Between Africanism and Arabism: Libya’s involvement in Sudan

Yehudit Ronen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While tracing the chronology of Libya's relations with Sudan during the period of 1969–2010, the article explores Tripoli's essential interests and involvement in its broader geo-strategic neighboring arena. During the rule of Muammar al-Qaddafi, Libya's relations with Sudan substantially affected its ties with Egypt and the broader Arab world as well as its international strategies, which were deeply interwoven into Libya's Cold War politics. Therefore, this article also discusses Libya's perceptions and alliances as far as they had affected Tripoli's policy toward Khartoum during the post-Cold War era, touching on “burning” issues relevant to understanding Libya's involvement in Sudan. Noteworthy among them are the strengthening foothold of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and their growing threats upon regional stability, the swelling tension among the Nile basin countries over the existing allocation of the river's waters, and the Sudanese scheduled referendum (January 9, 2011) relevant to Sudan's territorial integrity. While focusing on Libya's interests in Sudan, the article also highlights the dramatic shift that had occurred in Tripoli's regional policies, abandoning the Arab world in favor of Africa. In fact, Libya's relations with the African states have become the shining pearl in the crown of Tripoli's foreign policy and an effective lever for promoting the political prestige of Qaddafi—“the King of the Kings of Africa.”

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the Middle East and Africa
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Africa
  • Chad
  • Darfur
  • Libya
  • Muammar al-Qaddafi
  • Nile
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan


Dive into the research topics of 'Between Africanism and Arabism: Libya’s involvement in Sudan'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this