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Sudan Sudan

Sudan, See : Flags, Maps

Sudan (Africa)

Introduction ::Sudan


Military regimes favoring Islamic-oriented governments have dominated national politics since independence from the UK in 1956. Sudan was embroiled in two prolonged civil wars during most of the remainder of the 20th century. These conflicts were rooted in northern economic, political, and social domination of largely non-Muslim, non-Arab southern Sudanese. The first civil war ended in 1972 but broke out again in 1983. The second war and famine-related effects resulted in more than four million people displaced and, according to rebel estimates, more than two million deaths over a period of two decades. Peace talks gained momentum in 2002-04 with the signing of several accords. The final North/South Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), signed in January 2005, granted the southern rebels autonomy for six years. After which, a referendum for independence is scheduled to be held. A separate conflict, which broke out in the western region of Darfur in 2003, has displaced nearly two million people and caused an estimated 200,000 to 400,000 deaths. The UN took command of the Darfur peacekeeping operation from the African Union on 31 December 2007. As of early 2009, peacekeeping troops were struggling to stabilize the situation, which has become increasingly regional in scope and has brought instability to eastern Chad. Sudan also has faced large refugee influxes from neighboring countries primarily Ethiopia and Chad. Armed conflict, poor transport infrastructure, and lack of government support have chronically obstructed the provision of humanitarian assistance to affected populations.

Geography ::Sudan

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Northern Africa, bordering the Red Sea, between Egypt and Eritrea

Geographic coordinates:
15 00 N, 30 00 E

Map references:



total: 2,505,813 sq km country comparison to the world: 10 land: 2.376 million sq km

water: 129,813 sq km

Area - comparative:

slightly more than one-quarter the size of the US

Land boundaries:

total: 7,687 km

border countries: Central African Republic 1,165 km, Chad 1,360 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 628 km, Egypt 1,273 km, Eritrea 605 km, Ethiopia 1,606 km, Kenya 232 km, Libya 383 km, Uganda 435 km


853 km

Postcard from Sudan

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 18 nm

continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation


tropical in south; arid desert in north; rainy season varies by region (April to November)


generally flat, featureless plain; mountains in far south, northeast and west; desert dominates the north

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Red Sea 0 m

highest point: Kinyeti 3,187 m

Natural resources:

petroleum; small reserves of iron ore, copper, chromium ore, zinc, tungsten, mica, silver, gold, hydropower


Land use:

arable land: 6.78%

permanent crops: 0.17%

other: 93.05% (2005)

Irrigated land:

18,630 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

154 cu km (1997)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 37.32 cu km/yr (3%/1%/97%)

per capita: 1,030 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards:

dust storms and periodic persistent droughts

Environment - current issues:

inadequate supplies of potable water; wildlife populations threatened by excessive hunting; soil erosion; desertification; periodic drought

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:

largest country in Africa; dominated by the Nile and its tributaries

People ::Sudan


43,939,598 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 30

Age structure:

0-14 years: 40.7% (male 8,535,551/female 8,173,616)

15-64 years: 56.8% (male 11,745,683/female 11,603,906)

65 years and over: 2.5% (male 532,968/female 496,101) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 18.4 years

male: 18 years

female: 18.8 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

2.497% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 31

Birth rate:

36.58 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 27

Death rate:

11.66 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 36

Net migration rate:

0.05 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 69


urban population: 43% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 4.3% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 1.05 male(s)/female

total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 72.39 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 19 male: 73.08 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 71.67 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 54.21 years country comparison to the world: 200 male: 53.04 years

female: 55.44 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

4.93 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 26

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

1.4% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 45

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

320,000 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 22

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

25,000 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 19

Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: very high

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness)

water contact disease: schistosomiasis

respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis

animal contact disease: rabies

note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2009)


noun: Sudanese (singular and plural)

adjective: Sudanese

Ethnic groups:

black 52%, Arab 39%, Beja 6%, foreigners 2%, other 1%


Sunni Muslim 70% (in north), Christian 5% (mostly in south and
Khartoum), indigenous beliefs 25%


Arabic (official), English (official), Nubian, Ta Bedawie, diverse dialects of Nilotic, Nilo-Hamitic, Sudanic languages

note: program of "Arabization" in process


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 61.1%

male: 71.8%

female: 50.5% (2003 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 4 years (2000)

Education expenditures:

6% of GDP (1991) country comparison to the world: 38

Government ::Sudan

Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of the Sudan

conventional short form: Sudan

local long form: Jumhuriyat as-Sudan

local short form: As-Sudan

former: Anglo-Egyptian Sudan

Government type:

Government of National Unity (GNU) - the National Congress Party (NCP) and Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) formed a power-sharing government under the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA); the NCP, which came to power by military coup in 1989, is the majority partner; the agreement stipulated national elections in 2009, but these were subsequently rescheduled for April 2010


name: Khartoum

geographic coordinates: 15 36 N, 32 32 E

time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:

25 states (wilayat, singular - wilayah); A'ali an Nil (Upper Nile),
Al Bahr al Ahmar (Red Sea), Al Buhayrat (Lakes), Al Jazira (Gezira),
Al Khartoum (Khartoum), Al Qadarif (Gedaref), Al Wahda (Unity), An
Nil al Abyad (White Nile), An Nil al Azraq (Blue Nile), Ash
Shimaliyya (Northern), Bahr al Jabal (Central Equatoria), Gharb al
Istiwa'iyya (Western Equatoria), Gharb Bahr al Ghazal (Western Bahr
el Ghazal), Gharb Darfur (Western Darfur), Janub Darfur (Southern
Darfur), Janub Kurdufan (Southern Kordofan), Junqoley (Jonglei),
Kassala (Kassala), Nahr an Nil (River Nile), Shimal Bahr al Ghazal
(Northern Bahr el Ghazal), Shimal Darfur (Northern Darfur), Shimal
Kurdufan (Northern Kordofan), Sharq al Istiwa'iyya (Eastern
Equatoria), Sinnar (Sinnar), Warab (Warrap)


1 January 1956 (from Egypt and the UK)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 1 January (1956)


Interim National Constitution ratified 5 July 2005

note: under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the Interim National Constitution was ratified 5 July 2005; Constitution of Southern Sudan was signed December 2005

Legal system:

based on English common law and Islamic law; as of 20 January 1991, the now defunct Revolutionary Command Council imposed Islamic law in the northern states; Islamic law applies to all residents of the northern states regardless of their religion; however, the CPA establishes some protections for non-Muslims in Khartoum; some separate religious courts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; the southern legal system is still developing under the CPA following the civil war; Islamic law will not apply to the southern states


17 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Umar Hassan Ahmad al-BASHIR (since 16 October 1993); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Umar Hassan Ahmad al-BASHIR (since 16 October 1993)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president; note - the National Congress Party or NCP (formerly the National Islamic Front or NIF) dominates al-BASHIR's cabinet (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: election on 11-15 April 2010; next to be held in 2015

election results: Umar Hassan Ahmad al-BASHIR reelected president; percent of vote - Umar Hassan Ahmad al-BASHIR 68.2%, Yasir ARMAN 21.7%, Abdullah Deng NHIAL 3.9%, others 6.2%

note: al-BASHIR assumed power as chairman of Sudan's Revolutionary Command Council for National Salvation (RCC) in June 1989 and served concurrently as chief of state, chairman of the RCC, prime minister, and minister of defense until mid-October 1993 when he was appointed president by the RCC; he was elected president by popular vote for the first time in March 1996

Legislative branch:

bicameral National Legislature consists of a Council of States (50 seats; members indirectly elected by state legislatures to serve six-year terms) and a National Assembly (450 seats; 60% from geographic constituencies, 25% from a women's list, and 15% from party lists; members to serve six-year terms)

elections: last held on 11-15 April 2010 (next to be held in 2016)

election results: Not available; prior to the 11-15 April 2010 election, members appointmented under the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement

Judicial branch:

Constitutional Court of nine justices; National Supreme Court;
National Courts of Appeal; other national courts; National Judicial
Service Commission will undertake overall management of the National

Political parties and leaders:

Democratic Unionist Party or DUP [Hatim al-SIR]; National Congress Party or NCP [Umar Hassan al-BASHIR]; Popular Congress Party or PCP [Hassan al-TURABI]; Sudan People's Liberation Movement or SPLM [Salva KIIR]; elements of the National Democratic Alliance or NDA including factions of the Democratic Union Party [Muhammad Uthman al-MIRGHANI] and Umma Party

Political pressure groups and leaders:

Umma Party [SADIQ Siddiq al-Mahdi]; Popular Congress Party or PCP
[Hassan al-TURABI]; Darfur rebel groups including the Justice and
Equality Movement or JEM [Khalil IBRAHIM] and the Sudan Liberation
Movement or SLM [various factional leaders]

International organization participation:

WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Akec Khoc ACIEW Khoc

chancery: 2210 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 338-8565
FAX: [1] (202) 667-2406

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Robert E. WHITEHEAD

embassy: Sharia Ali Abdul Latif Street, Khartoum

mailing address: P.O. Box 699, Khartoum; APO AE 09829

telephone: [249] (183) 774700 through 704
FAX: [249] (183) 774137

Flag description:

three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black with a green isosceles triangle based on the hoist side; colors and design based on the Arab Revolt flag of World War I, but the meanings of the colors are expressed as follows: red signifies the struggle for freedom, white is the color of peace, light, and love, black represents Sudan itself (in Arabic 'Sudan' means black), green is the color of Islam, agriculture, and prosperity

National anthem:

name: "Nahnu Djundulla Djundulwatan" (We Are the Army of God and of Our Land)

lyrics/music: Sayed Ahmad Muhammad SALIH/Ahmad MURJAN

note: adopted 1956; the song originally served as the anthem of the Sudanese military

Economy ::Sudan

Economy - overview:

Since 1997, Sudan has been working with the IMF to implement macroeconomic reforms including a managed float of the exchange rate and a large reserve of foreign exchange. A new currency, the Sudanese Pound, was introduced in January 2007 at an initial exchange rate of $1.00 equals 2 Sudanese Pounds. Sudan began exporting crude oil in the last quarter of 1999 and the economy boomed on the back of increases in oil production, high oil prices, and significant inflows of foreign direct investment until the second half of 2008. The Darfur conflict, the aftermath of two decades of civil war in the south, the lack of basic infrastructure in large areas, and a reliance by much of the population on subsistence agriculture ensure much of the population will remain at or below the poverty line for years to come despite rapid rises in average per capita income. Sudan's real GDP expanded by 5.2% during 2010, an improvement over 2009's 4.2% growth but significantly below the more that 10% per year growth experienced prior to the global financial crisis in 2006 and 2007. While the oil sector continues to drive growth, services and utilities play an increasingly important role in the economy with agriculture production remaining important as it employs 80% of the work force and contributes a third of GDP. In the lead up to the referendum on southern secession, scheduled in January 2011, Sudan saw its currency depreciate considerably on the black market with the Central Bank's official rate also losing value as the Sudanese people started to hoard foreign currency. The Central Bank of Sudan intervened heavily in the currency market to defend the value of the pound and the Sudanese government introduced a number of measures to restrain excess local demand for hard currency, but uncertainty ahead of the referendum has meant that foreign exchange remained in heavy demand as 2010 came to a close.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$98.79 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 71 $93.91 billion (2009 est.)

$90.12 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$65.93 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

5.2% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 53 4.2% (2009 est.)

6.6% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$2,200 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 186 $2,200 (2009 est.)

$2,200 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 32.1%

industry: 29%

services: 38.9% (2010 est.)

Labor force:

11.92 million (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 42

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 80%

industry: 7%

services: 13% (1998 est.)

Unemployment rate:

18.7% (2002 est.) country comparison to the world: 162

Population below poverty line:

40% (2004 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%

Investment (gross fixed):

20.2% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 84

Public debt:

94.2% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 12 105.1% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

11.8% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 207 11.2% (2009 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$7.713 billion (31 December 2010 est) country comparison to the world: 76 $7.003 billion (31 December 2009 est)

Stock of broad money:

$13.5 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 93 $12.31 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$10.15 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 93 $9.307 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

Agriculture - products:

cotton, groundnuts (peanuts), sorghum, millet, wheat, gum arabic, sugarcane, cassava (tapioca), mangos, papaya, bananas, sweet potatoes, sesame; sheep, livestock


oil, cotton ginning, textiles, cement, edible oils, sugar, soap distilling, shoes, petroleum refining, pharmaceuticals, armaments, automobile/light truck assembly

Industrial production growth rate:

3.5% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 92

Electricity - production:

4.341 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 116

Electricity - consumption:

3.438 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 121

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:

486,700 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 31

Oil - consumption:

84,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 84

Oil - exports:

303,800 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 41

Oil - imports:

11,400 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 135

Oil - proved reserves:

6.8 billion bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 20

Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 125

Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 174

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 119

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 129

Natural gas - proved reserves:

84.95 billion cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 56

Current account balance:

-$2.595 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 162 -$2.817 billion (2009 est.)


$9.777 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 87 $7.56 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - commodities:

oil and petroleum products; cotton, sesame, livestock, groundnuts, gum arabic, sugar

Exports - partners:

China 58.29%, Japan 14.7%, Indonesia 8.83%, India 4.86% (2009)


$8.483 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 96 $8.253 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - commodities:

foodstuffs, manufactured goods, refinery and transport equipment, medicines and chemicals, textiles, wheat

Imports - partners:

China 21.87%, Saudi Arabia 7.22%, Egypt 6.1%, India 5.53%, UAE 5.3% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$2.063 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 97 $897 million (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - external:

$37.98 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 58 $35.71 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange rates:

Sudanese pounds (SDG) per US dollar - 2.36 (2010), 2.32 (2009), 2.1 (2008), 2.06 (2007), 2.172 (2006)

Communications ::Sudan

Telephones - main lines in use:

370,400 (2009) country comparison to the world: 105

Telephones - mobile cellular:

15.34 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 47

Telephone system:

general assessment: well-equipped system by regional standards and being upgraded; cellular communications started in 1996 and have expanded substantially with wide coverage of most major cities

domestic: consists of microwave radio relay, cable, fiber optic, radiotelephone communications, tropospheric scatter, and a domestic satellite system with 14 earth stations

international: country code - 249; linked to international submarine cable Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG); satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean), 1 Arabsat (2000)

Broadcast media:

in the north, the Sudanese Government directly controls TV and radio, requiring that both media reflect government policies; TV has a permanent military censor; a private radio station is in operation; in southern Sudan, TV is controlled by the regional government; several private FM stations are operational in southern Sudan; some foreign radio broadcasts are available (2007)

Internet country code:


Internet hosts:

70 (2010) country comparison to the world: 207

Internet users:

4.2 million (2008) country comparison to the world: 56

Transportation ::Sudan


140 (2010) country comparison to the world: 41

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 19

over 3,047 m: 3

2,438 to 3,047 m: 10

1,524 to 2,437 m: 5

under 914 m: 1 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 121

1,524 to 2,437 m: 21

914 to 1,523 m: 62

under 914 m: 38 (2010)


5 (2010)


gas 156 km; oil 4,070 km; refined products 1,613 km (2009)


total: 5,978 km country comparison to the world: 30 narrow gauge: 4,578 km 1.067-m gauge; 1,400 km 0.600-m gauge for cotton plantations (2008)


total: 11,900 km country comparison to the world: 131 paved: 4,320 km

unpaved: 7,580 km (2000)


4,068 km (1,723 km open year round on White and Blue Nile rivers) (2008) country comparison to the world: 25

Merchant marine:

total: 2 country comparison to the world: 142 by type: cargo 2 (2010)

Ports and terminals:

Port Sudan

Military ::Sudan

Military branches:

Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF): Land Forces, Navy (includes Marines),
Sudanese Air Force (Sikakh al-Jawwiya as-Sudaniya), Popular Defense
Forces; Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA): Popular Army, Air
Force (2009)

Military service age and obligation:

18-33 years of age for male and female compulsory and voluntary military service; 12-24 month service obligation (2009)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 10,264,087

females age 16-49: 9,894,457 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 6,094,209

females age 16-49: 6,213,984 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 506,742

female: 487,434 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

3% of GDP (2005 est.) country comparison to the world: 44

Transnational Issues ::Sudan

Disputes - international:

the effects of Sudan's almost constant ethnic and rebel militia fighting since the mid-20th century have penetrated all of the neighboring states; as of 2006, Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda provided shelter for over half a million Sudanese refugees, which includes 240,000 Darfur residents driven from their homes by Janjawid armed militia and the Sudanese military forces; Sudan, in turn, hosted about 116,000 Eritreans, 20,000 Chadians, and smaller numbers of Ethiopians, Ugandans, Central Africans, and Congolese as refugees; in February 2006, Sudan and DROC signed an agreement to repatriate 13,300 Sudanese and 6,800 Congolese; Sudan accuses Eritrea of supporting Sudanese rebel groups; efforts to demarcate the porous boundary with Ethiopia proceed slowly due to civil and ethnic fighting in eastern Sudan; the boundary that separates Kenya and Sudan's sovereignty is unclear in the "Ilemi Triangle," which Kenya has administered since colonial times; Sudan claims but Egypt de facto administers security and economic development of Halaib region north of the 22nd parallel boundary; periodic violent skirmishes with Sudanese residents over water and grazing rights persist among related pastoral populations along the border with the Central African Republic

Refugees and internally displaced persons:

refugees (country of origin): 157,220 (Eritrea); 25,023 (Chad); 11,009 (Ethiopia); 7,895 (Uganda); 5,023 (Central African Republic)

IDPs: 5.3 - 6.2 million (civil war 1983-2005; ongoing conflict in
Darfur region) (2007)

Trafficking in persons:

current situation: Sudan is a source country for men, women, and children trafficked internally for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation; Sudan is also a transit and destination country for Ethiopian women trafficked abroad for domestic servitude; Sudanese women and girls are trafficked within the country as well as possibly to Middle Eastern countries for domestic servitude; the terrorist rebel organization, Lord's Resistance Army, continues to harbor small numbers of Sudanese and Ugandan children in the southern part of the country for use as cooks, porters, and combatants; some of these children are also trafficked across borders into Uganda or the Democratic Republic of the Congo; militia groups in Darfur, some of which are linked to the government, abduct women for short periods of forced labor and to perpetrate sexual violence; during the two decades-long north-south civil war, thousands of Dinka women and children were abducted and subsequently enslaved by members of the Missiriya and Rezeigat tribes; while there have been no known new abductions of Dinka by members of Baggara tribes in the last few years, inter-tribal abductions continue in southern Sudan

tier rating: Tier 3 - Sudan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; combating human trafficking through law enforcement or prevention measures was not a priority for the government in 2007 (2008)



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