Hundreds of cultural groups, speaking hundreds of languages, live in Africa, the world's second largest continent.

After World War II, colonial rulers began to grant independence to their African states. Many of the new African states emerged on an optimistic note. Problems, however, emerged quickly. Military regimes, economic problems, climatic disasters, and civil strife all have made it difficult to create stable governments and prosperous societies in Africa.The great and diverse continent of Africa is plagued with civil unrest, war and human rights abuses.

This lesson will introduce you to some of the underlying causes of these problems, in particular the situation in Sudan.

Some 10,000 new refugees from Sudan's civil war fled to Ethiopia during 1999. Ethiopia hosts 70,000 Sudanese refugees. Photo: UNHCR/R. Chalasani



  1. Compare information about five African countries, including the number of religions practiced, the number of lanuages spoken, the shape of national boundries, and current travel advisories.
  2. Read about the Nuba of Southern Sudan and write a letter from their perspective
  3. Read a document present tot he United Nations and discuss in groups the meaning of a statement in that document
  4. Answer quetions regarding ethnic and religious conflict within countires.

Please copy and paste the following document into your "U" drive on "Sweetness".

You will complete this document during this activity.

Step A: Use the following link, to provide definitions for the following words.


Cultural diversity

Ethnic conflict






Human Rights

Civil War


United Nations



Step B:

Complete the table about these African countries

Angola Chad Ethiopia Somalia Sudan Congo
1. How many languages are spoken







2. How many religions are practiced







3. Are the boundaries of this country artificial (straight lines) or natural (along rivers or mountain ranges)? [Hint look at the map on the World Factbook page]








4. Is there a travel advisory?







5. What are travelers warned against?







6. What conflicts are going on, according to the travel advisory?







You find information for questions 1, 2, and 3 here.

You will find information for questions 4, 5, and 6 here.


Step C:
Read One World Report on Sudan
Take notes about the Nuba people of Southern Sudan and their persecution by the Sudanese government. Answer the following:
  1. What abuses do the Nuba face?
  2. What are the special problems facing women?
  3. What does religion have to do with the problem?
  4. How have the Nuba people resisted?
Step D:
Read The Crisis in the Nuba Mountains
Take notes about the Nuba people of Southern Sudan and their persecution by the Sudanese government.

Answer the following:

  1. If you were a Nuba boy or girl, how would your life be different?
  2. What words would you use to describe your life?
  3. What are two feelings or emotions you have?
  4. Write a letter to the human rights organization, OneWorld, describing your situation and stating what types of help you need from that organization. Be sure to mention the points you found in your reading.
Step E:
Read Depopulation of Southern Sudan

Answer the following:

In the speech, the speaker states that "the entire population of Southern Sudan is currently facing physical and cultural extinction."

  1. What do you think this means?
Step F: Read We have lost two generations of children
  Answer the following:  
Part of this lesson has been taken from classroom connect.