Country Profile

Location :

Sudan is located in north east Africa with the River Nile as the most dominant feature of its geography, as the Nile basin constitutes 67.4 % of the country’s total area. Due to its unique geographical location, Sudan has always been a trading and cultural bridge between northern and southern Africa as well as between the Arabian Peninsula and Africa, particularly west and east Africa.

The current people of Sudan descend from a mixture of many ethnicities and groups, most notable are (Arabs/African Hamites), and 96.7% of the population is Muslim.
Sudan gained independence from the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium on January 1st 1956. In 1955, a year before independence, a war broke out between the central government and different groups from southern Sudan, which continued to flare up and abate except for the period between 1972 and 1983. The south, which was subjected to geographic and cultural isolation since the beginning of 1922, in addition to other factors of nature, assumed a relatively special status on the Sudanese state’s map.  This led to a development of a sense of not-belonging to the mother-land among a wide sector of the southern Sudanese intelligentsia, and the rebellion against the central government. This war affected the state’s social, economic and political stability and exhausted its human and material resources for more than half a century. 

A series of talks were held between the government and rebel movement in a number of African capitals since November 1989. In 2002, difficult negotiations started aiming at ending the war and reaching a comprehensive and just peace between the central government and southern rebels. The negotiations culminated in the signing of Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005 which put an end to the war and granted southerners the right to self–determination at the end of an interim period as stipulated in the agreement. Accordingly, a free referendum was conducted on January 9th 2011 in which citizens of the south chose to break away from the rest of the country and create an independent country. On July 9th, 2011, Sudan will witness the beginning of the second republic in its history. 

Land Boundaries: (Total: 6,780 km - Egypt: 1,273 km - Eritrea: 636 km - Ethiopia: 727 km - South Sudan: 1,973 km - Central African Republic: 448 km - Chad: 1,340 km - Libya: 383 km) Coastline: 853 km

Population: 33,419,625 Country’s population in comparison to the world: 35th, 3rd in the Arab World and 9th in Africa- Population Increase: (between the census of 1993 – 2008): 52%

Water Resources: the River Nile and its tributaries in addition to the renewable ground water, the Red Sea and rain fall.

Minerals: Gold, Iron, Copper, etc.

Nature: The Mountains, the forests, the desert, the valleys, the creeks and the natural reserves.

System: Federal Presidential Republic; the president is elected every five years.

Administrative Divisions: composed of 18 states, ruled by elected governors (Wali)

Capital: Khartoum, and each states have its own capital.

Official languages: Arabic and English is widely spoken.

Geography of Sudan

Sudan is situated in northern Africa, with a 853 km (530 mi) coastline bordering the Red Sea. It has land borders with Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Chad, and Libya. With an area of 1,886,068 km2 (728,215 sq mi), it is the third largest country on the continent (after Algeria and Democratic Republic of the Congo) and the sixteenth largest in the world. Sudan lies between latitudes 8° and 23°N.

The terrain is generally flat plains, broken by several mountain ranges; in the west the Deriba Caldera (3,042 m or 9,980 ft), located in the Marrah Mountains, is the highest point in Sudan; in the east are the Red Sea Hills.

The Blue and White Nile rivers meet in Khartoum to form the River Nile, which flows northwards through Egypt to the Mediterranean Sea. The Blue Nile's course through Sudan is nearly 800 km (497 mi) long and is joined by the Dinder and Rahad Rivers between Sennar and Khartoum. The White Nile within Sudan has no significant tributaries.

The amount of rainfall increases towards the south. The central and the northern part have extremely dry desert areas such as the Nubian Desert to the northeast and the Bayuda Desert to the east; in the south there are swamps and rainforest. Sudan’s rainy season lasts for about three months (July to September) in the north, and up to six months (June to November) in the south.

There are several dams on the Blue and White Niles. Among them are the Sennar and Roseires Dams on the Blue Nile, and the Jebel Aulia Dam on the White Nile. There is also Merawe Dam and Lake Nubia on the Sudanese-Egyptian border.

Rich mineral resources are available in Sudan including asbestos, chromium, cobalt, copper, gold, granite, gypsum, iron, kaolin, lead, manganese, mica, natural gas, nickel, petroleum, silver, tin, uranium and zinc.