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October 18, 2005

Francis Deng Discusses Recent Developments in Sudan on Nov. 2

Francis Deng, Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Library of Congress’ John W. Kluge Center and a leading expert on Sudan, will discuss "Sudan: A Nation in Turbulent Search for Itself" at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 2, in Room 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.

The event, which is sponsored by the Kluge Center, is free and open to the public; no reservations are required.

Sudan has been intermittently at war with itself since its independence in 1956, with only 10 years of precarious peace between 1972 and 1983. According to Deng, at the heart of the conflict is a crisis of national identity. Those who have been in control of the country define themselves as Arabs and Muslims. They identify more with the Middle East than with black Africa, although they are essentially Arab-Africans.

The Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005, which was concluded between the government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and Army, gives the people of the southern part of Sudan, the black Africa region, the right to decide after a six-year interim period whether to remain within a united Sudan. While most people would predict that the south will vote for secession, Deng contends that a new Sudan is unfolding and that the south may want to become a key player.

Equally known as a diplomat and a scholar, Deng has held a number of senior posts in the Sudanese Foreign Service, including minister of state for foreign affairs, and has served as the Sudanese ambassador to the United States, Canada and Scandinavia. In1992, United Nations Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali named Deng as his representative on internally displaced persons, those who have lost their homes because of civil wars worldwide, and Deng continues to act in this capacity for current Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Deng is professor of international law, politics and society and director of the Center for Displacement Studies at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University. He has held visiting academic appointments at Yale University and New York University and has been a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world’s best thinkers to stimulate and energize scholarly discussion, distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources and interact with policymakers in Washington. For more information about the Kluge Center, visit

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PR 05-230
ISSN 0731-3527

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