Sudan or the Sudan the Republic of the Sudan, is a country in Northeast Africa. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea to the east, Ethiopia to the southeast, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the southwest, Chad to the west, Libya to the northwest, it has a population of 39 million people and occupies a total area of 1,886,068 square kilometres, making it the third-largest country in Africa. Sudan's predominant religion is Islam, its official languages are Arabic and English; the capital is Khartoum, located at the confluence of the White Nile. Since 2011, Sudan is the scene of ongoing military conflict in its regions South Kordofan and Blue Nile. Sudan's history goes back to the Pharaonic period, witnessing the kingdom of Kerma, the subsequent rule of the Egyptian New Kingdom and the rise of the kingdom of Kush, which would in turn control Egypt itself for nearly a century. After the fall of Kush the Nubians formed the three Christian kingdoms of Nobatia and Alodia, with the latter two lasting until around 1500.
Between the 14th and 15th centuries much of Sudan was settled by Arab nomads. From the 16th–19th centuries and eastern Sudan were dominated by the Funj sultanate, while Darfur ruled the west and the Ottomans the far north; this period saw Arabization. From 1820 to 1874 the entirety of Sudan was conquered by the Muhammad Ali dynasty. Between 1881 and 1885 the harsh Egyptian reign was met with a successful revolt led by the self-proclaimed Mahdi Muhammad Ahmad, resulting in the establishment of the Caliphate of Omdurman; this state was destroyed in 1898 by the British, who would govern Sudan together with Egypt. The 20th century saw the growth of Sudanese nationalism and in 1953 Britain granted Sudan self-government. Independence was proclaimed on January 1, 1956. Since independence, Sudan has been ruled by a series of unstable parliamentary governments and military regimes. Under Gaafar Nimeiry, Sudan instituted Islamic law in 1983; this exacerbated the rift between the Islamic north, the seat of the government and the animists and Christians in the south.
Differences in language and political power erupted in a civil war between government forces influenced by the National Islamic Front and the southern rebels, whose most influential faction was the Sudan People's Liberation Army concluding in the independence of South Sudan in 2011. In April 2019, following contentious protests that faced fierce resistance from the Omar al-Bashir regime, the Sudanese military, under the command of Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf, took control of the nation and established a Transitional Military Council; this move dissolved the constitution. The country's place name Sudan is a name given to a geographical region to the south of the Sahara, stretching from Western Africa to eastern Central Africa; the name derives from the Arabic bilād as-sūdān, or "the lands of the Blacks". The name is one of several toponyms sharing similar etymologies meaning "land of the blacks" or similar meanings, in reference to the dark skin of the inhabitants; the term "Sudanese" had a negative connotation in Sudan due to its association with black African slaves.
The idea of "Sudanese" nationalism goes back to the 1930s and 1940s, when it was popularized by young intellectuals. By the eighth millennium BC, people of a Neolithic culture had settled into a sedentary way of life there in fortified mudbrick villages, where they supplemented hunting and fishing on the Nile with grain gathering and cattle herding. During the fifth millennium BC, migrations from the drying Sahara brought neolithic people into the Nile Valley along with agriculture; the population that resulted from this cultural and genetic mixing developed a social hierarchy over the next centuries which became the Kingdom of Kush at 1700 BC. Anthropological and archaeological research indicate that during the predynastic period Nubia and Nagadan Upper Egypt were ethnically, culturally nearly identical, thus evolved systems of pharaonic kingship by 3300 BC; the Kingdom of Kush was an ancient Nubian state centered on the confluences of the Blue Nile and White Nile, the Atbarah River and the Nile River.
It was established after the Bronze Age collapse and the disintegration of the New Kingdom of Egypt, centered at Napata in its early phase. After King Kashta invaded Egypt in the eighth century BC, the Kushite kings ruled as pharaohs of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt for a century before being defeated and driven out by the Assyrians. At the height of their glory, the Kushites conquered an empire that stretched from what is now known as South Kordofan all the way to the Sinai. Pharaoh Piye attempted to expand the empire into the Near East, but was thwarted by the Assyrian king Sargon II; the Kingdom of Kush is mentioned in the Bible as having saved the Israelites from the wrath of the Assyrians, although disease among the besiegers was the main reason for the failure to take the city. The war that took place between Pharaoh Taharqa and the Assyrian king Sennacherib was a decisive event in western history, with the Nubians being defeated in their attempts to gain a foothold in the Near East by Assyria.
Sennacherib's successor Esarhaddon went further, invaded Egypt itself, deposing Taharqa and driving the Nubians from Egypt entirely. Taharqa fled back to his homeland. Egypt became an Assyrian colony.
Khartoum is the capital and largest city of Sudan. It is located at the confluence of the White Nile, flowing north from Lake Victoria, the Blue Nile, flowing west from Ethiopia; the location where the two Niles meet is known as "al-Mogran". The main Nile continues to flow north towards the Mediterranean Sea. Divided by the two Rivers Nile, Khartoum is a tripartite metropolis with an estimated overall population of over five million people, consisting of Khartoum proper, linked by bridges to Khartoum North and Omdurman to the west; the city is the capital of the state of Khartoum. The origin of the word "Khartoum" is uncertain. One theory argues that khartoum is derived from Arabic khurṭūm referring to the narrow strip of land extending between the Blue and White Niles. Dinka scholars argue that the name derives from the Dinka words "Khar-tuom" or "Khier-tuom" as is the pronunciation in various Dinka Diaelects; these translate to a "place where rivers meet". This is supported by historical accounts which place the Dinka homeland in central Sudan as as the 13th-17th centuries A.
D. Captain J. A. Grant, who reached Khartoum in 1863 with Captain Speke's expedition, thought the name was most from the Arabic qurtum, cultivated extensively in Egypt for its oil to be used as fuel; some scholars speculate that the word derives from the Nubian word, the Nubian and Egyptian god of creation. Other Beja scholars suggest "Khartoum" is derived from Hartoom. Additionally, the dream-interpreting magicians in Genesis 41:8 are referred to as חַרְטֻמֵּ֥י מצרים. There is some speculation that they learned their craft at an academy in the south of Egypt from which the city takes its name. In 1821, Khartoum was established 24 kilometres north of the ancient city of Soba, by Ibrahim Pasha, the son of Egypt's ruler, Muhammad Ali Pasha, who had just incorporated Sudan into his realm. Khartoum served as an outpost for the Egyptian Army, but the settlement grew into a regional centre of trade, it became a focal point for the slave trade. It became the administrative center of Sudan and official capital.
On 13 March 1884, troops loyal to the Mahdi Muhammad Ahmad started a siege of Khartoum, against defenders led by British General Charles George Gordon. The siege ended in a massacre of the Anglo-Egyptian garrison when on 26 January 1885 the heavily-damaged city fell to the Mahdists. On 2 September 1898, Omdurman was the scene of the bloody Battle of Omdurman, during which British forces under Herbert Kitchener defeated the Mahdist forces defending the city. In 1973, the city was the site of an anomalous hostage crisis in which members of Black September held 10 hostages at the Saudi Arabian embassy, five of them diplomats; the US ambassador, the US deputy ambassador, the Belgian chargé d'affaires were murdered. The remaining hostages were released. A 1973 United States Department of State document, declassified in 2006, concluded: "The Khartoum operation was planned and carried out with the full knowledge and personal approval of Yasser Arafat."In 1977, the first oil pipeline between Khartoum and the Port of Sudan was completed.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Khartoum was the destination for hundreds of thousands refugees fleeing conflicts in neighboring nations such as Chad, Eritrea and Uganda. Many Eritrean and Ethiopian refugees assimilated into society, while others settled in large slums at the outskirts of the city. Since the mid-1980s, large numbers of refugees from South Sudan and Darfur fleeing the violence of the Second Sudanese Civil War and Darfur conflict have settled around Khartoum. In 1991, Osama bin Laden purchased a house in the affluent al-Riyadh neighborhood of the city and another in Soba, he lived there until 1996. Following the 1998 U. S. embassy bombings, the United States accused bin Laden's al-Qaeda group and, on 20 August, launched cruise missile attacks on the al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory in northern Khartoum. The destruction of the factory produced diplomatic tension between the U. S. and Sudan. The factory ruins are now a tourist attraction. In November 1991, the government of President Omar al-Bashir sought to remove half the population from the city.
The residents, deemed "squatters", were southern Sudanese who the government feared could be potential rebel sympathizers. Around 425,000 people were placed in five "Peace Camps" in the desert an hour's drive from Khartoum; the camps were watched over by armed security guards, many relief agencies were banned from assisting, "the nearest food was at a market four miles away, a vast journey in the desert heat." Many residents were reduced to having only burlap sacks as housing. The intentional displacement was part of a large urban renewal plan backed by the housing minister, Sharaf Bannaga; the sudden death of SPLA head and vice-president of Sudan, John Garang, at the end of July 2005, was followed by three days of violent riots in the capital. The riots died down after Southern Sudanese politicians and tribal leaders sent strong messages to the rioters; the situation could have been much more dire. The Organisation of African Unity summit of 18–22 July 1978 was held in Khartoum, during which Sudan was awarded the OAU presidency.
The African Union summit of 16–24 January 200
OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Incorporated d/b/a OCLC is an American nonprofit cooperative organization "dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world's information and reducing information costs". It was founded in 1967 as the Ohio College Library Center. OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the largest online public access catalog in the world. OCLC is funded by the fees that libraries have to pay for its services. OCLC maintains the Dewey Decimal Classification system. OCLC began in 1967, as the Ohio College Library Center, through a collaboration of university presidents, vice presidents, library directors who wanted to create a cooperative computerized network for libraries in the state of Ohio; the group first met on July 5, 1967 on the campus of the Ohio State University to sign the articles of incorporation for the nonprofit organization, hired Frederick G. Kilgour, a former Yale University medical school librarian, to design the shared cataloging system.
Kilgour wished to merge the latest information storage and retrieval system of the time, the computer, with the oldest, the library. The plan was to merge the catalogs of Ohio libraries electronically through a computer network and database to streamline operations, control costs, increase efficiency in library management, bringing libraries together to cooperatively keep track of the world's information in order to best serve researchers and scholars; the first library to do online cataloging through OCLC was the Alden Library at Ohio University on August 26, 1971. This was the first online cataloging by any library worldwide. Membership in OCLC is based on use of services and contribution of data. Between 1967 and 1977, OCLC membership was limited to institutions in Ohio, but in 1978, a new governance structure was established that allowed institutions from other states to join. In 2002, the governance structure was again modified to accommodate participation from outside the United States.
As OCLC expanded services in the United States outside Ohio, it relied on establishing strategic partnerships with "networks", organizations that provided training and marketing services. By 2008, there were 15 independent United States regional service providers. OCLC networks played a key role in OCLC governance, with networks electing delegates to serve on the OCLC Members Council. During 2008, OCLC commissioned two studies to look at distribution channels. In early 2009, OCLC negotiated new contracts with the former networks and opened a centralized support center. OCLC provides bibliographic and full-text information to anyone. OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat—the OCLC Online Union Catalog, the largest online public access catalog in the world. WorldCat has holding records from private libraries worldwide; the Open WorldCat program, launched in late 2003, exposed a subset of WorldCat records to Web users via popular Internet search and bookselling sites.
In October 2005, the OCLC technical staff began a wiki project, WikiD, allowing readers to add commentary and structured-field information associated with any WorldCat record. WikiD was phased out; the Online Computer Library Center acquired the trademark and copyrights associated with the Dewey Decimal Classification System when it bought Forest Press in 1988. A browser for books with their Dewey Decimal Classifications was available until July 2013; until August 2009, when it was sold to Backstage Library Works, OCLC owned a preservation microfilm and digitization operation called the OCLC Preservation Service Center, with its principal office in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The reference management service QuestionPoint provides libraries with tools to communicate with users; this around-the-clock reference service is provided by a cooperative of participating global libraries. Starting in 1971, OCLC produced catalog cards for members alongside its shared online catalog. OCLC commercially sells software, such as CONTENTdm for managing digital collections.
It offers the bibliographic discovery system WorldCat Discovery, which allows for library patrons to use a single search interface to access an institution's catalog, database subscriptions and more. OCLC has been conducting research for the library community for more than 30 years. In accordance with its mission, OCLC makes its research outcomes known through various publications; these publications, including journal articles, reports and presentations, are available through the organization's website. OCLC Publications – Research articles from various journals including Code4Lib Journal, OCLC Research, Reference & User Services Quarterly, College & Research Libraries News, Art Libraries Journal, National Education Association Newsletter; the most recent publications are displayed first, all archived resources, starting in 1970, are available. Membership Reports – A number of significant reports on topics ranging from virtual reference in libraries to perceptions about library funding. Newsletters – Current and archived newsletters for the library and archive community.
Presentations – Presentations from both guest speakers and OCLC research from conferences and other events. The presentations are organized into five categories: Conference presentations, Dewey presentations, Distinguished Seminar Series, Guest presentations, Research staff
Al Fashir, Al-Fashir or El Fasher is the capital city of North Darfur, Sudan. It is a large town in the Darfur region of northwestern Sudan, 195 kilometres northeast of Nyala, Sudan. A historical caravan post, Al-Fashir is located at an elevation of about 700 metres; the town serves as an agricultural marketing point for the cereals and fruits grown in the surrounding region. Al-Fashir is linked by road with both Umm Keddada. Al-Fashir had 264,734 residents as of 2006, an increase from 2001, when the population was estimated to be 178,500. Due to the nearby Abu Shouk and Al Salam IDP camps with the influx of humanitarian aid from the United Nations as a result of the Darfur crisis, the city has experienced a significant economic and population boom. Rents and retail sales increased, including the selling of bottled water and the opening of a pizza parlor to cater to the demand from western aid workers; the number of gas stations has tripled in three years as a result of the increase in the amount of automobiles in the city.
Employment opportunities increased as the United Nations offered jobs to citizens. Economics analyst Adam Ahmed stated that the "people are beginning to think in a more business-minded way" to make the most of their situation. Al Fashir University was created in 1990 by decree of President Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir, was opened in February 1991 in premises west of El Fasher Airport and south of the El Fashir School. Late in the 18th century, Sultan'Abd al-Rahman al-Rashed of the Darfur moved his itinerant court to a site called Rahad Tendelti, which soon took the name Al-Fashir. A town developed around the sultan's palace grounds, it was one of the cities. Classified by Köppen-Geiger system as hot desert climate. Chad – border country near Nyala, Sudan. History of Darfur Adventures of Sudan: Al-Fashir Historical weather for Al-Fashir
Gum arabic known as acacia gum, arabic gum, gum acacia, Senegal gum and Indian gum, by other names, is a natural gum consisting of the hardened sap of various species of the acacia tree. Gum arabic is collected from predominantly Acacia senegal and Vachellia seyal; the term "gum arabic" does not indicate a particular botanical source. In a few cases so‐called "gum arabic" may not have been collected from Acacia species, but may originate from Combretum, Albizia or some other genus; the gum is harvested commercially from wild trees in Sudan and throughout the Sahel, from Senegal to Somalia—though it is cultivated in Arabia and West Asia. Gum arabic is a complex mixture of glycoproteins and polysaccharides predominantly consisting of arabinose and galactose, it is soluble in water and used in the food industry as a stabilizer, with EU E number E414. Gum arabic is a key ingredient in traditional lithography and is used in printing, paint production, glue and various industrial applications, including viscosity control in inks and in textile industries, though less expensive materials compete with it for many of these roles.
While gum arabic is now produced throughout the African Sahel, it is still harvested and used in the Middle East. Gum arabic was defined by the 31st Codex Committee for Food Additives, held at The Hague from 19–23 March 1999, as the dried exudate from the trunks and branches of Acacia senegal or Vachellia seyal in the family Fabaceae. A 2017 safety re-evaluation by the Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources of the European Food Safety Authority said that the term "gum arabic" does not indicate a particular botanical source. Gum arabic's mixture of polysaccharides and glycoproteins gives it the properties of a glue and binder, edible by humans. Other substances have replaced it where toxicity is not an issue, as the proportions of the various chemicals in gum arabic vary and make it unpredictable. Still, it remains an important ingredient in soft drink syrup and "hard" gummy candies such as gumdrops, M&M's chocolate candies. For artists, it is the traditional binder in watercolor paint, in photography for gum printing, it is used as a binder in pyrotechnic compositions.
Pharmaceutical drugs and cosmetics use the gum as a binder, emulsifying agent, a suspending or viscosity increasing agent. Wine makers have used gum arabic as a wine fining agent, it is an important ingredient in shoe polish, can be used in making homemade incense cones. It is used as a lickable adhesive, for example on postage stamps and cigarette papers. Lithographic printers employ it to keep the non-image areas of the plate receptive to water; this treatment helps to stop oxidation of aluminium printing plates in the interval between processing of the plate and its use on a printing press. Gum arabic is used in the food industry as a stabilizer and thickening agent in icing, soft candy, chewing gum and other confectionery and to bind the sweeteners and flavorings in soft drinks. A solution of sugar and gum arabic in water, gomme syrup, is sometimes used in cocktails to prevent the sugar from crystallizing and provide a smooth texture. Gum arabic is a soluble dietary fibre, a complex polysaccharide indigestible to both humans and animals.
It is considered safe for human consumption. There is indication of harmless flatulence in some people taking large doses of 30g or more per day, it is not degraded in the intestine, but fermented in the colon under the influence of microorganisms—it is a prebiotic. There is no scientific consensus about its caloric value; the US FDA set a value of 4 kcal/g for food labelling, but in Europe no value was assigned for soluble dietary fibre. A 1998 review concluded that "based on present scientific knowledge only an arbitrary value can be used for regulatory purposes". In 2008 the FDA sent a letter of no objection in response to an application to reduce the rated caloric value of gum arabic to 1.7 kcal/g. Gum arabic is used as a binder for watercolor painting because it dissolves in water. Pigment of any color is suspended within the acacia gum in varying amounts, resulting in watercolor paint. Water acts as a vehicle or a diluent to thin the watercolor paint and helps to transfer the paint to a surface such as paper.
When all moisture evaporates, the acacia gum does not bind the pigment to the paper surface, but is absorbed by deeper layers. If little water is used, after evaporation the acacia gum functions as a true binder in a paint film, increasing luminosity and helping prevent the colors from lightening. Gum arabic allows more subtle control over washes, because it facilitates the dispersion of the pigment particles. In addition, acacia gum slows evaporation of water, giving longer working time; the addition of a little gum arabic to watercolor pigment and water allows for easier lifting of pigment from paper and thus can be a useful tool when lifting out color when painting in watercolor. Gum arabic has a long history as additives to ceramic glazes, it acts as a binder, helping the glaze adhere to the clay before it is fired, thereby minimising damage by handling during the manufacture of the piece. As a secondary effect, it acts as a deflocculant, increasing the fluidity of the glaze mixture but making it more to sediment out into a hard cake if not used for a while.
The gum is made up into a solution in hot water (typica
Sultanate of Darfur
The Sultanate of Darfur was a pre-colonial state in present-day Sudan. It existed from 1603 to October 24, 1874, when it fell to the Sudanese warlord Rabih az-Zubayr and again from 1898 to 1916, when it was conquered by the British and integrated into Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. At its peak in the late 18th and early 19th century it stretched all the way from Darfur in the west to Kordofan and the western banks of the White Nile in the east, giving it the size of present-day Nigeria. Darfur is composed of semi-arid plains that cannot support a dense population; the one exception is the area around the Jebal Marra mountains. It was from bases in these mountains; the Daju and the 14th century migrants the Tunjur were the earliest powers in Darfur according to written records. The transition of power from the Daju to the Tunjur was facilitated through marriage; the Tunjur began marrying amongst the Fur people producing Sultan Dali, a celebrated figure in Darfur histories, on his mother's side a Fur, thus brought the dynasty closer to the people it ruled.
Dali divided the country into provinces, established a penal code, under the title of Kitab Dali or Dali's Book, is still preserved, differs in some respects from Quranic law. His grandson Suleiman reigned from 1603 to 1637, was a great warrior and a devoted Muslim. Suleiman Solon is considered as the sultanate of Darfur. During the 17th century, the Keira sultans introduced the feudal hakura system into Darfur. Soleiman's grandson, Ahmed Bukr, made Islam the religion of the state, increased the prosperity of the country by encouraging immigration from Bornu and Bagirmi; the death of Bukr initiated a long-running conflict over the succession. On his deathbed, Bukr stated. Once on the throne, each of his sons instead hoped to make their own son heir, leading to an intermittent civil war that lasted until 1785/6 Due to these internal divisions, Darfur declined in importance and engaged in wars with Sennar and Wadai. One of the most capable of the monarchs during this period was Sultan Mohammed Terab, one of Ahmad Bukr's sons.
He led a number of successful campaigns. In 1785-1786, he got no further than Omdurman. Here he was stopped by the Nile, found no means of getting his army across the river. Unwilling to give up his project, Terab remained at Omdurman for months and the army began to grow disaffected. According to some stories Tayrab was poisoned by his wife at the instigation of disaffected chiefs, the army returned to Darfur. While he tried to have his son succeed him, the throne instead went to his brother Abd al-Rahman. Sultan Abd-er-Rahman established a new capital at Al Fashir, meaning "the capital", in 1790; the capital had been moved from place to place at another location called Kobb. During his reign Abd-er-Rahman, surnamed el-Rashid or the Just, Napoleon Bonaparte was campaigning in Egypt. In 1799 Abd-er-Rahman wrote to congratulate the French general on his defeat of the Mamluks. Bonaparte replied by asking the sultan to send him by the next caravan 2000 black slaves upwards of sixteen years old and vigorous.
Mohammed-el-Fadhl, his son, was for some time under the control of an energetic eunuch, Mohammed Kurra, but he made himself independent, his reign lasted till 1838, when he died of leprosy. He devoted himself to the subjection of the semi-independent Arab tribes who lived in the country, notably the Rizeigat, thousands of whom he slew. In 1821, el-Fahl lost the province of Kordofan to the Egyptians under Mehemet Ali, who planned to conquer the Sudan; the Keira dispatched an army but it was routed by the Egyptians near Bara on 19 August 1821. The Egyptians had been intending to conquer the entirety Darfur, but their difficulties consolidating their hold on the Nile region forced them to abandon these plans. Al-Fadl died in 1838 and of his forty sons, the third, Mohammed Hassan, was appointed his successor. Hassan is described as a avaricious man. In 1856 he went blind and for the rest of his reign his sister Zamzam, the iiry bassi, was the de facto ruler of the sultanate. In 1856, a Khartoum businessman, al-Zubayr Rahma, began operations in the land south of Darfur.
He set up a network of trading posts defended by well-armed forces and soon had a sprawling state under his rule. This area known as the Bahr el Ghazal had long been the source of the goods that Darfur would trade to Egypt and North Africa slaves and ivory; the natives of Bahr el Ghazal paid tribute to Darfur, these were the chief articles of merchandise sold by the Darfurians to the Egyptian traders along the road to Asyut. Al-Zubayr redirected this flow of goods to the Nile. Sultan Hassan died in 1873 and the succession passed to his youngest son Ibrahim, who soon found himself engaged in a conflict with al-Zubayr. After earlier conflicts with the Egyptians, Al-Zubayr had become their ally and in cooperation with them agreed to conquer Darfur; the war resulted in the destruction of the kingdom. Ibrahim was slain in battle in the autumn of 1874, his uncle Hassab Alla, who sought to maintain the independence of his country, was captured in 1875 by the troops of the khedive, removed to Cairo with his family.
In 1898, with the decline of the Mahdists, sultan Ali Dinar managed to regain Darfurs independence. Darfur was conquered by the British Empire in 1916 because Dinar gave his support to the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. Dinar was killed and his kingdom was incorporated into the
The ivory trade is the commercial illegal trade in the ivory tusks of the hippopotamus, narwhal and most African and Asian elephants. Ivory has been traded for hundreds of years by people in regions such as Greenland and Siberia; the trade, in more recent times, has led to endangerment of species, resulting in restrictions and bans. Ivory was used to make piano keys and other decorative items because of the white color it presents when processed but the piano industry abandoned ivory as a key covering material in the 1980s. Elephant ivory has been exported from Africa and Asia for centuries with records going back to the 14th century BCE. Throughout the colonization of Africa ivory was removed using slaves to carry the tusks, to be used for piano keys, billiard balls and other expressions of exotic wealth. Ivory hunters were responsible for wiping out elephants in North Africa about 1,000 years ago, in much of South Africa in the 19th century and most of West Africa by the end of the 20th century.
At the peak of the ivory trade, pre-20th century, during the colonization of Africa, around 800 to 1,000 tonnes of ivory was sent to Europe alone. World wars and the subsequent economic depressions caused a lull in this luxury commodity, but increased prosperity in the early 1970s saw a resurgence. Japan, relieved from its exchange restrictions imposed after World War II, started to buy up raw ivory; this started to put pressure on the forest elephants of Africa and Asia, both of which were used to supply the hard ivory preferred by the Japanese for the production of hankoscode: jpn promoted to code: ja, or name seals. Prior to this period, most name seals had been made from wood with an ivory tip, carved with the signature, but increased prosperity saw the unseen solid ivory hankoscode: jpn promoted to code: ja in mass production. Softer ivory from East Africa and southern Africa was traded for souvenirs and trinkets. By the 1970s, Japan consumed about 40% of the global trade. China, yet to become the economic force of today, consumed small amounts of ivory to keep its skilled carvers in business.
In 1942, the African elephant population has estimated to be around 1.3 million in 37 range states, but by 1989, only 600,000 remained. Although many ivory traders claimed that the problem was habitat loss, it became glaringly clear that the threat was the international ivory trade. Throughout this decade, around 75,000 African elephants were killed for the ivory trade annually, worth around 1 billion dollars. About 80% of this was estimated to come from illegally killed elephants; the international deliberations over the measures required to prevent the serious decline in elephant numbers always ignored the loss of human life in Africa, the fueling of corruption, the "currency" of ivory in buying arms, the breakdown of law and order in areas where illegal ivory trade flourished. The debate rested on the numbers of elephants, estimates of poached elephants and official ivory statistics. Activists such as Jim Nyamu have described current ivory prices for poached ivory and the dangers such activists face from organized poaching.
Solutions to the problem of poaching and illegal trade focused on trying to control international ivory movements through CITES. Although poaching remains a concern in areas of Africa, it is not the only threat for the elephants who roam its wilderness. Fences in farmlands are becoming more common; some CITES parties, led by Zimbabwe, stated that wildlife had to have economic value attached to it to survive and that local communities needed to be involved. Ivory was accepted in terms of non-lethal use of wildlife, but a debate raged over lethal use as in the case of the ivory trade. Most encounters between CITES officials and local bands of poachers erupted in violent struggle, killing men and women on each side, it was recognised that the "sustainable lethal use of wildlife" argument was in jeopardy if the ivory trade could not be controlled. In 1986, CITES introduced a new control system involving CITES paper permits, registration of huge ivory stockpiles and monitoring of legal ivory movements.
These controls were supported by most CITES parties as well as the ivory trade and the established conservation movement represented by World Wide Fund for Nature and the International Union for Conservation of Nature. In 1986 and 1987, CITES registered 89.5 and 297 tonnes of ivory in Burundi and Singapore respectively. Burundi had one known live wild elephant and Singapore had none; the stockpiles were recognized to have come from poached elephants. The CITES Secretariat was admonished by the USA delegate for redefining the term "registration" as "amnesty"; the result of this was realised in undercover investigations by the Environmental Investigation Agency, a small underfunded NGO, when they met with traders in Hong Kong. Large parts of the stockpiles were owned by international criminals behind the poaching and illegal international trade. Well-known Hong Kong-based traders such as Wang and Poon were beneficiaries of the amnesty, elephant expert Iain Douglas-Hamilton commented on the Burundi amnesty that it "made at least two millionaires".
EIA confirmed with their investigations that not only had these syndicates made enormous wealth, but they possessed huge quantities of CITES permits with which they continued to smuggle new ivory, which if stopp