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Sudan

Background

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.

About

Sudan (Arabic: السودان Al-Sudan) is the largest country in Africa and tenth largest in the world, bordering Egypt, Eritrea, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya and Uganda. Getting a visa for Sudan is an expensive hit-and-miss affair, but if you do manage to get in, and you stick to the safe areas, you will probably have a fantastic experience. The Sudanese people are very hospitable, and you can visit some awesome tourist attractions without even seeing another tourist.

Read more about Sudan in our Sudan travel guide »

A travel warning has been issued for Sudan

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Sudan

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Oct 2010 - May 2011  »  United Kingdom | Singapore | Sudan | United States | Malta

Sudan

Full name
Republic of the Sudan
Capital
Khartoum
Location

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

Geographic coordinates

15 00 N, 30 00 E

Area comparative

slightly more than one-quarter the size of the US

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

Coastline

853 km

Climate

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

Terrain

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

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

Population

43,939,598 (July 2010 est.)

Ethnic groups

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

Religions

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

Languages

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

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

Independence

1 January 1956 (from Egypt and the UK)

National holiday

Independence Day, 1 January (1956)

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)

Internet country code

.sd

Internet users

4.2 million (2008)

Airports

140 (2010)

Ports and terminals

Port Sudan

Other countries in the region