Reference > World Factbook, 2008
  The World Factbook.  2008.
Flag of Sudan                                Map of Sudan
Background:Military regimes favoring Islamic-oriented governments have dominated national politics since independence from the UK in 1956. Sudan was embroiled in two prolonged civil wars during most of the remainder of the 20th century. These conflicts were rooted in northern economic, political, and social domination of largely non-Muslim, non-Arab southern Sudanese. The first civil war ended in 1972 but broke out again in 1983. The second war and famine-related effects resulted in more than 4 million people displaced and, according to rebel estimates, more than 2 million deaths over a period of two decades. Peace talks gained momentum in 2002-04 with the signing of several accords. The final North/South Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), signed in January 2005, granted the southern rebels autonomy for six years. After which, a referendum for independence is scheduled to be held. A separate conflict, which broke out in the western region of Darfur in 2003, has displaced nearly 2 million people and caused an estimated 200,000 to 400,000 deaths. The UN took command of the Darfur peacekeeping operation from the African Union on 31 December 2007. As of early 2008, peacekeeping troops were struggling to stabilize the situation, which has become increasingly regional in scope, and has brought instability to eastern Chad, and Sudanese incursions into the Central African Republic. Sudan also has faced large refugee influxes from neighboring countries, primarily Ethiopia and Chad. Armed conflict, poor transport infrastructure, and lack of government support have chronically obstructed the provision of humanitarian assistance to affected populations.
Location:Northern Africa, bordering the Red Sea, between Egypt and Eritrea
Geographic coordinates:15 00 N, 30 00 E
Map references:Africa
Area:total: 2,505,810 sq km
land: 2.376 million sq km
water: 129,810 sq km
Area—comparative:slightly more than one-quarter the size of the US
Land boundaries:total: 7,687 km
border countries: Central African Republic 1,165 km, Chad 1,360 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 628 km, Egypt 1,273 km, Eritrea 605 km, Ethiopia 1,606 km, Kenya 232 km, Libya 383 km, Uganda 435 km
Coastline:853 km
Maritime claims:territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 18 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Climate:tropical in south; arid desert in north; rainy season varies by region (April to November)
Terrain:generally flat, featureless plain; mountains in far south, northeast and west; desert dominates the north
Elevation extremes:lowest point: Red Sea 0 m
highest point: Kinyeti 3,187 m
Natural resources:petroleum; small reserves of iron ore, copper, chromium ore, zinc, tungsten, mica, silver, gold, hydropower
Land use:arable land: 6.78%
permanent crops: 0.17%
other: 93.05% (2005)
Irrigated land:18,630 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:154 cu km (1997)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):total: 37.32 cu km/yr (3%/1%/97%)
per capita: 1,030 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards:dust storms and periodic persistent droughts
Environment—current issues:inadequate supplies of potable water; wildlife populations threatened by excessive hunting; soil erosion; desertification; periodic drought
Environment—international agreements:party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography—note:largest country in Africa; dominated by the Nile and its tributaries
Population:39,379,358 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure:0-14 years: 41.6% (male 8,371,628/female 8,016,880)
15-64 years: 56% (male 11,080,025/female 10,956,458)
65 years and over: 2.4% (male 504,957/female 449,410) (2007 est.)
Median age:total: 18.7 years
male: 18.6 years
female: 18.9 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate:2.082% (2007 est.)
Birth rate:34.86 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate:14.39 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate:0.35 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio:at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.044 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.011 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.124 male(s)/female
total population: 1.027 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate:total: 91.78 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 91.95 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 91.59 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:total population: 49.11 years
male: 48.24 years
female: 50.03 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate:4.69 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS—adult prevalence rate:2.3% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS—people living with HIV/AIDS:400,000 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS—deaths:23,000 (2003 est.)
Major infectious diseases:degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness)
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2008)
Nationality:noun: Sudanese (singular and plural)
adjective: Sudanese
Ethnic groups:black 52%, Arab 39%, Beja 6%, foreigners 2%, other 1%
Religions:Sunni Muslim 70% (in north), Christian 5% (mostly in south and Khartoum), indigenous beliefs 25%
Languages:Arabic (official), Nubian, Ta Bedawie, diverse dialects of Nilotic, Nilo-Hamitic, Sudanic languages, English
note: program of "Arabization" in process
Literacy:definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 61.1%
male: 71.8%
female: 50.5% (2003 est.)
Country name:conventional long form: Republic of the Sudan
conventional short form: Sudan
local long form: Jumhuriyat as-Sudan
local short form: As-Sudan
former: Anglo-Egyptian Sudan
Government type:Government of National Unity (GNU) - the National Congress Party (NCP) and Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) formed a power-sharing government under the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA); the NCP, which came to power by military coup in 1989, is the majority partner; the agreement stipulates national elections in 2009
Capital:name: Khartoum
geographic coordinates: 15 36 N, 32 32 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:25 states (wilayat, singular - wilayah); A'ali an Nil (Upper Nile), Al Bahr al Ahmar (Red Sea), Al Buhayrat (Lakes), Al Jazirah (El Gezira), Al Khartum (Khartoum), Al Qadarif (Gedaref), Al Wahdah (Unity), An Nil al Abyad (White Nile), An Nil al Azraq (Blue Nile), Ash Shamaliyah (Northern), Bahr al Jabal (Bahr al Jabal), Gharb al Istiwa'iyah (Western Equatoria), Gharb Bahr al Ghazal (Western Bahr al Ghazal), Gharb Darfur (Western Darfur), Janub Darfur (Southern Darfur), Janub Kurdufan (Southern Kordofan), Junqali (Jonglei), Kassala (Kassala), Nahr an Nil (Nile), Shamal Bahr al Ghazal (Northern Bahr al Ghazal), Shamal Darfur (Northern Darfur), Shamal Kurdufan (Northern Kordofan), Sharq al Istiwa'iyah (Eastern Equatoria), Sinnar (Sinnar), Warab (Warab)
Independence:1 January 1956 (from Egypt and UK)
National holiday:Independence Day, 1 January (1956)
Constitution:constitution implemented on 30 June 1998, partially suspended 12 December 1999 by President BASHIR; under the CPA, Interim National Constitution ratified 5 July 2005; Constitution of Southern Sudan signed December 2005
Legal system:based on English common law and Islamic law; as of 20 January 1991, the now defunct Revolutionary Command Council imposed Islamic law in the northern states; Islamic law applies to all residents of the northern states regardless of their religion; however, the CPA establishes some protections for non-Muslims in Khartoum; some separate religious courts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; the southern legal system is still developing under the CPA following the civil war; Islamic law will not apply to the southern states
Suffrage:17 years of age; universal
Executive branch:chief of state: President Umar Hassan Ahmad al-BASHIR (since 16 October 1993); First Vice President Salva KIIR (since 4 August 2005), Vice President Ali Osman TAHA (since 20 September 2005); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Umar Hassan Ahmad al-BASHIR (since 16 October 1993); First Vice President Salva KIIR (since 4 August 2005), Vice President Ali Osman TAHA (since 20 September 2005)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president; note - the National Congress Party or NCP (formerly the National Islamic Front or NIF) dominates al-BASHIR's cabinet
elections: election last held 13-23 December 2000; next to be held no later than July 2009 under terms of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement
election results: Umar Hassan Ahmad al-BASHIR reelected president; percent of vote - Umar Hassan Ahmad al-BASHIR 86.5%, Ja'afar Muhammed NUMAYRI 9.6%, three other candidates received a combined vote of 3.9%; election widely viewed as rigged; all popular opposition parties boycotted elections because of a lack of guarantees for a free and fair election
note: al-BASHIR assumed power as chairman of Sudan's Revolutionary Command Council for National Salvation (RCC) in June 1989 and served concurrently as chief of state, chairman of the RCC, prime minister, and minister of defense until mid-October 1993 when he was appointed president by the RCC; he was elected president by popular vote for the first time in March 1996
Legislative branch:bicameral National Legislature consists of a Council of States (50 seats; members indirectly elected by state legislatures to serve six-year terms) and a National Assembly (450 seats; members presently appointed, but in the future 75% of members to be directly elected and 25% elected in special or indirect elections; to serve six-year terms)
elections: last held 13-22 December 2000 (next to be held 2009)
election results: NCP 355, others 5; note - replaced by appointments under the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement
Judicial branch:Constitutional Court of nine justices; National Supreme Court; National Courts of Appeal; other national courts; National Judicial Service Commission will undertake overall management of the National Judiciary
Political parties and leaders:National Congress Party or NCP [Umar Hassan al-BASHIR]; Sudan People's Liberation Movement or SPLM [Salva Mayardit KIIR]; and elements of the National Democratic Alliance or NDA including factions of the Democratic Union Party [Muhammad Uthman al-MIRGHANI] and Umma Party [SADIQ Siddiq al-Mahdi]; note - all political parties listed above in the Government of National Unity
Political pressure groups and leaders:Umma Party [Sadiq al-MAHDI]; Popular Congress Party or PCP [Hassan al-TURABI]
Diplomatic representation in the US:chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires John UKEC Lueth
chancery: 2210 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 338-8565
FAX: [1] (202) 667-2406
Diplomatic representation from the US:chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Alberto M. Fernandez
embassy: Sharia Ali Abdul Latif Avenue, Khartoum
mailing address: P. O. Box 699, Khartoum; APO AE 09829
telephone: [249] (183) 774701/2/3
FAX: [249] (183) 774137
note: US Consul in Cairo is providing backup service for Khartoum;
Flag description:three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black with a green isosceles triangle based on the hoist side
Economy—overview:Sudan's economy is booming on the back of increases in oil production, high oil prices, and large inflows of foreign direct investment. GDP growth registered more than 10% per year in 2006 and 2007. From 1997 to date, Sudan has been working with the IMF to implement macroeconomic reforms, including a managed float of the exchange rate. Sudan began exporting crude oil in the last quarter of 1999. Agricultural production remains important, because it employs 80% of the work force and contributes a third of GDP. The Darfur conflict, the aftermath of two decades of civil war in the south, the lack of basic infrastructure in large areas, and a reliance by much of the population on subsistence agriculture ensure much of the population will remain at or below the poverty line for years despite rapid rises in average per capita income. In January 2007, the government introduced a new currency, the Sudanese Pound, at an initial exchange rate of $1.00 equals 2 Sudanese Pounds.
GDP (purchasing power parity):$107.8 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):$49.71 billion (2007 est.)
GDP—real growth rate:12.8% (2007 est.)
GDP—per capita (PPP):$2,500 (2007 est.)
GDP—composition by sector:agriculture: 31.5%
industry: 35.7%
services: 32.8% (2007 est.)
Labor force:7.415 million (1996 est.)
Labor force—by occupation:agriculture: 80%
industry: 7%
services: 13% (1998 est.)
Unemployment rate:18.7% (2002 est.)
Population below poverty line:40% (2004 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):5.3% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):25% of GDP (2006 est.)
Budget:revenues: $9.682 billion
expenditures: $11.59 billion (2007 est.)
Public debt:96.9% of GDP (2007 est.)
Agriculture—products:cotton, groundnuts (peanuts), sorghum, millet, wheat, gum arabic, sugarcane, cassava (tapioca), mangos, papaya, bananas, sweet potatoes, sesame; sheep, livestock
Industries:oil, cotton ginning, textiles, cement, edible oils, sugar, soap distilling, shoes, petroleum refining, pharmaceuticals, armaments, automobile/light truck assembly
Industrial production growth rate:32% (2007 est.)
Electricity—production:3.944 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity—consumption:3.298 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity—exports:0 kWh (2005)
Electricity—imports:0 kWh (2005)
Oil—production:397,000 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil—consumption:79,760 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil—exports:279,100 bbl/day (2004)
Oil—imports:7,945 bbl/day (2004)
Oil—proved reserves:6.4 billion bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas—production:0 cu m (2006 est.)
Natural gas—consumption:0 cu m (2006 est.)
Natural gas—exports:0 cu m (2006 est.)
Natural gas—imports:0 cu m (2006 est.)
Natural gas—proved reserves:86 billion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:$-4.465 billion (2007 est.)
Exports:$9.156 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports—commodities:oil and petroleum products; cotton, sesame, livestock, groundnuts, gum arabic, sugar
Exports—partners:Japan 48%, China 31%, South Korea 3.8% (2006)
Imports:$8.262 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports—commodities:foodstuffs, manufactured goods, refinery and transport equipment, medicines and chemicals, textiles, wheat
Imports—partners:China 18.2%, Saudi Arabia 9.2%, UAE 5.8%, Egypt 5.3%, Germany 5.2%, India 4.6%, France 4.1% (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:$1.245 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt—external:$29.6 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:$NA
Economic aid—recipient:$1.829 billion (2005)
Currency (code):Sudanese dinar (SDD)
Exchange rates:Sudanese dinars per US dollar - 2.06 (2007), 217.2 (2006), 243.61 (2005), 257.91 (2004), 260.98 (2003)
Fiscal year:calendar year
Telephones—main lines in use:636,900 (2006)
Telephones—mobile cellular:4.683 million (2006)
Telephone system:general assessment: large, well-equipped system by regional standards and being upgraded; cellular communications started in 1996 and have expanded substantially
domestic: consists of microwave radio relay, cable, radiotelephone communications, tropospheric scatter, and a domestic satellite system with 14 earth stations
international: country code - 249; linked to international submarine cable Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG); satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean), 1 Arabsat (2000)
Radio broadcast stations:AM 12, FM 1, shortwave 1 (1998)
Television broadcast stations:3 (1997)
Internet country
Internet hosts:21 (2007)
Internet users:3.5 million (2006)
Airports:101 (2007)
Airports—with paved runways:total: 16
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 9
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
under 914 m: 1 (2007)
Airports—with unpaved runways:total: 85
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 20
914 to 1,523 m: 37
under 914 m: 27 (2007)
Heliports:4 (2007)
Pipelines:gas 156 km; oil 4,070 km; refined products 1,613 km (2007)
Railways:total: 5,978 km
narrow gauge: 4,578 km 1.067-m gauge; 1,400 km 0.600-m gauge for cotton plantations (2006)
Roadways:total: 11,900 km
paved: 4,320 km
unpaved: 7,580 km (1999)
Waterways:4,068 km (1,723 km open year round on White and Blue Nile rivers) (2006)
Merchant marine:total: 3 ships (1000 GRT or over) 21,311 GRT/26,179 DWT
by type: cargo 2, livestock carrier 1 (2007)
Ports and terminals:Port Sudan
Military branches:Sudanese People's Armed Forces (SPAF): Land Forces, Navy, Air Force, Popular Defense Forces (2007)
Military service age and obligation:18-30 years of age for compulsory military service; 2-year service obligation (2006)
Manpower available for military service:males age 18-49: 8,291,695
females age 18-49: 8,135,683 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:males age 18-49: 5,427,474
females age 18-49: 5,649,566 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:males age 18-49: 442,915
females age 18-49: 426,320 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures—percent of GDP:3% (2005 est.)
Transnational Issues
Disputes—international:the effects of Sudan's almost constant ethnic and rebel militia fighting since the mid-20th century have penetrated all of the neighboring states; as of 2006, Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda provided shelter for over half a million Sudanese refugees, which includes 240,000 Darfur residents driven from their homes by Janjawid armed militia and the Sudanese military forces; Sudan, in turn, hosted about 116,000 Eritreans, 20,000 Chadians, and smaller numbers of Ethiopians, Ugandans, Central Africans, and Congolese as refugees; in February 2006, Sudan and DROC signed an agreement to repatriate 13,300 Sudanese and 6,800 Congolese; Sudan accuses Eritrea of supporting Sudanese rebel groups; efforts to demarcate the porous boundary with Ethiopia proceed slowly due to civil and ethnic fighting in eastern Sudan; the boundary that separates Kenya and Sudan's sovereignty is unclear in the "Ilemi Triangle," which Kenya has administered since colonial times; while Sudan claims to administer the Hala'ib Triangle north of the 1899 Treaty boundary along the 22nd Parallel; both states withdrew their military presence in the 1990s, and Egypt has invested in and effectively administers the area; periodic violent skirmishes with Sudanese residents over water and grazing rights persist among related pastoral populations along the border with the Central African Republic
Refugees and internally displaced persons:refugees (country of origin): 116,746 (Eritrea), 20,000 (Chad), 14,633 (Ethiopia), 7,895 (Uganda), 5,023 (Central African Republic)
IDPs: 5,300,000 - 6,200,000 (internal conflict since 1980s; ongoing genocide in Darfur region, IDP registration for return to South Sudan started in 2005) (2006)
Trafficking in persons:current situation: Sudan is a source country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation; Sudan may also be a transit and destination country for Ethiopian women trafficked for domestic servitude; boys are trafficked to the Middle East, particularly Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, for use as camel jockeys; small numbers of girls are reportedly trafficked within Sudan for domestic servitude as well as for commercial sexual exploitation in small brothels in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps; the terrorist rebel organization "Lord's Resistance Army" (LRA) continues to abduct and forcibly conscript small numbers of children in Southern Sudan for use as cooks, porters, and combatants in its ongoing war against Uganda; some of these children are then trafficked across borders into Uganda or possibly the Democratic Republic of the Congo; children are utilized by rebel groups and the Sudanese Armed Forces and associated militias in the ongoing conflict in Darfur; during the decades of civil war, thousands of Dinka women and children were enslaved by members of Baggara tribes and subjected to various forms of forced labor without remuneration as well as physical and sexual abuse; with the cessation of the North-South conflict and the ongoing peace process, there were no known new abductions of Dinka by Baggara tribes during 2005; however, inter-tribal abductions of a different nature continue in Southern Sudan and warrant further investigation
tier rating: Tier 3 - Sudan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so


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