|SUDAN COAT OF ARMS|
Location of Sudan within the Continent of Africa
Map of Sudan
Flag Description of Sudan : The flag of Sudan was officially adopted on May 20, 1970. It's similar to flags of other Arab countries in both color and style.
The red represents socialism, green the traditional color of Islam, while white is symbolic of purity and optimism. Those three colors combined are also the official Pan-Arab colors.
Official name Jumhūriyyat al-Sūdān1, 2 (Republic of the )
Form of government military-backed interim regime with Council of States (323); National Assembly (354)4
Head of state and government President: Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir, assisted by Vice Presidents: Bakri Hassan Saleh and Hassabo Mohammed Abdel Rahman
Official languages Arabic6; English6
Official religion See footnote 7.
Monetary unit Sudanese pound (SDG)
Population (2014 est.) 35,482,000COLLAPSE
Total area (sq mi) 712,280
Total area (sq km) 1,844,797
- Urban: (2011) 33.2%
- Rural: (2011) 66.8%
Life expectancy at birth
- Male: (2012) 60.6 years
- Female: (2012) 64.7 years
Literacy: percentage of population age 15 and over literate
- Male: (2010) 80.1%
- Female: (2010) 62%
vGNI per capita (U.S.$) (2013) 1,130
1Alternately known as The Sudan.
2Data prior to 2011 include the newly created South Sudan unless otherwise noted.
3Includes 2 observers from Abyei Area Council, who do not have voting rights.
4Comprehensive peace agreement ending 21-year-long war in southern Sudan signed Jan. 9, 2005; interim constitution from July 9, 2005, to be effective for 6 years; South Sudan seceded on July 9, 2011.
5Council of States meets in Khartoum; National Assembly meets in Omdurman.
6Official working language per 2005 interim constitution.
7Islamic law and custom are applicable to Muslims only.
- 1 About Sudan
- 2 Geography of Republic of the Sudan
- 3 Deomography of Republic of the Sudan
- 4 Government of Republic of the Sudan
- 5 Society and Culture of the Sudan
- 6 HISTORY of Republic of the Sudan
- 7 Independence of Republic of the Sudan
- 8 GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS of Republic of the Sudan
- 9 List of Cities in Sudan
- 10 Humanitarian Situation of Republic of the Sudan
- 11 ECONOMY of Republic of the Sudan
- 12 DEFENSE of Republic of the Sudan
- 13 FOREIGN RELATIONS of Republic of the Sudan
- 14 TRAVEL AND BUSINESS INFORMATION of Republic of the Sudan
- 15 Disclaimer
Sudan, country located in northeastern Africa. The name Sudan derives from the Arabic expression bilād al-sūdān (“land of the blacks”), by which medieval Arab geographers referred to the settled African countries that began at the southern edge of the Sahara. For more than a century, Sudan—first as a colonial holding, then as an independent country—included its neighbour South Sudan, home to many sub-Saharan African ethnic groups. Prior to the secession of the south in 2011, Sudan was the largest African country, with an area that represented more than 8 percent of the African continent and almost 2 percent of the world’s total land area.
Since ancient times the Sudan region has been an arena for interaction between the cultural traditions of Africa and those of the Mediterranean world. Islam and the Arabic language achieved ascendancy in many northern parts of the region, while older African languages and cultures predominated in the south.
The country became independent in 1956 and has had numerous changes in government since then. Successive regimes found it difficult to win general acceptance from the diverse political constituencies. An early conflict arose between those northern leaders who hoped to impose unity upon the nation through the vigorous extension of Islamic law and culture to all parts of the country and those who opposed this policy; the latter included the majority of southerners and those northerners who favoured a secular government.
From 1955 until 1972 there prevailed a costly and divisive civil war, fought largely in the south but punctuated by violent incidents in the north. The Addis Ababa Agreement of 1972 ended the conflict only temporarily, and in 1983 the civil war resumed. By this time the comparative lack of economic development in the south had become a new source of regional grievance, and northern leaders’ continuing attempts to Islamize the Sudanese legal system proved an even more potent source of discord. Attempts to end the civil war included numerous discussions, cease-fires, and agreements but yielded very little success until 2005, when the Comprehensive Peace Agreement ended the warfare. It also granted southern Sudan semiautonomous status and stipulated that a referendum on independence for the south would be held in six years. The results of the vote, held in January 2011, were overwhelmingly in favour of independence, and South Sudan was declared an independent country on July 9, 2011.
Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, is located roughly in the centre of the country, at the junction of the Blue Nile and White Nile rivers. It is part of the largest urban area in Sudan and is a centre of commerce as well as of government.
Geography of Republic of the Sudan
Area: 2.5 million sq. km. (967,500 sq. mi.); the largest country in Africa and almost the size of continental U.S. east of the Mississippi River. Cities: Capital--Khartoum (pop. 1.4 million). Other cities--Omdurman (2.1 million), Port Sudan (pop. 450,000), Kassala, Kosti, Juba (capital of southern region). Land boundaries: Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, and Uganda. Terrain: Generally flat with mountains in east and west. Khartoum is situated at the confluence of the Blue and White Nile Rivers. The southern regions are inundated during the annual floods of the Nile River system (the Suud or swamps). Climate: Desert and savanna in the north and central regions and tropical in the south.
Sudan is bounded on the north by Egypt, on the east by the Red Sea, Eritrea, and Ethiopia, on the south by South Sudan, on the west by the Central African Republic and Chad, and on the northwest by Libya.
Sudan is mainly composed of vast plains and plateaus that are drained by the Nile River and its tributaries. This river system runs from south to north across the entire length of the east-central part of the country. The immense plain of which Sudan is composed is bounded on the west by the Nile-Congo watershed and the highlands of Darfur and on the east by the Ethiopian Plateau and the Red Sea Hills (ʿAtbāy). This plain can be divided into a northern area of rock desert that is part of the Sahara; the western Qawz, an area of undulating sand dunes that merges northward into the rock desert; and a central-southern clay plain.
Most of northern Sudan is a sand- or gravel-covered desert, diversified by flat-topped mesas of Nubian sandstone and islandlike steep-sided granite hills. In south-central Sudan the clay plain is marked by inselbergs (isolated hills rising abruptly from the plains), the largest group of which forms the Nuba Mountains (Jibāl Al-Nūbah). The western plain is composed primarily of Nubian sandstones, which form a dissected plateau region with flat-topped mesas and buttes. The volcanic highlands of the Marrah Mountains rise out of the Darfur Plateau farther west to elevations between approximately 3,000 and 10,000 feet (900 and 3,000 metres) above sea level. These mountains form the Nile-Congo watershed and the western boundary of the clay plain.
In northeastern Sudan the Red Sea Hills region is an uplifted escarpment. The scarp slope facing the Red Sea forms rugged hills that are deeply incised by streams. The escarpment overlooks a narrow coastal plain that is 10 to 25 miles (16 to 40 km) wide and festooned with dunes and coral reefs. Farther south the eastern uplands constitute the foothills of the Ethiopian highland massif.
- Drainage and soils
The Nile River system is the dominant physical feature, and all streams and rivers of Sudan drain either into or toward the Nile. It enters the country as the White Nile (Baḥr Al-Abyaḍ) in the southeast, about 60 miles (100 km) south of Kūstī, and maintains an extremely low gradient until it is joined by the Blue Nile (Baḥr Al-Azraq) at Khartoum. The Blue Nile, which rises in the Ethiopian Plateau, contributes much of the floodwaters of the White Nile. After the confluence of the White and Blue Niles at Khartoum, the river flows in a great northward-curving course and is known simply as the Nile (Nahr Al-Nīl). Throughout much of the country, however, drainage does not reach the Nile; the rivers of the southwest infrequently reach the Baḥr Al-Ghazāl system, and to the north most hill groups initiate seasonal watercourses that are lost in the surrounding plains.
The surface of the deserts in the north and northeast are either bare rock, a mantle of bare waste, or sandy expanses of mobile dunes known as ergs. In the semiarid zone of north-central Sudan, the layer of rock waste is slightly modified to form immature soils; in the Qawz region, soils are brownish red and of low fertility. Alluvial soils occur at the desert deltas of Al-Qāsh (the Gash) and Barakah rivers, along the White and Blue Niles, and in the alluvial plains of the many small rivers radiating from the Marrah Mountains. The alkaline soils of the south-central plain are heavy cracking clays. The soil of the Gezira (Al-Jazīrah) plain south of Khartoum is deep-cracking uniform clay that has been deposited during the annual inundations of the Blue Nile.
In northernmost Sudan, northerly winds prevail for most of the year, and rainfall is rare. To the south of this the seasons are characterized by the north-south oscillation of the boundary between moist southerly air and dry northerly air. In winter the north winds of the tropical air mass blow across Sudan. These winds are relatively cool and dry and usually bring no rain. Sometime around May, the moist southerly air of the southern maritime air mass moves northward across the country. Because of this, central and southern Sudan have rainy seasons, the total lengths of which vary according to their latitude.
Sudan is a hot country. The central and eastern areas have the highest mean annual temperatures, typically ranging from the mid-90s to mid-100s F (mid-30s to low 40s C). In the west and northwest of the country, the highest mean temperatures generally range from the mid-80s to mid-90s F (low to mid-30s C). The highest temperatures normally occur just before the rainy season. The mean minimum temperatures in most of the country range from the high 60s to high 70s F (low to mid-20s C); in the west and northwest, mean minimum temperatures are a little lower, ranging from the high 50s to high 60s F (mid-10s to low 20s C).
Precipitation varies from almost nothing in the north and centre to 20–30 inches (500–750 mm) annually in the south. Along the Red Sea the climate is alleviated by sea breezes, and most of the rain falls during winter. In southern Sudan, precipitation usually occurs during the summer months. Dust storms are common in the north and centre, often occurring before rainstorms in the late spring and early summer.
- Plant and animal life
Sudan has five main vegetational belts in succession from north to south, more or less in coincidence with rainfall patterns. The desert region in the north is followed southeastward by semidesert, low-rainfall and high-rainfall savanna (grassland) with inland floodplains, and mountain vegetation regions. The desert region, with hardly any rainfall, supports permanent vegetation only near watercourses. The semidesert, with minimal rainfall, supports a mixture of grasses and acacia scrub. Farther south appear low-rainfall savannas that consist of grasses, thorny trees, and baobab trees. Acacia trees dominate these savannas, with one species, Acacia senegal, yielding the gum arabic which was long one of Sudan’s principal exports. The high-rainfall savannas of southern Sudan are more lush, with rich grasses along the Nile that support a large number of cattle. There are intermittent woodlands that dot this belt.
Large areas of Sudan’s natural vegetation have disappeared because of the effects of centuries of cultivation and because of grass fires that annually may sweep across more than half the country. Further dangers to plant life are the effects of overstocking, soil erosion, the lowering of the water table, and the advance of the desert from the north.
The country’s wildlife includes lions, leopards, and cheetahs, as well as elephants, giraffes, rhinoceroses, and numerous varieties of antelope. Several species of monkeys are found in the forests. Resident birds include bustards, guinea fowl, and storks. Reptiles include crocodiles and various lizards. Insect life is abundant, and the tsetse fly is found south of latitude 12° N whenever suitable conditions occur.
Sudan has several protected nature areas, including game reserves and national parks. Dinder National Park, located in the southeast, and Radom National Park, in the southwest, have been designated as UNESCO biosphere reserves.
Deomography of Republic of the Sudan
Nationality: Noun and adjective (sing. and pl.)--Sudanese. Population (2008 est.): 40,218,456; 30%-33% urban. Annual growth rate (2004 est.): 2.134%. Ethnic groups: Arab/Muslim north and black African/Christian and animist south. Religions: Islam (official), indigenous beliefs (southern Sudan), Christianity. Languages: Arabic (official), English, tribal languages. Education: Years compulsory--8. Attendance--35%-40%. Literacy--61%. Health: Infant mortality rate--86.98/1,000. Life expectancy--50.28 yrs. Work force: Agriculture--80%; industry and commerce--7%; government--13%.
PEOPLE of Republic of the Sudan
Sudan's population is one of the most diverse on the African continent. Within two distinct major cultures--Arab and black African--there are hundreds of ethnic and tribal subdivisions and language groups, which make effective collaboration among them a major political challenge.
The northern states cover most of the Sudan and include most of the urban centers. Most of the 22 million Sudanese who live in this region are Arabic-speaking Muslims, though the majority also uses a non-Arabic mother tongue--e.g., Nubian, Beja, Fur, Nuban, Ingessana, etc. Among these are several distinct tribal groups: the Kababish of northern Kordofan, a camel-raising people; the Ja'alin and Shaigiyya groups of settled tribes along the rivers; the semi-nomadic Baggara of Kordofan and Darfur; the Hamitic Beja in the Red Sea area and Nubians of the northern Nile areas, some of whom have been resettled on the Atbara River; and the Nuba of southern Kordofan and Fur in the western reaches of the country.
The southern region has a population of around 6 million and a predominantly rural, subsistence economy. Except for a ten-year hiatus, southern Sudan has been embroiled in conflict, resulting in major destruction and displacement since independence. The conflict has severely affected the population of the south, resulting in over 2 million deaths and more than 4 million people displaced. The southern Sudanese practice mainly indigenous traditional beliefs, although Christian missionaries have converted some. The south also contains many tribal groups and many more languages than are used in the north. The Dinka--whose population is estimated at more than 1 million--is the largest of the many black African tribes in Sudan. The Shilluk and the Nuer are among the Nilotic tribes. The Azande, Bor, and Jo Luo are Sudanic tribes in the west, and the Acholi and Lotuhu live in the extreme south, extending into Uganda.
In 2008, Sudan's population reached an estimated 40.2 million. A new census was conducted in early 2008. The complete census results are expected in December 2008 or early 2009.
- Even after the secession of the south in 2011, Sudan’s population still exhibited a diverse profile. The Sudanese people boast several major ethnic groups and hundreds of subgroups, and they speak numerous languages and dialects.
- Ethnic groups
In many ways, the concept of ethnicity in Sudan is closely related to language and religion. The country is dominated by Muslims, most of whom speak Arabic and identify themselves as “Arabs.” They are for the most part ethnically mixed, and many of them are physically indistinguishable from those who do not consider themselves Arabs. Despite a common language and religion, the Arabs do not constitute a cohesive group: they are highly differentiated in their mode of livelihood and comprise city dwellers, village farmers, and pastoral nomads. The Arabs historically have been divided into tribes based on presumed descent from a common ancestor. The tribal system has largely disintegrated in urban areas and settled villages, however, and retains its strength only among the nomads of the plains who raise cattle, sheep, and camels. Each Arab tribe or cluster of tribes is in turn assigned to a larger tribal grouping, of which the two largest are the Jalayin and the Juhaynah. The Jalayin encompasses the sedentary agriculturalists along the middle Nile from Dongola south to Khartoum and includes such tribes as the Jalayin tribe proper, the Shāyqiyyah, and the Rubtab. The Juhaynah, by contrast, traditionally consisted of nomadic tribes, although some of them have now become settled. Among the major tribes in the Juhaynah grouping are the Shukriyah, the Kababish, and the Baqqārah. All three of these tribes herd camels or cattle on the semiarid plains of western, central, and eastern Sudan.
Besides Arabs, there are several Muslim but non-Arab groups in the country. The most notable of these are the Nubians, who live along the Nile in the far north and in southern Egypt. Most Nubians speak Arabic as a second language. The same applies to the Beja, who inhabit the Red Sea Hills. Although they adopted Islam, these pastoral nomads have retained their Bedawi language, which belongs to the Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family. Another non-Arab Muslim people is the Fur; these sedentary agriculturalists live in or near the Marrah Mountains in the far west. North of the Fur are the Zaghawa, who are scattered in the border region between Sudan and Chad.
The vast majority of non-Muslim peoples in Sudan live in the south. One of the most prominent groups, the Nuba, live in the Nuba Mountains. The Nuba are hill cultivators who have tended to be isolated from adjacent peoples in the Nile valley. They speak various Eastern Sudanic languages, among them Midobi and Birked, that are collectively known as Hill Nubian. Another southern group is the Dinka, who live near the border with South Sudan. The capital, Khartoum, in the centre of Sudan, is also home to non-Muslim populations.
As alluded to above, there are many languages spoken in Sudan. Arabic is the primary language of much of the population and is the most common medium for the conduct of government, commerce, and urban life throughout the country. Both Arabic and English are official working languages of the country and were designated as such by the 2005 interim constitution.
Most languages spoken in Sudan belong to three families of African languages: Afro-Asiatic, Nilo-Saharan, and Niger-Congo. The Afro-Asiatic languages, Arabic and the Bedawi language of the Beja, are the most widely spoken. The Nilo-Saharan languages include the many Nubian languages, spoken in various places across the country, the Zaghawa and Fur languages, spoken primarily in the west and southwest respectively, and the Dinka language, spoken in the south. The Niger-Congo family is represented by the numerous Kordofanian languages, spoken in southern Sudan, and other languages spoken by smaller ethnic groups. To surmount these language barriers, the vast majority of Sudanese have become multilingual, with Arabic and, to a lesser extent, English as second languages.
The majority of Sudan’s population is Muslim, belonging overwhelmingly to the Sunni branch. Sunni Islam in Sudan, as in much of the rest of Africa, has been characterized by the formation of tarīqahs, or Muslim religious brotherhoods. The oldest of these tarīqahs is the Qādiriyyah, which was introduced to the Sudan region from the Middle East in the 16th century. Another major tarīqah is the Khatmiyyah, or Mīrghaniyyah, which was founded by Muḥammad ʿUthmān al-Mīrghanī in the early 19th century. Perhaps the most-powerful and best-organized tarīqah is the Mahdiyyah; its followers led a successful revolt against the Turco-Egyptian regime (1821–85) and established an independent state in the Sudan that lasted from 1884 to 1898. The Mahdiyyah and Khatmiyyah tarīqahs formed the basis for the political parties that emerged in the Sudan in the 1940s and have continued to play a dominant role in the nation’s politics in the postindependence period.
A small percentage of Sudan’s population follow traditional animist religions, particularly in the Nuba Mountains. Although these animists share some common elements of religious belief, each ethnic group has its own indigenous religion. Virtually all Sudan’s traditional African religions share the conception of a high spirit or divinity, usually a creator god. Two conceptions of the universe exist: the earthly and the heavenly, or the visible and the invisible. The heavenly world is seen as being populated by spiritual beings whose function is to serve as intermediaries or messengers of God; in the case of the Nilotes, these spirits are identified with their ancestors. The supreme deity is the object of rituals using music and dance.
Christians account for another small portion of the population. Christianity first came to the Sudan about the 6th century ce, and for centuries thereafter Christian churches flourished in the ancient kingdom of Nubia. After the establishment of Muslim rule in Egypt and later Arab migrations into the Sudan, Christianity declined in Nubia and was gradually replaced by Islam; the process was complete by the end of the 15th century. Christianity in Sudan today is a product of European missionary efforts that began in the second half of the 19th century. Most of those efforts were concentrated in the Nuba Mountains rather than among the Muslims of the north.
- Settlement patterns
Rural settlements in Sudan are usually clustered along watercourses, because of water supply problems especially during the dry months. In the north, villages are often strung out along the rivers. The types of houses built vary from region to region. In the north and some central and southern areas, houses are made of sun-dried bricks and have flat-topped roofs, while farther south the people build round huts with thatched conical roofs made out of grass, millet stalks, and wooden poles, called tukuls. In central-southern and western Sudan, walls constructed of millet stalks often surround building compounds.
Though towns are few and widely scattered, about one-third of Sudan’s population can be considered urban. Urbanization has been more pronounced in areas of the country where trade is more highly developed. With few exceptions, all major cities and towns in Sudan lie along the Nile or one of its tributaries or along the coast of the Red Sea.
The largest urban area is that of the capital, Khartoum, and nearby Omdurman and Khartoum North, located roughly in the centre of the country. The easily defended site of Khartoum was adopted by the Egyptian-Ottoman government as the colonial capital of the Sudan in the 1830s. Today it is firmly established as the centre of both government and commerce in the country. Omdurman, formerly the capital of the Mahdist state in the Sudan, retains a more traditional atmosphere, while Khartoum North is an industrially oriented city. Other major cities and towns in Sudan include Nyala, in the southwest, Port Sudan, on the Red Sea coast in the northeast, and Ubayyid, in the south.
- Demographic trends
The country has a young population, with some two-fifths under age 15; more than one-fourth of the population is between ages 15 and 29. Sudan has a rather low population density as a whole, but, due to the lack of adequate water supplies in many parts of the country, half of the population lives on just over 15 percent of the land. By contrast, one-quarter of Sudan is virtually uninhabited, including the deserts of the north and northwest.
There has been considerable rural-to-urban migration in Sudan in the decades since independence; the urban population increased from 8.3 to 18 percent of the total between 1956 and 1972, and at the time of the south’s secession in 2011 the fraction of the population that is urban was about one-third. Recurrent famine and the long-running civil war brought more than three million southern and western Sudanese to the capital since 1983.
Because of the prevalence of pastoral livelihoods, the Sudanese population is highly mobile. About one-tenth of the population still follows a totally nomadic lifestyle.
Government of Republic of the Sudan
Independence: January 1, 1956. Type: Provisional Government established by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in January 2005 that provides for power sharing pending national elections. The CPA stipulates that national elections are to occur no later than July 2009. Constitution: The Interim National Constitution was adopted on July 6, 2005. It was drafted by the National Constitutional Review Commission, as mandated by the January 2005 CPA. The Government of Southern Sudan also has a constitution adopted in December 2005; it was certified by the Ministry of Justice to be in conformity with the Interim National Constitution and the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. Branches: Executive--executive authority is held by the president, who also is the prime minister, head of state, head of government, and commander in chief of the armed forces; effective July 9, 2005, the executive branch includes a first vice president and a vice president. As stipulated by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the first vice president position is held by a person selected by the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM). Legislative--National Legislature. The National Assembly, the lower house, has 450 members with a power-sharing formula which allows the ruling National Congress Party to get 52%; the SPLM, 28%; other northern and southern parties, 14% and 6% respectively. There is also an upper house, the Council of States, which is composed of two representatives from each of the nation's 26 states, including two observers from Abyei. Judicial--High Court, Minister of Justice, Attorney General, civil and special tribunals. Administrative subdivisions: Twenty-six states, each with a governor appointed by the president, along with a state cabinet and a state legislative assembly. Political parties: Currently there are several political parties in both the nation's north and south. All political parties were banned following the June 30, 1989 military coup. Political associations, which take the place of parties, were authorized in 2000. Some parties are in self-imposed exile. Central government budget (2007 est.): $9.201 billion. Defense (2005 est.): 3% of GDP.
Society and Culture of the Sudan
The first and overwhelming impression of Sudan is its physical vastness and ethnic diversity, elements that have shaped its regional history from time immemorial. The country encompasses virtually every geographical feature, from the harsh deserts of the north to the rain forests rising on its southern borders. Like most African countries, Sudan is defined by boundaries that European powers determined at the end of the nineteenth century. The British colonial administration in Sudan, established in 1899, emphasized indirect rule by tribal shaykhs and chiefs, although tribalism had been considerably weakened as an administrative institution during the Mahdist period (1884- 98). This loosening of loyalties exacerbated problems in governmental structure and administration and in the peoples' identification as Sudanese. To this day, loyalty remains divided among family, clan, ethnic group, and religion, and it is difficult to forge a nation because the immensity of the land permits many of Sudan's ethnic and tribal groups to live relatively undisturbed by the central government.
The Nile is the link that runs through Sudan, and influences the lives of Sudan's people, even though many of them farm and herd far from the Nile or its two main tributaries, the Blue Nile and the White Nile. Not only do nomads come to the river to water their herds and cultivators to drain off its waters for their fields, but the Nile facilitates trade, administration, and urbanization. Consequently, the confluence of the Blue Nile and the White Nile became the administrative center of a vast hinterland because the area commanded the river, its commerce, and its urban society. This location enabled the urban elites to control the scattered and often isolated population of the interior while enjoying access to the peoples of the outside world.
Although linked by dependence on the Nile, Sudan's population is divided by ethnic, linguistic, and religious differences. Many Sudanese in the north claim Arab descent and speak Arabic, but Sudanese Arabs are highly differentiated. Over many generations, they have intermingled in varying degrees with the indigenous peoples. Arabic is Sudan's official language (with Arabic and English the predominant languages in the south), but beyond Khartoum and its two neighboring cities of Omdurman and Khartoum North a variety of languages is spoken. A more unifying factor is Islam, which has spread widely among the peoples of northern Sudan. But, once again, the Sunni (see Glossary) Muslims of northern Sudan form no monolithic bloc. Some, especially in the urban centers, are strictly orthodox Muslims, while others, mostly in the rural areas, are attracted more to Sufism, an Islamic mystical tendency, in their search for Allah. Within this branch and tendency of Islam are a host of religious sects with their own Islamic rituals and syncretistic adaptations.
The Sudanese of the south are of African origin. Islam has made only modest inroads among these followers of traditional religions and of Christianity, which was spread in the twentieth century by European missionaries, and Arabic has not replaced the diverse languages of the south. The differences between north and south have usually engendered hostility, a clash of cultures that in the last 150 years has led to seemingly endless violence. The strong regional and cultural differences have inhibited nation building and have caused the civil war in the south that has raged since independence, except for a period of peace between 1972 and 1983. The distrust between Sudanese of the north and those of the south--whether elite or peasants--has deepened with the long years of hostilities. And the cost of war has drained valuable national resources at the expense of health, education, and welfare in both regions.
Sudan's ethnic and linguistic diversity remained one of the most complex in the world in 1991. Its nearly 600 ethnic groups spoke more than 400 languages and dialects, many of them intelligible to only a small number of individuals. In the 1980s and 1990s some of these small groups became absorbed by larger groups, while migration often caused individuals reared in one tongue to converse only in the dominant language of the new area. Such was the case with migrants to the Three Towns. There Arabic was the lingua franca despite the use of English by many of the elite. Some linguistic groups had been absorbed by accommodation, others by conflict. Most Sudanese were, of necessity, multilingual. Choice of language played a political role in the ethnic and religious cleavage between the northern and southern Sudanese. English was associated with being non-Muslim, as Arabic was associated with Islam. Thus language was a political instrument and a symbol of identity.
The definition and boundaries of ethnic groups depend on how people perceive themselves and others. Language, cultural characteristics, and common ancestry may be used as markers of ethnic identity or difference, but they do not always define groups of people. Thus, the people called Atuot and the much larger group called Nuer spoke essentially the same language, shared many cultural characteristics, and acknowledged a common ancestry, but each group defined itself and the other as different. Identifying ethnic groups in Sudan was made more complicated by the multifaceted character of internal divisions among Arabic-speaking Muslims, the largest population that might be considered a single ethnic group.
The distinction between Sudan's Muslim and non-Muslim people has been of considerable importance in the country's history and provides a preliminary ordering of the ethnic groups. It does not, however, correspond in any simple way to distinctions based on linguistic, cultural, or racial criteria nor to social or political solidarity. Ethnic group names commonly used in Sudan and by foreign analysts are not always used by the people themselves. That is particularly true for non-Arabs known by names coined by Arabs or by the British, who based the names on terms used by Arabs or others not of the group itself. Thus, the Dinka and the Nuer, the largest groups in southern Sudan, call themselves, respectively, Jieng and Naath.
Language differences have served as a partial basis for ethnic classification and as symbols of ethnic identity. Such differences have been obstacles to the flow of communication in a state as linguistically fragmented as Sudan. These barriers have been overcome in part by the emergence of some languages as lingua francas and by a considerable degree of multilingualism in some areas.
Most languages spoken in Africa fall into four language superstocks. Three of them--Afro-Asiatic, Niger-Kurdufanian, and Nilo-Saharan--are represented in Sudan. Each is divided into groups that are in turn subdivided into sets of closely related languages. Two or more major groups of each superstock are represented in Sudan, which has been historically both a northsouth and an east-west migration crossroad.
The most widely spoken language in the Sudan is Arabic, a member of the Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family. Cushitic, another major division of the Afro-Asiatic language, is represented by Bedawiye (with several dialects), spoken by the largely nomadic Beja. Chadic, a third division, is represented by its most important single language, Hausa, a West African tongue used by the Hausa themselves and employed by many other West Africans in Sudan as a lingua franca.
Niger-Kurdufanian is first divided into Niger-Congo and Kurdufanian. The widespread Niger-Congo language group includes many divisions and subdivisions of languages. Represented in Sudan are Azande and several other tongues of the Adamawa-Eastern language division, and Fulani of the West Atlantic division. The Kurdufanian stock comprises only thirty to forty languages spoken in a limited area of Sudan, the Nuba Mountains and their environs.
The designation of a Nilo-Saharan superstock has not been fully accepted by linguists, and its constituent groups and subgroups are not firmly fixed, in part because many of the languages have not been well studied. Assuming the validity of the category and its internal divisions, however, eight of its nine major divisions and many of their subdivisions are well represented in Sudan, where roughly seventy-five languages, well over half of those named in the 1955-56 census, could be identified as Nilo-Saharan. Many of these languages are used only by small groups of people. Only six or seven of them were spoken by 1 percent or more of Sudan's 1956 population. Perhaps another dozen were the home languages of 0.5 to 1 percent. Many other languages were used by a few thousand or even a few hundred people.
The number of languages and dialects in Sudan is assumed to be about 400, including languages spoken by an insignificant number of people. Moreover, languages of smaller ethnic groups tended to disappear when the groups assimilated with more dominant ethnic units.
Several lingua francas have emerged and many peoples have become genuinely multilingual, fluent in a native language spoken at home, a lingua franca, and perhaps other languages. Arabic is the primary lingua franca in Sudan, given its status as the country's official language and as the language of Islam. Arabic, however, has several different forms, and not all who master one are able to use another. Among the varieties noted by scholars are classical Arabic, the language of the Quran (although generally not a spoken language and only used for printed work and by the educated in conversation); Modern Standard Arabic, derived from classical Arabic; and at least two kinds of colloquial Arabic in the Sudan--that spoken in roughly the eastern half of the country and called Sudanese colloquial Arabic and that spoken in western Sudan, closely akin to the colloquial Arabic spoken in Chad. There are other colloquial forms. A pidgin called Juba Arabic is peculiar to southern Sudan. Although some Muslims might become acquainted with classical Arabic in the course of rudimentary religious schooling, very few except the most educated know it except by rote.
Modern Standard Arabic is in principle the same everywhere in the Arab world and presumably permits communication among educated persons whose mother tongue is one or another form of colloquial Arabic. Despite its international character, however, Modern Standard Arabic varies from country to country. It has been, however, the language used in Sudan's central government, the press, and Radio Omdurman. The latter also broadcast in classical Arabic. One observer, writing in the early 1970s, noted that Arabic speakers (and others who had acquired the language informally) in western Sudan found it easier to understand the Chadian colloquial Arabic used by Chad Radio than the Modern Standard Arabic used by Radio Omdurman. This might also be the case elsewhere in rural Sudan where villagers and nomads speak a local dialect of Arabic.
Despite Arabic's status as the official national language, English was acknowledged as the principal language in southern Sudan in the late 1980s. It was also the chief language at the University of Khartoum and was the language of secondary schools even in the north before 1969. The new policy for higher education announced by the Sudanese government in 1990 indicated the language of instruction in all institutions of higher learning would be Arabic.
Nevertheless, in the south, the first two years of primary school were taught in the local language. Thereafter, through secondary school, either Arabic or English could become the medium of instruction (English and Arabic were regarded as of equal importance); the language not used as a medium was taught as a subject. In the early 1970s, when this option was established, roughly half the general secondary classes (equivalent to grades seven through nine) were conducted in Arabic and half in English in Bahr al Ghazal and Al Istiwai provinces. In early 1991, with about 90 percent of the southern third of the country controlled by the Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA), the use of Arabic as a medium of instruction in southern schools remained a political issue, with many southerners regarding Arabic as an element in northern cultural domination.
Juba (or pidgin) Arabic, developed and learned informally, had been used in southern towns, particularly in Al Istiwai, for some time and had spread slowly but steadily throughout the south, but not always at the expense of English. The Juba Arabic used in the marketplace and even by political figures addressing ethnically mixed urban audiences could not be understood by northern Sudanese.
More than half of total population Muslim, most living in north where Muslims constitute 75 percent or more of population. Relatively few Christians, most living in south. Most people in south and substantial minority in north adherents of various indigenous religions. Somewhat more than half Sudan's population was Muslim in the early 1990s. Most Muslims, perhaps 90 percent, lived in the north, where they constituted 75 percent or more of the population. Data on Christians was less reliable; estimates ranged from 4 to 10 percent of the population. At least one-third of the Sudanese were still attached to the indigenous religions of their forebears. Most Christian Sudanese and adherents of local religious systems lived in southern Sudan. Islam had made inroads into the south, but more through the need to know Arabic than a profound belief in the tenets of the Quran. The SPLM, which in 1991 controlled most of southern Sudan, opposed the imposition of the sharia (Islamic law).
Christianity was most prevalent among the peoples of Al Istiwai State--the Madi, Moru, Azande, and Bari. The major churches in the Sudan were the Roman Catholic and the Anglican. Southern communities might include a few Christians, but the rituals and world view of the area were not in general those of traditional Western Christianity. The few communities that had formed around mission stations had disappeared with the dissolution of the missions in 1964. The indigenous Christian churches in Sudan, with external support, continued their mission, however, and had opened new churches and repaired those destroyed in the continuing civil conflict. Originally, the Nilotic peoples were indifferent to Christianity, but in the latter half of the twentieth century many people in the educated elite embraced its tenets, at least superficially. English and Christianity have become symbols of resistance to the Muslim government in the north, which has vowed to destroy both. Unlike the early civil strife of the 1960s and 1970s, the insurgency in the 1980s and the 1990s has taken on a more religiously confrontational character.
HISTORY of Republic of the Sudan
Sudan was a collection of small, independent kingdoms and principalities from the beginning of the Christian era until 1820-21, when Egypt conquered and unified the northern portion of the country. However, neither the Egyptian nor the Mahdist state (1883-1898) had any effective control of the southern region outside of a few garrisons. Southern Sudan remained an area of fragmented tribes, subject to frequent attacks by slave raiders.
In 1881, a religious leader named Muhammad ibn Abdalla proclaimed himself the Mahdi, or the "expected one," and began a religious crusade to unify the tribes in western and central Sudan. His followers took on the name "Ansars" (the followers) which they continue to use today and are associated with the single largest political grouping, the Umma Party, led by a descendant of the Mahdi, Sadiq al Mahdi.
Taking advantage of dissatisfaction resulting from Ottoman-Egyptian exploitation and maladministration, the Mahdi led a nationalist revolt culminating in the fall of Khartoum in 1885. The Mahdi died shortly thereafter, but his state survived until overwhelmed by an invading Anglo-Egyptian force under Lord Kitchener in 1898. While nominally administered jointly by Egypt and Britain, Britain exercised control, formulated policies, and supplied most of the top administrators.
Independence of Republic of the Sudan
In February 1953, the United Kingdom and Egypt concluded an agreement providing for Sudanese self-government and self-determination. The transitional period toward independence began with the inauguration of the first parliament in 1954. With the consent of the British and Egyptian Governments, Sudan achieved independence on January 1, 1956, under a provisional constitution. This constitution was silent on two crucial issues for southern leaders--the secular or Islamic character of the state and its federal or unitary structure. However, the Arab-led Khartoum government reneged on promises to southerners to create a federal system, which led to a mutiny by southern army officers that launched 17 years of civil war (1955-72).
Sudan has been at war with itself for more than three quarters of its existence. Since independence, protracted conflict rooted in deep cultural and religious differences have slowed Sudan's economic and political development and forced massive internal displacement of its people. Northerners, who have traditionally controlled the country, have sought to unify it along the lines of Arabism and Islam despite the opposition of non-Muslims, southerners, and marginalized peoples in the west and east. The resultant civil strife affected Sudan's neighbors, as they alternately sheltered fleeing refugees or served as operating bases for rebel movements.
In 1958, General Ibrahim Abboud seized power and pursued a policy of Arabization and Islamicization for both north and south Sudan that strengthened southern opposition. General Abboud was overthrown in 1964 and a civilian caretaker government assumed control. Southern leaders eventually divided into two factions, those who advocated a federal solution and those who argued for self-determination, a euphemism for secession since it was assumed the south would vote for independence if given the choice.
Until 1969, there was a succession of governments that proved unable either to agree on a permanent constitution or to cope with problems of factionalism, economic stagnation, and ethnic dissidence. These regimes were dominated by "Arab" Muslims who asserted their Arab-Islamic agenda and refused any kind of self-determination for southern Sudan.
In May 1969, a group of communist and socialist officers led by Colonel Gaafar Muhammad Nimeiri, seized power. A month after coming to power, Nimeiri proclaimed socialism (instead of Islamism) for the country and outlined a policy of granting autonomy to the south. Nimeiri in turn was the target of a coup attempt by communist members of the government. It failed and Nimeiri ordered a massive purge of communists. This alienated the Soviet Union, which withdrew its support.
Already lacking support from the Muslim parties he had chased from power, Nimeiri could no longer count on the communist faction. Having alienated the right and the left, Nimeiri turned to the south as a way of expanding his limited powerbase. He pursued peace initiatives with Sudan's hostile neighbors, Ethiopia and Uganda, signing agreements that committed each signatory to withdraw support for the other's rebel movements. He then initiated negotiations with the southern rebels and signed an agreement in Addis Ababa in 1972 that granted a measure of autonomy to the south. Southern support helped him put down two coup attempts, one initiated by officers from the western regions of Darfur and Kordofan who wanted for their region the same privileges granted to the south.
However, the Addis Ababa Agreement had no support from either the secularist or Islamic northern parties. Nimeiri concluded that their lack of support was more threatening to his regime than lack of support from the south so he announced a policy of national reconciliation with all the religious opposition forces. These parties did not feel bound to observe an agreement they perceived as an obstacle to furthering an Islamist state. The scales against the peace agreement were tipped in 1979 when Chevron discovered oil in the south. Northern pressure built to abrogate those provisions of the peace treaty granting financial autonomy to the south. Ultimately in 1983, Nimeiri abolished the southern region, declared Arabic the official language of the south (instead of English) and transferred control of southern armed forces to the central government. This was effectively a unilateral abrogation of the 1972 peace treaty. The second Sudan civil war began in January 1983 when southern soldiers mutinied rather than follow orders transferring them to the north.
In September 1983, as part of an Islamicization campaign, President Nimeiri announced that traditional Islamic punishments drawn from Shari'a (Islamic Law) would be incorporated into the penal code. This was controversial even among Muslim groups. Amputations for theft and public lashings for alcohol possession became common. Southerners and other non-Muslims living in the north were also subjected to these punishments.
In April 1985, while out of the country, Nimeiri was overthrown by a popular uprising in Khartoum provoked by a collapsing economy, the war in the south, and political repression. Gen. Suwar al-Dahab headed the transitional government. One of its first acts was to suspend the 1983 constitution and disband Nimeiri's Sudan Socialist Union.
Elections were held in April 1986, and a civilian government took over power. There were tentative moves towards negotiating peace with the south. However, any proposal to exempt the south from Islamic law was unacceptable to those who supported Arabic supremacy. In 1989, an Islamic army faction led by General Umar al-Bashir mounted a coup and installed the National Islamic Front. The new government's commitment to the Islamic cause intensified the north-south conflict.
The Bashir government combined internal political repression with international Islamist activism. It supported radical Islamist groups in Algeria and supported Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. Khartoum was established as a base for militant Islamist groups: radical movements and terrorist organizations like Osama Bin Laden's al Qaida were provided a safe haven and logistical aid in return for financial support. In 1996, the UN imposed sanctions on Sudan for alleged connections to the assassination attempt on Egyptian President Mubarak.
Meanwhile, the period of the 1990s saw a growing sense of alienation in the western and eastern regions of Sudan from the Arab center. The rulers in Khartoum were seen as less and less responsive to the concerns and grievances of both Muslim and non-Muslim populations across the country. Alienation from the "Arab" center caused various groups to grow sympathetic to the southern rebels led by the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), and in some cases, prompted them to flight alongside it.
The policy of the ruling regime toward the south was to pursue the war against the rebels while trying to manipulate them by highlighting tribal divisions. Ultimately, this policy resulted in the rebels' uniting under the leadership of Colonel John Garang. During this period, the SPLM/A rebels also enjoyed support from Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Uganda. The Bashir government's "Pan-Islamic" foreign policy, which provided support for neighboring radical Islamist groups, was partly responsible for this support for the rebels.
The 1990s saw a succession of regional efforts to broker an end to the Sudanese civil war. Beginning in 1993, the leaders of Eritrea, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Kenya pursued a peace initiative for the Sudan under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD), but results were mixed. Despite that record, the IGAD initiative promulgated the 1994 Declaration of Principles (DOP) that aimed to identify the essential elements necessary to a just and comprehensive peace settlement; i.e., the relationship between religion and the state, power sharing, wealth sharing, and the right of self-determination for the south. The Sudanese Government did not sign the DOP until 1997 after major battlefield losses to the SPLA. That year, the Khartoum government signed a series of agreements with rebel factions under the banner of "Peace from Within." These included the Khartoum, Nuba Mountains, and Fashoda Agreements that ended military conflict between the government and significant rebel factions. Many of those leaders then moved to Khartoum where they assumed marginal roles in the central government or collaborated with the government in military engagements against the SPLA. These three agreements paralleled the terms and conditions of the IGAD agreement, calling for a degree of autonomy for the south and the right of self-determination.
End to the Civil War In July 2002, the Government of Sudan and the SPLM/A reached an historic agreement on the role of state and religion and the right of southern Sudan to self-determination. This agreement, known as the Machakos Protocol and named after the town in Kenya where the peace talks were held, concluded the first round of talks sponsored by the IGAD. The effort was mediated by retired Kenyan General Lazaro Sumbeiywo. Peace talks resumed and continued during 2003, with discussions focusing on wealth sharing and three contested areas.
On November 19, 2004, the Government of Sudan and the SPLM/A signed a declaration committing themselves to conclude a final comprehensive peace agreement by December 31, 2004, in the context of an extraordinary session of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in Nairobi, Kenya--only the fifth time the Council has met outside of New York since its founding. At this session, the UNSC unanimously adopted Resolution 1574, which welcomed the commitment of the government and the SPLM/A to achieve agreement by the end of 2004, and underscored the international community's intention to assist the Sudanese people and support implementation of the comprehensive peace agreement. In keeping with their commitment to the UNSC, the Government of Sudan and the SPLM/A initialed the final elements of the comprehensive agreement on December 31, 2004. The two parties formally signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) on January 9, 2005. The U.S. and the international community have welcomed this decisive step forward for peace in Sudan.
Comprehensive Peace Agreement The 2005 CPA established a new Government of National Unity and the interim Government of Southern Sudan and called for wealth-sharing, power-sharing, and security arrangements between the two parties. The historic agreement provides for a ceasefire, withdrawal of troops from southern Sudan, and the repatriation and resettlement of refugees. It also stipulates that by the end of the six-year interim period, during which the various provisions of the CPA are implemented, there will be elections at all levels, including for president, state governors, and national and state legislatures.
On July 9, 2005, the Presidency was inaugurated with al-Bashir sworn in as President and John Garang, SPLM/A leader, installed as First Vice President of Sudan. Ratification of the Interim National Constitution followed. The Constitution declares Sudan to be a "democratic, decentralized, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-religious, and multi-lingual State."
On July 30, 2005, the charismatic and revered SPLM leader John Garang died in a helicopter crash. The SPLM/A immediately named Salva Kiir, Garang's deputy, as First Vice President. As stipulated in the CPA, Kiir now also holds the posts of President of the Government of Southern Sudan and Commander-in-Chief of the SPLA.
Implemented provisions of the CPA include the formation of the National Legislature, appointment of Cabinet members, establishment of the Government of Southern Sudan and the signing of the Southern Sudan Constitution, and the appointment of state governors and adoption of state constitutions. The electoral law, paving the way for national elections in 2009, was passed in July 2008.
New CPA-mandated commissions have also been created. Thus far, those formed include the National Electoral Commission, Assessment and Evaluation Commission, National Petroleum Commission, Fiscal and Financial Allocation and Monitoring Commission, and the North-South Border Commission. The Ceasefire Political Commission, Joint Defense Board, and Ceasefire Joint Military Committee were also established as part of the security arrangements of the CPA.
With the establishment of the National Population Census Council, a population census was conducted in early 2008 in preparation for national elections in 2009. The results from the census are expected to be available in December 2008 or early 2009. The CPA mandates that the government hold a referendum at the end of a six-year interim period in 2011, allowing southerners to secede if they so wish. On January 9, 2007, commemoration of the second anniversary of the CPA was held in Juba.
While some progress has been achieved during the last two years, meaningful implementation of key CPA requirements has faltered, and there are still major issues that need to be addressed. Abeyi and the "three areas" remain a point of contention and more work needs to be done to finalize the north-south border. Also, while much progress has been made toward holding national elections, the pace has been slower than expected, and additional work needs to be done in order to meet the CPA benchmark of 2009 elections. The CPA is the mainstay of peace in Sudan, and the international community is highly invested in making sure it is implemented effectively.
Darfur In 2003, while the historic north-south conflict was on its way to resolution, increasing reports began to surface of attacks on civilians, especially aimed at non-Arab tribes in the extremely marginalized Darfur region of Sudan. A rebellion broke out in Darfur, led by two rebel groups--the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). These groups represented agrarian farmers who are mostly non-Arabized black African Muslims. In seeking to defeat the rebel movements, the Government of Sudan increased arms and support to local, rival tribes and militias, which have come to be known as the "Janjaweed." Their members were composed mostly of Arabized black African Muslims who herded cattle, camels, and other livestock. Attacks on the civilian population by the Janjaweed, often with the direct support of Government of Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), have led to the death of hundreds of thousands of people in Darfur, with an estimated 2 million internally displaced people and another 250,000 refugees in neighboring Chad.
On September 9, 2004, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, "genocide has been committed in Darfur and that the Government of Sudan and the Janjaweed bear responsibility--and that genocide may still be occurring." President Bush echoed this in July 2005, when he stated that the situation in Darfur was "clearly genocide."
Intense international efforts to solve the crisis got underway, and a cease-fire between the parties was signed in N'Djamena, Chad, on April 8, 2004. However, despite the deployment of an African Union (AU) military mission to monitor implementation of the cease-fire and investigate violations, violence continued. The SLM/A and JEM negotiated with the Government of Sudan under African Union auspices, resulting in an agreement being signed regarding additional protocols addressing the humanitarian and security aspects of the conflict on November 9, 2004. Like previous agreements, however, these were violated by both sides. Talks resumed in Abuja on June 10, 2005, resulting in a July 6 signing of a Declaration of Principles. Further talks were held in the fall and early winter of 2005 and covered power sharing, wealth sharing, and security arrangements. These negotiations were complicated by a split that occurred in SLM/A leadership. The SLM/A now had a faction loyal to Minni Minawi and a faction loyal to Abdel Wahid.
The African Union, with the support of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), the U.S., and the rest of the international community, began deploying a larger monitoring and observer force in October 2004. The UNSC had passed three resolutions (1556, 1564, and 1574), all intended to compel the Government of Sudan to rein in the Janjaweed, protect the civilian population and humanitarian participants, seek avenues toward a political settlement to the humanitarian and political crisis, and recognize the need for the rapid deployment of an expanded African Union mission in Darfur. The U.S. has been a leader in pressing for strong international action by the United Nations and its agencies.
A series of UNSC resolutions in late March 2005 underscored the concerns of the international community regarding Sudan's continuing conflicts. Resolution 1590 established the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) for an initial period of six months and decided that UNMIS would consist of up to 10,000 military personnel and up to 715 civilian police personnel. It requested UNMIS to coordinate with the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) to foster peace in Darfur, support implementation of the CPA, facilitate the voluntary return of refugees and internally displaced persons, provide humanitarian demining assistance, and protect human rights. The resolution also called on the Government of Sudan and rebel groups to resume the Abuja talks and support a peaceful settlement to the conflict in Darfur, including ensuring safe access for peacekeeping and humanitarian operations.
Resolution 1591 criticized the Government of Sudan and rebels in Darfur for having failed to comply with several previous UNSC resolutions, for ceasefire violations, and for human rights abuses. The resolution also called on all parties to resume the Abuja talks and to support a peaceful settlement to the conflict in Darfur; it also forms a monitoring committee charged with enforcing a travel ban and asset freeze of those determined to impede the peace process or violate human rights. Additionally, the resolution demanded that the Government of Sudan cease conducting offensive military flights in and over the Darfur region. Finally, Resolution 1593 referred the situation in Darfur to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and called on the Government of Sudan and all other parties to the conflict in Darfur to cooperate with the ICC.
Following the UNSC resolutions and intense international pressure, the Darfur rebel groups and the Government of Sudan resumed negotiations in Abuja, Nigeria in early 2006. On May 5, 2006, the government and an SLM/A faction led by Minni Minawi signed the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA). Unfortunately, the conflict in Darfur intensified shortly thereafter, led by rebel groups who refused to sign. In late August government forces began a major offensive on rebel areas in northern Darfur. On August 30, the Security Council adopted UNSCR 1706, authorizing the transition of AMIS to a larger more robust UN peacekeeping operation. To further facilitate an end to the conflict in Darfur, President Bush announced the appointment of Andrew S. Natsios as the Special Envoy for Sudan on September 19, 2006.
In an effort to resolve Sudan's opposition to a UN force, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and African Union Commission Chair Alpha Oumar Konare convened a meeting of key international officials and representatives of several African and Arab states in Addis Ababa on November 16, 2006. The agreement reached with the Government of Sudan provided for graduated UN support to AMIS culminating in the establishment of a joint "hybrid" AU-UN peacekeeping operation in Darfur.
International efforts in 2007 focused on rallying support for DPA signatory and non-signatory rebel movements to attend renewed peace talks, and on finalizing plans for the joint AU/UN hybrid operation. UN Security Council Resolution 1769 was adopted on July 31, 2007, providing the mandate for a joint AU/UN hybrid force to deploy to Darfur with troop contributions from African countries. The UN African Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) was to assume authority from AMIS in the field no later than December 31, 2007.
Following the passage of UNSCR 1769, a conference was held August 3-5 in Arusha, Tanzania between key UN and AU officials and delegates from Darfur rebel groups. Many movements' political and military leaderships were brought into the discussion in preparation for earnest peace talks. Peace talks between the Government of Sudan and rebel factions took place in Sirte, Libya on October 27, 2007. However, limited rebel participation and continuing disagreement about objectives and processes limited the effectiveness of these talks. Following the Sirte talks, the SPLM hosted workshops in Juba, southern Sudan, to unite the rebel groups and allow them to come together to present a common front during negotiations. The Juba talks led to a consolidation of rebel factions down to five groups from an estimated 27. The U.S. continues to support the efforts of the UN and AU to host workshops for the rebel groups as a foundation for future negotiations. On December 21, 2007 President Bush announced the appointment of Ambassador Richard S. Williamson as Special Envoy for Sudan, following the resignation of Andrew S. Natsios.
On July 14, 2008 the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno-Ocampo, announced that he was seeking an arrest warrant for President Bashir for allegedly masterminding crimes against humanity in Darfur. News on whether or not an arrest warrant will be issued should arrive by the end of 2008 or beginning of 2009. The mandate for UNAMID was renewed in mid-2008; however, the U.S. abstained on this resolution because it contained a reference to a possible deferral of consideration of Bashir's case under Article 16 of the Rome Statute, language inserted at the behest of the Government of Sudan by its UN Security Council allies. In order to move quickly to find a solution to the violence in Darfur under the pressure of a possible ICC indictment, Sudan opened the Sudan People's Initiative in October 2008. The conference brought together many Darfur rebel groups with the government for a conference to explore solutions and how to better implement the existing framework of the DPA. It culminated in the announcement of a unilateral Darfur ceasefire, which was reportedly violated within days of the declaration. The UN-AU joint chief mediator, Djibril Bassole, is engaged with the government and the rebel groups to move toward eventual negotiations, likely to be hosted in Doha.
List of Cities in Sudan
Abekr | Al Fashir | Al Managil | Al Qadarif | Al Ubayyid | En Nahud | Atbara | Babanusa | Bentiu | Berber | Bor | Buwaidhaa | Daga Post | Daga Post | Dongola | Ed Damazin | Ed Dueim | Geneina | Hala'ib | Juba | Kaduqli | Kassala | Khartoum - Capital | Khartoum North | Kusti | Malakal | Malualkon | New Halfa | Nimule | Nyala | Omdurman | Port Sudan | Rabak | Rumbek | Sennar | Shendi | Sindscha | Singa | Suakin | Tabat | Tonj | Umm Rawaba | Wad Madani | Wadi Halfa | Waw | Uwail | Yambio | Yei
Humanitarian Situation of Republic of the Sudan
In 2008, Sudan continued to cope with the countrywide effects of conflict, displacement, and insecurity. During more than 20 years of conflict between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), violence, famine, and disease killed more than 2 million people, forced an estimated 600,000 people to seek refuge in neighboring countries, and displaced approximately 4 million others within Sudan, creating the world's largest population of internally displaced people. Since the 2005 signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which officially ended the north-south conflict, the UN estimates that nearly 2 million displaced people have returned to southern Sudan and the three areas of Southern Kordofan, Blue Nile, and Abeyi.
The conflict in the western region of Darfur entered its fifth year in 2008, despite a 2006 peace agreement--the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA)--between the Government of National Unity and one faction of the Sudan Liberation Army, that of Minni Minawi. Fighting among armed opposition group factions, the Sudanese Armed Forces, and militias continues, displacing hundreds of thousands of civilians--230,000 since January 2008 alone. The complex emergency in Darfur affects approximately 4.2 million people, including more than 2.5 million internally displaced people in both Sudan and Chad.
The U.S. Government is the leading international donor to Sudan and has contributed more than $5 billion in humanitarian, development, peacekeeping, and reconstruction assistance for the people in Sudan and eastern Chad since 2005, including more than $1 billion in FY 2007 alone. The U.S. Mission in Sudan has declared disasters due to the complex emergency on an annual basis since 1987. On October 16, 2007, U.S. Charge d'Affaires Alberto M. Fernandez renewed the Sudan disaster declaration for FY 2008. The U.S. Government continues to lead the international effort to support implementation of the CPA, while providing for the humanitarian needs of conflict-affected populations throughout the country. U.S. Government humanitarian assistance to Sudan includes food aid, provision of health care, water, sanitation, and hygiene, as well as programs for nutrition, agriculture, protection, and economic recovery.
Principal Government Officials President, Prime Minister, and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces--Lt. Gen. Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir First Vice President--Salva Kiir Vice President--Ali Osman Muhamad Taha Foreign Minister--Deng Alor Kuol Ambassador to the U.S.--Sudan is represented by Charge d'Affaires Akec Achiew Khoc Ambassador to the UN--Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem Mohamed
Sudan maintains an embassy in the United States at 2210 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel: (202) 338-8565; fax: (202) 667-2406).
The regional Government of Southern Sudan maintains a liaison office in the United States at 1233 20th St. NW, Suite 602, Washington, DC 20036 (tel: (202) 293-7940; fax: (202) 293-7941).
In 2004, the cessation of major north-south hostilities and expanding crude oil exports resulted in 6.4% GDP growth and a near doubling of GDP per capita since 2003. The aftereffects of the 21-year civil war and very limited infrastructure, however, present obstacles to stronger growth and a broader distribution of income. The country continued taking some steps toward transitioning from a socialist to a market-based economy, although the government and governing party supporters remained heavily involved in the economy.
Sudan's primary resources are agricultural, but oil production and export have taken on greater importance since October 2000. Although the country is trying to diversify its cash crops, cotton, and gum arabic remain its major agricultural exports. Grain sorghum (dura) is the principal food crop, and millet and wheat are grown for domestic consumption. Sesame seeds and peanuts are cultivated for domestic consumption and increasingly for export. Livestock production has vast potential, and many animals, particularly camels and sheep, are exported to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and other Arab countries. However, Sudan remains a net importer of food. Problems of irrigation and transportation remain the greatest constraints to a more dynamic agricultural economy.
The country's transportation facilities consist of 5,978 kilometers of railways, 16 airports with paved runways, and about 11,900 kilometers of paved and gravel road--primarily in greater Khartoum, Port Sudan, and the north. Some north-south roads that serve the oil fields of central/south Sudan have been built; and a 1,400 kilometer. (840 miles) oil pipeline goes from the oil fields via the Nuba Mountains and Khartoum to the oil export terminal in Port Sudan on the Red Sea.
Sudan's limited industrial development consists of agricultural processing and various light industries located in north Khartoum. In recent years, the GIAD industrial complex introduced the assembly of small autos and trucks, and some heavy military equipment such as armored personnel carriers and the proposed "Bashir" main battle tank. Although Sudan is reputed to have great mineral resources, exploration has been quite limited, and the country's real potential is unknown. Small quantities of asbestos, chromium, and mica are exploited commercially.
Extensive petroleum exploration began in the mid-1970s and might cover all of Sudan's economic and energy needs. Significant finds were made in the Upper Nile region and commercial quantities of oil began to be exported in October 2000, reducing Sudan's outflow of foreign exchange for imported petroleum products. There are indications of significant potential reserves of oil and natural gas in southern Sudan, the Kordofan region and the Red Sea province.
--- Historically, the U.S., the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and other Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have supplied most of Sudan's economic assistance. Sudan's role as an economic link between Arab and African countries is reflected by the presence in Khartoum of the Arab Bank for African Development. The World Bank had been the largest source of development loans.
Sudan will require extraordinary levels of program assistance and debt relief to manage a foreign debt exceeding $21 billion, more than the country's entire annual gross domestic product. During the late 1970s and 1980s, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and key donors worked closely to promote reforms to counter the effect of inefficient economic policies and practices. By 1984, a combination of factors--including drought, inflation, and confused application of Islamic law--reduced donor disbursements, and capital flight led to a serious foreign-exchange crisis and increased shortages of imported inputs and commodities. More significantly, the 1989 revolution caused many donors in Europe, the U.S., and Canada to suspend official development assistance, but not humanitarian aid.
However, as Sudan became the world's largest debtor to the World Bank and IMF by 1993, its relationship with the international financial institutions soured in the mid-1990s and has yet to be fully rehabilitated. The government fell out of compliance with an IMF standby program and accumulated substantial arrearages on repurchase obligations. A 4-year economic reform plan was announced in 1988 but was not pursued. An economic reform plan was announced in 1989 and implementation began on a 3-year economic restructuring program designed to reduce the public sector deficit, end subsidies, privatize state enterprises, and encourage new foreign and domestic investment. In 1993, the IMF suspended Sudan's voting rights and the World Bank suspended Sudan's right to make withdrawals under effective and fully disbursed loans and credits. Lome Funds and European Union agricultural credits, totaling more than 1 billion euros, also were suspended.
Sudan produces about 401,000 barrels per day (b/d) (2005 est.) of oil, which brought in about $1.9 billion in 2005 and provides 70% of the country's total export earnings. Although final figures are not yet available, these earnings may have risen to an estimated $2 billion as of the end of 2004. The oil production was expected to reach 500,000 barrels by 2005. With a resolution of its 21-year civil war, Sudan and its people can now begin to reap the benefit from its natural resources, rebuild its infrastructure, increase oil production and exports, and be able to attain its export and development potential.
In 2000-2001, Sudan's current account entered surplus for the first time since independence. In 1993, currency controls were imposed, making it illegal to possess foreign exchange without approval. In 1999, liberalization of foreign exchange markets ameliorated this constraint somewhat. Exports other than oil are largely stagnant. The small industrial sector remains in the doldrums, and Sudan's inadequate and declining infrastructure inhibits economic growth.
--- GDP (2007 est.): $80.98 billion. GDP annual growth rate (2007 est.): 10.2%. Per capita income GDP (2007 est.): $1,900. Avg. annual inflation rate (2007 est.): 8.0%. Natural resources: Modest reserves of oil, natural gas, gold, iron ore, copper, and other industrial metals. Agriculture: Products--cotton, peanuts, sorghum, sesame seeds, gum arabic, sugarcane, millet, livestock. Industry: Types--motor vehicle assembly, cement, cotton, edible oils and sugar refining. Trade (2007 est.): Exports--$8.879 billion: crude oil and petroleum products, cotton, gold, sorghum, peanuts, gum arabic, sugar, meat, hides, live animals, and sesame seeds. Major markets--Egypt, Persian Gulf states, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, China, South Korea. Imports (2007 est.)--$7.722 billion: oil and petroleum products, oil pipeline, pumping and refining equipment, chemical products and equipment, wheat and wheat flour, transport equipment, foodstuffs, tea, agricultural inputs and machinery, industrial inputs and manufactured goods. Major suppliers--European Union, China, Malaysia, Canada, U.K., Italy, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the Persian Gulf states, and surrounding East African nations. Fiscal year: January 1-December 31.
- Sudan is one of the poorest and least-developed countries in the world, with about one-third of its inhabitants dependent on farming and animal husbandry for their livelihoods. Though its role in the economy has declined in the decades since independence, agriculture still accounts for about one-third of Sudan’s gross domestic product (GDP). Oil production began in the late 1990s, and petroleum quickly became the country’s most important export.
- Agriculture, forestry, and fishing
Sudan’s main crops include cotton, peanuts (groundnuts), sesame, gum arabic, sorghum, and sugarcane. The main subsistence crops are sorghum and millet, with smaller amounts of wheat, corn, and barley. There are four distinct subsectors in Sudanese agriculture: modern irrigated farming, most of which is carried out with mechanized equipment on a large scale with the help of government investment; mechanized rain-fed crop production; traditional rain-fed farming; and livestock raising.
- MECHANIZED AGRICULTURE
Irrigated areas along the White and Blue Niles produce the bulk of the country’s commercial crops. These areas are centred on the Gezira Scheme (Al-Jazīrah)—with its Mangil extension—between the Blue and White Niles south of Khartoum. Other major farming areas are watered by the Khashm Al-Qirbah Dam on the Atbara River and by Al-Ruṣayriṣ Dam, which provides irrigation water for the Rahad Scheme.
Sudan’s irrigated agriculture is thus dependent on abundant supplies of water from the two main branches of the Nile. The future growth of Sudanese agriculture, however, continues to depend on mechanized rain-fed farming in a broad belt running from the northeastern portion of the country to the south-southwest. Mechanized rain-fed farming was begun in the fertile clay plains of eastern Sudan in the mid-1940s and has since greatly expanded. One of the major disadvantages of this type of agriculture, however, is that rich farmers practice a sophisticated version of traditional shifting cultivation: they farm an area intensively with government-financed equipment for a few years but then move on to more attractive virgin land when yields decline. This practice has led to soil erosion and even to desertification in some areas. Despite these problems, the broad belt of mechanized farms in the east stretching from the Atbara River west to the Blue Nile is now the granary of the country, with sorghum, sesame, and cereal grains as its main crops.
Because of the relative anarchy of the mechanized rain-fed sector in agriculture, planners in Sudan have tended to concentrate their efforts on irrigation schemes, under which cotton is the dominant crop. The bulk of the cotton crop is grown on the Gezira Scheme, situated on a fertile wedge-shaped clay plain lying between the White and Blue Niles south of Khartoum. The scheme, which was begun by the British in 1925 to provide cotton for the textile mills of Lancashire, Eng., is one of the largest irrigation projects for agriculture in the world. It covers an area of 2.5 million acres (1 million hectares) and provides water for more than 100,000 tenant farmers. The tenants farm the land in cooperation with the government and the Sudan Gezira Board, which oversees administration, credit, and marketing. Although Sudan’s total output accounts for only a tiny percentage of world production, its importance in the cotton market results from supplying a large part of the extra-long-staple cotton grown in the world.
Sudan has great agricultural potential, but, because of inadequate water sources and transport difficulties, much of its arable land is unused. The Sudanese government tried to tap this potential in the 1970s, when vast projects financed by oil-rich Arab countries were undertaken in an effort to transform Sudan into a major food producer for the Middle East. The resulting capital-intensive projects, including the building of new sugar refineries and a trunk road system, foundered because of poor planning and government inefficiency and corruption. By the early 1980s Sudan found itself saddled with a large foreign debt, declining agricultural production, and little capital left to invest in the country’s traditional irrigated infrastructure and its network of railways, which transported its cotton and other exports. The government has since continued to try to diversify its export-based agriculture with some success, however, encouraging the production of other commodities, such as gum arabic, sesame, and livestock, in an effort to reduce reliance on cotton alone.
- SUBSISTENCE FARMING AND LIVESTOCK RAISING
Much of the country’s population is engaged in subsistence farming. Many such farmers live in the low-rainfall savannas of southern Sudan, growing crops of sorghum and millet. Many Sudanese households keep some livestock, particularly in rural areas. Donkeys, goats, poultry, cattle, and sheep are the most commonly raised animals. The commercial exploitation of livestock only truly began in the 1970s, and livestock is now an important agricultural export.
- FORESTRY AND FISHING
Sudan is a leading producer of gum arabic, a water-soluble gum obtained from acacia trees and used in the production of adhesives, candy, and pharmaceuticals. The northern woodlands have been deforested by the extraction of wood for fuel and charcoal.
The Nile rivers are the main source of fish, especially Nile perch. Most of the catch is consumed locally, although attempts have been made to export fish to Europe and the Middle East. Significant quantities of fish and shellfish are produced from the Red Sea.
- Resources and power
Oil is a lucrative natural resource. It was first discovered in southwestern Sudan in 1977, and a commercially viable find was made in 1980, but the civil war in the south prevented any exploitation of the oil deposits until the late 20th century. Sudan’s recoverable oil reserves, estimated at 500 million barrels in the early 1990s, were thought to be between five and seven billion barrels in the early 2010s. Upon the secession of the south in 2011, the majority of the oil reserves fell within the borders of newly independent South Sudan.
Sudan has other known mineral deposits, but not all are exploited. They include gold, uranium, chromite, gypsum, mica, marble, and iron ore.
Despite great hydroelectric potential, only a small percentage of Sudan’s electricity is produced by hydroelectric plants. The Sennar Dam on the Blue Nile supplies some electricity to the Gezira Scheme and to Khartoum, and hydroelectric dams have also been built at Khashm Al-Qirbah on the Atbara River, Al-Ruṣayriṣ on the Blue Nile, and Merowe on the Nile. Electricity is largely limited to urban areas and generally is not a common energy source for cooking. Paraffin, gas, charcoal, and firewood are the primary energy sources used to meet either cooking or lighting needs in the country.
Sudan’s manufacturing sector remains relatively small; manufacturing and mining combined contribute less than one-third of the GDP and employ only a small percentage of the country’s labour force. The country’s industrial base is dominated by the processing of food and beverage products. Sugar refining is a major activity, as are the production of vegetable oil and of soap, the ginning of cotton, and the production of cotton textiles. Other industries include oil refining and the production of shoes, chemical fertilizers, and cement. Many factories, however, operate at a mere fraction of their capacity.
- Finance and trade
All banks operating in Sudan were nationalized in 1970, but foreign banks were again allowed to operate after 1975. The Bank of Sudan issues the currency, the Sudanese pound, and acts as banker to the government. The banking system is geared primarily to the finance of foreign trade and especially the cotton trade. Most banks are concentrated in Khartoum and the surrounding area. After the 1989 coup, banks using Islamic banking principles rapidly achieved a dominant position within the finance sector and a large degree of control over the country’s trade. In 1990 the Bank of Sudan announced its intention to Islamize the country’s entire banking system. A long-term reorganization plan was introduced by the Bank of Sudan in 2000 that would create six banking groups from mergers of the country’s existing banks.
More than half of the government’s total revenue is from petroleum exports. Besides petroleum, Sudan’s other chief exports are livestock, cotton, gum arabic, sorghum, and sesame, while its chief imports consist of machinery and equipment, manufactured goods, motor vehicles, and wheat. China is Sudan’s leading trading partner; others include Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.
- Labour and taxation
The limited size of the industrial sector and the predominance of rural life have tended to constrain the development of workers’ and employers’ associations in Sudan. All trade unions were dissolved in 1989 by the new government headed by the Revolutionary Command Council and have remained banned ever since.
Tax revenue generally accounts for about one-fourth to one-third of the government’s budget.
- Transportation and telecommunications
The transport system is underdeveloped and is a serious constraint on economic growth. The country’s vast area and the availability of only one major outlet to the sea place a heavy burden on the limited facilities, especially on the government-owned Sudan Railways and on the country’s growing road network. The railways had traditionally hauled most of Sudan’s freight, but heavy investments in roads (and accompanying neglect of the rail infrastructure) in the 1970s and ’80s encouraged a growing reliance on trucks and other motor vehicles to haul the country’s raw materials.
Sudan’s road network consists of both paved and unpaved roads, with the latter forming the bulk of the system. By far the most important road is the all-weather highway running for 744 miles from Port Sudan to Khartoum.
The main railway line runs north from Al-Ubayyiḍ (El-Obeid) via Khartoum to Lake Nasser and Wādī Ḥalfāʾ, with branchlines from Sannār and Atbara to Port Sudan and from Sannār to Al-Ruṣayriṣ. There is also a westward extension from Al-Ubayyiḍ to Nyala, with a branchline south to Wau.
For centuries the Nile was the riverine highway of the Sudan region. The White Nile is navigable throughout the year, but the Blue Nile is not navigable, and the Nile below Khartoum is navigable only in short stretches. The government operates steamer services on the White and the main Nile. Port Sudan, 850 miles south of Suez, Egypt, is the country’s main port on the Red Sea.
Several carriers, including Sudan Airways, provide domestic and international services from the main airport at Khartoum. There are several subsidiary airports, including those at Al-Ubayyiḍ and Port Sudan.
Although Sudan has an established network of landlines for telephone service, it is limited and has a relatively small number of users as compared with mobile phone use, which is much more pervasive, particularly in urban areas. Internet service is available in many of the main cities and towns.
DEFENSE of Republic of the Sudan
The Sudan People's Armed Forces is a 100,000-member army supported by a small air force and navy. Irregular tribal and former rebel militias and Popular Defense Forces supplement the army's strength in the field. This is a mixed force, having the additional duty of maintaining internal security. During the 1990s, periodic purges of the professional officer corps by the ruling Islamist regime eroded command authority as well as war-fighting capabilities. Indeed, the Sudanese Government admitted it was incapable of carrying out its war aims against the SPLA without employing former rebel and Arab militias to fight in support of regular troops. Additionally, as mandated in the CPA, the southern Sudanese maintain their own armed forces in the form of the SPLA.
Sudan's military forces historically have been hampered by limited and outdated equipment. In the 1980s, the U.S. worked with the Sudanese Government to upgrade equipment with special emphasis on airlift capacity and logistics. All U.S. military assistance was terminated following the military coup of 1989. Oil revenues have allowed the government to purchase modern weapons systems, including Hind helicopter gunships, Antonov medium bombers, MiG 23 fighter aircraft, mobile artillery pieces, and light assault weapons. Sudan now receives most of its military equipment from China, Russia, and Libya.
FOREIGN RELATIONS of Republic of the Sudan
Solidarity with other Arab countries has been a feature of Sudan's foreign policy. When the Arab-Israeli war began in June 1967, Sudan declared war on Israel. However, in the early 1970s, Sudan gradually shifted its stance and was supportive of the Camp David Accords.
Relations between Sudan and Libya deteriorated in the early 1970s and reached a low in October 1981, when Libya began a policy of cross-border raids into western Sudan. After the 1985 coup in Sudan, the military government resumed diplomatic relations with Libya, as part of a policy of improving relations with neighboring and Arab states. In early 1990, Libya and the Sudan announced that they would seek "unity," but this unity was not implemented.
During the 1990s, as Sudan sought to steer a nonaligned course, courting Western aid and seeking rapprochement with Arab states, its relations with the U.S. grew increasingly strained. Sudan's ties with countries like North Korea and Libya and its support for regional insurgencies such as Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Eritrean Islamic Jihad, Ethiopian Islamic Jihad, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Lord's Resistance Army generated great concern about its contribution to regional instability. Allegations of the government's complicity in the assassination attempt against the Egyptian President in Ethiopia in 1995 led to UNSC sanctions against the Sudan. By the late 1990s, Sudan experienced strained or broken diplomatic relations with most of its nine neighboring countries. However, since 2000, Sudan has actively sought regional rapprochement that has rehabilitated most of these relations.
U.S.-SUDANESE RELATIONS Sudan broke diplomatic relations with the U.S. in June 1967, following the outbreak of the Arab-Israeli War. Relations improved after July 1971, when the Sudanese Communist Party attempted to overthrow President Nimeiri, and Nimeiri suspected Soviet involvement. U.S. assistance for resettlement of refugees following the 1972 peace settlement with the south added further improved relations.
On March 1, 1973, Palestinian terrorists of the "Black September" organization murdered U.S. Ambassador Cleo A. Noel and Deputy Chief of Mission Curtis G. Moore in Khartoum. Sudanese officials arrested the terrorists and tried them on murder charges. In June 1974, however, they were released to the custody of the Egyptian Government. The U.S. Ambassador to the Sudan was withdrawn in protest. Although the U.S. Ambassador returned to Khartoum in November, relations with the Sudan remained static until early 1976, when President Nimeiri mediated the release of 10 American hostages being held by Eritrean insurgents in rebel strongholds in northern Ethiopia. In 1976, the U.S. decided to resume economic assistance to the Sudan.
In late 1985, there was a reduction in staff at the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum because of the presence in Khartoum of a large contingent of Libyan terrorists. In April 1986, relations with Sudan deteriorated when the U.S. bombed Tripoli, Libya. A U.S. Embassy employee was shot on April 16, 1986. Immediately following this incident, all non-essential personnel and all dependents left for six months. At this time, Sudan was the single largest recipient of U.S. development and military assistance in sub-Saharan Africa. However, official U.S. development assistance was suspended in 1989 in the wake of the military coup against the elected government, which brought to power the National Islamist Front led by General Bashir.
U.S. relations with Sudan were further strained in the 1990s. Sudan backed Iraq in its invasion of Kuwait and provided sanctuary and assistance to Islamic terrorist groups. In the early and mid-1990s, Carlos the Jackal, Osama bin Laden, Abu Nidal, and other terrorist leaders resided in Khartoum. Sudan's role in the radical Pan-Arab Islamic Conference represented a matter of great concern to the security of American officials and dependents in Khartoum, resulting in several draw downs and/or evacuations of U.S. personnel from Khartoum in the early-mid 1990s. Sudan's Islamist links with international terrorist organizations represented a special matter of concern for the U.S. Government, leading to Sudan's 1993 designation as a state sponsor of terrorism and a suspension of U.S. Embassy operations in Khartoum in 1996. In October 1997, the U.S. imposed comprehensive economic, trade, and financial sanctions against the Sudan. In August 1998, in the wake of the East Africa embassy bombings, the U.S. launched cruise missile strikes against Khartoum. The last U.S. Ambassador to the Sudan, Ambassador Tim Carney, departed post prior to this event and no new ambassador has been designated since. The U.S. Embassy is headed by a charge d'affaires. The Embassy continues to re-evaluate its posture in Sudan, particularly in the wake of the January 1, 2008, killings of a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) employee and his Sudanese driver in Kharotum.
The U.S. and Sudan entered into a bilateral dialogue on counter-terrorism in May 2000. Sudan has provided concrete cooperation against international terrorism since the September 11, 2001, terrorism strikes on New York and Washington. However, although Sudan publicly supported the international coalition actions against the al Qaida network and the Taliban in Afghanistan, the government criticized the U.S. strikes in that country and opposed a widening of the effort against international terrorism to other countries. Sudan remains on the state sponsors of terrorism list.
In response to the Government of Sudan's continued complicity in unabated violence occurring in Darfur, President Bush imposed new economic sanctions on Sudan in May 2007. The sanctions blocked assets of Sudanese citizens implicated in Darfur violence, and also sanctioned additional companies owned or controlled by the Government of Sudan. Sanctions continue to underscore U.S. efforts to end the suffering of the millions of Sudanese affected by the crisis in Darfur.
Despite policy differences the U.S. has been a major donor of humanitarian aid to the Sudan throughout the last quarter century. The U.S. was a major donor in the March 1989 "Operation Lifeline Sudan," which delivered 100,000 metric tons of food into both government and SPLA-held areas of the Sudan, thus averting widespread starvation. In 1991, the U.S. made major donations to alleviate food shortages caused by a two-year drought. In a similar drought in 2000-01, the U.S. and the international community responded to avert mass starvation in the Sudan. In 2001 the Bush Administration named a Presidential Envoy for Peace in the Sudan to explore what role the U.S. could play in ending Sudan's civil war and enhancing the delivery of humanitarian aid. For fiscal years 2005-2006, the U.S. Government committed almost $2.6 billion to Sudan for humanitarian assistance and peacekeeping in Darfur as well as support for implementation of the peace accord and reconstruction and development in southern Sudan.
Principal U.S. Officials Ambassador--vacant Charge d'Affaires--Alberto Fernandez Deputy Chief of Mission--Mark Asquino USAID Director--Patrick Fleuret Political-Economic Chief--Jonathan Pratt Public Affairs Officer--Judith Ravin
The U.S. Embassy in Sudan is located at Shari'a Ali Abdul Latif, P.O. Box 699, Khartoum (tel. 249-11-774-700; 774-704). Hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.
TRAVEL AND BUSINESS INFORMATION of Republic of the Sudan
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