short form: As-Sudan
int’l long form: Sudan
int’l short form: Republic of the Sudan
former: Anglo-Egyptian Sudan
ISO Country Code: sd
Country Calling Code: +249
Time Zone (UTC+03:00)
Capital City: Khartoum (pop. 1.4 million)
Other Cities: Omdurman (2.1 million), Port Sudan(pop. 450 000), Kassala, Kosti,
Juba, the capital of southern region.
Type: Provisional Government established by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in January 2005.
Independence: 1 January 1956 (from the UK).
Location: North-eastern Africa, south of Egypt, bordering the Red Sea, between Egypt and Eritrea.
Area: 2.5 million km² (965,255 sq. mi.); North and South Sudan.
Terrain: Generally flat with mountains in east and west. The southern regions are inundated during the annual floods of the Nile River system.
Climate: Desert and savanna in the north and central regions and tropical in the south.
Population: 31 million (2008; incl. South Sudan)
Ethnic Groups: black 52%, Arab 39%, Bija tribes 6%.
Religions: Sunni Islam (official), indigenous beliefs in southern Sudan.
Languages: Arabic (official), Nubian, Ta Bedawie, English, tribal languages.
Literacy: 50% (est)
Natural resources: Petroleum; small reserves of iron ore, copper, chromium ore, zinc, tungsten, mica, silver, gold, hydropower.
Agriculture products: Cotton, groundnuts, sorghum, millet, wheat, gum arabic, sugarcane, cassava (tapioca), mangos, papaya, bananas, sweet potatoes, sesame; sheep, livestock.
Industries: Oil, cotton ginning, textiles, cement, edible oils, sugar, soap distilling, shoes, petroleum refining, pharmaceuticals, armaments, automobile/light truck assembly.
Exports partners: Japan 49.6%, China 32%,Saudi Arabia 3.1% (2006)
Export goods: Oil and petroleum products; cotton, sesame, livestock, groundnuts, gum arabic, sugar.
Imports partners: China 18.2%, Saudi Arabia9.2%, UAE 5.8%, Egypt 5.3%, Germany 5.2%,India 4.6%, France 4.1% (2006)
Import goods: Foodstuffs, manufactured goods, refinery and transport equipment, medicines and chemicals, textiles, wheat.
Currency: Sudanese Pound (SDG), 1 Pound=100 Piaster (or qirush) replaces the Sudanese Dinar (SDD);
With the Independence in 1956 problems began for the new republic almost immediately, in the shape of conflict between north and south. Carefully isolated from one another under British rule, the vast cultural differences between these two regions now escalated rapidly, and civil war was imminent.
A military coup, led by General Ibrahim Abboud, overthrew the government in 1958. Parliament was dismissed and martial law was declared, with Abboud as self-proclaimed Prime Minister.
Another coup in 1969, led this time by Colonel Jafaar Mohammed al-Nimeiry, set up government under a revolutionary council. Nimeiry became the Sudan’s first elected President in 1972, and signed the Addis Ababa agreement, in an attempt to end strife between north and south. Uneasy peace was maintained for almost a decade and in 1983, Nimeiry was re-elected for a third term of office. His policies for economic recovery were ineffective, however, and unrest grew once more, resulting in Nimeiry’s deposition in a bloodless coup in April 1985.
A year of military rule followed, before the rise of a new Mahdi. This was Sadiq al-Mahdi, the great-grandson of Mohammed Ahmad, but, despite many lofty promises of democracy, the new government proved weak and al-Mahdi was deposed in 1989.
His replacement was Lt. General Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir, and Sudan was ruled by a 15-member Revolutionary Council. Throughout the 1990s, conditions have deteriorated in the Sudan. Non-Muslim rebels in the south, known as the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) are led by John Garang, a member of the southern Dinka tribe. The war between government and rebels continues, and many of the Sudanese people are displaced refugees, while many others are faced with economic ruin and the threat of starvation.
The northern opposition under the umbrella of the “National Democratic Alliance” (NDA), including the SPLM, had also took up arms against al-Bashir rule and occupied territories in eastern Sudan and northern Blue Nile.
In January 2005 the Sudan government has signed a preliminary peace agreement with the main opposition umbrella group, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), granted the southern rebels autonomy for six years, ater 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 2 million people and caused an estimated 200,000 to 400,000 deaths.
(Source: ArabNet and others)
border countries: Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Eritrea,Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Uganda
Sudan is a member state of the League of Arab States
The flag of Sudan (Arabic: علم السودان) was adopted on May 20, 1970, and consists of a horizontal red-white-black tricolor, with a green triangle at the hoist. The flag is based on the Arab Liberation Flag shared by Egypt, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, that uses a subset of the Pan-Arab colors in which green is less significant. Prior to the 1969 military coup of Gaafar Nimeiry, a blue-yellow-green tricolor design was used.
Red, white, black and green are called the pan-Arab colors and have been historically linked to the Arab people and Islamic religion for centuries. The colors stand for Arab unity and independence. The red stripe represents Sudan’s struggle for independence and many other struggles, and the sacrifices of the country’s martyrs. The white represents peace, light and optimism. It also represents the White Flag League which was a nationalist group that rose up against colonial rule in 1924. The black represents Sudan; in Arabic ‘Sudan’ means black. It also represents the black flag of nationalists who fought colonial rule during the Mahdist Revolution, late in 19th century. Green represents Islam, agriculture and the prosperity of the land.