level of tension continued to be high. Rumours spread that the army had become disaffected.12

  • 13 For details on the dynamics of the event, see Badrawi 2000, 200-206.
  • 14 A review of the political consequences of the murder for Anglo-Egyptian relations: Gifford 2013.
  • 15 For a summary: NRO, Northern Province, 2/21/211, C. A. Willis, ‘The Mutiny of 27th and 28th Novembe (...)
  • 16 Sudan Archive (SA), Durham University, 422/13/23, Baily’s diary, 5 Dec. 1924.

6On 19 November 1924, Sir Lee Stack, the then-governor-general and Sirdar of Sudan (1916-1924), was killed in Cairo by Egyptian nationalists.13 The Sudanese government and the British authorities in Egypt considered the Egyptian government to be morally responsible for the assassination and the unrests in Sudan.14 One of the demands made in retaliation was the evacuation of the Egyptian battalions from Sudan, and the disbanding of the Sudanese battalions, which would then be reorganised into a new force, implying the purge of disaffected members of the army. On 27 November, when Egyptian soldiers began to gather in the capital to be sent back to Egypt, six officers and about two hundred men, mostly belonging to the 11th Sudanese battalion, mutinied. Two days of intense fighting ensued, and the mutiny was quashed with great difficulty.15 On 5 December, three of the officers who had led the mutiny were executed and this event, which was surrounded by a feeling of general commotion and shock, marked the end of the 1924 Revolution.16

  • 17 Several works quote the figure of 120 activists. For example, see: Beshir Mohamed Omar 1974, 75; Da (...)

7For a long time now, the dominant trend in historiography has been to interpret the 1924 Revolution as the outcome of a problematic triangular relationship between Sudan, Egypt and Great Britain. It was not a relationship among equals, however: Sudan tended to be portrayed as the battleground for the competition between the other two. From this standpoint, the 1924 “Revolution” was not a revolution at all, because it was more the product of these conflicts than the one of truly internal dynamics, as the small number of “White Flag League” members seems to prove.17

Fig. 2: The leaders of the White Flag League, from left to right: Ubayd al-Ḥājj al-Amīn, Ṣāliḥ ‘Abd al-Qādir, ‘Alī ‘Abd al-Laṭīf, and Ḥusayn Sharīf (source: Wiki Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/​wiki/​File:Leaders_of_the_White_Flag_league.png, accessed on 6 Jan. 2018).

  • 18 One of the historians who have best argued this hypothesis is El-Amin Mohammed Nuri 1986 and 1992.
  • 19 Daly 1980, 287-312.

8On the other hand, the stands of historiography regarding the specific contribution of Egypt and Great Britain towards bringing about the events of 1924 vary. One angle, mostly pro-Egyptian, describes Egyptians as the eminences grises of the Sudanese movement: they organised the events from above, financed the movement, sent emissaries to instruct its leaders, and so on.18 On the other hand, another perspective maintains that the events were ignited by the British strategic inaction:19 the movement was allowed to reach a dangerous climax in order to provide a good reason for eliminating the Egyptian element from Sudan once and for all. Some have even surmised that the murder of Stack was too timely to be coincidental.

  • 20 NA, FO 407/201, ‘Ewart Report on Political Agitation in the Sudan’, Khartoum. 21 Apr. 1925, and in (...)
  • 21 This is largely shown by the telegrams and letters requesting more help and support sent by activis (...)
  • 22 For the entire list of colonial sources I had access to, see: Vezzadini 2015, 289-292.

9To some extent, these interpretations are both based on valid evidence and logical considerations: some Egyptian politicians were indeed roaming the streets of the capital of Sudan, especially before June 192420 –even though their participation was certainly much less conspicuous than the Sudanese nationalists wanted and hoped for.21 On the other hand, while the view that the British purposely waited for an uprising to break out cannot be proved (and is unlikely to ever be proved according to the present author), it is an undeniable fact that both the Army mutiny and the murder of Stack marked an extremely positive turn for the British. These events allowed them to sideline Sa‘d Zaghlūl, the very person who was the most dangerous opponent for the British in Egypt at the time (as he was forced to resign), as well as to drum the Egyptians out of Sudan. However, all the internal documents of the British intelligence clearly show that they underestimated, rather than overestimated, the events of 1924, and that they were always one step behind the activists and unable to foresee most of the events, in spite of the enormous energy they devoted to discovering what was going on, as witnessed by the thousands of reports written by the Intelligence Department.22

  • 23 Many of these accounts are to be found in Al-Riwāyāt 1974. For a comprehensive list of Sudanese s (...)

10But the most important problem in the perception of the 1924 Revolution as a by-product of Egyptian or British politics is that even if one were to concede, for the sake of argument, that Egyptian politicians “worked” on the leaders of the movement or that the British were secretly waiting for things to deteriorate in order to have a free hand with the Egyptians, the fact that popular protests took place remains unexplained. Contrary to the idea that only a few people participated in the movement, the sources offer evidence that thousands of common people protested, and a little less than a thousand activists came to the attention of the authorities because they accepted the risk of leading demonstrations, signing political telegrams in their own names, participating in secret societies and anticolonial meetings, forming political committees, or launching other types of protest. Some of them lost their jobs, saw their careers ruined, had to go into exile, or spent years in prison leaving their partners and children behind, and a few died in confinement.23

11An event such as this is always the product of a complex set of circumstances that can be sought in various places, such as the changes in the structure of the Sudanese society following the impact of colonisation, or transformations in the army, in labour, and in trade patterns. My aim here is not so much to move the focus from international and external politics to internal and social factors, but rather to reassess the impact of the international context and its role in triggering the 1924 Revolution.

12This work proposes a number of changes in perspective. First, it brings together two levels of analysis –the macro-level of international politics and the micro-level of social history– focusing, in other words, on those elements of the political movement that reveal its interdependence on and symbiosis with the international framework that emerged after the First World War. Second, it removes Sudan from the triangular relationship mentioned above and opens it up to the broader framework of the imperial world. In fact, Sudan must be seen as entwined and entangled in broader transnational circulations as part of a world that was shaken (intellectually as well) by the aftermath of the First World War. This study aims to offer a case in point of “transnationalism from below”, showing that international relations are not a domain that is exclusively occupied by politicians, but also something that has the boomerang effect of being appropriated by common people and moving crowds. By adopting this perspective, we can focus on the Sudanese as actors rather than people being acted upon by British or Egyptian politician-schemers, and as agents who selected and endorsed certain ideas because of the empowerment they offered, opening up a pathway towards forms of political liberation, rather than passive receptors. In other words, the case of Sudan has the merit of showing the tremendous impact of the Great War on local political cultures “from below”.

13The rest of this chapter will be dedicated to delving into these various directions. In the following sections, I shall first contextualise the post-war momentum in historiography and history; then I will explore three aspects of “transnationalism from below” in the Sudanese movement of 1924: the role of international news and the press in feeding the intellectual tools of the activists of 1924; the moment when the nationalists “wrote back” and appropriated tools of protest that were then shaped to “speak” to the international public; and finally, the arrival in Sudan of another transnational structure of political dissent –secret societies– and the way the White Flag League transformed it in order to prompt open mass protests.

The Spring of the Colonial Nations after the First World War

  • 24 Gallagher 1981, 355-368.
  • 25 Akira Iriye 2002; 2013.
  • 26 Adas, Stearns and Schwartz 2009.
  • 27 Manela 2014.
  • 28 More as a reference to the 19th century nationalist movements that challenged various Empires than (...)
  • 29 Anderson 1991; Gellner 1992; Young 1986; Young 2004.

14Since the 2000s, a growing body of literature is contributing to a new understanding of the effects of the First World War on the imperial world. While historians such as Gallagher24 had already discussed a similar thesis in the 1980s, the new trend only gained momentum later on under the impulse of scholars such as Akira Iriye,25 Michel Adas,26 Erez Manela,27 and so on. They criticised the perception that the end of the Great War was the golden age of imperialism, and in fact demonstrated the opposite: that it was at that moment that imperial systems began to be seriously challenged and to break down. As we shall see, the idea of self-determination of nations emerged as the guiding principle of international relations during the Great War, and it came to be appropriated by a host of anticolonial movements both old and new. It was a moment of great hope in many parts of the imperial world, and can truly be seen as a “spring of the colonial nations.”28 One should however note that this scholarship, dominated by specialists in Asian history, has had little impact on the historiography of Sub-Saharan Africa. For this part of the world, anticolonial nationalism was an entirely new political language that emerged during and after the First World War. As such, it is rather considered to be the expression of minority elite movements within a framework of studies that tend to consider nationalism in Africa as a Western import and as an ideology that is only barely compatible with African ethnic politics.29

  • 30 On this argument, see: Middell 2007; Conrad 2007.
  • 31 Gershoni and Jankowski 1986.
  • 32 Sarkar Sumit 2005; Mittal Satish Chandra 1977; Masselos 2010.
  • 33 Fahmy Ziad 2008; 2011.
  • 34 Sanyal Sukla 2008; Israel 1994; Shah 2006.

15The view of the First World War as a turning point leading to the end of the Empires has been nuanced in recent years by a number of studies.30 In the first place, they have reminded us of the breadth and sophistication of nationalist anti-imperial movements well before the Great War. One may consider the many anti-imperial nationalist heroes in places such as India, Egypt, and Ireland for instance: Muṣṭafā Kāmil (1874-1908) in Egypt, the leader of the Watanist (nationalist) party, who inspired a generation of radical youth;31 or Bipin Chandra Pail (1858-1932) and Bal Gangadhar Tilak (1856-1920), among others, in India, who played a crucial role in spreading the concepts of swadeshi (the exclusive use of Indian-made goods) and swaraj (independence).32 These politicians-cum-journalists were also extremely skilled at advertising their ideas through the press, making extensive use of the new technologies of mass culture available at the time. For instance, Kāmil was the founder and editor of the radical Arabic-language newspaper al-Liwā’, which also published French and English editions.33 The other two were also prolific writers, and Tilak owned and edited two popular nationalist newspapers (Kesari and The Mahratta), not to mention the influence of the radical newspaper The Indian Sociologists, which was first published in London and then Paris and Geneva, among Indians abroad.34

  • 35 Aydin 2007.
  • 36 Noor-Aiman Khan 2011, 33-41.

16Secondly, historians have underlined the global impact of earlier challenges to the imperial system from the end of the 19th century up to the beginning of the Great War. This was the case, for instance, of the Russian-Japanese war of 1904-05, which had huge repercussions in Asia as it shook the belief of the invincibility of the imperial powers and made Japan the first Asian country to have successfully defied the West.35 Even if one looks at less momentous events, any challenge to a colonial rule could have a transnational impact, especially when covered by the press. The historian Khan Noor-Aiman, who has worked on the links between Egyptian and Indian radical politicians, has demonstrated how politically charged events in one country could trigger a wave of reactions in the other thanks to the nationalist press.36 This was the case, for example, of the assassination of William Curzon-Wyllie, a British Army officer and Indian resident, by an Indian radical living in London in 1909; an episode that was widely covered by the Egyptian press and blown up by Egyptian journalists.

  • 37 Manela 2014.
  • 38 On the position of Wilson and his use of other political discourses, see: Manela 2007.
  • 39 Manela 2007, 125-129; Middell 2007, 98; Thompson 2015.

17There was a qualitative and quantitative difference in the anti-imperial protests that followed the Great War, however. First, as Erez Manela’s study on the “Wilsonian moment”37 has underlined, what changed was the place from which the statement that countries had a right to self-determination emerged.38 There was certainly nothing new in the idea, and Wilson endorsed it more due to wartime considerations than anything else. It was necessary to contrast the anti-imperial propaganda of the Central Powers, including the one originating from the Ottoman Empire, and Lenin’s anti-imperialist discourses. Lenin issued calls to the colonised nations to stop taking part in imperialistic wars and to take up arms against their real oppressors.39 For the Allied powers, the strategy to be adopted towards such “dangerous” ideas was to integrate and adapt them to their own wartime goals. This collection of circumstances made Wilson (paradoxically, in the light of his very conservative tendencies) an anti-imperial hero. Moreover, the fact that self-determination was accepted as a principle during the various peace conferences was read as a symbol of the power of the United States to impose its own liberal views on other colonising states.

  • 40 Read 1999, 139-156.

18Wilson’s successes cannot be separated from the technology that was employed to spread his version of the idea of self-determination. Wilson’s speeches and ideas were more than merely uttered –they were hammered over and over again during the war. Besides propaganda agencies with direct links to the president’s office, such as the Committee of Public Information created in 1917, news agencies like Reuters broadcasted Wilson’s most important speeches, causing them to bounce back and forth in newspapers all over the world.40 This also meant that ideas such as these were now being published not only by the most radical newspapers, but also by moderate –and even pro-colonial– ones, thus reaching a much wider audience. Wilson therefore served, metaphorically, as an amplifier and broadcaster of principles that had already been formulated by radical politicians, but were now being adopted by a broader political spectrum. Perhaps one of the best cases in point is al-Ḥaḍārat al-Sūdān, the first Sudanese political newspaper, which was closely supervised by the British. It was an important voice of the pro-British “Sudan for the Sudanese” faction under British guardianship and without Egyptians, and in 1924 it was used to launch attacks against the activists to discredit the movement. And yet, even such a paper could publish this type of text:

  • 41 Bākūra (name of the editor not given, undated; publisher unspecified). This publication gathers a (...)

Wilson’s principles were spread among the populations, and the Egyptians began their movement for the complete independence of Egypt and Sudan, and considered Sudan to be a part of it […]. Nations are not herds of goats to be shared for the grazing. They are human groups that should govern themselves in principle, but because of its current state and surroundings [Sudan] was doomed to be in need of help and advice in order to do this, and at this point, it must be done by one authority that is competent to do it, and not by two authorities, or two sovereigns.41

  • 42 Callahan 1999; Dedering 2009; Pedersen 2012.

19Even after the sunset of the Wilsonian moment, the idea of “self-determination” and the rights of the colonial citizens lingered in the League of Nations. Several recent studies have shown the importance of the petitioning system that was introduced by the League, and the great hopes –though often illusory– fostered by the awareness regarding the existence of a global community to protect the rights of the weak.42

  • 43 Daly 1980, 279-281.

20Another effect of the international endorsement of these principles was that it became important for the colonial powers to obtain forms of validation of their rule on the part of the populations they colonised, usually by notables and chiefs allied with them. In Sudan, the British organised a trip of Sudanese notables to London in 1919 to congratulate King George on his victory and to ask for the continuation of British rule in Sudan.43 Although these validations were easily obtained, as relations with local powers were usually well-consolidated, they also testified to a transformation in the balance of powers and should not be overlooked. Moreover, the search for local support was capable of triggering momentous events. This is particularly true in Sudan, as we shall see below, because the 1924 Revolution started as a protest against the petitions to support England’s case against Egypt, which were obtained by the British from Sudanese notables.

  • 44 Eluwa 1971; Killingray 1978; Newell 2009.
  • 45 King 1971; Wipper 1989.
  • 46 Cudsi 1969.
  • 47 Ibrahim Hassan Ahmed 1979; Vaughan 2014; Kapteijns 1985.

21The second way in which the Great War marked a watershed in the nature of anticolonial nationalism was its spread to places previously untouched (or very sparingly involved), notably on the African continent. It was the case of Sudan, but also of Ghana, with the formation of the West African Congress in the Gold Coast,44 and Kenya with its Young Kikuyu party.45 It is not that pre-war Africa had not been a theatre of protest, quite the contrary. For instance, the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium had been plagued by rebellions of various sizes and scales all over Sudan.46 In northern Sudan, as far as it is possible to ascertain, these were mostly inspired by a politico-religious language of protest, Mahdism.47 What is impressive after the Great War is the fading away of religious arguments, to be replaced by discourses of national self-determination. Moreover, the type of nationalism adopted by the 1924 movement was very much centred on the idea of the rights of citizens to choose what was best for them and their destiny. The movement chose not to focus on the idea of a common blood or past of Sudanese citizens, but rather on shared rights. Reasons for choosing this specific discourse are too many to detail them all here, but certainly the availability and circulation of a “civic nationalism” discourse from the post-war context is one important element.

  • 48 Jenkins 1983; Della Porta and Diani 2006; Ellis and van Kessel 2009; Goodwin and Jasper 2012.

22Finally, the detailed records of the Intelligence Department allow us to gain extensive insight into the way international ideas came to make sense for various layers of urban and semi-urban populations. Far from considering it to be an ideology artificially borrowed from the West as a mimesis or fascination for Western ideas, in the wake of the sociology of social movement, I believe anticolonial nationalism to be a powerful “resource of dissent,” a political language that, as the negotiating table in Paris induced many politicians to believe, appeared to be an extraordinarily powerful tool for many countries to open the way to the end of colonisation.48

“There Was Something Called Reuters”: Activists, the Great War, and International News

  • 49 Al-Riwāyāt 1974.
  • 50 Ibid. 302-319.

23International news played a crucial role in exposing literate Sudanese to the idea of nationalism for the first time. This point is recounted by a number of activists, whose memories of the 1924 Revolution have been collected by a group of historians in an edited volume published in 1972.49‘Alī Malāsī, for instance, was one of the main figures in the White Flag League in Port Sudan, and his account of the beginnings of the nationalist movement is particularly detailed.50 ‘Alī was born in 1895 and raised in Sawakin, the old port city of Sudan. The son of a policeman of Beja origin, one of the main non-Arabic speaking groups of eastern Sudan, he was one of the lucky few to be admitted to a colonial primary school, which was the path to a permanent government job. After school, he was appointed as a postal agent in the Post and Telegraph Department. It was during his first appointment that he was exposed to politics:

  • 51 Ibid. 302.

In 1914 […] we were young, and the World War induced and initiated our activities. At that time there was something called Reuters that brought the news three times every 24 hours. We were employees of the Post, and we used to get a copy of it and read it, and draw conclusions about the situation of the day and know things like ‘the Germans did that’ and the ‘Allies did that,’ so at that time the movement started. […] Reuters was a novelty of the English government, and the English government offered a general bulletin because there were no newspapers at that time […]. It was in English, which not everybody was able to read and write. So we were a group of graduates who knew the English language, and by God’s will we were able to read and discover it. So we followed it […]. It was at that time that we understood for the first time that there is a nation, and that there are people who fight for their nation.51

  • 52 Ibid. 303.
  • 53 Ibid.
  • 54 Ibid. 304.

24After finishing primary school, ‘Alī Malāsī was transferred to al-Nuhud, an important commercial crossroads at that time which was not far from El Obeid, the main city of the province of Kordofan. There he established the “peace club” (nādī al-salām).52 Even though he did not offer details on the purpose or activities of the club, one can imagine that its members discussed issues relating to the war and its end. In al-Nuhud, ‘Alī read the press, and he learnt that “The oppressed nations, those who were under the British Protectorate or any colonization started asking for their rights.”53 He and his comrades followed events in Egypt attentively: the formation of the Wafd, the 1919 Egyptian revolution, Sudan becoming a reserved question after 1922, and finally the election of Zaghlūl, the anticolonial hero. From the signing of the armistice in 1919 to 1924, they continued meeting and exchanging news: “we did not have a specific goal yet, […] but the revolutionary activity was there.”54 His words allow us to imagine intense political discussions and the eagerness of these young men to make their own contribution.

25Mudathir al-Būshī was a judge in Wad Medani, the main urban centre of the fertile Gezira plane. He did not belong to the League but gravitated around some of its members. As far as we know, he never met ‘Alī Malāsī, and yet he nearly used the same words:

  • 55 Ibid. 67.

The war resulted in things […] such as general freedom and the 14 points of [W]ilson. After the war came the opportunity for people to decide their own fate and in this way people got a new spirit. I was much affected by it. Also, the movement in Egypt was growing faster and we started to ask ourselves why Sudan had no share in its self-determination.55

  • 56 Ibid. 155-156.
  • 57 Ibid. 176.
  • 58 Ibid. 262.
  • 59 Ibid. 87.

26Abāyzīd Aḥmad Ḥusayn al-Shallālī, a telegraph operator for the railways based in Atbara, also recounts: “We used also to read Egyptian newspapers, al-Muqaṭṭam, al-Ahrām […]. Really there was a national spirit among us that the Nile was indivisible.”56 Like Malāsī, he received and read the Reuters bulletin several times a day as part of his job, and then dispatched it to other cities such as El Obeid and Wad Medani. Reading newspapers was also a source of political information for people who were not in the Post and Telegraph: the cadets at the Military Schools also used to read the Egyptian and (less frequently) English newspapers.57 It was not only newspapers that reached Sudan; there were also pamphlets and books. According to Aḥmad Ṣabrī Zāyd, “We used to read Egyptian papers continuously, and Egyptian books too, because at that time, the mail was free, and there were no restrictions.”58 Reading the Egyptian press was a source of prestige because it meant one was politically minded and patriotic. For example, Mudathir al-Būshī commented on his meeting with ‘Alī ‘Abd al-Laṭīf, who was the elected leader of the White Flag League: “I actually felt that this officer was extraordinary, because he used to read the Egyptian press frequently and he had business in Egypt and he was proud of himself, a straight person.”59

27It is interesting to note that in these quotes, the activists consistently used the plural subject “we”, firstly because at that time reading was seldom a solitary activity, and literate people would read the newspaper aloud to illiterate friends and neighbours, and secondly because through their readings and discussions, they felt that they were a group of Sudanese who were looking “forward,” as in the League motto, ilā al-amāmi (a term that can be translated as “forward,” “straight ahead,” in Arabic).

  • 60 Kisha Sulaymān 1963, 196-197.

28The Egyptian press was a window on the entire world. Unlike other radical politicians in colonies and imperial territories such as Korea, India, Ireland, and Egypt, Sudanese politicians did not enjoy the luxury of travelling abroad. Study trips to England would begin much later, and the Sudanese were not permitted to travel to Cairo to study in fear of “infection” by Egyptian radicals. One of the objectives of the political movement before 1924 was to secretly “smuggle” Sudanese to study in Egypt, but only a very few managed to get there.60 In any case, as far as we know, none of the militants of 1924 had studied in a foreign country. Thus, the 1924 intellectuals obtained their political education through the press and Reuters.

29Their awareness of other oppressive situations abroad is confirmed by numerous anecdotes. Abāyazīd Aḥmad Ḥusayn al-Shallālī participated in the mutiny by the prisoners of Kober, which started in conjunction with that of the army between 18 November and 1 December. He recounted:

  • 61 Al-Riwāyāt 1974, 148.

While we were occupying the prison, a Scottish division was guarding us... I talked to them from the roof [… and told them:] they make you come behind us, but you Scots are colonized just as we are; you have to ask for independence, you and Ireland, you are occupied by England […]. The commander listened to my words, and then he threw his cap against the wall and dismissed his soldiers. They went, and after three hours they brought British soldiers, and after that they never brought us Scots again.61

  • 62 Ibid. 280.
  • 63 Ibid. 313.

30Although the veracity of this episode cannot be checked, it still bears witness to the awareness that Sudan was an oppressed nation like many others in the world. In another episode, Aḥmad Ṣabrī Zāyd was asked, after his arrest, whom he wanted as a lawyer, and he replied with irony that he wanted Gandhi from India.62 Finally, ‘Alī Malāsī recalled that in Port Sudan, the uprising was tamed by a military ship being despatched. The ship stopped on its way to India. It was heading there because, according to ‘Alī, “the Gandhi issue was happening.”63 These narratives place Sudan in the circuit of uprisings that were taking place in the imperial world.

  • 64 Kurita Yoshiko 1997, 62-64.

31Newspapers were also, importantly, a way of obtaining information about Sudan’s internal situation. In fact, al-Ḥaḍārat al-Sūdān was certainly not an arena of free expression, as ‘Alī ‘Abd al-Laṭīf discovered to his cost when he was sentenced to a year long imprisonment in 1922 for submitting an article in which he asked for full independence of Sudan from both Britain and Egypt.64 Thus, because the local press was heavily censored, the only way to learn facts about Sudan with a critical view of British colonisation was through the Egyptian press.

  • 65 Al-Riwāyāt 1974, 257.
  • 66 Ibid. 106, 265, 304, 329, 52; see also Kisha Sulaymān 1957, 46.

32Indeed it was something the Sudanese read in the Egyptian press that proved to be the last straw, and prompted the formation of the movement in 1924. Muḥammad ‘Abd al-Mun’im Zāyd in Port Sudan recalls: “We used to read the al-Ahrām newspaper, and we learnt that the British were gathering loyalty petitions from the Sudanese.”65 This story is related by a number of activists based in different centres, such as ‘Alī Malāsī in Port Sudan, Mudathir al-Būshī in Wad Medani, Aḥmad al-Ṭrīfī al-Zubayr Bāshā in Geili, officer Zayn al-‘Ābdīn ‘Abd al-Tām in Khartoum, and ‘Alī ‘Abd al-Laṭīf during his trial.66 These pro-British petitions from notables were to be used at the negotiating table with Zaghlūl to legitimise British colonisation and separate Sudan from Egypt. Thus, “common” Sudanese such as ‘Alī Malāsī felt robbed of their voices and opinions, and in their view, the notables had no legitimacy to express the views of all Sudanese. The first telegram signed by the five founders of the White Flag League on 15 May 1924 expressed this concept fully:

  • 67 NA, FO 141/806/1, Translation of an Arabic telegram, Khartoum, Saleh Abdel Gadir, Ali Abdel Latif, (...)

We beg [to convey] our protest to both the Egyptian and British Parliaments. Our dignity will not permit us to be bought and sold like animals who have no voice at their disposal. We protest with all our strength against our people not being given the legal freedom to say their words openly and to send those who will be selected by the nation from her sincere sons to at least be aware of the true decision on the settlement of their future during the Negotiations. It is not for any other person than them, whatever the State may be, to settle the question of its future, because the word is for the nation alone, and she is the owner of the right.67

Fig. 3: The first telegram signed by the five founders of the White Flag League, The National Archives of UK, FO 141/806/1, 15 May 1924.

  • 68 Al-Riwāyāt 1974, 304.

33Why did Sudanese nationalists ask for the unity of Sudan with Egypt and not total independence? If we expand our view to the international situation, we may get to a more complex answer than the one that can be found in Egyptian politics. Thus, ‘Alī Malāsī stated: “Of course our capabilities were limited, but we joined the Egyptian efforts because our destiny was connected with the Egyptians: there was no culture, no school: [in Sudan] there were no schools bigger than Gordon College, […] which was a secondary school.”68 Malāsī was expressing a popular view that corresponded to the quote by al-Ḥaḍāra reported above: Sudan was unprepared to stand on its own two feet because it was not “civilized enough.” What made Sudan less “civilized” than Egypt was the absence of a sophisticated literary life (which went hand in hand with a developed political milieu and institutions) due to the absence of educational institutions.

  • 69 Matz 2005; Gong 1984.
  • 70 Callahan 1999.
  • 71 Manela 2014, 60.

34Importantly, the “standard of civilisation” was a fundamental principle in international relations, at least from the 19th century, and this was still true at the time of the League of Nations.69 Notably, the mandate system divided territories into three classes according to their “stage of development.”70 In an interesting anecdote, Manela recounts that, at the Paris Peace Conference, Zaghlūl became enraged by the fact that the “uncivilised” and “barbarous” Arabs of the Hijaz had been allowed to participate in the conference, while the Egyptians, who had a far more ancient and sophisticated civilisation, had not.71

35One should be mindful, however, of the positioning of opinions such as the one of ‘Alī Malāsī on Sudan’s “lack of civilisation.” It was because of his exposure to international news, the fact that he had the opportunity to observe what was going on elsewhere, as well as his employment within the government and his familiarity with the gears of the colonial administration that ‘Alī Malāsī was able to come to the conclusion that Sudan could not stand on its own two feet. It was the opportunity to compare the situation in Sudan with the one in Egypt and the other oppressed nations that seemed to be about to achieve independence (nations that appeared to be more “civilised” than Sudan) that informed this specific political view.

The Activists Write Back (and Demonstrate)

  • 72 The concept of the isomorphism of the nationalist language after the First World War has been devel (...)

36In 1924, White Flag League activists and their supporters adopted protest strategies that were entirely new in the history of Sudan, such as the organisation of demonstrations and the sending of protest telegrams. This cannot be separated from the new post-war order and the spring of the colonial nations. Indeed, the activists embraced a political language and strategies that were at the same time easily legible within the framework of post-war international support for self-determination, forceful enough to sensitise the international public (or so they hoped), and apparently successful in other anticolonial struggles. In other words, the international context impacted the form and organisation of dissent in at least two ways: first, protests were organised in a way that made them “be seen” from abroad; and second, they were transnational, isomorphic to a protest repertoire that had been adopted by anticolonial movements in various parts of the world.72

  • 73 Examples of how the Egyptian press covered Sudanese events show that they were entirely transformed (...)
  • 74 Vezzadini 2015, 41-44.
  • 75 Appendix to SMIR no. 331, February 1922, WO 33/997, NA.

37As we have seen, for the League members, support from Egypt was absolutely essential to their cause, but the support of other public opinions, such as those of Europe (including Britain), as well as European bodies such as the League of Nations, was deemed equally essential. The first way to make the situation known outside Sudan was obviously to write back, and starting 1919, the Sudanese began sending texts and articles to the Egyptian press. Unfortunately, precise information about who wrote these articles, how they reached Egypt, and how many were sent, is lacking, but it is easy to imagine that obliging Egyptian employees in Sudan would have helped transmit them. The agency of Sudanese authors was also limited by Egyptian editorial control. Egyptian journalists were accustomed to revisiting articles and news fairly freely without being much concerned about exactness or accuracy.73There are fragments of “seditious material” in the archives that were to be circulated inside Sudan, such as letters sent to notables, short anti-colonial tracts, or circulars that were hung on walls.74 These documents were always anonymous or signed with names such as “The Committee of Urgent Affairs” and “The White Hand and the Black Hand,” which was also a name used in anonymous Egyptian pamphlets.75 They contained attacks on British colonisation and exploitation of Sudan. This analysis is, however, limited by the fact that this material is only available from brief British summaries in English.

  • 76 Van Voss 2002; Baldwin 2012.
  • 77 Headrick 1981.
  • 78 Shahvar Soli 2003; Rogan 1988.
  • 79 Nickles 2003; Headrick 1991; Solymar 2000. For specific examples from China see Knuesel 2007. On In (...)

38In 1924, the activists continued to write texts for the Egyptian press, but also began adopting a new way of circulating their ideas: protest telegrams to be sent to the authorities. In order to fully grasp the meaning of this form of protest, it is necessary to focus on the particular medium chosen. Petitioning the Empire was certainly no novelty; on the contrary, it can be traced back to very early historical periods.76 In the 19th century, however, a new technology was embraced to transport some of these petitions, and this went hand in hand with the fact that they also became a means of political expression. The reason for this lies in the revolution provoked by the telegraph. Not only did this “tool of Empire”77 transform imperial administration to the point where it, at times, had a dramatic impact on the administration of remote provinces78 but also, more generally, it revolutionised the global circulation of news, as in the case of the stories related by activists about Reuters. This contributed to a feeling of synchrony and connectedness among readers in even the most remote places, including a sense of sharing a destiny as “oppressed nations.” Last but not least, telegrams became one of the most important mediums used by international diplomacy, a dedicated means of expression for official communications and exchanges of information among governments.79

  • 80 In places like Egypt, the women’s movement also sent protest telegrams: Baron 2007, 169, 175-176.
  • 81 Watenpaugh 2014, 102-104.

39Consequently, sending a political petition by telegram was an act charged with meaning. By borrowing one of the principal forms of communication used by official politics and diplomacy, the author forced his (and in a few cases, her)80 way into bringing his case to governmental authorities, claiming symbolically that his voice was authoritative enough to be in dialogue with bodies such as these, and that his opinion counted. Moreover, protest telegrams were a way of bypassing political hierarchies that were otherwise impossible to overcome.81

  • 82 Zhou Yongming 2006.
  • 83 Arsan 2012.
  • 84 Cairo Records Office (CRO) 0075-049751, Sudan 1924, “Soudan, Protestations à la suite des événement (...)
  • 85 See, for instance: NA, FO 608/214 and FO 141/810; CRO 0075-049751 and CRO 0075-049751.
  • 86 Gelvin 1998; Callahan 1999, 43-44, 219-220; Dedering 2009; Manela 2014, 141, 155; Watenpaugh 2014, (...)

40Protest telegrams had been a feature of radical anti-imperial politics in various parts of the world since well before the Great War. For instance, Yongming Zhou82 has recounted the political impact of nationalist telegrams in Imperial China in the 19th century, and Arsan83 has written of the telegram campaign in 1912 Mount Lebanon. Protest telegrams as a means of expressing political grievances boomed after the Great War, however, and in some cases they also became more democratised. In Egypt in 1924, for instance, dozens of telegrams were sent by different groups of people, such as rural middle-class professionals, students and workers from a host of cities such as Alexandria, Suez, Port Said, Aswan, El Mahalla El-Koubra, and smaller centres such as Zagazig, Manfalout, and Sinnuris, to protest against British reaction to the events in Sudan.84 National archives such as those in London and Cairo contain many documents of this nature.85 More generally, secondary literature contains references to protest telegrams sent to imperial governments and stored in a variety of archives from Istanbul to Aix-en-Provence and London, or sent to the League of Nations.86

  • 87 Vezzadini 2015, 149-164.

41In Sudan, between May and August 1924, telegrams written and signed by members of the League were sent almost daily to Egyptian or British political authorities abroad: the Egyptian Press Syndicate, the Egyptian Parliament and Chamber of Ministers, Prime Minister Zaghlūl; the Sudanese Government, the British high commissioner in Cairo, British Prime Minister MacDonald and The Times and Daily Herald newspapers in England, in order of frequency. There were usually multiple recipients, British or Egyptian, and sometimes the same telegram was sent to both. The present author has found fifty-three so far, but it is likely that many more were actually sent.87 The majority is kept in the U.K. National Archives, which suggests that those addressed to Egypt as well reached the British authorities. A final point to note is that the telegrams were signed by the League members in their real names. In this way, the movement showed its accountability for the views expressed, and also made the point that expressing them was a lawful right of the Sudanese. Besides pro-Egyptian and nationalist slogans, the messages predominantly expressed protests, in the most literal sense of the word. To clarify this, it is first necessary to review the other important strategy of dissent of 1924: popular demonstrations. In fact, telegrams and demonstrations were two strategies that were embedded into one another.

  • 88 NRO, Palace 4/10/52, ‘Memorandum on events at Atbara from the 9th August 1924 onwards’.
  • 89 The Chronicle of events during the period of political excitement in Khartoum NA, FO 141/805/2. Al- (...)

42The demonstrations of 1924, as we have seen, involved from a hundred to a few thousand participants, but only those held in June and July were organised by the White Flag League, mostly because the majority of its members were in prison after that. The marches started from symbolic locations, often the main mosque, sometimes after the Friday sermon, or from the train station. People went to the station to get fresh news or to meet political activists. This was the case in Atbara, where the disturbances started when the train carrying one of the League’s founders, Ṣāliḥ ‘Abd al-Qādir, who had been arrested in Port Sudan, stopped at the station.88 Similarly, the routes then taken by the protesters included emblematic sites: during their demonstration, for example, the cadets stopped at the home of ‘Alī ‘Abd al-Laṭīf, passed in front of government buildings, went to the Kober Prison and Egyptian army barracks, and so on. The demonstrators were equipped with flags, initially the flag of the White Flag League, and later that of Egypt; they carried pictures of Sa‘d Zaghlūl and the Egyptian King Fu’ād, shouted slogans, typically “Long Live King Fuad, King of Egypt and the Sudan,” and cheered for the lives of Zaghlūl and ‘Alī ‘Abd al-Laṭīf.89

  • 90 Al-Riwāyāt 1974, 118.
  • 91 His family still has some powerful photos of the activists, albeit none of the demonstrations. The (...)
  • 92 Ibid, 579-580. See also NA, FO 141/805/2, ‘Alī Aḥmad Ṣālih, ‘Confession’, 28 Jul. 1924.
  • 93 NRO, Kordofan 1/12/56, Assistant Governor Kordofan to Civsec, El Obeid, 29 Jul. 1924.

43One of the objectives of the demonstrations was to gain visibility outside of Sudan. As al-Būshī put it: “[by demonstrating] we are going to take our case, even abroad, by writing to the press.”90 Of course, this was but one of the many reasons for organising demonstrations –they were also essential for spreading the nationalist movement within the country and for its cohesion and legitimacy– but they were held in order to be seen. Clear evidence of this is the fact that the League charged its members with responsibility for taking photographs of demonstrations. During the June demonstrations in Khartoum, officer Zayn al-‘Ābdīn ‘Abd al-Tām was appointed to take photos,91 until his camera was confiscated.92 A camera was also held by the “agent” of the League sent to El Obeid.93 The pictures were meant to be published in Egyptian newspapers.

44Another aspect that hints at the fact that demonstrations were held to support the Sudanese case abroad was the League’s insistence on the peacefulness and lawfulness of gatherings and of the movement in general. Precise instructions were given to supporters. For example, a circular sent by Aḥmad ‘Umar Bākhrayba, the League’s agent in Wad Medani, to “Officials, officers, NCOs and men of the Police in all Provinces of the Sudan,” exhorted:

  • 94 NA, FO 141/806/1, Ahmed Omar Bakhreiba to ‘Officials, officers, NCOs and men of the Police in all P (...)

We do not ask you to disobey the law by disobeying your Superiors – No. A thousand times no. Or to commit any crime against public security and order; we only ask you to remember what you owe legally to the King and to your brethren, peaceful demonstrators against the British administration, who have contravened the condition laid down in the agreement of partnership made between them, and have done much towards robbing the riches of the country and enslaving its people.
You know that the matter is a peaceful one and does not require the raising of a stick or a whip, but requires management, reminding and calling attention of parliaments in Europe and Egypt by legal means and proper arguments, lest intrigue, deceit, disorder, lies etc. prevail.94

  • 95 Al-Riwāyāt 1974, 308.

45The theme of the lawfulness and peacefulness of the political protests brings us back to the link between the telegrams and the protests. This point was best made by ‘Alī Malāsī: “We worked like that: we demonstrate, and after the British beat us and arrest us, we send protest telegrams.”95 The contrast between the lawfulness of the movement and the unlawfulness of the British response is probably the most pervasive theme of the telegrams. Telegrams were sent each time the British did something “unlawful,” meaning repressive acts during and after demonstrations, such as beating of participants, house searches, and arrests. If we compare them to the petitions that were circulating inside Sudan previously, we see that the telegrams did not make general accusations against colonisation; rather, they provided evidence of specific facts that cast light on British misrule. One example among many is the following telegram, which was signed by 38 former Army officers:

  • 96 NA, FO 141/806/1 (copy in FO 141/810/3 with 36 signatures), ‘Translation of Arabic telegram signed (...)

Whilst the officer Zein el Abdin was taking a picture of the demonstration he was arrested and imprisoned. We protest against this and against the imprisonment of four employees, and the beating of those who were shouting “Long live the King of Egypt and the Sudan” with swords.96

46This contrast between the lawfulness of the demonstrations and the repressive and illegal British response was intended to discredit the British rule by accusing it of not fulfilling its “thrust of civilisation.” The telegrams were also written bearing in mind an imaginary public of European nations to which British “crimes” were denounced, as in this example:

  • 97 NA, FO 141/810/3, Telegram from Obeid El Haj El Amin, Khartoum, to Prime Minister President of the (...)

The Tyrannical authority has begun arresting the men of action who have expressed their feelings towards the Great King. […] Yesterday Ali Abdel Latif, Arafat Mohammed, Saleh Abdel Gader and Shaykh Omar Bakhreiba were arrested for no crime except their attachment to the Egyptian throne. This is the honour of the English who pretend to have come to the Sudan to educate and civilize its people. […] Let the advanced European nations bear witness to their treatment of humanity in the 20th century.97

47Telegrams such as this suggest that the “European Nations” were imagined as a supranational front capable of judging the actions of individual nations such as Britain and Sudan. The very existence of this imagination is crucial to the understanding of apparently counterproductive acts such as signing telegrams by name. The British had an easy time dismantling the League, as all core members had sent and signed at least one protest telegram. However, there was a real hope that Egypt and other European nations would pressure Britain to listen to Sudanese demands.

  • 98 NRO, Kordofan 1/13/62, ‘Chronology - Appendix no. 13’. NA, FO 141/805/1, Copy of telegram, DI, Khar (...)
  • 99 NA, FO 141/669/8, Extract from a letter from Mr Sterry to Mr More, Cairo, 21 Sep. 1924.

48British authorities in Sudan were less worried by a possible European response than by the first signs that this season of demonstrations had come to affect even its most trusted allies. At the end of August and during September, some notables from the capital, such as the Grand Mufti, the head of the board of the “Ulamā”, and the city’s most important traders gathered several times to discuss the political situation.98 They even came to write a collective document in which they asked, among other things, for the creation of some form of institutionalised representative bodies. The Legal Secretary Wasey Sterry observed at the end of September: “If we get a satisfactory end of negotiations we shall have to meet in some way our subjects desire to jaw and give some facilities for it on the lines of Municipal Council.”99 The season of demonstrations had caused a shift of the political spectrum to a more radical position than previously held. All this ended with the assassination of Lee Stack.

Secret societies

  • 100 Dawn 1962; Landau 1965; Chesneaux 1971; Reid 1982; Ownby and Somers Heidhues 1993; Tauber 1997; 200 (...)
  • 101 Silvestri 2000; Gupta Amit Kumar 1997.
  • 102 Noor-Aiman Khan 2011, 48; Frost 1876.
  • 103 Noor-Aiman Khan 2011, 48.
  • 104 El Mahdi Saeed Mohd Ahmed (ed.) 1974, 48.

49After the end of, and perhaps already during the First World War, Sudanese political activists joined anticolonial secret societies. This form of political organisation was highly transnational, not so much in the sense that the same organisation spread beyond national frontiers, but rather that radical politicians from different parts of the world eagerly learnt from one another regarding how to create and structure this kind of society. This was a way of practicing politics in the context of imperial repressive governments.100 For example, the prestige of the Carbonari and ideologues such as Mazzini and D’Azeglio was very high among Bengali nationalists, and the fact that Indian “terrorist” secret societies integrated techniques from different 19th century subversive political organisations from Russia to Italy has been well documented.101 The historian Noor-Aiman recounts one telling case in point that illustrates the circulation of this structure of protest. During a house search, the police discovered a “much scored” copy of Thomas Frost’s Secret Societies of Revolutionary Europe, published in 1876, in the hands of a leading Indian “terrorist,” Ganesh Savarkar.102 This book illustrated the origins and organisation of dozens of secret societies from the 19th century, from the Russian Nihilists to the Carbonari, Young Germany, the Communists, and so on. Apparently, it was a must-read volume, a sort of instruction manual on secret societies that went far beyond Indian circles. It was well-known among Egyptian nationalists based in Paris who attended Indian radical saloons, such as Muḥammad Luṭfī Jum‘a, “who mentioned the book in his diaries as well, saying that it was most useful for the cause.”103 It is not known whether it was brought to Sudan by Egyptian nationalists working in the Sudanese Government, but during the trials of members of the White Flag League in 1925, one of them testified that an Egyptian gave him a book entitled “History of Societies.”104 Nothing else is known about the book, but this clue is evidence of the dissemination of this kind of “subversive” literature in Sudan among nationalist circles.

  • 105 Najīla Ḥasan 1991; Kisha Sulaymān 1957; 1963.
  • 106 Kisha Sulaymān 1963, 164-65; Najīla Ḥasan 1991, 162.

50Indeed, the structure of the best-known secret society in post-war Sudan, the Jama’iyyat al-Ittiḥādi al-Sūdān, or “Sudan Union Society,” which was founded in 1921, parallels that of many other political secret societies. There are various published recollections that describe its organisation, but the most popular are those by Ḥasan Najīla, who reported the memories of an anonymous member, and Sulaymān Kisha, who was himself a member.105 The Sudan Union worked through a system of hierarchical cells. Depending on the accounts, these were composed of five or ten people, but only one was in contact with the higher cell.106 Membership was not offered easily: after a person had expressed interest in joining the society, he was put on probation under the supervision of a senior member for several months. At the end of this period, if admitted, he was required to swear an oath:

  • 107 Kisha Sulaymān 1963, 164.

Then he would meet the rest of his brothers of the cell and they would ask him to do tangible acts that are illegal, such as giving out flyers or writing a book or writing a letter, and then he would pay the membership fee and would participate in all the meetings. […] Among the most important duties of the members is to awaken the feelings of the patriots, to pick the good ones from the sons of the countries, and to suggest that they should become members of the association.107

  • 108 Ibid. 165.
  • 109 Ibid. For these two figures see also: Niblock 1987.
  • 110 Johnson 1989; Kurita Yoshiko 1997; Lamothe 2011.
  • 111 This name is said to have been used by Laṭīf to sign the text he sought to publish in al-Ḥaḍāra.
  • 112 NRO, Darfur 3/2/16, F.C.C. Balfour, ADI to the Private, Civil, Legal Secretaries, Sudan Agent, Gene (...)

51As a final note, Kisha commented that the association “included a lot of today’s big men.”108 Indeed, his list of members included figures who had become stars of Sudanese politics by 1963, such as Muḥammad Ṣāliḥ al-Shinqītī, later Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, or Muḥammad ‘Alī Effendi Shawqī, a founding member of the Umma Party.109 At the same time, the list did not include ‘Alī‘Abd al-Laṭīf. It is worth mentioning briefly that, in historiography, the Sudan Union is represented between the lines as a sort of elite club that included people from the northern Sudanese (Arab) “cream” of society. In turn, it is said that some members of the Sudan Union, such as Kisha himself, did not join the League because they were critical not only of the League’s strategy of open confrontation, but also of its “low” leadership. In fact, ‘Alī ‘Abd al-Laṭīf’s family came from the old slave enclaves of Sudan, and ‘Alī himself was the son of a former slave, like many officers in the Egyptian Army at the time.110 Instead, ‘Alī ‘Abd al-Laṭīf is said to have belonged to another association based in Wad Medani called the “Sudan United Tribes Society.”111 In spite of this, various clues, not only from Sudanese sources but also from pamphlets kept in colonial archives, do in fact identify ‘Alī ‘Abd al-Laṭīf as a member of the Sudan Union.112

  • 113 Al-Riwāyāt 1974, 305.
  • 114 Mohammed Negib 1976, 4. Original in Italian. There is another version of Najīb’s memoirs: Mohammad (...)

52How can such contradictions be understood? In the accounts by Kisha and Najīla, the two narrators were mostly keen to talk about their own contribution and that of their society. If we keep the image focused on them, we become blind to the broader picture, however, which was one of a boiling effervescence that went far beyond the small group in the capital who came to believe they were a blood elite. First of all, the Sudan Union was only one of the secret societies operating in Sudan at the time. Evidence of this is scarce and fragmentary, and yet it is undeniably there. In his account, ‘Alī Malāsī stated: “at that time there were some societies in activity. […] The [Sudan] Union, and others, like the Five Brothers’ League, and others, and others.”113 There were Egyptian secret societies working in Sudan. One is mentioned very briefly in the memories of Muḥammad Najīb, the Free Officer who preceded Nāṣir in power in Egypt in 1952, and who spent his youth in the Egyptian Army in Sudan. Najīb recounts that he was accustomed to staying up late at night to write and disseminate political pamphlets in Khartoum for the society to which he belonged.114 Finally, a relatively longer description is provided in Ewart’s report on political agitation, published in 1925.

  • 115 NA, FO 407/201, Ewart Report on Political Agitation in the Sudan, Khartoum, 21 Apr. 1925, 157.

The [“Leagues”] were extremely nebulous to start with and, even late in 1924, were by no means rigid. To some extent the methods of all secret societies were copied. There is testimony that one prominent feature was the formation of group of “five” [...] The “five” grouping system has been a prominent feature of Egyptian secret conspiracies, and has also, of course, its Islamic significance [...] Further obscurities arose from the merging in one another of societies originally formed independently in different localities.115

  • 116 Erickson 1981, 195. The italics are mine.

53In order to cast some light on these “obscurities,” it is worth pausing to reflect on the specific nature of the societies. In fact, their purpose was to express and organise dissent in contexts of high repression, and secrecy lay at the very heart of their existence. A quote from Lenin borrowed from the sociologist Bonnie Erickson describes this point clearly: “Secrecy is such a necessary condition for this kind of organization that all other conditions (number and selection of members, functions etc.) must be made to conform to it.116 Overlooking these features renders this type of organisation unintelligible and open to misinterpretation.

  • 117 Simmel 1906; Hazelrigg 1969; Erickson 1981.

54Because of the dangers of working under repression, one of the most difficult areas of the operations of secret societies was the recruitment of new members. This was usually carried out among people who were considered sufficiently close and worthy of trust, and who belonged to a network of relationships, be they professional, familial, residential, or of other kinds.117 According to Erickson, different cells or different branches of a society mirrored cleavages within networks: for instance, one cell would be made up of people working in the same place, another of former students of the same school, and so on. Another recurring problem of secret societies was the relationship among cells, in particular among hierarchical units. In fact, cells could loosen their connections with the top, especially if the type of recruitment adopted was decentralised –where, that is, “lower members” could also recruit new ones, as happened in the Sudan Union, for example. Cells could start their lives independently, either by becoming branches with slightly different bylaws and operating methods, or by eventually separating and creating new societies. There was also a direct relationship between fissiparous tendencies in secret societies on the one hand, and the risk of disclosure and levels of repression on the other: the greater the repression, the more likely it was that the society would split. The death of a society because its existence had been revealed did not necessarily lead to the end of political activities for its members, especially if some of them had not been identified. Former members could also decide to create another society and thus continue political work. The objective of these societies was not to become mass movements or to include as many people as possible, but to carry out their objectives and be efficient. At the same time, the numbers of people involved had to remain limited, because the more members there were, the greater the risk of being discovered.

  • 118 Landau 1965; Badrawi 2000; Tauber 2006.
  • 119 Even though not all of them were secret societies with subversive objectives. Reagrding this point, (...)
  • 120 Reid 1982.

55A well-documented case is that of Egyptian secret societies at the dawn of the 20th century.118 After the assassination of Buṭrus Ghālī in 1909, which was carried out by a secret society known as Jam‘iyyat al-Taḍāmun al-Akhawī, or the “Society of Brotherly Solidarity,” the British authorities created a special bureau of investigations, which unravelled its history. Its members had all been students at the Engineering School of Cairo. During its short life, it had changed its name, its bylaws, and its membership: for instance, the shape it adopted when Ghālī was assassinated was given by his assassin, Ibrāhīm Nāṣṣīf al-Wardānī, who had just left another association to create his own. In fact, the bureau ended up discovering no fewer than twenty-six other associations.119 The murderer of Lee Stack in 1924 was part of one of them.120

  • 121 Najīla Ḥasan 1991, 171-172.
  • 122 From Najīla’s account, the year of the disclosure of the Sudan Union is not given. Kisha did not ta (...)
  • 123 Telegram from Hakiman, Khartoum, to Stack, London, and More, Cairo, 22.9.1924, and List of members (...)

56This description suggests that the history of Sudanese secret societies might be somehow comparable. The members of the Sudan Union mentioned by Kisha were mostly neighbours and colleagues, but the society also saw divisions, and Najīla recounts that it ended its activities because one of its founders turned King’s evidence.121 Because the society’s achievements had been quite low key, the Intelligence Department merely warned some of its members to restrain from further activities, and none of them were arrested. One might imagine, however, that this could have prompted the formation of other societies or else a greater level of secrecy among a reshuffled membership. Because of the rule of secrecy and decentralisation, it is also conceivable that the man who turned King’s evidence did not know all the members or branches of the Sudan Union, its life after it was exposed,122 or its collaborations with other societies. This is perhaps why Kisha did not know about ‘Alī ‘Abd al-Laṭīf. In late 1924, the Intelligence Department discovered the existence of a sort of umbrella society called, once again, the Sudan Union. This may indicate that after it had been exposed, the original Sudan Union branched out and turned into this other loose organisation.123 In any case, it is not surprising that only fragmentary evidence is available to the historian today, and it demonstrates that secret societies of the time were remarkably efficient at keeping their “secrets.” On the other hand, this reconstruction can only be tentative at best, and it is strewn with gaps.

  • 124 Reid 1982.

57The growing momentum of mass politics after the Great War also impacted the structure and objectives of secret societies in imperial contexts. They did not vanish – repressive conditions still existed – but rather added new objectives, notably prompting mass mobilisations, or merged in one way or another with radical parties. In Egypt, for instance, political assassinations continued, but they were apparently carried out by underground branches of open political parties, as in the case of the Wafd.124

  • 125 NA, FO 141/805/2, ‘Alī Aḥmad Ṣālih, ‘Confession’, 28 Jul. 1924, 9-11; El Mahdi 1974.
  • 126 Some women did participate, but from their homes, for instance by sewing flags or concealing docume (...)
  • 127 NRO, Palace 4/10/49. DI, ‘[Note on the] forthcoming Anglo-Egyptian negotiations on the Sudan’, Khar (...)
  • 128 Al-Riwāyāt 1974, 384.

58This evolution also affected Sudan. The structure of the White Flag League is an enlightening case in point of how the age of mass mobilisation transformed the typical structure and objectives of secret societies, as has been comparatively well-documented by colonial and local sources. The White Flag League had a peculiar structure. On the one hand, the recruitment of members and the cells functioned like those of a traditional secret society: would-be members had to swear an oath to join the movement, while full members used a coded language among them.125 Information was distributed hierarchically and secrecy was important: the closer a member was to the core elements, the more he would be informed of the “secrets” of the League. And yet, at the same time, the League was open in the sense that its members purposely made themselves accountable for the actions they organised, and deliberately used British repression to denounce colonisation. It should be mentioned, incidentally, that there were no women members of the League, as it was considered too dangerous, and politics was generally considered not to be an activity for ladies.126 In fact, the oath taken by members required them to be ready to “sacrifice” themselves for the nationalist cause, in the sense of being ready to be arrested at any time.127 In one telling anecdote of the state of mind of members of the League, when ‘Alī ‘Abd al-Laṭīf was re-arrested and taken to prison, he said to the father of his wife, who came for a visit: “I am now home.”128

  • 129 For the Workmen League: NRO, Palace 4/9/44, Report from Gov. Khartoum to DI, Khartoum 31 Aug. 1924; (...)
  • 130 Al-Riwāyāt 1974, 336-356.
  • 131 NRO, Kordofan 1/14/68, ‘Notes on the activity of the White Flag Society at El Obeid’, Gov. Kordofan (...)

59Furthermore, because of members’ exposure to imprisonment, they created the structure of the League in such a way that political unrest would continue even after their imprisonment. In order to achieve this, they “externalised” and decentralised protests. The League’s founders encouraged the formation of both parallel branches and distinct societies in different social constituencies. By September 1924, the Intelligence Department had gathered information on a number of committees formed, for instance, among artisans (the “Workmen League”), primary school students, and officers of the Egyptian Army.129 “Agents” of the League were sent to various centres, where they either had to reactivate previously existing societies, as in Wad Medani and El Obeid, or to form new ones. In some cases, such as in Shendi with Ṭayyib Bābikr, these “agents” sought to replicate the structure of the League,130 while in others, the society took a quite different turn, as in El Obeid, where both Egyptians and Army officers played a more visible role than they did elsewhere.131

  • 132 Al-Riwāyāt 1974, 431.
  • 133 Ibid. 309.

60Egyptians were in fact banned from the League and the participation of officers as members was rare due to the visibility clause, because officers were forbidden to get involved in politics.132 To conclude, members had carte blanche as to how to adapt the structure of the society to its location and the groups they met. “Agents” sought, for instance, to contact previous work colleagues, schoolmates whom they trusted, and also local people, usually through friends who originated from there. This was the case, for example, of ‘Alī Malāsī, who was able to “move” Hadendowa dockers in Port Sudan by addressing them in their common language,133 thus securing their help to keep the city.

61In each case, League agents or supporters appropriated and translated local grievances into a nationalist language or, to put it in another way, local grievances began to be wrapped into a political, nationalist, language through the League, and came to matter for the first time in a political arena that was increasingly viewed as collective.

Conclusion

62The First World War had few repercussions in Sudan as a military event per se, with the important exception of the conquest of Darfur in 1916. But even the Darfur campaign was portrayed as a “natural” and unproblematic outcome for a region that had already been part of Sudan in the 19th century. Besides this military aspect, the war had a crucial intellectual impact that extended to the lives of common people in Sudan. In a sort of feedback effect that resonated to what was happening in many other places of the imperial world, people living in even remote parts of Sudan interpreted the new conceptualisation of international relations as a call for liberation, and saw themselves as having a legitimate and crucial role in achieving it.

  • 134 Goebel 2015; Matera 2015.

63While studies on transnational nationalism have provided convincing arguments of the global spread of nationalist ideas after the Great War and have offered a rich documentation of the links among radical nationalists from all over the world in places such as Paris in the 1920s or London in the 1900s,134 they have also acknowledged that the sources used and the documents mobilised first and foremost portray a highly privileged intellectual elite and its cultural and political history, having difficulties grasping the connections between the masses and elite radical politicians, especially of a transnational kind. The case of Sudan is particularly interesting in this regard because it includes real evidence of “transnationalism from below” and of the impact of the idea of self-determination among common Sudanese living in urban centres and semi-rural areas. The feeling is that at this moment in history, when everything seemed possible, people were eager for news and curious about what was happening outside of Sudan. They were reading the signs of an impending global anti-imperial turn to which they were impatient to make a contribution.

Literaturverzeichnis

ʻAbd al-ʻAẓīm Muḥammad Ibrāhīm Ramaḍān, 2002. Thawrat 1919 fī ḍawʼ mudhakkirāt Saʻd Zaghlūl (Al-Qāhira: al-Hayʼah al-Miṣrīyah al-ʻĀmma lil-Kitāb, 2002).

ʻAbd al-Khāliq Muḥammad Lāshīn, 1975. Saʻd Zaghlūl wa-dawrihi fī al-siyāsa al-Miṣrīya (Bayrūt, al-Qāhira: Maktabat Madbūlī, 1975).

Abdin Hasan, 1985. Early Sudanese Nationalism, 1919-1925 (Khartoum: Institute of African & Asian Studies, University of Khartoum, 1985).

Adas, M. Stearns P. M. and Schwartz, S. B. 2009. Turbulent Passage: A Global History of the 20th Century (Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson/Longman, 2009).

Akira Iriye, 2002. Global Community: The Role of International Organizations in the Making of the Contemporary World (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002).

Akira Iriye, 2013. Globalizing of America, 1913-1945 (Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013).

Al-Riwāyāt al-Shafawiyya li-Thuwwār 1924 [Oral Witnesses of 1924 Revolutionaries], 1974 (al-Khurṭūm: Ma‘had al-Dirāsāt al-Ifrīqīya wa al-Āsīwīya, 1974).

Al-Sayyid Abd al-Karīm, 1970. Al-Liwā’ Al-Abyaḍ, Thawrat 1924: Mudhakkirāt Wa Mushāhadāt Sajīn (al-Khurṭūm: Jāmi‘at al-Khurṭūm: Kulliyat al-Ādāb, Shu’bat Abḥāth al-Sūdān, 1970).

Anderson, B. R. 1991. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (London, New York: Verso, 1991).

Anīs Muḥammad, 1963. Dirāsāt fī wathāʼiq Thawrat 1919 (al-Qāhira: Maktabat al-Anjilū al-Miṣrīya, 1963).

Arsan, A. 2012. ‘“This Age Is the Age of Associations”: Committees, Petitions, and the Roots of Interwar Middle Eastern Internationalism’, Journal of Global History, 7/2 (2012), 166-188.

Aydin, C. 2007. ‘A Global Anti-Western Moment? The Russo-Japanese War, Decolonization, and Asian Modernity’, in S. Conrad, ed., Competing Visions of World Order (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), 213-236.

Badrawi, M. 2000. Political Violence in Egypt, 1910-1924. Secret Societies, Plots and Assassinations (Richmond: Curzon, 2000).

Bakheit Gafaar, 1965. British Administration and Sudanese Nationalism 1919-1939, Ph.D. Thesis, Cambridge, University of Cambridge (1965).

Bākūra al-wa‘i’ bil-thāt. Silsilat maqālat katabahā al-marḥūm al-sayyid Ḥusayn Sharīf al-sanatayn 1919-1920 (name of the editor not given, undated; publisher unspecified).

Baldwin, J. E. 2012. ‘Petitioning the Sultan in Ottoman Egypt’, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 75/3 (2012), 499-524.

Baron, B. 2007. Egypt as a Woman. Nationalism, Gender, and Politics (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007).

Beinin, J. Z. and Lockman, Z. 1998. Workers on the Nile. Nationalism, Communism, Islam, and the Egyptian Working Class, 1882-1954 (Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 1998).

Beshir Mohamed Omar, 1974. Revolution and Nationalism in the Sudan (New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1974).

Bishrī Ṭāriq, 2012. Saʻd Zaghlūl yufāwiḍ al-istiʻmār: dirāsa fī al-mufawwaḍāt al-Miṣrīya al-Brīṭānīya, 1920-1924 (Al-Qāhira: Dār al-Shurūq, 2012).

Blaustein, A. P., Sigler, J. A. and Beede, B. R., eds, 1977. Independence Documents of the World, I (Dobbs Ferry, NY: Oceana Publications, 1977).

Callahan, M. D. 1999. Mandates and Empire. The League of Nations and Africa (Brighton: Sussex Academic Press, 1999).

Chesneaux, J. 1971. Secret Societies in China in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1971).

Choudhury Deep, K. L. 2010. Telegraphic Imperialism. Crisis and Panic in the Indian Empire, c. 1830 (London: Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2010).

Conrad, S., ed., 2007. Competing Visions of World Order: Global Moments and Movements 1880s-1930s (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007).

Cudsi, A. S. 1969. Sudanese Resistance to British Rule, 1900-1920, Ph.D. Thesis, Khartoum, University of Khartoum, 1969.

Daly, M. W. 1980. British Administration and The Northern Sudan, 1917-1924: The Governor-Generalship of Sir Lee Stack in The Sudan (Leiden: Nederlands Historisch-Archaeologisch Instituut te Istanbul, 1980).

Daly, M. W. 2000. Empire on the Nile: The Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, 1898-1934 (Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000).

Al-Dasūqī ʻĀṣim 1981. Thawrat 1919 fī ʼl-aqālīm: min al-wathāʼiq al-Barīṭānīya (al-Qāhira: Dār al-Kitāb al-Jāma’ayyi, 1981).

Dawn, C. E. 1962. ‘The Rise of Arabism in Syria’, Middle East Journal, 16/2 (1962), 145-168.

Dedering, T. 2009. ‘Petitioning Geneva: Transnational Aspects of Protest and Resistance in South West Africa/Namibia after the First World War’, Journal of Southern African Studies, 35/4 (2009), 785-801.

Della Porta, D. and Diani, M. 2006. Social Movements: An Introduction (Malden: MA Blackwell Pub, 2006).

Diyāb Aḥmad Ibrāhīm, 1977. Thawrat 1924: dirāsa wa waqāʼi (al-Khurṭūm, 1977).

Diyāb Aḥmad Ibrāhīm, 1985. Al-Alāqāt al-miṣrīyya al-sūdāniyya: 1919-1924 (al-Qāhira: al-Hai’a al-Miṣrīya al-Āmma lil-Kitāb, 1985).

El-Amin Mohammed Nuri, 1986. ‘The 1924 Sudanese Uprising, and the Impact of Egypt on the Sudan’, The International Journal of African Historical Studies, 19/2 (1986), 235-260.

El-Amin Mohammed Nuri, 1992. ‘Was There an Alliance between the Watanist (Nationalist) Party, International Communism and the White Flag League in the Sudan?’, British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 19/2 (1992), 177-185.

Ellis, S. and van Kessel, I., eds, 2009. Movers and Shakers: Social Movements in Africa (Leiden, Boston: E. J. Brill, 2009).

El Mahdi Saeed Mohd Ahmed, ed., 1974. The White Flag Trials (Khartoum: Institute of African and Asian Studies, The Department of Private Law, University of Khartoum, 1974).

Eluwa G. I. C. 1971. ‘Background to the Emergence of the National Congress of British West Africa’, African Studies Review, 14/2 (1971), 205-218.

Erickson, B. H. 1981. ‘Secret Societies and Social Structure’, Social Forces, 60/1 (1981), 188-210.

Fahmy Ziad, 2008. ‘Francophone Egyptian Nationalists, Anti-British Discourse, and European Public Opinion, 1885-1910: The Case of Mustafa Kamil and Ya’qub Sannu’, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, 28/1 (2008), 170-183.

Fahmy Ziad, 2011. Ordinary Egyptians. Creating the Modern Nation through Popular Culture (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 2011).

Frost, T. 1876. Secret Societies of European Revolution, 1776–1876 (London: Tinsely Bros, 1876).

Gallagher, J. 1981. ‘Nationalisms and the Crisis of Empire, 1919-1922’, Modern Asian Studies, 15/3 (1981), 355-368.

Gellner, E. 1992. Postmodernism, Reason and Religion (London, New York: Routledge, 1992).

Gelvin, J. L. 1994. ‘Demonstrating Communities in Post-Ottoman Syria’, The Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 25/1 (1994), 23-44.

Gelvin, J. L. 1998. Divided Loyalties Nationalism and Mass Politics in Syria at the Close of Empire (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998).

Gelvin, J. L. 2009. ‘Arab Nationalism Meets Social Theory’, International Journal of Middle East Studies, 41/1 (2009), 10-12.

Gershoni, I. and Jankowski, J., eds, 1986. Egypt, Islam, and the Arabs the Search for Egyptian Nationhood, 1900-1930 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986).

Gifford, J. 2013. ‘Extracting the Best Deal for Britain: The Assassination of Sir Lee Stack in November 1924 and the Revision of Britain’s Nile Valley Policy’, Canadian Journal of History, 48/1 (2013), 87-114.

Goebel, M. 2015. Anti-Imperial Metropolis: Interwar Paris and the Seeds of Third World Nationalism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015).

Goldberg, E. 1992. ‘Peasants in Revolt - Egypt 1919’, International Journal of Middle East Studies, 24/2 (1992), 261-280.

Gong Gerrit, W. 1984. The Standard of “Civilization” in International Society (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984).

Goodwin, J. and Jasper, J. M., eds, 2012. Contention in Context: Political Opportunities and the Emergence of Protest (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 2012).

Gupta Amit Kumar, 1997. ‘Defying Death: Nationalist Revolutionism in India, 1897-1938’, Social Scientist, 25 (1997), 3-27.

Ḥājj al-Ṣāfī Maḥāsin ‘Abd al-Qādir, 1992. Al-Ḥaraka Al-Waṭaniyya Fī ‘l-Sūdān: Thawra 1924 (al-Khurṭūm: Ma‘had al-Dirāsāt al-Ifrīqiyya al-Āsīwiyya, Jāmi‘a al-Khurṭūm, 1992).

Hazelrigg, L. E. 1969. ‘A Reexamination of Simmel’s ‘The Secret and the Secret Society’: Nine Propositions’, Social Forces, 47/3 (1969), 323-330.

Headrick, D. R. 1981. The Tools of Empire: Technology and European Imperialism in the Nineteenth Century (New York: Oxford University Press, 1981).

Headrick, D. R. 1991. The Invisible Weapon: Telecommunications and International Politics, 1851-1945 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991).

Ibrahim Hassan Ahmed, 1979. ‘Mahdist Risings against the Condominium Government in the Sudan, 1900-1927’, The International Journal of African Historical Studies, 12/3 (1979), 440-471.

Index for Primary and Secondary Sources on the 1924 Revolution in the Sudan (Khartoum: Institute of African and Asian Studies, University of Khartoum, 1973).

Israel, M. 1994. Communications and Power: Propaganda and the Press in the Indian National Struggle, 1920-1947 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994).

Jenkins, J. C. 1983. ‘Resource Mobilization Theory and the Study of Social Movements’, Annual Review of Sociology, 9 (1983), 527-553.

Johnson, D. H. 1989. ‘The Structure of a Legacy: Military Slavery in Northeast Africa’, Ethnohistory, 36/1 (1989), 72‑88.

Kapteijns, L. 1985. ‘Mahdist Faith and the Legitimation of Popular Revolt in Western Sudan’, Africa: Journal of the International African Institute, 55/4 (1985), 390-399.

Killingray, D. 1978. ‘Repercussions of World War I in the Gold Coast’, The Journal of African History, 19/1 (1978), 39-59.

King, K. J. 1971. ‘The Nationalism of Harry Thuku: A Study in the Beginnings of African Politics in Kenya’, Transafrican Journal of History, 1/1 (1971), 39-59.

Kisha Sulaymān, 1957. Al-Liwāʼ Al-Abyaḍ (al-Khurṭūm, 1957).

Kisha Sulaymān, 1963. Sūq Al-Dhikrayāt (al-Khurṭūm, 1963).

Knuesel, A. 2007. ‘British Diplomacy and the Telegraph in Nineteenth-Century China’, Diplomacy & Statecraft, 18/3 (2007), 517-537.

Kurita Yoshiko, 1989. ‘The Concept of Nationalism in the White Flag League Movement’, in Mahasin Abdel Gadir Hag Al-Safi, ed., The Nationalist Movement in the Sudan (Khartoum: Institute of African and Asian Studies, University of Khartoum, 1989), 14-63.

Kurita Yoshiko, 1997. ‘Alī ‘Abd al-Laṭīf Wa-Thawrat 1924: Baḥth Fī Maṣādir al-Thawra al-Sūdāniyya (al-Qāhira: Markaz al-Dirāsāt al-Sūdāniyya, 1997).

Kurita Yoshiko, 2003. ‘The Role of “Negroid but Detribalized” People in Modern Sudanese History’, Nilo-Ethiopian Studies, 8/9 (2003), 1-11.

Lamothe, R. M. 2011. Slaves of Fortune: Sudanese Soldiers and the River War, 1896-1898 (Woodbridge, Suffolk, Rochester, NY: Boydell & Brewer, 2011).

Landau, J. M. 1965. ‘Prolegomena to a Study of Secret Societies in Modern Egypt’, Middle Eastern Studies, 1/2 (1965), 135-186.

Manela, E. 2007. ‘Dawn of a New Era: The “Wilsonian Moment” in Colonial Contexts and the Transformation of World Order, 1917–1920’, in S. Conrad, ed., Competing Visions of World Order (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), 121-149.

Manela, E. 2014. The Wilsonian Moment: Self-Determination and the International Origins of Anticolonial Nationalism (Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2014).

Masselos, J. 2010. Indian Nationalism. A History (New Delhi: Sterling, 2010).

Matera, M. 2015. Black London: the Imperial Metropolis and Decolonization in the Twentieth Century (Oakland, California: University of California Press, 2015).

Matz, N. 2005. ‘Civilization and the Mandate System under the League of Nations as Origin of Trusteeship’, Max Planck Yearbook of United Nations Law, 9/1 (2005).

Middell, M. 2007. ‘World Orders in World Histories Before and After World War I’, in S. Conrad, ed., Competing Visions of World Order (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), 213-236.

Mills, D. E. 2014. Dividing the Nile. Egypt’s Economic Nationalists in the Sudan, 1918-56 (Cairo, New York: The American University in Cairo Press, 2014).

Mitchell, T. 1991. Colonising Egypt (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991).

Mittal Satish Chandra, 1977. Freedom Movement in Punjab, 1905-29 (Delhi: Concept, 1977).

Mohammed Negib, 1976. Memorie di Mohammed Negib (1919-1973) (Firenze: La Nuova Italia, 1976).

Najīla Ḥasan, 1991. Malāmiḥ al-mujtama’ al-sūdān (al-Khurṭūm: Dār Jāmiʻat al-Khurṭūm lil-Nashr, 1991).

Newell, S. 2009. ‘Newspapers, New Spaces, New Writers: The First World War and Print Culture in Colonial Ghana’, Research in African Literatures, 40/2 (2009), 1-15.

Niblock, T. 1987. Class and Power in Sudan: The Dynamics of Sudanese Politics, 1898-1985 (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1987).

Nickles, D. P. 2003. Under the Wire: How the Telegraph Changed Diplomacy (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2003).

Noor-Aiman Khan, I. 2011. Egyptian-Indian Nationalist Collaboration and the British Empire (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).

Ownby, D. and Somers Heidhues, M. F., eds, 1993. “Secret Societies” Reconsidered: Perspectives on the Social History of Modern South China and Southeast Asia (Armonk, New York: M. E. Sharpe, 1993).

Pedersen, S. 2012. ‘Samoa on the World Stage: Petitions and Peoples before the Mandates Commission of the League of Nations’, The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 40/2 (2012), 231-261.

Read, D. 1999. The Power of News: The History of Reuters 1849 – 1989 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999).

Reid, D. M. 1982. ‘Political Assassination in Egypt, 1910-1954’, The International Journal of African Historical Studies, 15/4 (1982), 625-651.

Rogan, E. 1998. ‘Instant Communication: The Impact of the Telegraph in Ottoman Syria’, in T. Philipp and B. Schaebler, eds, The Syrian Land: Process of Integration and Fragmentation: Bilad Al-Sham from the 18th to the 20th Century (Stuttgart: F. Steiner, 1998), 113-128.

Sanyal Sukla, 2008. ‘Legitimizing Violence: Seditious Propaganda and Revolutionary Pamphlets in Bengal, 1908-1918’, The Journal of Asian Studies, 67/3 (2008), 759-787.

Sarkar Sumit, 2005. Beyond Nationalist Frames: Postmodernism, Hindu Fundamentalism, History (Delhi, Bangalore: Permanent Black, 2005).

Shah, A. M. 2006. ‘The Indian Sociologist, 1905-14, 1920-22’, Economic and Political Weekly, 41/31 (2006), 3435-3439.

Shahvar Soli, 2003. ‘Tribes and Telegraphs in Lower Iraq: The Muntafiq and the Baghdad–Basrah Telegraph Line of 1863–65’, Middle Eastern Studies, 39/1 (2003), 89-116.

Sharkey, H. J. 2000. ‘The Egyptian Colonial Presence in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, 1898-1932’, in J. Spaulding and S. F. Beswick, eds, White Nile, Black Blood: War, Leadership, and Ethnicity from Khartoum to Kampala (Lawrenceville, NJ: Red Sea Press, 2000), 279-314.

Shibīka Makkī, 1976. Brīṭāniyā wa-thaurat sanat 1919 al-miṣrīya (al-Qāhira: Maʻhad al-Buḥūt̲ al-Dirāsāt al-ʻArabīya, 1976).

Silvestri, M. 2000. ‘“The Sinn Fein of India”: Irish Nationalism and the Policing of Revolutionary Terrorism in Bengal’, Journal of British Studies, 39/4 (2000), 454-486.

Simmel, G. 1906. ‘The Sociology of Secrecy and of Secret Societies’, The American Journal of Sociology, 11/4 (1906), 441-498.

Solymar, L. 2000. ‘The Effect of the Telegraph on Law and Order, War, Diplomacy, and Power Politics’, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, 25/3 (2000), 203-210.

Tauber, E. 1997, ‘Secrecy in Early Arab Nationalist Organizations’, Middle Eastern Studies, 33/1 (1997), 119-127.

Tauber, E. 2006. ‘Egyptian Secret Societies, 1911’, Middle Eastern Studies, 42/4 (2006), 603-623.

Thompson, J. M. 2015. Russia, Bolshevism, and the Versailles Peace (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2015).

Tignor, R. L. 2015. Modernization and British Colonial Rule in Egypt, 1882-1914 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2015).

Van Voss, L. H. 2002. Petitions in Social History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002).

Vatikiotis, P. J. 1992. The History of Modern Egypt: From Muhammad Ali to Mubarak (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992).

Vaughan, C. 2014. ‘“Demonstrating the Machine Guns”: Rebellion, Violence and State Formation in Early Colonial Darfur’, The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 42/2 (2014), 286-307.

Vezzadini, E. 2010. ‘When All Was Moving Towards Egypt. For a Social History of Sudanese–Egyptian Relations in the Colonial Sudan, 1900-1930’, in D. Cevenini and S. D’Onofrio, eds, ‘Uyūn Al-Akhbār. Studi Sul Mondo Islamico, 4 (2010), 359-387.

Vezzadini, E. 2015. Lost Nationalism: Revolution, Memory and Anti-Colonial Resistance in Sudan (Woodbridge, Suffolk, (GB), Rochester, NY, (US): James Currey, 2015).

Watenpaugh, K. D. 2014. Being Modern in the Middle East: Revolution, Nationalism, Colonialism, and the Arab Middle Class (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014).

Wipper, A. 1989. ‘Kikuyu Women and the Harry Thuku Disturbances: Some Uniformities of Female Militancy’, Africa: Journal of the International African Institute, 59/3 (1989), 300-337.

Wyrtzen, J. 2013. ‘Performing the Nation in Anti-Colonial Protest in Interwar Morocco’, Nations and Nationalism, 19/4 (2013), 615-634.

Young, M. C. 1986. ‘Nationalism, Ethnicity, and Class in Africa: A Retrospective’, Cahiers d’Études Africaines, 26/103 (1986), 421‑495.

Young, M. C. 2004. Revisiting Nationalism and Ethnicity in Africa (Los Angeles: Regents of the University of California, 2004).

Zhou Yongming 2006. Historicizing Online Politics: Telegraphy, the Internet, and Political Participation in China (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2006).

Anmerkungen

1 See: Bakheit Gafaar 1965; Beshir Mohamed Omar 1974; Diyāb Aḥmad Ibrāhīm 1977; Diyāb Aḥmad Ibrāhīm 1985; Abdin Hasan 1985; Ḥājj al-Ṣāfī Maḥāsin ‘Abd al-Qādir 1992; Kurita Yoshiko 1997; 1989, 14-63; 2003, 8-9, 1-11; and Vezzadini 2015.

2 See three different takes on British domination in Egypt: Mitchell 1991; Tignor 2015; and Vatikiotis 1992.

3 Sharkey 2000, 279-314; Mills 2014; Vezzadini 2010, 359-387.

4 Beshir Mohamed Omar 1974, 198.

5 There are not so many works on the 1919 Revolution in English, probably because of the abundance of works in Arabic regarding this topic. For specific aspects such as peasants, workers, women, and national construction, see: Goldberg 1992; Fahmy Ziad 2011; Gershoni and Jankowski 1986; Beinin and Lockman 1998; Baron 2007. The literature in Arabic is too rich for this footnote to be exhaustive, but see: Anīs Muḥammad 1963; Bishrī Ṭāriq 2012; al-Dasūqī ʻĀṣim 1981; ʻAbd al-ʻAẓīm Muḥammad Ibrāhīm Ramaḍān 2002; ʻAbd al-Khāliq Muḥammad Lāshīn 1975; and Shibīka Makkī 1976.

6 Blaustein, Sigler, and Beede 1977, 204-205.

7 The National Archives UK (NA), Kew, WO 33/999, Sudan Monthly Intelligence Report (SMIR) no. 361, August 1924.

8 There is a wealth of sources on the cadet mutiny. NA, FO 407/199, ‘Demonstration by Cadets of Khartoum Military School, Encl. 2’, in Sterry to Allenby, Khartoum, 21 Aug. 1924. The most important of the oral accounts on the demonstration is: Al-Riwāyāt al-Shafawiyya li-Thuwwār 1924 [Oral Witnesses of 1924 Revolutionaries]. Al-Kharṭūm: Ma‘had al-Dirāsāt al-Ifrīqiyya wa al-Āsīwiyya, 1974.

9 For a summary of the British point of view on the events, see Appendix to SMIR no. 361, August 1924, WO 33/999, NA. For the Sudanese point of view, see Al-Riwāyāt 1974, 302-319, 257-272.

10 National Records Office Khartoum (NRO), Khartoum, Palace 4/10/52, ‘Memorandum on events at Atbara from the 9th August 1924 onwards’, ‘Atbara: Narrative of Events’, Enclosure 3 in no. 154, Sterry to Allenby, Khartoum, 21 Aug. 1924.

11 For a comprehensive overview of the spread of the protests, see Vezzadini 2015, 107.

12 I have given an account of the events of 1924 here: Vezzadini 2015, 67-95.

13 For details on the dynamics of the event, see Badrawi 2000, 200-206.

14 A review of the political consequences of the murder for Anglo-Egyptian relations: Gifford 2013.

15 For a summary: NRO, Northern Province, 2/21/211, C. A. Willis, ‘The Mutiny of 27th and 28th November 1924’, Khartoum, 22 Dec. 1924.

16 Sudan Archive (SA), Durham University, 422/13/23, Baily’s diary, 5 Dec. 1924.

17 Several works quote the figure of 120 activists. For example, see: Beshir Mohamed Omar 1974, 75; Daly 2000, 293.

18 One of the historians who have best argued this hypothesis is El-Amin Mohammed Nuri 1986 and 1992.

19 Daly 1980, 287-312.

20 NA, FO 407/201, ‘Ewart Report on Political Agitation in the Sudan’, Khartoum. 21 Apr. 1925, and in particular, ‘Baily Report’, Appendix 7 to Ewart Report, 178. The sources speak about the visit in June 1924 of Ḥāfiẓ Bey Ramaḍān, leader of the Egyptian Watanist (nationalist) Party.

21 This is largely shown by the telegrams and letters requesting more help and support sent by activists to the Egyptian Parliament. For an overview of these sources, see: Vezzadini 2015, 273-282.

22 For the entire list of colonial sources I had access to, see: Vezzadini 2015, 289-292.

23 Many of these accounts are to be found in Al-Riwāyāt 1974. For a comprehensive list of Sudanese sources, see: Index 1973.

24 Gallagher 1981, 355-368.

25 Akira Iriye 2002; 2013.

26 Adas, Stearns and Schwartz 2009.

27 Manela 2014.

28 More as a reference to the 19th century nationalist movements that challenged various Empires than to the 2011 Arab Spring.

29 Anderson 1991; Gellner 1992; Young 1986; Young 2004.

30 On this argument, see: Middell 2007; Conrad 2007.

31 Gershoni and Jankowski 1986.

32 Sarkar Sumit 2005; Mittal Satish Chandra 1977; Masselos 2010.

33 Fahmy Ziad 2008; 2011.

34 Sanyal Sukla 2008; Israel 1994; Shah 2006.

35 Aydin 2007.

36 Noor-Aiman Khan 2011, 33-41.

37 Manela 2014.

38 On the position of Wilson and his use of other political discourses, see: Manela 2007.

39 Manela 2007, 125-129; Middell 2007, 98; Thompson 2015.

40 Read 1999, 139-156.

41 Bākūra (name of the editor not given, undated; publisher unspecified). This publication gathers a number of articles written by Ḥusayn Sharīf. I am grateful to his nephew, Zayn al-‘Ābdīn Ḥusayn Sharīf, for having shown me this very rare publication. Quotes from pages 38, 41.

42 Callahan 1999; Dedering 2009; Pedersen 2012.

43 Daly 1980, 279-281.

44 Eluwa 1971; Killingray 1978; Newell 2009.

45 King 1971; Wipper 1989.

46 Cudsi 1969.

47 Ibrahim Hassan Ahmed 1979; Vaughan 2014; Kapteijns 1985.

48 Jenkins 1983; Della Porta and Diani 2006; Ellis and van Kessel 2009; Goodwin and Jasper 2012.

49 Al-Riwāyāt 1974.

50 Ibid. 302-319.

51 Ibid. 302.

52 Ibid. 303.

53 Ibid.

54 Ibid. 304.

55 Ibid. 67.

56 Ibid. 155-156.

57 Ibid. 176.

58 Ibid. 262.

59 Ibid. 87.

60 Kisha Sulaymān 1963, 196-197.

61 Al-Riwāyāt 1974, 148.

62 Ibid. 280.

63 Ibid. 313.

64 Kurita Yoshiko 1997, 62-64.

65 Al-Riwāyāt 1974, 257.

66 Ibid. 106, 265, 304, 329, 52; see also Kisha Sulaymān 1957, 46.

67 NA, FO 141/806/1, Translation of an Arabic telegram, Khartoum, Saleh Abdel Gadir, Ali Abdel Latif, Hassan Sharif, Hassan Saleh, Obeid El Haj El Amin to Governor General, Khartoum, 15 May 1924. This and all the telegrams quoted hereafter in this chapter have been found in their English translation, and I was not able to locate the originals in Arabic in the archives I visited.

68 Al-Riwāyāt 1974, 304.

69 Matz 2005; Gong 1984.

70 Callahan 1999.

71 Manela 2014, 60.

72 The concept of the isomorphism of the nationalist language after the First World War has been developed by Gelvin 2009. See also the corresponding entire issue of the International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, which discusses Arab nationalism.

73 Examples of how the Egyptian press covered Sudanese events show that they were entirely transformed in some cases. See, for example, the press resumé on the life of ‘Alī ‘Abd al-Laṭīf in 1923, which portrays him as a “savage.” NA, FO 141/810/3, Egyptian Press Resumé, Al-Akhbar of 26 Jul. 1924.

74 Vezzadini 2015, 41-44.

75 Appendix to SMIR no. 331, February 1922, WO 33/997, NA.

76 Van Voss 2002; Baldwin 2012.

77 Headrick 1981.

78 Shahvar Soli 2003; Rogan 1988.

79 Nickles 2003; Headrick 1991; Solymar 2000. For specific examples from China see Knuesel 2007. On India: Choudhury Deep 2010.

80 In places like Egypt, the women’s movement also sent protest telegrams: Baron 2007, 169, 175-176.

81 Watenpaugh 2014, 102-104.

82 Zhou Yongming 2006.

83 Arsan 2012.

84 Cairo Records Office (CRO) 0075-049751, Sudan 1924, “Soudan, Protestations à la suite des événements et troubles – archives confidentielles”. This is a list in Arabic that gives information about the telegrams sent to protest against the incidents in Sudan: from where they were sent, the number and the profession of the signatories.

85 See, for instance: NA, FO 608/214 and FO 141/810; CRO 0075-049751 and CRO 0075-049751.

86 Gelvin 1998; Callahan 1999, 43-44, 219-220; Dedering 2009; Manela 2014, 141, 155; Watenpaugh 2014, 103-104.

87 Vezzadini 2015, 149-164.

88 NRO, Palace 4/10/52, ‘Memorandum on events at Atbara from the 9th August 1924 onwards’.

89 The Chronicle of events during the period of political excitement in Khartoum NA, FO 141/805/2. Al-Riwāyāt 1974 includes a number of accounts of the demonstration by the cadets by interviewees and the wife of ‘Alī ‘Abd al-Laṭīf. For an insightful comparative view of the symbolism of demonstrations in Greater Syria, see Gelvin 1994; 1998.

90 Al-Riwāyāt 1974, 118.

91 His family still has some powerful photos of the activists, albeit none of the demonstrations. The present author could only locate one picture of a demonstration taking place in Atbara, but there are certainly more in private hands.

92 Ibid, 579-580. See also NA, FO 141/805/2, ‘Alī Aḥmad Ṣālih, ‘Confession’, 28 Jul. 1924.

93 NRO, Kordofan 1/12/56, Assistant Governor Kordofan to Civsec, El Obeid, 29 Jul. 1924.

94 NA, FO 141/806/1, Ahmed Omar Bakhreiba to ‘Officials, officers, NCOs and men of the Police in all Provinces of the Sudan’, Wad Medani, 5 Jul. 1924. See also the following telegram, which is worth quoting in full: NA, FO 141/810/3, “The Association of the White Standard to the European Community in the Sudan”, 27 Jun. 1923 (Khartoum?): “This is intended as a notification to all Europeans in this country in connection with the latest demonstration in favour of the Egyptians during which riff-raff exhibited deplorable shamelessness. Every true Sudanese severely censures such an action as ungentlemanly and inhospitable. It is our firm belief that the Police, instead of charging at and arresting some of the demonstrators who were cheering for Egypt and the King, had their duty plain in maintaining order by preventing the riff-raff from such deeds, especially against law-abiding strangers, viz, destroying their property.”

95 Al-Riwāyāt 1974, 308.

96 NA, FO 141/806/1 (copy in FO 141/810/3 with 36 signatures), ‘Translation of Arabic telegram signed by 38 Army officers to the President of the Parliament, the Minister of War and the Press Syndicate’, Cairo, 24 Jun. 1924. The spelling of the names of the activists reflects the source.

97 NA, FO 141/810/3, Telegram from Obeid El Haj El Amin, Khartoum, to Prime Minister President of the Parliament, Press Syndicate, Cairo, 5 Jul. 1924.

98 NRO, Kordofan 1/13/62, ‘Chronology - Appendix no. 13’. NA, FO 141/805/1, Copy of telegram, DI, Khartoum, to SA, Cairo, 2 Sep. 924. The notables put forward the following demands: “Firstly: that the sugar trade should be handed over to native merchants. Secondly: that taxes and rates should be reduced. Thirdly: that Martial Law should be suppressed. Fourthly: that a certain number of native members be elected to sit on the Governor-General’s Council, and be free to give their opinions. Fifthly: that the duties of the Municipal Council should be limited to a certain extent and that the current members should be relieved by more efficient men. Sixthly: that the Gezira Scheme should be modified.”

99 NA, FO 141/669/8, Extract from a letter from Mr Sterry to Mr More, Cairo, 21 Sep. 1924.

100 Dawn 1962; Landau 1965; Chesneaux 1971; Reid 1982; Ownby and Somers Heidhues 1993; Tauber 1997; 2006; Badrawi 2000; Wyrtzen 2013.

101 Silvestri 2000; Gupta Amit Kumar 1997.

102 Noor-Aiman Khan 2011, 48; Frost 1876.

103 Noor-Aiman Khan 2011, 48.

104 El Mahdi Saeed Mohd Ahmed (ed.) 1974, 48.

105 Najīla Ḥasan 1991; Kisha Sulaymān 1957; 1963.

106 Kisha Sulaymān 1963, 164-65; Najīla Ḥasan 1991, 162.

107 Kisha Sulaymān 1963, 164.

108 Ibid. 165.

109 Ibid. For these two figures see also: Niblock 1987.

110 Johnson 1989; Kurita Yoshiko 1997; Lamothe 2011.

111 This name is said to have been used by Laṭīf to sign the text he sought to publish in al-Ḥaḍāra.

112 NRO, Darfur 3/2/16, F.C.C. Balfour, ADI to the Private, Civil, Legal Secretaries, Sudan Agent, General Manager SGR&AG, and all Governors and DC Omdurman, Khartoum, 9 Jul. 1922: “I impart my views or rather the views of the members of the Sudan Union Society, to my beloved countrymen, trusting that any failure on my part in describing the atrocities fully will be overlooked. It is clear to all who can see what has befallen a member of this Society Mulazim Awal Ali E. Abdel Latif [...] who wished to express our views by means of publishing an article in a newspaper and was oppressively tried.” For a Sudanese account of his membership: al-Sayyid Abd al-Karīm 1970, 9.

113 Al-Riwāyāt 1974, 305.

114 Mohammed Negib 1976, 4. Original in Italian. There is another version of Najīb’s memoirs: Mohammad Neguib, Egypt’s Destiny, 1955, but the English version does not include this part.

115 NA, FO 407/201, Ewart Report on Political Agitation in the Sudan, Khartoum, 21 Apr. 1925, 157.

116 Erickson 1981, 195. The italics are mine.

117 Simmel 1906; Hazelrigg 1969; Erickson 1981.

118 Landau 1965; Badrawi 2000; Tauber 2006.

119 Even though not all of them were secret societies with subversive objectives. Reagrding this point, see: Tauber 2006.

120 Reid 1982.

121 Najīla Ḥasan 1991, 171-172.

122 From Najīla’s account, the year of the disclosure of the Sudan Union is not given. Kisha did not talk about this question at all, and he is often accused of having been the one who turned King’s evidence.

123 Telegram from Hakiman, Khartoum, to Stack, London, and More, Cairo, 22.9.1924, and List of members of the “Sudan Union” who are said to have recently taken the oath, Intelligence, 21 Sep. 1924, both in Palace NA, FO 141/805/2, NA 4/9/45, NRO. Telegram from DI, Khartoum, to SA, Cairo, 22 Sep. 924.

124 Reid 1982.

125 NA, FO 141/805/2, ‘Alī Aḥmad Ṣālih, ‘Confession’, 28 Jul. 1924, 9-11; El Mahdi 1974.

126 Some women did participate, but from their homes, for instance by sewing flags or concealing documents for their revolutionary (but absent) husbands, brothers, and friends. See the testimonies of Nafīsa Surūr and al-‘Āzza ‘Abdallāh Rīḥān: Al-Riwāyāt 1974, 373-422, and 467-488. The only exception is al-‘Āzza, because for some time she followed the demonstration of the cadets in August.

127 NRO, Palace 4/10/49. DI, ‘[Note on the] forthcoming Anglo-Egyptian negotiations on the Sudan’, Khartoum, 25 Jun. 1924, Al-Riwāyāt 1974: 337.

128 Al-Riwāyāt 1974, 384.

129 For the Workmen League: NRO, Palace 4/9/44, Report from Gov. Khartoum to DI, Khartoum 31 Aug. 1924; and DI to Private Secretary, Khartoum, 12.9.1924, Palace 4/10/48, both in NRO. For the student committee: NRO, Palace 4/9/45, DC Omdurman to Gov., Khartoum, 9 Sep. 1924. For the Sudan Union: NRO, Palace 4/9/45, ‘List of members of the ‘Sudan Union’ who are said to have recently taken the oath’, Intelligence, 21 Sep. 1924.

130 Al-Riwāyāt 1974, 336-356.

131 NRO, Kordofan 1/14/68, ‘Notes on the activity of the White Flag Society at El Obeid’, Gov. Kordofan Prov. to DI, El Obeid, 8 Aug. 1924.The sources on the League in El Obeid are very rich. For an overview: Vezzadini 2015, 132-142.

132 Al-Riwāyāt 1974, 431.

133 Ibid. 309.

134 Goebel 2015; Matera 2015.

Abbildungsverzeichnis

Bildunterschrift Fig. 1: Cover of vol. 2, part 1 of Al-Riwāyāt al-Shafawiyya li-Thuwwār 1924 [Oral Witnesses of 1924 Revolutionaries], 1974. (al-Khurṭūm: Ma‘had al-Dirāsāt al-Ifrīqīya wa al-Āsīwīya, 1974).
URL http://books.openedition.org/cfee/docannexe/image/1149/img-1.jpg
Datei image/jpeg, 904k
Bildunterschrift Fig. 2: The leaders of the White Flag League, from left to right: Ubayd al-Ḥājj al-Amīn, Ṣāliḥ ‘Abd al-Qādir, ‘Alī ‘Abd al-Laṭīf, and Ḥusayn Sharīf (source: Wiki Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/​wiki/​File:Leaders_of_the_White_Flag_league.png, accessed on 6 Jan. 2018).
URL http://books.openedition.org/cfee/docannexe/image/1149/img-2.png
Datei image/png, 1,3M
Bildunterschrift Fig. 3: The first telegram signed by the five founders of the White Flag League, The National Archives of UK, FO 141/806/1, 15 May 1924.
URL http://books.openedition.org/cfee/docannexe/image/1149/img-3.jpg
Datei image/jpeg, 3,5M

Autor

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Institut des Mondes Africains, Centre Malher, Paris, France.

© Centre français des études éthiopiennes, 2018

Nutzungsbedingungen http://www.openedition.org/6540

Kaufen