NOTE DE RECHERCHE / RESEARCH NOTE
Sudan’s Discursive Battlefield: 1983-1989
By Sebabatso Manoeli
The 1980s were unsurprisingly a tumultuous decade for Sudanese politics. President Nimeiri’s dramatic decline in popularity in the early 1980s, the rekindling of war in 1983, the bloodless coup of 1985, and the series of coalition governments that proliferated in the aftermath are but a few acmes of the disruptive era. Yet despite the rapid political changes, all the regimes of this decade relied on a remarkably consistent propaganda strategy to combat the proponents of the Southern cause. Among these seditious political organizations, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and Army (SPLM/A) posed the most significant threat to the state. The government thus employed a two-pronged approach designed to shame Ethiopia and to belittle the SPLM to international audiences. It is important to note that discrediting strategies typically rely on moralistic rhetoric affecting the emotions of target audiences.