Sudan

 

Military regimes favouring Islamic-oriented governments have dominated national politics since independence from the UK in 1956. Sudan was embroiled in two prolonged civil wars during most of the remainder of the 20th century. These conflicts were rooted in northern economic, political, and social domination of largely non-Muslim, non-Arab southern Sudanese. The first civil war ended in 1972 but broke out again in 1983. The second war and famine-related effects resulted in more than four million people displaced and, according to rebel estimates, more than two million deaths over a period of two decades. Peace talks gained momentum in 2002-04 with the signing of several accords.

 

Geography:
Location: Northern Africa, bordering the Red Sea, between Egypt and Eritrea
Geographic coordinates: 15 00 N, 30 00 E
People:
Population: 34,206,710

note: includes the population of South Sudan (8,260,490); demographic data includes South Sudan (July 2012 est.)

Age structure: 0-14 years:  42.1% (male 9,696,726/female 9,286,894)

15-64 years: 55.2% (male 12,282,082/female 12,571,424)

65 years and over: 2.7% (male 613,817/female 596,559) (2011 est.)

Government:
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
Communications:
Telephones – main lines in use: 374,700 (2009)
Telephones – mobile cellular: 17.654 million (2009)
Transportation:
Airports: 72 (2012)
Airports – with paved runways: total: 15

over 3,047 m: 3

2,438 to 3,047 m: 9

1,524 to 2,437 m: 2

under 914 m: 1 (2012)

Military:
Military branches: Sudanese People’s Armed Forces (SPAF): Land Forces, Navy, Air Force, Popular Defence Forces; Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA): Land Forces (2011)
Military service age and obligation: 18-33 years of age for male and female compulsory and voluntary military service; 1-2 year service obligation; a requirement that completion of national service was mandatory before entering public or private sector employment has been cancelled (2009)

Economy:

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.

Transnational Issues:

The effects of Sudan’s almost constant ethnic and rebel militia fighting since the mid-20th century have penetrated all of the neighbouring 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.