Sudan (GPS: 15 00 N, 30 00 E) located in north-eastern Africa, bordering the Red Sea, between Egypt and Eritrea. The country’s area measurements are total: 1,861,484 sq km; land: N/A, water: N/A. This sovereign state is slightly less than one-fifth of the size of the US. The total irrigated land is 18,900 sq km (2012).
One of the important features of Sudan: The Nile is Sudan’s primary water source. Its major tributaries, the White Nile and the Blue Nile, meet at Khartoum to form the River Nile, which flows northward through Egypt to the Mediterranean Sea.
It’s significant, and at the same time, the principal city, Khartoum’s GPS coordinates are 15 36 N 32 32 E. Khartoum’s local time is 8 hours ahead of Washington DC during Standard Time. The capital’s time difference: UTC+3.
Military regimes favoring Islamic-oriented governments have dominated national politics since independence from Anglo-Egyptian co-rule 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 another broke out in 1983. 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, followed by a referendum on independence for Southern Sudan. The referendum was held in January 2011 and indicated overwhelming support for independence. South Sudan became independent on 9 July 2011.
Sudan and South Sudan have yet to fully implement security and economic agreements signed in September 2012 relating to the normalization of relations between them. The final disposition of the contested Abyei region also has to be decided. The 30-year reign of President Umar Hassan Ahmad al-BASHIR ended in his ouster in April 2019, and a Sovereignty Council, a joint civilian-military-executive body, holds power as of November 2019. Following South Sudan’s independence, conflict broke out between the government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states (together known as the Two Areas), resulting in a humanitarian crisis affecting more than a million people. An earlier conflict that broke out in Darfur’s western region in 2003 displaced nearly 2 million people and caused thousands of deaths. While some repatriation has taken place, about 1.83 million IDPs remain in Sudan as of May 2019. Fighting in both the Two Areas and Darfur between government forces and opposition has largely subsided. However, the civilian populations are affected by low-level violence, including inter-tribal conflict and banditry, resulting from the weak rule of law.
The UN and the African Union have jointly commanded a Darfur peacekeeping operation (UNAMID) since 2007 but are slowly drawing down as Darfur’s situation becomes more stable. Sudan also has faced refugee influxes from neighboring countries, primarily Ethiopia, Eritrea, Chad, Central African Republic, and South Sudan. Armed conflict, poor transport infrastructure, and denial of access by both the government and armed opposition have impeded humanitarian assistance to affected populations. However, Sudan’s new transitional government has stated its priority to allow greater humanitarian access as the food security and humanitarian situation in Sudan worsens and appeals to the West for greater engagement.
Sudan’s names conventional long form: the Republic of Sudan, conventional short form: Sudan, local long form: Jumhuriyat as-Sudan, local short form: As-Sudan, former: Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, etymology: the name “Sudan” derives from the Arabic “bilad-as-sudan” meaning “Land of the black [peoples].” The name “Sudan” derives from the Arabic “bilad-as-Sudan,” meaning “Land of the Black [peoples].”
Sudan’s terrain is typically generally flat, featureless plain; desert dominates the north. The country’s mean elevation: 568 m, elevation extremes; lowest point: the Red Sea 0 m, highest point: Jabal Marrah 3,071 m.
The country’s general climate is hot and dry: arid desert: rainy season varies by region (April to November).
The total number of border countries is 7, Central African Republic 174 km, Chad 1,403 km, Egypt 1,276 km, Eritrea 682 km, Ethiopia 744 km, Libya 382 km, South Sudan 2,158 km. Note: Sudan-South Sudan boundary represents 1 January 1956 alignment are the neighboring nations with the indicated border lengths. Sudan’s coastline is 853 km, while its marital claims are: territorial sea: 12 nautical miles, contiguous zone: 18 nautical miles, continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation. Waterways: 4,068 km (1,723 km open year-round on White and Blue Nile Rivers) (2011). Land use: agricultural land: 100%; arable land 15.7%; permanent crops 0.2%; permanent pasture 84.2%; forest: 0%; other: 0% (2011 estimate).
The population in Sudan 43,120,843 (July 2018 estimate), urban population: 33.8% of total population (2015), major urban area’s population: KHARTOUM (capital) 5.129 million (2015), while Sudan has with the exception of a ribbon of settlement that corresponds to the banks of the Nile, northern Sudan, which extends into the dry Sahara, is sparsely populated; more abundant vegetation and broader access to water increases population distribution in the south extending habitable range along nearly the entire border with South Sudan; sizeable areas of population are found around Khartoum, southeast between the Blue and White Nile Rivers, and throughout South Darfur. Their spoken languages are Arabic (official language), English (official language), Nubian, Ta Bedawie, Fur. The main religions in Sudan are Sunni Muslims, a small Christian minority. The nation uses mixed legal system of Islamic law and English common law. It is a(n) presidential republic, National holiday(s) Independence Day, 1 January (1956).
Economic overview for the country: Sudan has experienced protracted social conflict, civil war, and, in July 2011, the loss of three-quarters of its oil production due to the secession of South Sudan. The oil sector had driven much of Sudan’s GDP growth since 1999. For nearly a decade, the economy boomed on the back of rising oil production, high oil prices, and significant inflows of foreign direct investment. Since the economic shock of South Sudan’s secession, Sudan has struggled to stabilize its economy and make up for the loss of foreign exchange earnings.
The interruption of oil production in South Sudan in 2012 for over a year and the consequent loss of oil transit fees further exacerbated Sudan’s economy’s fragile state. Ongoing conflicts in Southern Kordofan, Darfur, and the Blue Nile state, lack basic infrastructure in large areas, and reliance by much of the population on subsistence agriculture, keep close to half of the population at or below the poverty line. Sudan was subject to comprehensive US sanctions, which were lifted in October 2017. Sudan is attempting to develop non-oil sources of revenues, such as gold mining and agriculture while carrying out an austerity program to reduce expenditures.
The world’s largest exporter of gum Arabic, Sudan produces 75-80% of the world’s total output. Agriculture continues to employ 80% of the workforce. Sudan introduced a new currency, still called the Sudanese pound, following South Sudan’s secession, but the value of the currency has fallen since its introduction. Khartoum formally devalued the currency in June 2012, when it passed austerity measures that gradually repealed fuel subsidies. Sudan also faces high inflation, which reached 47% on an annual basis in November 2012 but fell to about 35% per year in 2017.
Natural resources of Sudan: petroleum; small reserves of iron ore, copper, chromium ore, zinc, tungsten, mica, silver, gold; hydropower.
Main export partners for Sudan, Africa are UAE 32%, China 16.2%, Saudi Arabia 15.5%, Australia 4.7%, India 4.2% (2015) for gold; oil and petroleum products; cotton, sesame, livestock, peanuts, gum Arabic, sugar, while the main import partners for the country are: China 26.4%, UAE 10.1%, India 9.1%, Egypt 5.6%, Turkey 4.7%, Saudi Arabia 4.4% (2015) for foodstuffs, manufactured goods, refinery and transport equipment, medicines, chemicals, textiles, wheat.
When you visit this country in Africa, consider the natural hazards in Sudan: Dust storms and periodic persistent droughts, while infectious diseases are a 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, and Rift Valley fever water contact disease: schistosomiasis respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis animal contact disease: rabies (2016). Also, note that Sudan faces the following environmental issues: Water pollution, Inadequate supplies of potable water, water scarcity, and periodic drought, wildlife populations threatened by excessive hunting, Soil erosion, Desertification, Deforestation, Loss of biodiversity.