OFFICIAL NAME: Republic of the Sudan
CAPITAL: Khartoum
SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT: Military Dictatorship
AREA: 2,505,813 Sq Km (967,500 Sq Mi)
ESTIMATED 2000 POPULATION: 29,810,600


Direct Link to Political MapDirect Link to Physical MapLOCATION & GEOGRAPHY: Sudan is located in North East Africa. It is bound by Egypt to the north, Libya to the northwest, Chad to the west, the Central African Republic to the southwest, Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire) to the south, Uganda and Kenya to the southeast, Ethiopia and Eritrea to the east and the Red Sea to the northeast. The country has three distinct regions. (1.) A flat plain which comprises most of the country, with its center the convergence of the Blue and White Nile Rivers. Sudds or swamp lands are located in the southern part of this region. (2.) The Libyan and Nubian Deserts in the northern quarter of the country. (3.) Four mountain zones, the Red Sea Hills in the northeast, Jabal Marrah in the west, the Nuba Mountains in the center as well as the Immatong and Dongotona Ranges in the south. The principal rivers are the Blue and White Nile. Major Cities (pop. est.); Omdurman 526,300, Khartoum 476,200, Khartoum North 341,100, Port Sudan 206,700 (1983). Land Use; forested 19%, pastures 46%, agricultural-cultivated 5%, desert and other 30% (1993).


CLIMATE: Sudan's climate ranges from tropical to continental while most of the northern half of the country experiences a desert climate. The dry season ranges from three months in the humid tropical south to nine months in Khartoum with the hottest months July and August. Average annual precipitation varies from 160 mm (6.3 inches) to around 1,000 mm (39 inches) in Khartoum with most rainfall occurring between April and October. Average temperature ranges in Khartoum are from 15 to 32 degrees Celsius (59 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit) in January to 26 to 41 degrees Celsius (79 to 106 degrees Fahrenheit) in June.


PEOPLE: Sudan's ethnic composition consists of 56 groups and over 595 subgroups. The principal ethnic majority are the Arabs who constitute around 49% of the population and are located in the northern half of the country. The southern half of the country is predominantly Black African of the Nilotic and Sudanic groups as well as other minorities including Nubians.


DEMOGRAPHIC/VITAL STATISTICS: Density; 12 persons per sq km (30 persons per sq mi) (1991). Urban-Rural; 22.0% urban, 78.0% rural (1990). Sex Distribution; 50.2% male, 49.8% female (1990). Life Expectancy at Birth; 48.6 years male, 51.0 years female (1990). Age Breakdown; 45% under 15, 26% 15 to 29, 15% 30 to 44, 9% 45 to 59, 4% 60 to 74, 1% 75 and over (1990). Birth Rate; 44.6 per 1,000 (1990). Death Rate; 15.8 per 1,000 (1990). Increase Rate; 28.8 per 1,000 (1990). Infant Mortality Rate; 108.0 per 1,000 live births (1990).


RELIGIONS: Mostly Islamic with over 73% of the population Sunni Muslims while around 17% follow local native tribal beliefs and 8% are Christians.


LANGUAGES: The official language is Arabic, although over 915 languages are spoken by the Black Africans and English is also spoken by a minority.


EDUCATION: Aged 25 or over and having attained: N/A. Literacy; literate population aged 15 or over 3,749,000 or 27.1% (1990).


MODERN HISTORY - WWII TO 1993: In 1953 Britain and Egypt agreed on steps leading to self-government for Sudan and in 1955 the Sudanese Parliament voted for self-government. On Jan. 1, 1956 Sudan became fully independent amid a civil war between the Muslims of the north and the secessionist Christians and Animists of the south. In Nov. 1958 the military led by Gen. Ibrahim Abboud ousted the government, established a Junta that abolished all political parties and imprisoned many politicians. In 1964 teachers, students, lawyers and union organizers held a general strike in protest to Gen. Abboud. In 1965 Sayyid Sadiq el-Mahdi was elected President under a coalition government. In May 1969 after continuing conflict in the south, Col. Jaafar el-Nemery overthrew the government and established the communist Sudan Socialist Union (SSU) as the sole legal party while Pres. el-Mahdi was exiled. In Aug. 1979 Gen. Nemery cracked down on demonstrations protesting against price increases and food shortages. In 1983 Gen. Nemery established Islamic Sharia law throughout Sudan while further conflicts broke out in the south. In April 1985 a group of military officers led by Gen. Abdul Rahman Swaredahab ousted Nemery and announced elections for Apr. 1986. In May 1986 el-Mahdi returned as head of the coalition government while fighting continued to escalate in the south. In July 1987 a State of Emergency was declared in an attempt to curb social and economic unrest. During 1988 Sudan experienced both severe droughts and floods which increased the already widespread famine. In June 1989 Brig. Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir led a military coup which ousted el-Mahdi's government. During 1989 negotiations for peace failed after the regime insisted that it would continue to apply Islamic Sharia law. In 1990 further heavy fighting continued in the south between the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) and government forces. In Apr. 1990 an unsuccessful coup led to the arrest of 28 army officers who were attempting to oust the regime and abolish the Islamic Shari'ah law, however, all were later executed by a firing squad. In June 1990 the regime signed a treaty to establish a greater measure of unity with Libya and in Sept. 1990 another 15 officers were executed after another unsuccessful coup attempt. In Feb. 1991 the government announced the introduction of a federal system of government in an attempt to end the country's civil war, although it was rejected by the SPLA leader Col. John Garang. In Mar. 1991 the government promulgated a new code of Islamic law in the north, although this also meet with disapproval from the SPLA. In July 1991 the UN High Commissioner for Refugees announced plans to repatriate thousands of Ethiopian refugees resident in Sudan. In Aug. 1991 there was a split in the SPLA along tribal lines which led to more violent fighting near the towns of Bor and Kangor. Also in 1991 the country experienced acute food shortages while thousands of workers from Kuwait returned home during the Gulf War. In March 1992 the government assisted with Iranian troops launched an offensive against the SPLA rebels, although it remained unsuccessful in breaking the siege of Juba. In May 1992 representatives of both factions of the SPLA and the government met in Nigeria in an unsuccessful attempt to end their hostilities. The government insisted that it was prepared to recognize the country's plurality and provide equal treatment for all citizens, although the issue of Islamic Shari'ah law remained the greatest obstacle. In Dec. 1992 the UN General Assembly issued a resolution expressing serious concern for human rights violations by the Sudanese government. In Feb. 1993 Pope John Paul II reprimanded the government for their treatment of the Christian minority during his visit. On Aug. 6, 1993 the IMF suspended The Sudan's membership and declared the country an "uncooperative state". In Aug. 1993 the government launched a large-scale attack on the rebels. On Oct. 16, 1993 the military junta appointed Lieut. Gen. Omar al-Bashir as President and was dissolved. On Dec. 30, 1993 the British ambassador was expelled from the country as a result of the archbishop of Canterbury deliberately failing to visit the capital during his four-day trip. Also in 1993 relations with Egypt soured following a border dispute over the Hala'ib oil-rich region near the Red Sea while fierce fighting between the two rebel factions also resulted in the displacement of many civilians in southern Sudan.


CURRENCY: The official currency is the Dinar (DSd) formerly the Pound (LSd) divided into 100 Piastres and 1,000 Milliemes.


ECONOMY: Gross National Product; USD $8,176,000,000 (1992). Public Debt; USD $8,994,000,000 (1993). Imports; USD $1,226,000,000 (1994). Exports; USD $503,000,000 (1994). Tourism Receipts; USD $3,000,000 (1993). Balance of Trade; USD -$723,000,000 (1994). Economically Active Population; 8,559,000 or 32.0% of total population (1992). Unemployed; 30.0% (1992 est.).


MAIN TRADING PARTNERS: Its main trading partners are the former USSR, Iran, India, China, the USA and Germany.

MAIN PRIMARY PRODUCTS: Beans, Chromium, Cotton, Crude Oil and Natural Gas, Dates, Ground Nuts, Gum Arabic, Livestock, Sesame Seeds, Sorghum, Wheat.

MAJOR INDUSTRIES: Agriculture, Cement, Food Processing, Oil Production and Refining.

MAIN EXPORTS: Cereals, Cotton, Ground Nuts, Gum Arabic, Livestock, Petroleum Products, Sesame Seeds.


TRANSPORT: Railroads; route length 5,503 km (3,419 mi) (1988), passenger-km 759,000,000 (471,621,000 passenger-mi) (1988), cargo ton-km 752,000,000 (515,045,000 short ton-mi) (1988). Roads; length 6,599 km (4,100 mi) (1985). Vehicles; cars 99,400 (1985), trucks and buses 17,211 (1985). Merchant Marine; vessels 21 (1990), deadweight tonnage 78,661 (1990). Air Transport; passenger-km 588,734,000 (365,822,000 passenger-mi) (1990), cargo ton-km 12,913,000 (8,844,000 short ton-mi) (1990).


COMMUNICATIONS: Daily Newspapers; total of 5 with a total circulation of 620,000 (1992). Radio; receivers 5,755,000 (1994). Television; receivers 250,000 (1994). Telephones; units 64,000 (1993).


MILITARY: 118,500 (1995) total active duty personnel with 97.1% army, 0.4% navy and 2.5% air force while military expenditure accounts for 17.1% (1992) of the Gross National Product (GNP).


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