‘We Have No Harlem in Sudan’: Sudan’s Deflective Diplomacy
This chapter investigates the means through which Sudanese governments outmanoeuvred rebels internationally throughout the 1960s and protected the country's reputation in Pan-Africanist and anti-imperialist circles. It argues that Sudan employed a strategy of deflective diplomacy that drew international attention away from the “Southern Problem” while addressing the pertinent areas of reputational damage. This deflection paradoxically placed Sudan in the international limelight as a paragon of Pan-Africanism, while concealing the “Problem” in plain sight. The chapter explores Sudan’s relations with African networks and organisations after the fall of the Abboud regime, specifically in the tenures of the most significant prime minister of the 1960s, Mohamed Mahgoub. It demonstrates that through personal networks, conference diplomacy and solidarity efforts, the government proved a formidable diplomatic opponent to the secessionist Southern rebels.