Sudan

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SUDAN

LOCATION, SIZE, AND EXTENT
TOPOGRAPHY
CLIMATE
FLORA AND FAUNA
ENVIRONMENT
POPULATION
MIGRATION
ETHNIC GROUPS
LANGUAGES
RELIGIONS
TRANSPORTATION
HISTORY
GOVERNMENT
POLITICAL PARTIES
LOCAL GOVERNMENT
JUDICIAL SYSTEM
ARMED FORCES
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
ECONOMY
INCOME
LABOR
AGRICULTURE
ANIMAL HUSBANDRY
FISHING
FORESTRY
MINING
ENERGY AND POWER
INDUSTRY
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
DOMESTIC TRADE
FOREIGN TRADE
BALANCE OF PAYMENTS
BANKING AND SECURITIES
INSURANCE
PUBLIC FINANCE
TAXATION
CUSTOMS AND DUTIES
FOREIGN INVESTMENT
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
HEALTH
HOUSING
EDUCATION
LIBRARIES AND MUSEUMS
MEDIA
ORGANIZATIONS
TOURISM, TRAVEL, AND RECREATION
FAMOUS SUDANESE
DEPENDENCIES
BIBLIOGRAPHY

Republic of the Sudan

Jumhuriyat as-Sudan

CAPITAL: Khartoum

FLAG: The national flag consists of a tricolor of red, white, and black horizontal stripes, with a green triangle at the hoist.

ANTHEM: Jundi al-Allah (Soldiers of God).

MONETARY UNIT: The Sudanese dinar (sd) is a paper currency of 100 piasters (qurush) or 1,000 milliemes. sd1 = $0.00405 (or $1 = sd247.17) as of 2005.

WEIGHTS AND MEASURES: The metric system is the legal standard, but a highly diverse system based on Egyptian and British standards is in local use.

HOLIDAYS: Independence Day, 1 January; Unity Day, 3 March; Uprising Day, 6 April; Decentralization Day, 1 July; Christmas, 25 December. Movable Muslim religious holidays include the 1st of Muharram (Muslim New Year), 'Id al-Fitr, 'Id al-'Adha', and Milad an-Nabi.

TIME: 2 pm = noon GMT.

LOCATION, SIZE, AND EXTENT

Situated in northeast Africa, Sudan is the largest country on the continent, covering an area of 2,505,810 sq km (967,499 sq mi), with a length of 2,192 km (1,362 mi) ssennw and a width of 1,880 km (1,168 mi) enewsw. Comparatively, the area occupied by Sudan is slightly more than one-quarter the size of the United States. It is bounded on the n by Egypt, on the ne by the Red Sea, on the e by Eritrea and Ethiopia, on the s by Kenya, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC), on the w by the Central African Republic and Chad, and on the nw by Libya.

The Anglo-Egyptian Agreement of 19 January 1899 established the parallel of 22°n as the international boundary between Egypt and Sudan. In 1902, however, a special administrative boundary was delineated between the Nile and the Red Sea, in order to facilitate the administration of nomadic tribes and to maintain the continuity of certain tribal areas in the border region. In 2001, the countries agreed to discuss the creation of an "area of integration" for this overlapping territory and both governments agreed to withdraw military forces from the region. The Egypt-Sudan boundary west of the Nile runs 892 km (554 mi); east of the Nile, the international boundary is 383 km (238 mi), and the administrative boundary is 357 km (222 mi). Including this administrative line, Sudan's total boundary length is 8,550 km (5,313 mi).

Sudan's capital city, Khartoum, is located in the northeast central part of the country.

TOPOGRAPHY

The greatest part of Sudan is a vast plain traversed by the northward-flowing Nile River and its tributaries. Widely separated mountain chains and many hilly areas often reach altitudes of more than 2,000 m (6,500 ft). The highest elevation is at Mount Kinyeti 3187 m (10,456 ft) along the southern border with Uganda. The northern area is mainly desert, including the Nubian Desert, with rock at or near the surface covered by thin soils of low fertility. The western undulating sandy wastes merge into the Red Sea Hills to the east. Regions of swampland lie in the south.

The dominating geographic feature is the Nile River, formed near Khartoum by the confluence of the Blue Nile and White Nile rivers. There are natural harbors at Port Sudan (Bur Sudan) and Suakin on the Red Sea.

CLIMATE

In the northern plains and desert region, average temperatures range from 32°c (90°f) in winter (November to February) to 42°c (108°f) in summer (March to June); the hottest months are May and June. In the central and southern regions, average temperatures are 27° to 29°c (80° to 85°f). Rainfall decreases from south to north, the annual average varying from 120 cm (47 in) in the south to less than 10 cm (4 in) in the north; the rainy season is from July to September. Climatic hazardssandstorms in the northern deserts and flooding rains in the central beltoften interfere with railroad traffic. The most temperate climate occurs in the Red Sea Hills.

FLORA AND FAUNA

The acacia desert shrub and acacia short-grass shrub grow in the northern desert and the grasslands of the west. The broad-leafed tropical woodland and forest region is for the most part in the southwest, where areas of luxuriant growth and closed forests are found; grass covers much of the steppe area of the southeast. Date palms line the banks of the Nile. Wildlife includes most of the mammals, birds, and reptiles common to central Africa. Many varieties of fish are found in the rivers and in the coastal waters of the Red Sea. As of 2002, there were at least 267 species of mammals, 280 species of birds, and over 3,100 species of plants throughout the country.

ENVIRONMENT

A shortage of potable water inhibits agriculture, animal husbandry, and human settlement in much of Sudan. Sudan has 30 cu km of renewable water resources, of which 96% of the annual withdrawal is used for farming and 2% is used for domestic purposes. Serious health problems are caused by diseases carried in the water supply; Only about 64% of the nation's rural dwellers and 78% of its city dwellers have access to improved water sources. The water on the nation's coasts is also polluted by industrial by-products, oil, and sewage. Sudan's cities produce about 1.1 million tons of solid waste per year. The nation's agricultural land is threatened by the advance of the desert. Government agencies vested with environmental responsibilities include the National Committee for Environment (within the National Council for Research) and the ministries of agriculture, natural resources, irrigation, energy, and health.

Due to uncontrolled hunting, the nation's wildlife is threatened. In 2003, about 5.2% of the total land area was protected, including Dinder National Park, which is listed as a Ramsar wetland site. According to a 2006 report issued by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), the number of threatened species included 16 types of mammals, 10 species of birds, 2 types of reptiles, 8 species of fish, 2 species of other invertebrates, and 17 species of plants. Threatened species included the waldrapp, northern white rhinoceros, Tora hartebeest, slender-horned gazelle, and hawksbill turtle. The Sahara oryx has become extinct in the wild.

POPULATION

The population of Sudan in 2005 was estimated by the United Nations (UN) at 40,187,000, which placed it at number 30 in population among the 193 nations of the world. The country has conducted four censuses of population since 1956; however, the most recent (1993) did not include the southern part of the country. As of 2006, plans for the fifth census were delayed due to the ongoing civil unrest. In 2005, approximately 2% of the population was over 65 years of age, with another 44% of the population under 15 years of age. There were 101 males for every 100 females in the country. According to the UN, the annual population rate of change for 20052010 was expected to be 2.7%; international organizations were attempting to support government efforts to reduce the fertility rate, which stood at 4.8 births per woman in 2005. The projected population for the year 2025 was 61,339,000. The population density was 16 per sq km (42 per sq mi).

The UN estimated that 36% of the population lived in urban areas in 2005, and that urban areas were growing at an annual rate of 3.85%. The capital city, Khartoum, had a population of 4,286,000 in that year. Other major cities include Port Sudan (the only modern seaport), Wad Madanī, Al Ubayyid (the principal city of central Sudan), and 'Aţbarah.

MIGRATION

Many Sudanese were working abroad in the mid-1990s, chiefly in Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf countries but also in Libya. Although their remittances were significant for the Sudanese economy, the absence of these workers, many of them skilled, constituted a "brain drain" of serious proportions. Perhaps 200,000 were expelled from Persian Gulf countries in 1991 because Sudan supported Iraq in the Gulf war.

As a result of the Sudanese government fighting the Sudanese People's Liberation Army in the south, there were still 209,000 Sudanese refugees in Uganda, 110,000 in the DROC, 78,000 in Ethiopia, 28,000 in Kenya, and 27,000 in the Central African Republic in June 1997.

Since the 1970s, the Sudanese government has welcomed refugees as a result of war or famine. As a result of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) repatriation programs, 25,000 Eritreans and 62,000 Ethiopians were sent home in 1994 and 1995. The total number of migrants in 2000 was 780,000, including 415,000 refugees. In 2004 Sudan experienced a political and humanitarian crisis; a severe drought coupled with genocide in Darfur as the government supported Arab militias against Black Sudanese. Over 50,000 people died and 1.6 million Black Sudanese were displaced. The UN labeled Sudan the "world's worst humanitarian crisis" in 2004. At the end of 2004, Sudan was hosting 141,588 refugees, mainly from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Chad, and Uganda. In that same year there were 4,271 asylum seekers and 290 returned refugees. However, there were also 662,302 internally displaced persons who were at a camp in West Darfur, and another 37,416 former Eritrean refugees in Sudan. In 2005, the net migration rate was an estimated -8.78 migrants per 1,000 population. Worker remittances in 2003 amounted to $1.2 billion.

ETHNIC GROUPS

Indigenous Sudanese include Nilotic or Negroid peoples, of whom the Dinka form the largest portion, and constitute about 52% of the national population; Arabs account for an estimated 39% of the population and Beja for 6%. In all, there are nearly 600 ethnic groups. Foreigners constitute 2% of the total populace; other groups another 1%.

LANGUAGES

Arabic, the official language, is the mother tongue of about half the population. Besides standard Arabic, Nubian and Ta Bedawie are also commonly spoken. English is used widely, in many cases serving as a lingua franca among the southern tribes. In all, more than 400 diverse dialects of Nilotic, Nilo-Hamitic, and Sudanic languages are spoken.

RELIGIONS

The state religion is Islam, whose adherents, primarily Sunni, account for about 65% of the population; most of them live in the north. As an important transit station for Mecca-bound African pilgrims, Sudan remains intimately linked with the Islamic world. Among the Muslims, religious brotherhoods (tarigat) play an important role in sectarian and communal life. The two most popular brotherhoods are the Ansar, which is closely associated with the Umma Party, and the Khatimia, which is associated with the Democratic Unionist Party.

About 25% of the population are practitioners of traditional indigenous religions. About 10% of the population are Christians, particularly in the south, where Christianity is reported to be growing rapidly. Most of the Christian community are professed Roman Catholics. Greek Orthodox, Coptic, and Anglican Christians are found in small numbers in towns. There is reported evidence, however, that many Christians continue to practice elements of traditional indigenous religions.

The 1973 constitution guaranteed unrestricted freedom of religion, but Islam was cited as the official religion. Christian mission schools in the south were nationalized in 1957 and foreign missionaries were expelled from the south in 196364. At present, religious organizations are subject to the 1994 Societies Registration Act, which replaced the controversial 1962 Missionary Societies Act. Theoretically, it allows churches to engage in a wider range of activities; however, churches are subject to the same restrictions placed on nonreligious corporations. Religious groups must be registered and approved in order to be recognized or gather legally.

The civil war that resumed in 1983 is largely religious. The government is dominated by northern Muslims while southern rebel groups are mostly Christians and traditionalists. The government, which claims Islam as the state religion, supports adherence to Shariah (Islamic) law and has declared a jihad, or holy war, against the rebel factions. The primarily Christian rebel group, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) supports a secular government, but seems willing to allow Shariah law in the northern states.

The government and Muslim majority continue to discriminate against and persecute non-Muslims. Many non-Muslims have been fired from jobs in civil service and non-Muslim business owners are often harassed and discriminated against in matters of government contracts and trade licenses. Students of Christian schools are often kept from completing their compulsory military service, which is required in order to move on to the university. Many Muslim employers do not allow Christian employees time off to attend Sunday worship services. Throughout the civil war, several non-Muslim women and children have been captured by Muslims, sold into slavery and forced to convert to Islam. Conversion from Islam to any other religion is punishable by death.

TRANSPORTATION

With the exception of a few interurban bus lines and taxi systems, all land, sea, river, and air transportation facilities are owned by the state. As of 2004, the country's 5,995 km (3,725 mi) of railroad track (all of it narrow gauge) linked most of the main towns of Sudan. The principal terminals are: Khartoum and Port Sudan in the east; Wadi Halfa' in the north (on the Egyptian border); Al Ubayyid in the center of the country; Nyala in the west; and Waw in the south. 'Aţbarah on the Nile River (north of Khartoum) is an important junction and seat of the central administration, repair shops, and equipment-manufacturing plants of the Sudan Railways Corp.

In 1966, a bridge linking Khartoum North and Omdurman, and the enlargement of the bridge on the White Nile between Khartoum and Omdurman were completed, facilitating the circulation of traffic around these three towns. A major road (1,197 km/744 mi) linking Port Sudan with Khartoum was completed in 1980. In 2002, the overall road system totaled 11,900 km (7,395 mi), of which 4,320 km (2,684 mi) were paved. As of 2003, there were 37,100 passenger cars and 47,465 commercial vehicles.

Sudan, as of 2004, had 4,068 km (2,530 mi) of navigable inland waterways, of which 1,723 km (1,072 mi) on the Blue and While Nile rivers are open year round. River transport services link many communities. The White Nile route between Kusti and Juba (1,436 km/892 mi) is of crucial importance. Port Sudan, on the Red Sea, is primarily a cargo port, handling all of Sudan's cotton exports as well as most food imports. Passenger traffic is insignificant except for Mecca-bound pilgrims. A small Sudanese merchant marine was founded with assistance from the former Yugoslavia. As of 2005, it had two vessels (a cargo ship and a livestock carrier) of 1,000 GRT or more, totaling 20,466 GRT.

There were an estimated 75 airports in 2004. In 2005, a total of 14 had paved runways, and there was also one heliport. The international airport is at Khartoum. The state-owned Sudan Airways Corp., founded in 1947, links the main cities and provides extensive international service. Flights to the south were suspended in the mid-1980s because of the civil war. In 2003, about 421,000 passengers were carried on scheduled domestic and international flights.

HISTORY

The salient events in recorded Sudanese history occurred in the northern half of the country. The kingdom of Kush (or Cush), rich in gold and iron and sustained by irrigation from the Nile flood-waters, broke away from Egyptian rule about 1000 bc. It became a separate kingdom, with its capital at Napatan, and developed under the pervasive influence of Egyptian culture. It conquered Egypt for a time (736657 bc), moved its capital to Meroe (now Merowe) in 538 bc, and was destroyed about ad 350 by the Aksumite (or Axumite) Empire in Ethiopia.

Following the fall of Kush, two successor kingdoms arose: Maqurra, in northern Sudan, with its capital at Old Dongola; and Alwa, in central Sudan, with its capital at Soba. Maqurra fell in the 15th century to an alliance of Arabs and Mamlukes from Egypt. Around the beginning of the 17th century, Alwa was conquered by an alliance of Arabs and a loose confederation of tribes ruled by the "Black Sultans" of the Funj dynasty, with their capital at Sennar. The inhabitants of the south, until the 20th century, lived in primitive tribal isolation, interrupted only by explorers and perennial slave raiding.

In the 1820s, the autonomous Ottoman viceroy of Egypt, Muhammad 'Ali, defeated the Funj sultan and brought Sudan under Turco-Egyptian rule, which lasted until 1885. By then, most of the Sudanese tribes had revolted against the harshness and corruption of the regime and rallied under the leadership of a northern shipwright, Muhammad Ahmad bin 'Abdallah. He proclaimed himself the Mahdi (Rightly Guided One), whose coming to achieve the complete victory of Islam had been prophesied in Muslim tradition. After decisively defeating a series of punitive expeditions, the Mahdi took possession of Khartoum in 1885, whereupon his troops captured and beheaded the governor, Gen. Charles Gordon, one of the British officers in the employ of Egypt. The Mahdi installed himself as head of a theocratic state, which survived until 1898, when an Anglo-Egyptian invasion force under Gen. Horatio Herbert Kitchener defeated the Mahdi's successor, the Khalifa ('Abdallah bin Muhammad), in the battle of Omdurman. British rule was set up under a nominal Anglo-Egyptian "condominium" following a French attempt to seize parts of Sudan, an effort thwarted by Kitchener at Fashoda (now Kodok) in an incident that almost provoked a war between France and Great Britain. British administration did much to restore law and order, repress slave trading, and bring modern government and economic stability to Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, as it was then called.

Sudanese nationalism erupted after World War I with Egyptian support and received its decisive impetus during World War II, when British-led Sudanese troops distinguished themselves in repelling a vastly superior Italian force. An Egyptian scheme to join Egypt and Sudan in a dual monarchy under King Faruk miscarried, as did other proposals for the "unity of the Nile Valley." Prolonged Anglo-Egyptian negotiations for agreement on a mutually acceptable form of Sudanese independence reached fruition in 1953, after Faruk was deposed.

The new Republic of the Sudan, under a parliamentary government, was proclaimed on 1 January 1956. On 17 November 1958, a military dictatorship was installed, headed by Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Abboud, commander-in-chief of the armed forces, after a bloodless coup that had the support of some party leaders. President Abboud's military regime was overthrown on 26 October 1964, and civilian politicians ruled for the next five years.

A revolutionary council led by Col. Gaafar Mohammed Nimeiri (Ja'far Muhammad Numayri) overthrew the government in a bloodless coup on 25 May 1969 and established the Democratic Republic of the Sudan. The new government suspended the constitution, the Supreme Council of State, the National Assembly, and all political parties; the ex-president and former ministers were arrested. Nimeiri became prime minister in October 1969. On 25 May 1971, he proclaimed that Sudan would become a one-party state, with the Sudanese Socialist Union the sole political organization. A provisional constitution was promulgated on 13 August 1971, and Nimeiri, running unopposed, was elected president in September, receiving 98.6% of the votes cast. One of Nimeiri's most significant acts was to bring an end to the sporadic civil war that had plagued Sudan since independence. A settlement with autonomist forces in the south was reached in February 1972, when negotiators for the Sudanese government and the South Sudan Liberation Front, the Anyanya rebels, agreed on a cease-fire and on autonomy for the southern provinces.

Nimeiri was reelected without opposition in 1977 and 1983, but his regime had to weather considerable turmoil both domestically and in relations with neighboring countries, especially Libya. An abortive left-wing coup attempt in July 1971 led to the execution of leading Sudanese Communists; the banning of the Trade Union Federation, the Public Servants Union, and the Teachers Union (all formerly Communist-dominated); and the expulsion of East German security advisers. Another alleged coup was foiled in January 1973, and an abortive, Libyan-inspired attempt on Nimeiri's life was disclosed by the Sudanese government in April 1974. Student riots and disclosure of yet another abortive coup came in October 1974, and during the following year the Nimeiri government faced and successfully suppressed at least two military rebellions.

In July 1976, an attempted coup by the Ansar brotherhood, allegedly with Libyan support, was crushed. In subsequent years, Nimeiri charged repeatedly that Libya was aiding Muslim dissidents in Sudan. On 16 March 1984, Omdurman was bombed by what Sudan, Egypt, and the United States claimed (but Libya denied) was a Libyan air force TU-22. Nimeiri declared a state of emergency in April 1984 to cope with protests over rising prices and a new government Islamization program (in July of that year, the National People's Assembly rejected his attempt to make Sudan an official Islamic state). The state of emergency ended in September 1984, but by then a new rebellion was under way in the south, which had become alienated by Nimeiri's efforts to restrict its autonomy and apply Shariah (Muslim law). Many Sudanese were shocked by the execution of Mahmoud Mohammed Taha, a popular Muslim political and religious leader, for heresy (in criticizing the application of Shariah) in January 1985.

Riots broke out in the spring of 1985, when, in order to gain new loans from international creditors, Nimeiri removed subsidies on basic commodities, causing prices to rise. On 7 April 1985, Nimeiri was replaced by a military council headed by Gen. Abdel-Rahman Swar ad-Dhahab. The country was renamed the Republic of Sudan, the ruling Sudanese Socialist Union was abolished, political and press freedom was restored, and food prices were lowered. Sudan reverted to a policy of nonalignment in foreign policy, backing away from its close ties with Egypt and the United States.

Unrest in the South

General elections held in April 1986 resulted in a moderate civilian coalition government headed by Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi. The government's chief problem was the continuing rebellion by the Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA), which controlled much of the south and prevented voting there. The SPLA halted air traffic (including food relief) to the south and opposed two major projects vital to the economyoil exploration and a canal that would provide water to the parched north. The coalition government was headed by the northern-based Ummah. It began searching for a formula to unite the country with the SPLA which, unlike the earlier Anyanya, was also committed to unity. Divisions with government over meeting key SPLA demands, most especially the repeal of Islamic law, prolonged the civil war. In March 1989, a new government composed of Ummah Party and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) ministers agreed to accommodate the SPLA.

However, on 30 June 1989, a group of army officers led by Brig. Omar Hasan al-Bashir overthrew the civilian government. Mahdi was arrested and fighting in the south escalated. The coup makers created a National Salvation Revolutionary Command Council (RCC), a junta composed of 15 military officers assisted by a civilian cabinet, suspending the 1985 transitional constitution, abrogating press freedoms, and dissolving all parties and trade unions. In September 1989 the government sponsored a "National Dialogue Conference on the Political System" which produced a proposal for a new federal system of government. On 23 April 1990, Bashir declared a state of emergency and dissolved parliament. An alleged coup attempt prompted that move. The following day, 28 officers were court martialed and executed.

Despite these measures and the efforts by third parties, including former US president Jimmy Carter and Nigeria, to further the peace process, few positive results were obtained. With the fall of Ethiopia's Marxist government in 1991, the SPLA rebel faction lost its chief patron. A 1992 government offensive, coupled with a major political split in the SPLA, reduced rebel-held territory while increasing casualties and displaced persons with the latter numbering, at times, over two million.

Civilian rule returned nominally to Sudan in 1993, when the RCC was formally dissolved and Bashir was declared president. However, Bashir retained control of the military, and the government was dominated by the fundamentalist National Islamic Front (NIF), under the leadership of Hassan al-Turabi. Bashir was elected president with a reported 75% of the vote in the 1996 national elections, which were boycotted by major opposition groups; following the elections, al-Turabi was elected speaker of parliament.

In the 1990s, because of its militant Islamic policies, Sudan became increasingly isolated internationally. Sudan has given sanctuary to Muslim rebels from Tunisia and Algeria, to the Hezbollah (Party of God), to Palestinian rebels, and to the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda. Iran assists Sudan militarily. The regime purged the civil service, the armed forces, the judiciary and the educational system of non-Muslims. It also promulgated a Penal Code based on Islamic Law. The UN General Assembly condemned Sudan's human rights violations in 1993. The United States added Sudan to its list of countries spawning international terrorism that year, and tensions with Egypt grew as well. Under international pressure, Sudan adopted a new constitution in 1998 providing for a multiparty government; registration of new parties began in 1999.

In the same year, fighting in the oil-rich southern part of the country escalated into wholesale destruction. Human rights abuses multiplied as factional rivalries intensified between rebels loyal to SPLA leader John Garang and militants of the Nasir faction of the SPLA. The latter rejected all cooperation with the Islamic north. Famine relief efforts in the region had to be suspended owing to rebel attacks. In March 2000, a number of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) left the country after refusing to comply with restrictions imposed by rebel authorities.

In the meantime, a power struggle between President Bashir and Hassan Turabi, party leader, parliamentary speaker, and architect of the nation's Islamist policies, ended with Turabi's forced removal and the dismissal of the National Assembly in a military raid ordered by Bashir in December 1999. In widely boycotted and discredited elections held in December 2000, Bashir was reelected and the NCP gained 355 seats to five for nonpartisans in the National Assembly. The struggle between Bashir and Turabi continued; Bashir had Turabi imprisoned March 2004June 2005.

On 26 May 2004, the Khartoum government and the SPLA signed a power-sharing agreement in Naivasha, Kenya. On 19 November the two sides signed a pledge to commit themselves to end the 21-year civil war, a pledge which was signed in front of the 15 UN Security Council members meeting in Nairobi; this was only the fourth time the Security Council had met outside its New York headquarters. On 9 January 2005, a comprehensive peace agreement was signed, ending more than two years of intense negotiations. In July 2005, John Garang of the SPLA was sworn in as vice-president of Sudan (Bashir remained president) and three weeks later he was killed in a helicopter crash. Rioting broke out in Khartoum and other cities upon news of his death and within a week the death toll was more than 130.

Darfur

Beginning in 2003 in Darfurthe western region of Sudan which is slightly larger than FranceArab nomads supported by the Khartoum military and government-backed Janjaweed militia groups began to attack the Fur people, subsistence farmers who make up the major ethnic group in the region. The Fur are supported by the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) faction of the SLM/A. The SLM/A in early 2003 began to attack government and military outposts, with the intent of gaining influence in the affairs of the region after having been systematically marginalized socioeconomically. The government armed the nomads and sent the Janjaweedtranslated "men with guns on the backs of beasts"to raid black villages on horseback, on camels, and in trucks, with guns and machetes. The Janjaweed rampages resulted in what has been called one of the world's worst humanitarian crises: countless rapes, the murders of more than 70,000 people, and the displacement of nearly two million people. The rebels claimed the depopulation of villages and consequent changes in land ownership were part of a government strategy to change the entire demography of Darfur. The government denied all humanitarian agencies access to the region; refugees were housed in camps on the border of Chad. In April 2004, the two sides agreed to a temporary ceasefire to allow for humanitarian agencies to reach those in need of help, but the Janjaweed continued their attacks. In May 2004, the United Nations condemned the attacks on civilians and called on the Khartoum government to prevent the Janjaweed from carrying out strikes against the black African population. In July 2004, the US Congress declared the mass killings of civilians in Darfur to be genocide. A Declaration of Principles for the Resolution of the Sudanese Conflict in Darfur was signed in July 2005. By that time, estimates of the number of deadmany from hunger and disease in addition to violenceranged from 70,000 to nearly 350,000.

GOVERNMENT

Until 2005, the government was led solely by President Lt. Gen. Omar Hasan Ahmad al-Bashir, who assumed supreme executive power in 1989 and retained it through several transitional governments in the early and mid-90s before being popularly elected for the first time in March 1996. The president is both the chief of state and head of government, and he appointed the Council of Ministers. The president serves a five-year term.

An election was held 1323 December 2000, but it was widely dismissed as rigged and was boycotted by all opposition parties. The unicameral National Assembly consists of 360 seats270 popularly elected and 90 elected by a supra assembly of interest groups known as the National Congress. Members serve four-year terms. Elections were held from 1322 December 2000. The next presidential as well as legislative elections were scheduled to take place in 2009.

Historically, the government has experienced several coups and reconfigurations. A constitution took effect only on 8 May 1973Sudan's first permanent governing document since independence in 1956. It established a presidential system and a one-party state, with the Sudanese Socialist Union (SSU) as the only political party. Nominated by the SSU for a six-year renewable term, the president (after confirmation by national plebiscite) appointed vice presidents, a prime minister, and cabinet ministers, who were answerable to him. The president was also supreme commander of the armed forces. Legislative power was vested in the 151-seat National People's Assembly.

This constitution was suspended on 6 April 1985. A temporary constitution was established on 10 October 1985, pending a permanent one to be drawn up by the National Assembly elected in 1986. A six-member civilian Supreme Council, including a president, was established as the nation's executive body in 1986, replacing the military council that had seized power in 1985. A Council of Ministers, led by a prime minister and responsible to the National Assembly, was also established to carry out executive powers.

After the 1989 military coup, the 1985 transitional constitution was suspended. In January 1991, the RCC imposed Islamic law in the six northern provinces. Executive and legislative authority was vested in a 15-member Revolutionary Command Council (RCC). Its chairman, acting as prime minister, appointed a 300-member transitional National Assembly. In mid-October 1993, Bashir dissolved the RCC and officially declared himself president. On 30 October 1993, President Bashir announced a new, predominantly civilian cabinet that consisted of 20 federal ministers, most of whom retained their previous cabinet positions. On 9 February 1995 Bashir abolished three ministries and divided their portfolios to create several new ministries. These changes had the effect of increasing the National Islamic Front's presence at the ministerial level and consolidating its control over the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Bashir was elected to a five-year term in March 1996. In 1998, a new constitution was promulgated that nominally provided for a multiparty political system. Registration of new parties took place in 1999.

In 2005, President Bashir and Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA) leader John Garang signed a comprehensive peace plan, including a permanent cease-fire, and protocols on sharing power and wealth. The government and the southern rebels agreed to set up a 39,000-strong army, composed of fighters from both sides. They agreed that the south should be autonomous for six years, after which a referendum would be held on the key issue of independence. Shariah law would remain in the north, but not in Khartoum proper. The two sides agreed to a 70 to 30 split of all jobs in the central administration, in favor of the government. In the oil-rich central regions of Abyei, Blue Nile State, and the Nuba mountains, administrative jobs would be divided 55 to 45, once again in favor of the government. Sudan's oil wealth itself is to be divided equally between the north and south. After Garang's death in July 2005, Salva Kiir was sworn in as first vice-president. Bashir remained president.

POLITICAL PARTIES

The political groupings that emerged in Sudan's struggle for independence focused on personalities or specific interest groups rather than ideology or party machinery. The most powerful force before 1958 was the Ansar sect and the Ansar-sponsored Ummah Party. Other parties were closely affiliated with the Khatmiyah sect, led by Sayyid 'Ali al-Mirghani; the leftist-dominated labor unions; the Graduates Congress, an organization of college graduates; and leaders of the black tribes of the south. For the first three years of the country's independence, these parties were strongly divided on such issues as union with Egypt (opposed by the Ummah Party); alignment with the West in economic and foreign affairs (opposed by the Khatmiyah, the labor unions, and the Graduates); Communism (courted by elements in most parties and labor unions); political secularization (sought by leaders not aligned with the religious sects); federalism (demanded by southern spokesmen); and fear of the royal aspirations of the Mahdi family. These divisions helped bring about the downfall of several coalition cabinets and finally weakened the parliamentary system to the point where the army could successfully carry out a coup without encountering resistance. Political activity was banned in 1958 and was not resumed until the overthrow of the Abboud government in October 1964.

In 1966, the Ummah Party split into two groups, one conservative, the other progressive. The following year, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) was formed from the amalgamation of the National Unionist Party and the People's Democratic Party. In the May 1968 elections, the DUP won 101 of 218 parliamentary seats, while no other party captured more than 36.

After the 1969 military takeover, existing political parties were banned and a special attempt was made, beginning in 1971, to suppress the powerful Communist Party. The 1973 constitution provided for a one-party state, with the Sudanese Socialist Union (SSU), established by Nimeiri in 1971, as the sole legal political organization. In elections for the National People's Assembly, only candidates approved by the SSU were allowed to run.

In April 1986, in the first free elections held since 1968, the Ummah Party won 99 of 301 parliamentary seats, the DUP won 63, and the fundamentalist National Islamic Front (NIF) won 51. The remaining seats went mainly to regional parties, but 37 seats from the south were unfilled because of the civil war and the boycott of the elections by the Sudanese People's Liberation Front. The Ummah Party, the DUP, and four southern parties formed a coalition government, with the NIF in opposition. In August 1987, the coalition fell apart when the DUP broke away from the Ummah Party after an election in which it lost one of its two seats on the Supreme Council to an Ummah candidate, reportedly because the DUP candidate had been a close aide of Nimeiri. Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi, aligned with the Ummah Party, retained his position until his overthrow in June, 1989.

In the elections for the National Assembly, held (except in the south) from 21 April to 8 May 1965, the Ummah again emerged as the most important party, gaining 76 of the 173 contested seats. The National Unionist Party, a right-wing party favoring close relations with Egypt, won 53 seats and formed a coalition government with the Ummah Party. During the mid-1960s, two regional partiesthe Southern Front, formed in 1964 by Southerners living in the north, and the Sudan African National Union (SANU), formed in 1966 by Sudanese exiles in Ugandaadvocated self-determination and independence for the south.

The Revolutionary Command Council (RCC) banned all parties in 1989 except for the NIF, whose members and supporters held most key positions. After the dissolution of the RCC in October 1993, the NIF further tightened its grip on the state. The RCC's executive and legislative powers were transferred to the president and the Transitional National Assembly (TNA), Sudan's appointed legislative body, which was replaced by the National Assembly elected in March 1996.

The main opposition to the central government became the Sudan's People's Liberation Army (SPLA) which joined forces in 1997 with a new alliance of northern rebels known as the National Democratic Alliance. This opposition was sponsored by Ethiopia and Eritrea, and encouraged by the United States, which holds the government of Sudan responsible for sponsoring international terrorism and for committing atrocities against its Christian population in the south.

A new constitution adopted in 1998 and revised in 2000 recognized political parties other than the NIF for the first time since 1989. However, parties had to accept the constitution and refrain from advocating or using violence against the regime. Approved parties include the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) led by Ibrahim Ahmed Umar, Popular National Congress (PNC) led by Hassan al-Turabi, and over 20 minor pro-government parties. In the fall of 1998, the National Islamic Front (NIF) changed its name to the National Congress Party.

In presidential elections held in December 2000, al-Bashir was reelected president with 86.5% of the vote, followed by Ja'afar Muhammed Numayri with 9.6%. Three other candidates received less than a combined 4% of the vote. In the boycotted parliamentary elections of 1322 December 2000, the NCP took 355 of 400 seats. The next elections were scheduled to take place in 2009.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Local government experienced reorganizations in 1983, 1989, and 1994. The constitutional decree of 2 February 1994 created 26 states, each subdivided into 66 provinces and 218 districts. President Bashir stated his intention to devolve executive and legislative powers "never experienced in remote areas" to state governments. In theory, states are to be led by elected governors, deputy governors, and a cabinet of ministers.

JUDICIAL SYSTEM

The court system includes regular courts (both criminal and civil), special security courts, military courts, and tribal courts. The chief justice of the Supreme Court, as the senior judge, presides over the judiciary and according to the 1973 constitution, is directly responsible to the president through a council headed by the president. Civil justice is administered by the Supreme Court, courts of appeal, and lower courts, while criminal justice is administered by major courts, magistrates' courts, and local people's courts.

As of 20 January 1991, the now defunct Revolutionary Command Council imposed Islamic law in the northern states. For Muslims, justice in personal matters such as domestic relations and probate, is administered by Muslim law courts, which form the Shariah Division of the Sudan judiciary. The Shariah Division includes a court of appeal, high courts, and qadis' courts. The president of the Shariah judiciary is the grand qadi.

The judiciary remains largely subservient to the government. In 1989 the National Salvation Revolution Command Council (RCC) placed responsibility for supervision of the judiciary with the Ministry of Justice. The 1989 Special Courts Act created three-person security courts to handle offenses involving violations of constitutional decrees, emergency regulations and some sections of the penal code. A 1993 decree dissolving the RCC gave the NIF-dominated transitional National Assembly the power to issue constitutional decrees.

ARMED FORCES

Sudanese armed forces totaled approximately 104,800 active personnel in 2005. The Army had an estimated strength of 100,000 personnel, whose equipment included 200 main battle tanks, 70 light tanks, 218 reconnaissance vehicles, 75 armored infantry fighting vehicles, 241 armored personnel carriers and over 1,105 artillery pieces. The Navy had an estimated 1,800 personnel. Major naval units included 18 patrol craft and 2 amphibious landing craft. The Air Force numbered 3,000 personnel and was equipped with 34 combat capable aircraft, that included 26 fighters and 8 fighter ground attack aircraft. The service also had 10 attack helicopters. Paramilitary forces numbered 17,500 active members and 85,000 reserves. In 2005, the defense budget totaled $483 million. The Sudanese armed forces, largely Muslim, face an estimated 25,000 rebels of the Sudanese People's Liberation Army and another 3,000 in other opposition groups.

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

Sudan joined the United Nations on 12 November 1956; it participates in ECA and several nonregional specialized agencies, such as the FAO, UNESCO, UNHCR, the World Bank, IAEA, and the WHO. The nation belongs to the African Development Bank, the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, the Islamic Development Bank, the ACP Group, the Council of Arab Economic Unity, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), G-77, the Arab League, the Community of Sahel and Saharan States (CENSAD), COMESA, the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), and the African Union. Sudan holds observer status in the WTO.

Though the government has shown cooperation in international counterterrorism talks, Sudan has remained on the US list of State Sponsors of Terrorism for its alleged support of such groups as the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and the Lord's Resistance Army. Sudan is part of the Nonaligned Movement. In environmental cooperation, Sudan is part of the Convention on Biological Diversity, CITES, the Kyoto Protocol, the Montréal Protocol, the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, and the UN Conventions on the Law of the Sea, Climate Change, and Desertification.

ECONOMY

Sudan has an agricultural economy, employing 80% of the workforce, holding considerable potential for irrigated production. Cotton and sesame account for almost a quarter each of export earnings. The livestock sector is sizable as well. However, droughts have led to famines, and civil war has led to the virtual collapse of the economy. The slave trade is alive and prospering in Sudan, operating at about $50 a head in 1999. It is estimated that in the south as many as one million civilians have died and more than five million have been uprooted because of civil war. Economic development is also hindered by a poor transportation system that increases the cost of transporting goods over long distances; Sudan is the largest country in Africa.

Sudan's failure to service its international debt, together with a poor human rights record, led, in 1993, to the World Bank suspending financing of 15 development projects, and to the IMF suspending Sudan's voting rights in the organization (they were restored in 2000). Sudan was the world's largest debtor to the IMF in 2003, with arrears of over $1 billion. Total foreign debt exceeds $24 billion, and high inflation has put consumer goods beyond the reach of most. In 2003, the civil war and Sudan's international isolation continued to inhibit growth in the nonagricultural sectors, although progress on the peace process was being made with strong backing from the international community. Petroleum discoveries in the south-central region of Sudan and their export in 1999 raised hopes of economic salvation, but political instability undermines the prospect for lasting improvement in the economy. The economy, in terms of GDP, grew at an annual rate of 6.32% between 2001 and 2005, largely due to increased oil production, enhanced light industry, and an expansion of export processing zones.

INCOME

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reports that in 2005 Sudan's gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated at $85.5 billion. The CIA defines GDP as the value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year and computed on the basis of purchasing power parity (PPP) rather than value as measured on the basis of the rate of exchange based on current dollars. The per capita GDP was estimated at $2,100. The annual growth rate of GDP was estimated at 8.6%. The average inflation rate in 2005 was 11%. It was estimated that agriculture accounted for 38.7% of GDP, industry 20.3%, and services 41%.

According to the World Bank, in 2003 remittances from citizens working abroad totaled $1.224 billion or about $37 per capita and accounted for approximately 6.9% of GDP. Foreign aid receipts amounted to $621 million or about $19 per capita and accounted for approximately 3.8% of the gross national income (GNI).

It was estimated that in 2004 about 40% of the population had incomes below the poverty line.

LABOR

There were an estimated 11 million people in the Sudanese labor force as of 1996 (the latest year for which data was available). As of 1998 (the latest year for which data was available), industry and commerce engaged an estimated 7% of the labor force, with government accounting for 13% and agriculture 80%. Unemployment was estimated at 18.7% in 2002.

The trade union movement was reconstituted after the 1971 coup attempt. Strikes, banned by the government in May 1969, were legalized in 1985. The 1989 coup, however, brought a swift end to the strong labor movement which had been growing under the Sadiq al-Mahdi administration. The National Salvation Revolution Command Council (RCC) abolished labor unions and prohibited strikes by decree on 30 June 1989. The right to organize and join a union has since been restored, but the government dominates the leadership of all unions and tightly controls their activities. The largest union is the Sudan Workers Trade Union Federation with some 800,000 members in 2002.

The presence of slavery and forced labor continue to persist in Sudan and have increased in recent years. Slaves are generally taken in one of the southern war zones and then sent north to work as domestic servants, agricultural workers, or to be sent abroad. The minimum wage is about $11 per month and is insufficient to support the average family. Although the minimum age for employment is legally set at 18 years, this is not enforced and children as young as 11 years old work full-time in all areas including industry. The legal workweek is set at six eight-hour days, with Friday designated as a day of rest.

AGRICULTURE

About one-third of the total area of Africa's largest country is suitable for agricultural development. Abundant rainfall in the south permits both agriculture and grazing grounds for the large herds owned by nomadic tribes. In the north, along the banks of the Nile and other rivers, irrigation farming prevails. Of an estimated 17.4 million hectares (43 million acres) of arable landing 2003, about 1.9 million hectares (4.7 million acres) were irrigated. Principal cash crops are cotton, sesame, peanuts, sugarcane, dates, citrus fruits, mangoes, coffee, and tobacco; the principal subsistence crops are sorghum, millet, wheat, beans, cowpeas, pulses, corn, and barley. Cotton is the principal export crop and an integral part of the country's economy. In 2004, agricultural products accounted for 23.5% of imports and 15.2% of exports; there was an agricultural trade deficit of $242.4 million.

Government regional development schemes have played a decisive part in the economy since the 1920s. The Gezirah Scheme, located between the Blue and White Niles near their confluence at Khartoum, is the world's largest under a single management and provides a substantial portion of foreign exchange and government revenue. This storage irrigation project, which covers 840,000 hectares (more than 2 million acres) but has an additional potential of 2 million hectares (5 million acres), dates back to 1911 and was put into operation by a British firm. After the expiration of the firm's contract with the Sudanese government in 1950, the land was leased to tenant farmers, who numbered over 100,000 in 1987. They manage the scheme jointly with the government through the Gezirah Board. In July 1980, construction began on the 354-km (220-mi) Jonglei Canal, intended to drain the Sudd swamp and channel water from the White Nile to the arid northern Sudan and to Egypt. Built by a French consortium at a projected cost of $260 million and scheduled for completion in 1985, the canal could irrigate up to 243,000 hectares (600,000 acres) of Sudanese land. By 1984, however, the project had been halted by SPLA opposition, with less than 100 km (62 mi) to be excavated. In 1992, the public and private agricultural sectors invested heavily in land preparations, pesticides, and related inputs. Agricultural funding for such projects comes from the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development. However, completion of these projects has been complicated by debt-repayment problems. In spite of efforts to improve Sudan's agricultural resources, famine conditions have existed in southern Sudan since 1986. Inadequate rains, a poor distribution infrastructure, and civil war have hampered relief efforts.

Among agricultural products in 2004 were sorghum, 2,600,000 tons; peanuts, 1,200,000 tons; sesame, 325,000 tons (the fourth-highest in the world after India, China, and Myanmar); and wheat, 332,000 tons. Cotton fiber production in 2004 was 187,000 tons. Production in 2004 also included sugarcane, 5,500,000 tons; millet, 784,000 tons; cottonseed, 269,000 tons; tomatoes, 700,000 tons; dates, 330,000 tons; yams, 137,000 tons; and corn, 60,000 tons.

ANIMAL HUSBANDRY

In 2005, the livestock population was estimated at 47 million sheep, 38.3 million head of cattle, 42 million goats, 3.3 million camels, and 37 million chickens. The national livestock herd was second only to that of Ethiopia in Africa. Cattle, found mostly in the southern rainfall area, are of two types: the shorthorn zebu of Asian origin and the longhorn sanga. Nomadic or seminomadic pastoral tribes own the bulk of the cattle. Sudanese sheep have hairy coats and are grown for meat rather than wool. They are owned almost exclusively by nomadic or seminomadic tribes. The tsetse fly prevents livestock raising in an area of approximately 200,000 sq km (77,000 sq mi) in the south. Livestock products in 2005 included an estimated 3,264,000 tons of cow's milk, 714,000 tons of meat, and 47,000 tons of eggs. Widespread smuggling also reduces income available to the government from livestock exports.

FISHING

In the southern provinces and towns, fish, particularly the Nile tilapia, is a diet staple. The river yields some 110 varieties of fish, and the Red Sea is another valuable fishing ground. In 2003, the total catch was 59,607 tons, 92% from freshwater sources.

FORESTRY

About 26% of Sudan is covered by forests. About 61.6 million hectares (152.2 million acres) of Sudan are covered by forests, half of which are dense stands of trees, mostly in the south. Sudan supplies over 80% of the world's needs of gum arabic, extracted from the acacia. Production of roundwood was estimated at 19.6 million cu m (693.8 million cu ft) in 2003, with 89% used as fuel. Timber production, apart from cutting for local village needs, is confined to forests lying within reach of navigable rivers or areas served by roads and railways. The Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources maintains forests, administers public preserves, and operates sawmills. Around 11% of Sudan's forests are in protected areas. The annual average deforestation rate during 19902000 was 1.4%.

MINING

Sudan was not rich in mineral resources, and the mineral sector has traditionally made a negligible contribution to the economy, although rising production of gold and crude petroleum in recent years has substantially increased the sector's influence. In 2002, mining accounted for 9% of Sudan's gross national product (GDP), which grew by 5.8% in 2003 and by 6% in 2002.

Estimated mineral production in 2003 included salt, 84,000 metric tons; mine chromite (gross weight), 47,000 metric tons (reported); gold, from the Red Sea Hills, 5,000 kg, down from 5,239 kg in 2002 (excluding artisanal output); gypsum, 4,600 metric tons; and hydraulic cement, 320,000 metric tons, up from 195,300 metric tons in 2002. In addition, Sudan presumably produced in 2003 clay and/or shale for cement, limestone for cement, lime, construction aggregate and fill, other construction materials (clays, sand and gravel, and stone), and marble for export. In 2003 Sudan produced an estimated 3,300 kg of silver. Sudan was also known to have deposits of barite, copper, iron ore (large reserves near Port Sudan), kyanite, lead, nickel, silver, tungsten, wollastonite, and zinc; however, little exploitation of these deposits was expected, because of civil unrest.

ENERGY AND POWER

Sudan has seen its proven reserves of crude oil increase dramatically since 2001, with crude oil output and exports increasing.

Sudan's proven oil reserves, as of 1 January 2005, have more than doubled from those in 2001, to 563 million barrels versus 2001's total of 262 million barrels, according to the Oil and Gas Journal. However, Sudan's oil reserves may be even larger because much of the country's oil exploration has centered on its central and south-central regions. In 2003 estimated oil production was put at 271,000 barrels per day and at an estimated 343,000 barrels per day in 2004. In 2004, oil consumption averaged 91,000 barrels per day, with net oil exports in that year estimated at 252,000 barrels per day. As of 1 January 2005, according to the Oil and Gas Journal, the country's crude oil refining capacity was estimated at 121,700 barrels per day at three refineries: Port Sudan at 21,700 barrels per day; El Gily at 50,000 barrels per day; and at Khartoum at 50,000 barrels per day.

Although Sudan had natural gas reserves estimated as of 1 January 2005 of 3 trillion cu ft, according to the Oil and Gas Journal, there appears to be no recorded production or consumption as of 2002.

In 2002, Sudan's electric generating capacity totaled 0.728 million kW, of which conventional thermal based capacity totaled 0.405 million kW and hydroelectric generating capacity 0.323 million kW. Production of electricity in 2002 amounted to 2.787 billion kWh, of which 54.2% was from fossil fuels and the rest from hydropower. Consumption of electricity in 2002 was 2.592 billion kWh.

INDUSTRY

Sudan's industrial sector has been buffeted by a series of events leading to a significant contraction of output. Foreign exchange was very scarce in the 1980s and led to shortages of raw materials, skilled labor, and energy. In February 1985, the granting of import licenses and letters of credit was suspended. Over 100 manufacturing enterprises shut down as a result. By 1989, many factories were thought to be operating at 5% of capacity. Industry contributed 17% to GDP in 1999 and 24.1% in 2003.

Prior to this difficult period, Sudan's industries supplied many items that had formerly been importedcotton textiles, sugar, hides and skins, cement, tires, flour, soap, shoes, cigarettes, batteries, sesame oil, biscuits, confectionery, household appliances, paints and varnishes, and plastics. Textiles, the largest industry, were part of a decade-long (198595) rehabilitation project. There are a number of cotton ginning plants, including the large Gezira plant. Sudan has a sizeable number of spinning and weaving mills.

The country's reserves of oil and gas are vast, and Sudan is considered to be underexplored. There are three oil refineries, with a total production capacity of 122,000 barrels per day.

Other factories process cotton seed and groundnuts into oil and cake. The Kenana sugar complex, commissioned in 1980, is one of the largest sugar plantation and refining installations in the world, jointly owned by the Sudanese government, the governments of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and other private interests.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

The National Council for Research, founded in 1970 at Khartoum, is responsible for planning and directing national research programs in agriculture, medicine, energy, and other fields. The Agriculture Research Corporation of the Ministry of Agriculture, founded in 1904, has its headquarters in Wad Medani, and a Forestry Research Center and the Geological Research Authority operate in Khartoum. The universities of Gezirah, Juba, Khartoum, and Nilayn all have faculties or colleges in scientific and technical fields, and the Sudan University of Science and Technology, founded in 1950 at Khartoum, has colleges of agriculture, engineering, and sciences. In 198797, science and engineering students accounted for 16% of college and university enrollments. As of 2002, there were 278 researchers and 112 technicians engaged in research and development per million people. High technology exports in 2002 were valued at $4 million, or 7% of the country's manufactured exports.

DOMESTIC TRADE

Sudan's mercantile community is well organized through the Sudan Chamber of Commerce, which supplies information and facilitates negotiations with the authorities. The major foreign-owned trading companies, which had controlled all Sudanese trade, were nationalized in 1970.

Omdurman is a commercial center for livestock and handicrafts. The cities of El Fasher, El Gedaref, Juba, Kassala, and Wau serve as regional trade and market centers, primarily for agricultural goods. The few modern shops feature imported products. Most retail trade is conducted in open-air markets or in stalls in buildings near market centers. Because of the low literacy rate, newspaper advertising is of limited significance. Window and sidewalk displays and outdoor advertising are the principal marketing aids. An international trade fair is held annually at Khartoum.

Markets usually function from 7 am to 2 pm, in order to escape the afternoon heat. Business hours are from 8 am to 2 pm and 6 to 8 pm, Saturday through Thursday, with Friday as the day of rest. Normal banking hours are 8:30 am to noon, Saturday through Thursday. Government hours are 8 am to 2:30 pm.

FOREIGN TRADE

Sudan relies on agriculture and animal husbandry for its export commodities. The most important exports are oil seeds, especially sesame (22%), cotton (17%), and sheep (12%). Other exports include gold (7.6%), vegetable oil (6.4%), crude vegetable materials (5.3%), and sugar (3.7%). As of 2000 it was expected that the development of oil reserves estimated at over 211 billion barrels might change Sudan's foreign trade situation. Since then this has indeed happened. Crude oil is now the major export commodity from Sudan. In 2004 oil accounted for 87% of export revenues while Sesame accounted for 5%, livestock for 4%, and the rest which includes cotton and gum Arabic the remaining 4%. In 2000, Sudan imported about $17 million worth of irrigation materials from China. In 2004, 64% of exports went to China and 13% to Japan, while imports came mainly from Saudi Arabia and China.

Country Exports Imports Balance
World 1,616.6 2,492.8 -876.2
China 940.2 254.5 685.7
Saudi Arabia 167.7 316.7 -149.0
United Arab Emirates 70.9 189.5 -118.6
Singapore 65.5 6.3 59.2
United Kingdom 64.0 127.1 -63.1
Egypt 38.9 83.0 -44.1
Areas nes 36.1 173.4 -137.3
Lebanon 24.9 24.9
Japan 24.7 135.2 -110.5
Italy-San Marino-Holy See 17.4 75.8 -58.4
() data not available or not significant.

BALANCE OF PAYMENTS

There is a habitual payments deficit and Sudan continued to suffer from a severe shortage of foreign exchange. Remittances from Sudanese working abroad are discouraged by inequitable exchange rate policies. The 1997 trade embargo with the United States added to stresses on the balance of payments. However, Sudan began implementing IMF macroeconomic reforms in 1997. Sudan began exporting crude oil in 1999, and in the fourth quarter of that year, the country realized its first trade surplus. Approximately 70% of Sudan's crude oil production is exported. The country's external debt stood at $25 billion in 2005, most of which was in arrears, and international credit is generally not available to Sudan.

The Economist Intelligence Unit reported that in 2005 the purchasing power parity of Sudan's exports was $5.25 billion while imports totaled $5.03 billion resulting in a trade surplus of $220 million.

BANKING AND SECURITIES

Current Account -762.5
   Balance on goods -296.6
     Imports -2,651.2
     Exports 2,354.6
   Balance on services -549.3
   Balance on income -582.3
   Current transfers 701.6
Capital Account
Financial Account 1,319.2
   Direct investment abroad
   Direct investment in Sudan 1,349.2
   Portfolio investment assets 35.3
   Portfolio investment liabilities
   Financial derivatives
   Other investment assets 296.5
   Other investment liabilities -361.7
Net Errors and Omissions -231.0
Reserves and Related Items -361.7
() data not available or not significant.

The traditional banking system was inherited from the Anglo-Egyptian condominium (18991955). When the National Bank of Egypt opened in Khartoum in 1901, it obtained a privileged position as banker to and for the government, allowing it to operate as a semiofficial central bank. Other banks followed, but the National Bank of Egypt and Barclays Bank dominated and stabilized banking in Sudan until after World War II. Post-World War II prosperity created a demand for an increasing number of commercial banks.

Before Sudanese independence, there had been no restrictions on the movement of funds between Egypt and Sudan, and the value of the currency used in Sudan was tied to that of Egypt. This situation was unsatisfactory to an independent Sudan, which established the Sudan Currency Board to replace Egyptian and British money. It was not a central bank because it did not accept deposits, lend money, or provide commercial banks with cash and liquidity. In 1959, the Bank of Sudan was established to succeed the Sudan Currency Board and to take over the Sudanese assets of the National Bank of Egypt. In February 1960, the Bank of Sudan began acting as the central bank of Sudan, issuing currency, assisting the development of banks, providing loans, maintaining financial equilibrium, and advising the government.

In 1996, there were 27 banks in Sudan, of which one, El Nilein Industrial Development Bank, was state-owned. The Bank of Khartoum was privatized at the end of 1995. Banks were nationalized in 1970 but in 1974, foreign banks were allowed to open branches in Sudan.

In December 1990 the government decided to adopt Islamic banking principles. Seven banks in Sudan are based on the principles of Islamic banking that were introduced in September 1984, namely Faisal Islamic Bank of Sudan (FIBS), Islamic Cooperative Development Bank, Tadamun Islamic Bank of Sudan, Sudanese Islamic Bank, Al-Baraka Bank, Islamic Bank of Western Sudan, and Bank of Northern Sudan. In 1999, there were 14 commercial banks in Sudan.

Banks are required to maintain 20% of total deposits as a statutory reserve with the central bank. They must also direct to the agricultural sector 40% of the funds that they have for lending under the new credit ceilings.

The International Monetary Fund reports that in 2001, currency and demand depositsan aggregate commonly known as M1were equal to $1.0 billion. In that same year, M2an aggregate equal to M1 plus savings deposits, small time deposits, and money market mutual fundswas $1.7 billion.

No stock exchange exists in the Sudan.

INSURANCE

All foreign insurance companies were nationalized in 1970; there were at least 20 Sudanese insurance companies in 1997 and a National Reinsurance Co.

PUBLIC FINANCE

Sudan's budgets were in deficit from the 1960s through the 1990s. The budget deficit soared to 22% of GDP in 1991/92, which aggravated inflation. As of 2000, neither the budget deficit nor inflation showed signs of shrinking as civil war disturbs commerce, trade, and aid.

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) estimated that in 2005 Sudan's central government took in revenues of approximately $6.1 billion and had expenditures of $5.7 billion. Revenues minus expenditures totaled approximately $429 million. Public debt in 2005 amounted to 79% of GDP.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reported that in 1999, the most recent year for which it had data, budgetary central government revenues were sd216,803 million and expenditures were sd227,265 million. The value of revenues in US dollars was us$858 million and expenditures us$900 million, based on a market exchange rate for 1999 of us$1 = sd252.55 as reported by the IMF. Government outlays by function were as follows: general public services, 54.7%; defense, 27.5%; public order and safety, 7.8%; economic affairs, 1.1%; housing and community amenities, 0.1%;

Revenue and Grants 216,803 100.0%
   Tax revenue 172,295 79.5%
   Social contributions
   Grants 1,241 0.6%
   Other revenue 43,267 20.0%
Expenditures 227,265 100.0%
   General public services 124,414 54.7%
   Defense 62,528 27.5%
   Public order and safety 17,696 7.8%
   Economic affairs 2,531 1.1%
   Environmental protection
   Housing and community amenities 133 0.1%
   Health 2,183 1.0%
   Recreational, culture, and religion 327 0.1%
   Education 17,368 7.6%
   Social protection 85 0.0%
() data not available or not significant.

health, 1.0%; recreation, culture, and religion, 0.1%; and education, 7.6%.

TAXATION

Sudan, as of 2005, had a standard corporate tax rate of 35%. However, the rates varied depending upon the type of company. Banks, investment and insurance companies were subject to the standard rate. Manufacturing firms were subject to a 10% rate, while agricultural and dairy companies were exempt. Unless they fell into the aforementioned business classifications, joint stock companies and limited liability companies were subject to tax rates of 15% and 35%, respectively. Capital gains derived from the sale of land and buildings were subject to a tax rate of 5%. Capital gains from the sale of automobiles were taxed at 2.5%. Other capital gains and dividends were not taxed.

Other taxes included an income tax on salaries, various consumption and production taxes, stamp duties, miscellaneous fees and charges, including a development tax, and the Zakat, an annual religious tax of 2.5% on entities operating in Sudan. The personal income tax was first imposed in July 1964, and an income tax on Sudanese working abroad was added later. Income from property, hitherto exempt from any tax, became subject to the business profits tax on 1 January 1964. There was also a value-added tax (VAT) of 10%.

CUSTOMS AND DUTIES

The Sudan has a liberal trade policy, although it restricts imports of some goods considered competitive with those produced locally. The customs tariff applies to goods from all countries except Egypt and Jordan, which receive preferential treatment.

Most tariff rates are ad valorem and range from zero to 1,100%. Export duty is 10% on cotton and gum arabic and 5% for all other items. Specific rates are applied mostly to alcoholic beverages and tobacco. Commodities not included in the tariff schedule are dutiable at 40% ad valorem. Also levied are royalties, a consumption tax of 10%, and a 10% defense tax. An additional tax of 5150% is imposed on a list of 122 items. The average tariff rate in 1999, as determined by the IMF, was 19.3%. The customs service is known to be extremely corrupt. In 1997, the United States implemented a trade embargo on Sudan because of terrorist activities.

FOREIGN INVESTMENT

In 1971, Sudan nationalized the holdings of foreign investors, mostly British. A privatization effort and a move toward a mixed economy began slowly in the early 1980s and picked up momentum via negotiations with the IMF in 1985. The 1980 Encouragement of Investment Act provided for repatriation of profits, tax incentives, customs relief, industrial rates for transport and electricity. However, the introduction of Shariah law in 1983 (unenforced since 1985), along with foreign exchange shortages, discouraged investors through 1986. In 1990, the government invited foreign investors to purchase companies in the parastatal sector. Key properties in the agricultural, tourist, transportation and communications sectors were identified as candidates for privatization under the National Economic Salvation Program. In 1992, the creation of four free-trade zones was announced in an attempt to encourage additional foreign investment.

In 1999, a new investment act guaranteed the equal status of foreign and national projects; and encouraged investment in the sectors of agriculture, industry, and tourism, amongst others. It gave total tax exemptions for business profits and customs duties for 10 years on capital projects and 5 years for nonstrategic industries. Foreign investment in 2000 included inflows from Canadian and Araki oil interests, as well as European investment.

Annual foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows were $98 million in 1997, but rose to an average of $378 million during 1998 to 2000. In 2001, FDI inflow increased to $574 million. Since then Sudan has experienced record inflows of FDI. Between 2002 and 2004 FDI averaged $1.2 billion reaching a record high of $1.51 billion in 2004.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

The suspension of foreign aid and balance-of-payment support by a growing list of countries in the recent past had all but stopped economic development. In spite of this, Sudan's government continued to retain food self-sufficiency as a priority goal and sought to reallocate investment toward agriculture and other productive sectors. Private investment was welcome as the parastatal sector was privatized. Since 2000, oil exploitation began to boost economic development. The economic expansion due to increased oil production led to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) lifting Sudan's suspension on voting rights, after the country made payments to the Fund and improved its economic performance since 1997. Sudan's voting and other rights in the IMF had been suspended since 1993. However, the country's foreign debt exceeds $25 billion, more than its annual gross domestic product (GDP). However, economic expansion for Sudan is expected to continue, driven by increases in oil production, with real GDP growth set to reach 8.5% and 8.2% in 2006 and 2007 respectively. Rising oil earnings will cause the current-account deficit to narrow from an estimated $1.5 billion (5.5% of GDP) in 2005 to around $400 million (0.9% of GDP) in 2007.

SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

The social insurance system provides benefits for employed persons and the self-employed. This program excludes domestic workers, home workers, and family laborers. A separated program is in place for the armed forces and all public employees. The social insurance system is funded by employee contributions of 8% of wages, with employer contributions of 15% of payroll. Self-employed individuals contribute 25% of their monthly income. The program includes old-age and disability pensions, workers' compensation, and survivor benefits. Retirement is set at age 60, but reduced for those in arduous labor.

The fundamentalist Islamic government has redefined the place of women in society. Prior to that, the state sought to guarantee basic rights and freedoms to all women, both Muslim and non-Muslim. They were afforded opportunities in trade, the professions, and higher education. These freedoms are currently curtailed. Women have been removed from the civil service and have limited educational opportunities. They are no longer free to travel abroad without the permission of a male family member. Women who walk in public with an uncovered head or wearing slacks are often stopped and taken to police stations. Female university students in Khartoum were sentenced to be flogged, reportedly for wearing pants. Female circumcision (also referred to as female genital mutilation), although illegal, is prevalent, especially in the most drastic form. The city of Khartoum ordered the separation of the sexes in public to conform with strict Muslim law. This separation requires barriers between men and women at social events and bans them from sitting facing each other; the law dictates that the barriers be used at weddings, parties, and picnics and prohibits certain other practices perceived as inappropriate in an Islamic society. The government does not address the problem of violence against women. Women in Darfur are especially vulnerable, where rape and assaults are commonplace.

Sudan's human rights situation remained dismal. Government and SPLA continued to regularly commit abuses, including massacres, kidnapping, enslavement, forced conscription, and rape. According to human rights groups, the practice of slavery has grown as a result of the civil war that has intermittently raged in the Sudan since its independence in 1956. Freedom of speech, press, assembly, association, and political choice are repressed throughout the Sudan.

HEALTH

Between 1984 and 1992, there were about 506,000 civil war-related deaths. The government of Sudan announced a cease-fire in the 12-year-old civil war in the southern part of the country in 1995, permitting health organizations to accelerate efforts to administer vaccinations and distribute vitamin A. Despite the extension of medical services and supervision, such diseases as malaria, schistosomiasis, sleeping sickness, tuberculosis, and various forms of dysentery persist. Total health care expenditure was estimated at 3.3% of GDP. Close to 75% of the population had access to safe drinking water and 62% had adequate sanitation.

The central government operates most research laboratories and dispensaries. Hospital facilities and medical and public health services are free. As of 2004, there were an estimated 16 physicians and 85 nurses per 100,000 people.

As of 2002, the crude birth rate and overall mortality rate were estimated at, respectively, 37.2 and 9.8 per 1,000 people. About 10% of married women (ages 15 to 49) were using contraception in 2002. An estimated 89% of Sudanese women underwent female genital mutilation.

In 2005, average life expectancy was estimated at 58.54 years and the infant mortality rate was 62.50 per 1,000 live births. The maternal mortality was 500 per 100,000 live births. Immunization rates for children up to one year old were quite high: tuberculosis, 88%; diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus, 76%; polio, 77%; and measles, 74%. Approximately 34% of children under five years old were considered malnourished.

The HIV/AIDS prevalence was 2.30 per 100 adults in 2003. As of 2004, there were approximately 400,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in the country. There were an estimated 23,000 deaths from AIDS in 2003.

HOUSING

Most Sudanese live in simple houses of their own or rent from landlords or agricultural-scheme authorities. At last report, over half of all housing units were gottias single rooms with round mud walls and a conical straw roof; about one-third were menzils multi-room houses with toilet facilities. Of all dwellings, over 80% were owned. Almost every house, even in the cities, has a walled courtyard or garden. In the big cities, bungalows are provided for important government officials and high-level foreign employees. A national housing authority provides low-cost housing to government employees, rural schoolteachers, and persons in low-income groups. A town-planning ordinance provides for slum clearance and replanning of towns. Khartoum has a number of modern apartment buildings.

EDUCATION

Schooling is compulsory for eight years of basic education. This may be followed by three years of general secondary school. At the secondary level, vocational programs for industrial, commercial, and agricultural studies are available for boys. Home economic programs are available for girls. The academic year runs from July to March.

Primary school enrollment in 2002 was estimated at less than 58% of age-eligible students; about 45% of those enrolled were girls. The same year, secondary school enrollment was less than 32% of age-eligible students. It is estimated that about 49% of all students complete their primary education. The student-to-teacher ratio for primary school was at about 29:1 in 2003; the ratio for secondary school was about 26:1.

The University of Khartoum was established in 1956. A branch of Cairo University was opened at Khartoum in 1955. Other institutions include the Islamic University of Omdurman and the universities of El-Gezirah (at Wad Madanī) and Juba. In 1999, it was estimated that about 7% of the tertiary age population were enrolled in tertiary education programs. The adult literacy rate for 2004 was estimated at about 59%, with 69.2% for men and 49.9% for women.

LIBRARIES AND MUSEUMS

The University of Khartoum Library, in eight branches, is the principal library network with 350,000 volumes. The Library of the Ahfad University for Women has a collection of about 80,000 books. The library at the Institute of Education in Bakhter Ruda has 28,000 volumes; the Khartoum Polytechnic collection has 30,000; and the Educational Documentation Center, also in Khartoum, has 20,000 volumes. Minor library facilities are maintained by secondary schools, houses of worship, government agencies, and foreign community centers. The National Records Office, in Khartoum, serves as the national archives and contains over 20 million documents, including 13,000 bound volumes covering Sudanese history since 1870.

There are antiquities museums in Khartoum and Merowe, which is also the site of excavations of buildings from the kingdom of Kush. The Khalifa's tomb in Omdurman contains relics of Mahdist and other recent history. The National Botanic Garden in Khartoum contains rare specimens of Sudanese flora. Khartoum also has an ethnographic museum, a natural history museum, and the Sudan National Museum. There are also museums at Al Ubayyid, Port Sudan, Wadi Halfa', Wad Madanī, Merowe, Omdurman, and other locations.

MEDIA

Postal and telegraph services are state-owned. In 2003, there were an estimated 27 mainline telephones for every 1,000 people; about 444,000 people were on a waiting list for telephone service installation. The same year, there were approximately 20 mobile phones in use for every 1,000 people.

The Sudan Broadcasting Service, the government-controlled radio network, transmits daily in Arabic, English, French, Amharic, Somali, and other languages. Television service was inaugurated in 1963; an earth satellite station was completed in November 1974. The government controls all radio and television broadcasts, with particular attention to insuring that content is consistent with government policies. The only privately owned radio station is strictly limited to music. In 2003, there were an estimated 461 radios and 386 television sets for every 1,000 people. The same year, there were 6.1 personal computers for every 1,000 people and nine of every 1,000 people had access to the Internet.

Much of the press is privately owned, but the state still has great influence over publications. There are several daily papers. The largest dailies in 2002 were Al Sudani (305,000), Al Ayam (200,000), Al Siasa (60,000), Al Khartoum (25,000), and the English-language Sudan Standard.

The constitution provides for freedom of thought, expression, and press as regulated by law. In practice, the government is said to severely limit free speech and the press through intimidation, surveillance, and economic control. Sudan television has a permanent military censor to ensure that all broadcasts reflect government views.

ORGANIZATIONS

The cooperative movement, which began in the 1930s, has achieved some importance, especially in the irrigation schemes. In the Gezirah Scheme, tenant farmers have formed many cultural, educational, and recreational groupings.

The Sudan Chamber of Commerce (Khartoum), comprising both local and foreign business interests, performs various functions for the government. There are several smaller chambers, most of them organized by resident European and Egyptian traders. More than 30 clubs serve foreign and minority groups and business firms. Such clubs serve as principal centers of social activity in Sudanese towns.

The National Center for Research, established in 1991, promotes study and research in various branches of science. The multinational African Laser, Atomic and Molecular Sciences Network is based in Khartoum.

National youth organizations include the General Sudanese Students Union, Girl Guides Association of The Sudan, YMCA/YWCA, Sudan Boy Scouts Association, and Sudan International Youth and Student Movement for the United Nations. Other youth programs and organizations are sponsored through the Supreme Council of Youth and Sports.

The Babiker Badri Scientific Association for Women's Studies serves as a social action group for the rights and education of women. There are national chapters of the Red Cross Society, UNICEF, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, and Caritas.

TOURISM, TRAVEL, AND RECREATION

The main tourist attractions are big-game hunting in the forests of the south, boat excursions down the Nile through the forest and desert, deep-sea fishing, the Red Sea Hills, the underwater gardens at Port Sudan, and archaeological sites in the north. Horse racing has been popular in the Sudan since its introduction in 1929. However, since the civil war and the advent of Islamic rule, tourism in the Sudan is virtually nonexistent. There were 50,000 tourists who arrived in Sudan in 2001. Visitors to Sudan require a passport and a visa. A vaccination certificate against yellow fever is required if traveling from an infected area. Precautions against typhoid, meningitis, and malaria are recommended.

According the US Department of State, in 2005 the estimated daily cost of staying in Khartoum was $298.

FAMOUS SUDANESE

The one Sudanese to achieve world renown in modern history was the Mahdi (Muhammad Ahmad bin 'Abdallah, 184385), who set out on a self-appointed mission to purify Islam, a mission he hoped would carry him ultimately to Istanbul and to the apex of the Muslim world. Under his banner, the people of Sudan rose against their Egyptian overlords and for over a decade kept most of their country free from foreign rule. The Mahdi died shortly after the seizure of Khartoum. His able but harsh successor, the Khalifa ('Abdallah bin Muhammad at-Ta'a'ishi, d.1899), organized an independent government, which lasted until 1898, when an Anglo-Egyptian expeditionary corps reconquered Sudan.

The Mahdist wars provided the background for the exploits of famous British soldiers and administrators, among them generals Charles George Gordon (183385), Horatio Herbert Kitchener (18501916), and Sir Francis Reginald Wingate (18611953), the first governor-general of the condominium, as well as other foreign officers and explorers in the service of Egypt, such as the Italian Romolo Gessi (183181), the German Emin Pasha (Eduard Carl Oscar Theodor Schnitzer, 184092), the American Charles Chaillé-Long (18421917), and the Austrian Sir Rudolf Carl von Slatin (18571932).

Osman Digna ('Uthnab Abu Bakr Digna, c.18401926), an organizer and leader of the Mahdist armies, and Sayyid 'Abd ar-Rahman al-Mahdi (18851959), posthumous son of the Mahdi, are revered by Sudanese. The most influential figure in recent years was Gaafar Mohammed Nimeiri (Ja'far Muhammad Numayri, b.1930), leader of Sudan from the 1969 coup until 1985. Sadiq al-Mahdi (b.1936) was prime minister during 196667 and 198689. He was overthrown in a coup led by Field Marshal Omar Hasan Ahmad al-Bashir (b.1944) who subsequently became a dictatorial president.

DEPENDENCIES

Sudan has no territories or colonies.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Anderson, G. Norman. Sudan in Crisis: the Failure of Democracy. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1999.

Burr, Millard. Africa's Thirty Years War: Libya, Chad, and the Sudan, 19631993. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1999.

Hale, Sondra. Gender Politics in Sudan: Islamism, Socialism, and the State. Boulder, Colo.: Westview, 1996.

Lobban, Richard A., Jr., Robert S. Cramer, and Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban. Historical Dictionary of the Sudan. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 2002.

O'Sullivan, Meghan L. Shrewd Sanctions: Statecraft and State Sponsors of Terrorism. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2003.

Patterson, Donald. Inside Sudan: Political Islam, Conflict, and Catastrophe. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1999.

Sikainga, Ahmad Alawad. Slaves into Workers: Emancipation and Labor in Colonial Sudan. Austin, Tex.: University of Texas Press, 1996.

Verney, Peter. Sudan: Conflict and Minorities. London: Minority Rights Group, 1995.

Woodward, Peter. The Horn of Africa: Politics and International Relations. New York: I.B. Tauris, 2003.

Zeilig, Leo and David Seddon. A Political and Economic Dictionary of Africa. Philadelphia: Routledge/Taylor and Francis, 2005.

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Sudan

Basic Data
Official Country Name: Republic of the Sudan
Region: Africa
Population: 35,079,814
Language(s): Arabic, Nubian, Ta Bedawie, Nilotic, Nilo-Hamitic, Sudanic, English
Literacy Rate: 46.1%
Academic Year: August-April
Number of Primary Schools: 11,158
Compulsory Schooling: 8 years
Public Expenditure on Education: 0.9%
Educational Enrollment: Primary: 3,000,048
  Secondary: 405,583
  Higher: 37,367
Educational Enrollment Rate: Primary: 51%
  Secondary: 21%
Teachers: Primary: 102,987
  Secondary: 15,504
  Higher: 2,165
Student-Teacher Ratio: Primary: 29:1
  Secondary: 26:1
Female Enrollment Rate: Primary: 47%
  Secondary: 20%



History & Background

Originally the term Sudan was one used to signify a large sub-Saharan swathe of Africa from the eastern to the western edge of the continent. Bilal al-Sudan, meaning literally "the land of the blacks," extended far beyond the borders of today's modern political boundaries drawn by the colonial powers who prescribed for Sudan a much smaller allotment of the African continent in the nineteenth century scramble for Africa. Even so Jamhuriyat as-Sudan (the Republic of the Sudan) is today the largest country in Africa, bordering Chad and the Central African Republic to the West; Egypt and Libya to the North; Ethiopia and Eritrea to the East; and Kenya, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the South. On the east coast is the Red Sea, and from north to south within Sudan flow the Nile River and its tributaries. The total land area of the country totals 2,505,810 sq km (967,491 sq mi), about one quarter the size of the United States.

As of 2000 the estimated population was 35,079,814 with an average population growth rate of 2.8 percent. But Sudan's population has suffered interminably with drought and politico-military induced famine; nearly a million Sudanese were on the verge of starvation in early 2001, and millions more, as many as 4.5 million, have been displaced by the civil conflict and warfare that have gripped the nation in a humanitarian disaster of catastrophic proportions.

Since its independence in 1956, Sudan has had three military dictatorships interspersed with brief attempts to introduce a parliamentary democracy. Under the dictatorships, more progress and development seem to have been made than under the rule of elected officials. The transition to true democracy has been deceptively elusive, particularly because the perceived success under military rule in developing the country's resources has made military leaders more attractive to voters than candidates from other political factions in Sudan.

As a victim of colonialism, Sudan has a history of using education as an ideological and political weapon. But there are positive aspects to an Islamic-oriented education. Islamic approaches to education are more flexible in nature. Students can begin their education at any point in life, and the process of learning is lifelong. There is much to be said for a system that accepts students whether they are in their young, formative years, or at a somewhat later stage in life when responsibility and maturity will evidence a serious dedication to learning.

In a traditional Islamic educational context, there is less importance attached to the awarding of certificates, degrees, and diplomas than in the West. But such qualifications do exist in the form of the ijaza, a diploma conferred upon students by the Islamic teacher, and the isnad, which lists the names of Islamic teachers who have passed on traditions and teachings. This intellectual and spiritual pedigree of sorts, validates the teaching of its holder, and places him in a line of scholars reaching back to the early scholars of Islam, the companions of the Prophet Mohammed, and the Prophet himself. Teachers in possession of an isnad bearing the names of respected scholars will themselves be esteemed in proportion to the prestige accorded to the scholars listed on the isnad.

In Islam, the search for knowledge is a duty of Muslim believers. Traveling in quest of knowledge has a long history in Islamic tradition, and learners are exhorted to "Seek wisdom though it be in China." Learning and the search for wisdom are equated with worship, and the successors to the prophets are those who seek knowledge. In the collective body of recorded traditions surrounding the life of the Prophet Mohammed, the Hadith, a stamp of approval is given to those on the path to knowledge, and rewards are promised in the hereafter for men and women of learning: "God eases the way to paradise for him who seeks learning," and "angels spread their wings for the seeker of learning as a mark of God's approval" (Bray, Clarke and Stephens 1990).


Constitutional & Legal Foundations

Through a national referendum in 1998, the people of Sudan approved the Constitution of the Republic of the Sudan after it had been passed by the national assembly on March 28 of the same year. This new constitution embodies the Islamic ideals of the Muslim umma, or community of believers, and the social order as revealed in the Quran and hadith or traditions of the Prophet Mohammed.

In this new constitution, Articles 12 and 14 of Part I spell out the aims of educating the next generation of Sudanese. Article 12 sets forth the aim of eliminating illiteracy and raising the level of educational, scientific, and artistic achievement within the confines of religiosity:


Article 12 The State shall enlist official capabilities and mobilize popular forces for the purpose of eradicating illiteracy and ignorance and intensifying the systems of education, shall strive to encourage sciences, scientific research and experimentation and facilitate acquiring the same, and shall as well strive to encourage all form of art and strenuously seek to elevate society towards values of religiousness, piety, and good deeds.

Article 14 emphasizes the implementation of education policies and also hints at the politico-religious nature of the educational process in protecting children from spiritual neglect and overseeing the moral care and spiritual cleansing of Sudanese children and youth:


Article 14 The State shall care for children and youth and protect them against exploitation and physical and spiritual neglect, and shall direct policies of education, moral care, national guidance and spiritual cleansing to grow a good generation.

Further on, the constitution guarantees in Article 24 of part II the "freedom of conscience and religious creed" and the "right to. . .manifest the same by way of worship, education, practice or performance of rites or ceremonies; and no one shall be coerced to adopt such faith." And in the following Article 25, the further rights of the populace with regard to freedom of thought and expression are guaranteed, "without coercion by authority."


Educational SystemOverview


Early Foundations of Sudanese Education: The educational system of modern Sudan is rooted in the Islamic culture of the northern riverain Arabs, and influenced by previous British imperial policy and the Mahdist nationalist sentiment prior to the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium era. In this exclusivist and missionary-minded system of education, the Arab language is the medium of instruction and socialization into the Islamic umma, or community of Muslims, distinct from those outside the community who are collectively referred to as the kafir, or nonbelievers in the message of the Prophet Mohammed. The Islamization of the Sudan has been a sometimes gradual, sometimes violent and sudden process of conversion, coalescing, integration, and intermarriage, until the various communities and social institutions of northern Sudan became woven into the very fabric of the greater Islamic umma. Islamic rituals, such as the observance of juma'a (Friday) prayers, the observance of holy days such as Eid Al Adha and Eid Al Fitr, and the establishment of Shari'a (Islamic law), identify the Muslim faithful as members of what is believed to be the universal true religion, whose adherents follow the final revelation of Allah (the one god), such revelation having been given through the Prophet Mohammed. In reciting the shahada, or the confession of the oneness of Allah and the prophethood of Mohammed, "There is one God, and Mohammed is the prophet of God," the believers submit themselves to Allah and the societal structure ordained in the Quran and the hadith, or traditions of the Prophet. Islamic societal governance is so closely intertwined with religious doctrine that the distinction between secular and sacred does not exist in fundamentalist Islamic ideology.

Unfortunately, the rule of Islamists in modern day Sudan, notably since the NIF (National Islamic Front) backed military coup of 1989, has gone against Islamic tradition. Rather than reaffirming the positive social aspects of the Islamic faith, Islam in the Sudan has been the path to political power, and a potent ideological weapon for maintaining that power. Hourani (1991) observed the dangers of such misguided use of religion for political ends:


The inherited wisdom of the 'ulema was that they should not link themselves too closely with the government of the world; they should keep a moral distance from it, while preserving their access to rulers and influence upon them: it was dangerous to tie the eternal interests of Islam to the fate of a transient ruler of the world.

It would seem that exactly the opposite has happened in the Sudan over the past several centuries, and the effects of rule by the religious elite, and their attempts to impose on a fractured society their particular version and interpretation of an Islamic state, has been disastrous for the societal structures of the Sudanese. Education has become less a means of enlightenment, than a means of coercive indoctrination, conversion, and enslavement. Instead of uniting, rule by the religionists has fractured, destroyed, and eliminated the very lives of the people who should have beenaccording to Islamic principleprotected and enabled to live moral lives of purity through peaceful measures. Instead, the use of Islamist ideology as a path to power has been fraught with abuse of religious principles toward political ends, a path strewn with the casualties of warfare, Muslim and nonMuslim alike.

The modern Sudanese educational infrastructure has its proto-origins in the times when the need for learning followed close on the heels of the call to Islam. Learning the Quran, for example, necessitated the establishment of khalawas (religious schools) affiliated with mosques for teaching the Quran and Arabic literacy skills. Further religious education developed for the study of such topics as fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), literature comprising praises to the Prophet, and exposition of Shari'a principles. This growth of Islamic education in the Sudan, concurrent with the spread of the Islamic religion itself, continued through the seventeenth century until the Turco-Egyptian administration that began in 1820 and continued until 1881. With the centralized government of the Turco-Egyptian regime, the foundations of the modern Sudanese educational system were established concurrently with the further development of the traditional religious educational systems that began with the coming of Islam.

Missionary Education: It was during the Turco-Egyptian administration (1820-1881) that the foundations of a modern, centralized educational infrastructure were put into place. Under this administration, missionary education was encouraged, and Christian missionary societies were allowed to open schools such as the Khartoum Catholic School, begun in 1846. There were missionary efforts in the southern regions of Sudan, but not as much educational investment as in the North. The catholic missionary Daniel Comboni, with his Kordofancentered missionary drive in the Sudan, was successful in developing vocational and technical education. The El Obeid school in 1876 was training 100 young men in various trades, and to the South of El Obeid in Malbes, families were receiving agricultural training in 1881. About 200 girls and 300 boys were enrolled in the Khartoum school by 1877, and the successes of Comboni were instrumental in Governor General Charles Gordon's later decision to promote missionary work in the South, paving the way for the important achievements made in education through missionary efforts after the brief interruption of the Mahdist regime.

The Mahdist regime (1881-1898), with its emphasis on Islamic reform, brought a temporary halt to missionary education and to the centralized educational system established during the Turco-Egyptian administration. The Mahdia, or Mahdist regime, dismantled the work of the missionaries and Turco-Egyptian administration, so that by the time the Sudan was reconquered in 1898, the only education to be had was in the small number of traditional religious schools allowed by the Mahdi and his successor, the Khalifa 'Abdallahi (Reyero 1995).


Mahdist Reforms & Prohibitions: In order to understand the Islamic nature and character of educational policy in modern Sudan, it is very important to consider the influence of the Mahdia, a revolutionary regime which was "born by the sword, lived by the sword and perished by the sword" (Zulfo 1980). The Mahdi was the leader of this revolution who inspired and inflamed the Sudanese of his day to sacrifice their lives for the cause of Islam, an inspiration which endures today in the form of resistance to Westernization and the jihad (holy war) against the South. The Islamic martyrs of this jihad are held up as heroes of the faith, and institutions such as Khartoum University boast the number of martyr-students they have offered in the holy war to conquer the southern rebels.

The legacy of the Mahdia was a jihad-inspired military takeover of the governmental administration of Sudan, and the implementation of reformist, puritanical, Mahdist Islamism, which oversaw the reactionary dismantling of the previous advancements made in education. The attitude seemed to be that anything tainted by foreign influence had to be done away with. Religious schools in the vein of "true" Islam, or Islam according to the visions of the Mahdi, were the only educational institutions allowed to continue during the Mahdist regime.


Condominium Educational Policy: In 1898 the Sudan was reconquered by combined British and Egyptian forces, and up until independence in 1956, the country was governed by the Condominium administration, which resulted from the signing of the Condominium Agreement in Cairo on January 19, 1899, thus inaugurating the co-domini Anglo-Egyptian rule. From the beginning of the Condominium, Sudanese involvement in education and employment quickly led to a level of political awareness that would later find expression in the nationalist movements toward eventual independence.

The first governors general of the Condominium administration, Sir Herbert Kitchener and Sir Reginald Wingate, set in motion the educational policies that were to guide the content and aims of Sudanese education. The first Director of Education, James Currie, appointed in 1900, set in place the patterns that continued in one form or another for most of the twentieth century. Currie's system of education was envisaged as one that would allow the Sudanese "to understand the elements of the system of government." Also envisaged was the preparation of "a small class of competent artisans" as well as "a small administrative class for entry to the government service." This limited system of education stemmed from budgetary constraints and fears that an educated elite would be dangerous for the status quo. When Gordon College opened in 1902 as the next step for the first intermediate and secondary schools, it reflected a system of education that was politically influenced and designed to meet the needs of governmental departments rather than the needs of the broader Sudanese populace of the North (Holt and Daly 2000).

Under the Anglo-Egyptian rule, khalawas (traditional religious schools) were modified to incorporate secular additions to the traditional Islamic curricula, and this combination of the secular and religious became the basis of elementary education in Sudan. Government supported kuttabs (Quranic schools) were encouraged in a policy of cultivating orthodox Islam in favor of "fanatical" Islam. After the elementary levels, vocational training was introduced but limited to those being trained for government service. The educational reforms were intended to prevent a revival of Mahdism and the resurgence of Islamic ideology hostile to the government.

Also under the Condominium administration, missionary education was begun anew by the Verona Fathers (Comboni missionaries) and the American Presbyterian Mission. But the activities of the missionaries were curtailed and proselytism became a heated issue of debate, because the government did not want to instill mistrust among Muslims and provoke a reaction to perceived sanctioning of Christian missionary proselytism. Concerns and questions notwithstanding, missionaries were permitted to begin their work in the South. Missionary work began in the North too, but with many prohibitions. At first, the missionaries were permitted to open schools in Khartoum for Christian children, but not Muslims, until 1901, when schools outside Khartoum were opened and were allowed to enroll Sudanese Muslim children.

But there was still much distrust and suspicion of the "foreign" schools and educational reforms. Rural Sudanese especially, but the general populace as well, preferred the traditional to the modern, the religious to the secular. The strongest influence was wielded by the traditional religious schools, even when it became apparent that there were many benefits to receiving vocational training and a combined education with elements of both the secular and the sacred. The traditional religious schools represented for some Sudanese the backward state of educational policy, but for others, in particular the Islamic elite, the traditional elements of Islamic education were a protection of societal status, a buffer against the evils of modernization and the imposition of a foreign system of education.

Educational policy as implemented under Anglo-Egyptian rule was tied to the needs of the administration and political service in that administration by the educated elite of the Sudanese. Gordon Memorial College, the forerunner of today's Khartoum University, was established to commemorate Governor General Charles Gordon. It became the center of the Condominium's educational system, and the all-male Sudanese student body was educated and socialized after the European model. Although westernized by having learned to speak English and to dress like Europeans the students retained traditional religious and cultural beliefs. The bonds of Islamic unity forged during the Mahdia in the stand against the enemy were not to be so easily undone through policy which could change the external, but which could not invade the inner being of a people's awakened national self-consciousness.

To cater to those students seeking a more traditional religious education, the government-sponsored Islamic Religious Institute of Omdurman was inaugurated in 1912. But unlike graduates of Gordon Memorial College, graduates of the institute were not on a track toward eventual service in a government administrative capacity. With the failure of state schools to provide enough places for students, and to subsequently train them for jobs in the administration, ma'hads (nongovernment institutes) proliferated and offered students a traditional Islamic educationan alternative to the administrative-track studentships offered in government sponsored institutionsbut without the same potential for employment upon completion.

With little opportunity for profitable employment, the nationalist movement of the 1920s, and everincreasing perception that the Condominium administration's educational policy was more for the benefit of its own needs instead of the Sudanese populace, there were calls for reform. As a result of such pressure for reform, there were changes in the 1930s including the establishment of private schools, the coordination of educational policy with Egypt, and attempts to standardize the curricula of mission schools in the South. After World War II, there was expansion at all levels of education to deal with the growing numbers of students, such as the opening of postsecondary schools like the Khartoum Technical Institute, the Omdurman Higher Teachers' Training Institute, and a Khartoum branch of Cairo University, later to become the nationalized El Nileen University (University of the Two Niles) in 1992.

Prior to independence in 1956, the failures, disparities, and discontinuities of the educational system under the co-domini powers became glaringly evident. Illiteracy was rampant, as high as 86 percent, and only 10-12 percent of eligible children were in primary school. With independence the nationalized government faced serious challenges in expanding and modernizing the educational system so that schooling would be available for all Sudanese, meeting the needs of a linguistically, culturally, and religiously diverse population. It would be easy to blame educational policy under the Condominium administration for the subsequent failures and problems encountered in the postindependence era. And indeed, it has been argued that Condominium policy reinforced disparities between northern and southern Sudan, between Arab and non-Arab, and Muslim and non-Muslim, the disparities that were to lead to the southern "problem" and the interminable civil warfare of the postindependence era.


Education in the South: Both before and after the Mahdia, the southern educational policy was influenced by Christian missionary activities, and after the reconquest of the Sudan, the Condominium administration was concerned with preventing a revival of Mahdisim and the spread of Islamic radicalism to the southern regions. The South was cut off from the North in terms of language planning policy, educational policy, and employment policy of the government administration that prevented northerners from taking up government posts in the South and vice versa.

Southern educational policy differed from northern policy in that Christian missionary organizations were responsible for educational development and planning in regional spheres of influence relegated to the various missionary societies. The South was economically backward and sparsely populated with a remarkable linguistic diversity among tribal populations, some of them nomadic. Amidst a suspicious xenophobia sown among southerners during the slave-trading eras, the Christian missionary groups met the social, educational, and developmental challenges of southern Sudan. The Verona Fathers (Comboni missionaries), the Church Missionary Society, and the American Presbyterian Mission divided the South into spheres of influence and proselytism under regulations established in 1905. The Catholic educators offered vocational, technical, and industrial training, whereas the Church Missionary Society and the American Presbyterian Mission focused in their educational planning on the development of literacy skills.

Unlike the educational system of the North, dominated by the modified Islamic religious institutions and government-sponsored kuttabs using Arabic as the medium of instruction, the southern schools employed English as the language of instruction, with the exception of Bahr al-Ghazal, where Arabic was used. The southern schools after Sudan's reconquest were nearly all for boys except for several elementary schools established for girls. At the time of the reconquest, when missionary activities were renewed after the Mahdist era, the missionary educators could not have foreseen the influence that their policies would have on the future sociopolitical dynamics of the Sudan, the cleavages between north and south, Muslim and Christian, Arabs and non-Arabs, and "true" Muslims versus "other" Muslims. The challenges of working among varied and linguistically diverse tribal ethnic groups on a meager budget left little option but to adopt a common language for education. The pidgen Arabic that was common at the time could just as easily have been chosen, but Mahdist revivalism fears negated such an option. Perhaps one of the many tribal languages could have been used in education, but there could have been no unity of educational policy and planning, and who is to say whether such a choice would have been less divisive than adopting English? What is clear is that the adoption of a Western tongue, and the perception by northern Arab Muslims that this represented a foreign intrusion, later justified in the minds of Arab northerners the future programs of Arabization and Islamization in the name of Allah. It also legitimized the jihad against the southerners to expel the foreign influence from the Sudan, the imposition of Shari'a law, and the establishment of a state founded upon the platform of political Islam.

The Rejaf Language Conference of 1928 further legitimized the linguistic and educational policy that divided the North from the South and deepened the gap between the Arab Muslim north and the African Christian and Animist south. The educational system in the South expanded throughout the 1920s, but due to the differing spheres of influence and the different approaches of the missionary societies, there was a lack of uniformity in the South that highlighted not only the North-South divide, but also the interregional divides in the South.

Thus, the educational administration of the South being an indirect one under the Condominium administration seems to have prevented the interregional unity in the South that might have been achieved through a centrally coordinated policy of education. But although this indirect rule facilitated cleavages along religious, regional, and ethnic divides, progress was made in training Sudanese nationals for government service in the South, in facilitating development of literacy and technicalvocational skills, and in raising the level of awareness of the southern Sudanese of themselves as a distinct entity from the North as indeed they had been even before the coming of the missionaries.

Whatever the failures or successes of the educational policy in the South in forestalling capitulation to northern aggression and the sword of political Islam, the resulting divisions and cleavages underlined the fact that the southern Sudan was different from northern Sudan, and the people had visions of their destiny which differed sharply from the Islamic future that the northerners envisaged for the South. The northern Islamic elite viewed the south in a sense as their "lost brother" who needed to be brought back into the fold of Islam (Abdel Wahab El-Affendi 1990).

With the movements toward nationalism and independence in the 1930s and 1940s, the fears of the Condominium administration began to be realizedthe way was being prepared for a postindependence sociopolitical movement that advocated Islamization and Arabization of the entire Sudan. The sociopolitical impasses between North and South had been deepened through lack of unifying the country on principles other than exclusivist Islamism. It seemed that the advantages gained through the particular educational policies in the South were eclipsed altogether by the sociopolitical divisions. There was virtually no freedom of movement between North and South in terms of employment opportunities for the educational elite, and after independence it was the placement of southern troops under officers of northern origin that prompted mass mutiny and rebellion.

With the determination of the nationalists and Islamists to extend Islam into the South in the 1930s, the maturation of the discourse of independence, nationalism, Arabization, and Islamization was well underway. After independence in 1956, the educational backwardness and state of underdevelopment of the South in relation to the North prompted reforms oriented toward a strict policy of Islamization and Arabization to bring the southern regions into line with the Islamist vision for the newly independent Republic of the Sudan.

Postindependence Arabization & Islamization: Since independence in 1956 the educational policy of the Sudan has been influenced by the ongoing program of Arabization and Islamization. But the Islamist vision has been shown to be incompatible with the ethnically and linguistically diverse populace of the Sudan, particularly the South. Ideally an Islamic state recognizes the rights of linguistic and ethnic minorities, and such a policy of minority recognition remains the stated official line of the Bashir regime as set forth in the constitution.

There are benefits to homogenization, but politicized educational policy has been disastrous for those who have resisted the eclipsing of their autonomous identity. In the displaced persons' camps, it seems that the Islamic relief agencies such as the Islamic African Relief Agency of the 1980s and the Da'wa Islamia, working under the aegis of the NIF and government sponsorship, have been more concerned with religious "needs" than physical needs. The services provided by Islamic relief agencies have been woefully inadequate, not meeting the basic food and health needs of refugees, and the services have been manipulated to "encourage" conversion to Islam. The main focus of Da'wa Islamia, as Peterson (1999) notes, was the providing of schools at the relief camps so that displaced children could be taught according to the Islamic curriculum of the Khartoum regime.

Through education, the Arab Umma hopes to regain the ascendancy now being usurped by the West. In Sudan the Islamists are using education to further religious doctrine, and they are manipulating the government social services apparatus toward that end. As Peterson (1999) has observed, "Islamists in charge have a firm grip on power," they are "unlikely to be displaced in the foreseeable future" and they intend to "Islamize all of Sudan. . .spread their brand of political Islam far and wide. . .[and] they will pursue a strategy of dividing and overcoming those Sudanese who oppose them, and they will work to gain support from groups and individuals in the United States and Western Europe in order to soften or end policies unfavorable to Sudan." Caught right in the middle of the conflict surrounding Khartoum's policies and programs are the children of Sudan. In 1995 a Nuba refugee named Yusuf said "The intent of the Government is complete and utter elimination of Nuba culture. Its intent is not new. I myself believed I was an Arab until high secondary school; that is what we were taught. . . .Our great concern is for our children. For the last eight years, since 1987, there has been no education for children" (Winter 2000).

Preprimary & Primary Education

Although traditional religious instruction has been combined with instruction in other subjects in Sudan's modern education system, Quranic schools are still an important component of educating Sudanese Muslim youth. Quranic schools existed as the first educational institutions in Sudan, and even today the Quranic schools are the first educational experience for many children, and there can be elaborate, formal ceremonies for pupils' first admission to the Quranic schoolfor example, shaving pupils' heads and writing bismallah ar-rahman ar-rahim, on the palms of students' hands, committing at the start the children's education to the cause of Islam in the name of Allah.

Classes in Quranic schools begin each day with a morning session, followed by an afternoon session, and a later evening session for students who cannot attend the day sessionsfor example, if they are enrolled in a primary or elementary school. Thus, students have the option of attending both Quranic and primary school at the same time. The school week in Sudan runs from Saturday to Wednesday, as in most Islamic nations, with the weekend being on Thursday and Friday.

Children normally begin study in the Quranic schools between the ages of three and six. The curriculum consists mainly of memorizing the Quran, and learning the Arabic alphabet for this purpose. Equipped with a wooden slate and a simple ink made of soot mixed with gum, students are economically prepared to begin writing the Arabic alphabet and sections of the Quran. Complete memorization of the Quran normally takes around five years, sometimes longer, and there are ceremonies at the end of each of five stages of memorization.

Competitions for children to demonstrate their ability in reciting the Quran from memory offer rewards to those students who have successfully mastered the memorization challenge. The Quranic schools are not without their critics inside and outside the Muslim world. One of the main criticisms leveled against Quranic schools, in some cases by students who have gone through such schools early on in their education, is the fact that rote memorization and the ability to recite the Quran without understanding are seen as pointless aims of the Quranic curriculum. In many Quranic schools in countries with non-Arabic speaking Muslim believers, there are students who do not understand the words they are being taught to chant with religious fervor, and hence there is no true progress in understanding Arabic without the comprehension of memorized Quranic verses. To some, the ability of a child to chant the entire text of the Quran without understanding the words is evidence for divine inspiration, while to others the practice denotes a futile use of minds that could be put to better tasks.

In the past, some Quranic schools did not always follow this tradition of memorization without compre hensionemphasizing instead poetry, composition, arithmetic, and Arabic grammar in the curricula before moving on to detailed study and memorization of the Quran. There are critics of the Quranic curriculum, but advocates argue that at a minimum, students are introduced to Arabic, and get a foundation for further instruction. It may also be said that the schools socialize students into an Islamic community, instilling and inculcating respect for Islamic scholars and culture.

As Stephen Amin (2000) reported, going to school can be a deadly undertaking for primary school-age children in the Sudan. A missionary-sponsored primary school in Kauda Fouk, in the Nuba mountains of central Sudan, was bombed on 8 February 2000, along with numerous displaced persons camps where Western aid agencies were operating. At Kauda Fouk, four bombs were dropped by a Russian-made Sudanese Airforce Antonov plane on the school where over 600 students attended daily. Ten children and a teacher were killed instantly, while four more died in transit to the hospital. Witnesses note that the plane had identified the school-target several days previously in a flyover of the school premises, during which the terrified schoolchildren fled from the school.

So why would the military directly target a primary school? The answer, according to Ramadan Hamid, is that Khartoum wishes to "create insecurity among civilians, in order to stop life supporting activities such as schooling and farming, to give the civilians no other option apart from 'peace camps."' Another eyewitness explained, "The government of Sudan is not just trying to fight us physically, they want to prevent even our education." Khartoum's strategy succeeded. After this attack, surrounding schools closed their doors and students expressed their terror-stricken state of mind: "I will stay at home, why go to school and die."

The young minds of many primary school-age children in Sudan are being terrorized, to the point that they refuse to come to school for fear of being killed by more attacks. The memories of bombed out classrooms, mutilated classmates, burned churches and mosques, have been etched forever into their tender minds as victims of fratricidal civil war atrocities. Intimidation and terrorism, and the genocidal onslaught of the Khartoum regime, have not spared the innocent children. Their education has been one conducted according to the policy of intractable warfare, whose casualties number in the millions of minds scarred by loss of family, dislocation, malnourishment, psychological intimidation, and desperate privation.

In many refugee camps, school sessions for children might be held under the shade of a tree, and instead of a blackboard there are markings in the dust. Among the 4.5 million plus displaced Sudanese, a whole generation of children has grown up without any formal education.

In addition to severe problems with the provision of social services among the displaced populations, statistics from the Sudanese Ministry of Education for the year 2000 reveal the existence of serious problems apart from those school-age children directly affected by the war. Out of 111,141 teachers at the primary level in the Sudanese education system, only 43 percent had received professional training. So not only are there problems among the displaced populations and a total lack of education in the South, but in the Sudanese education system outside the war zones, there are serious problems including a lack of trained teachers, poorly paid teachers who must resort to handouts from students' families, a lack of facilities, and poor transportation to and from schools. On top of all this there are the budgetary deficiencies resulting from the diversion of funds to the war effort's aim of crushing the southern rebellion.

Pupil enrollment statistics for 2000 reveal the financial problems brought about by a war that devours around half of the annual national budget, an estimated $1 million per day. Teachers are not paid, or severely underpaid, and at the preschool level (kindergarten and nursery schools), only 349,306 out of an estimated 1.8 million eligible school-age children were enrolled in schools. At the primary level, out of a targeted population of 6.6 million, less than half (47.2 percent) or 3.13 million students in the 6 to 14 age bracket were enrolled in primary schools. The Ministry of Education explains that the meager enrollment rates are a result of the civil war. The buying of munitions and military hardware has been a greater priority than paying teachers' salaries and developing the educational infrastructure. An education system that should have been a government-provided education free of charge for all Sudanese has resorted to desperate measures to support teachers trying to educate less than half of the school-age Sudanese children, a large proportion of whom have been adversely affected by the war.


Secondary Education


In the context of a historical, traditional religious education, graduates of Quranic schools went on to an Ilm school of higher learning where they would study a range of Islamic subjects relating to literature, theology, and law. Tafsir, the study of Quranic exegesis, passed along the traditions for interpreting the sacred text of the Quran. Literature studies centered mainly on the texts resulting from scholarly commentary on the Quran, and the study of the hadith focused on the traditions surrounding the life of the Prophet Mohammed. Traditions governing marriage, divorce, inheritance, and personal conduct are derived from how the Prophet himself had behaved and conducted himself in his lifetime, but a modern application and interpretation of these traditions is necessary for use in Islamic societies of today.

Fiqh, or Islamic jurisprudence, is the body of theory surrounding the Islamic sacred law (Shari'a ) that orthodox Muslims believe to be applicable not only to Muslims, but to all men and women. The various subjects of the Ilm schools, fiqh, hadith, tafsir, madih (praises to the Prophet Mohammed), sira (prose and poetic verse narrating stories of the Prophet), and Wa'z (literature discussing Islamic notions of paradise and hell) completed the socialization process of students into the Islamic scholarly community. Students went on after graduating from the Ilm schools for further specializations in fiqh or hadith, for example at the world famous Al Azhar university in Egypt, or they went on to serve as prayer leaders (imams ), or judges (qadi ) in their respective Islamic communities.

Understanding the influence of traditional religious education in the Islamic world is very significant in explaining the development of the modern Sudanese educational infrastructure. As for many citizens in countries of Africa, Islam represented for the Sudanese the ideology needed for development and nationalization in the postcolonial, postimperial era. In Africa, leaders saw the need for strengthening the moral character of their people, and Islam provided a sense of community (Umma ), society, and dignity in resisting the imperialists. Islam provided an identity amid the sweeping changes affecting their countries.

The early to mid-1900s was a time when Arab nationalism was sweeping the Islamic world, and Sudan was not the only country, or the first, to address the challenge of how to best nationalize and develop a system of education that would meet the needs of a generally uneducated, illiterate populace. In Sudan, an educated elite had already developed a vision for such development, and that vision led from the logic of nationalism and independence to the mass education of the entire populace. This was one of the first tasks of primary importance to the national government. But there were problems such as a large population, about 10 million at the time of Sudan's independence, and an ever-increasing population that equated with a need for building an educational system to accommodate not only the unschooled students, but also the steadily increasing number of school-age children who needed to be enrolled in the state schools.

The result of the fast-paced development meant that schools were opened with large class sizes. Teachers often lacked professional qualifications and training, and the level of education was not adequate, especially at the secondary level, and students were nominally equipped for further studies. As in the Condominium era, education focused on preparation for government service instead of vocational and technical training, a repetition of problems inherent in the Condominium era educational policy. Independence in Sudan was not the result of a revolution per se, but a transfer of administrative control to the nationalists.

The schools that were inherited from the Anglo-Egyptian administration were nationalized under the unified educational system and brought under the control of the state. In the South the subsidized missionary schools came under scrutiny after independence. A report in 1954 by an International Commission on Secondary Education had advocated transfer of missionary schools to government control and replacement of English with Arabic as the language of instruction. Such insensitivity to the southern dilemma went even further when in 1957, a year after formal independence, the government proclaimed its decision to nationalize the mission schools. They were integrated into the national education system shortly thereafter. More forceful measures were later taken with the aggressive policies surrounding Arabization and Islamization, and six intermediate Islamic institutes were opened in the South, new mosques were built, and Christian missionaries were not allowed to open any more schools. Furthermore, Sunday as a day of rest was done away with in favor of the Islamic juma'a, the Friday day of Muslim worship.

The Islamic traditional schools and religious institutes in the North were also incorporated into the state system of education, but they were never harassed as the mission schools in the South have been since independence. And although the integrated missionary schools have been allowed to continue up to the present day, the increase of restrictions since the Missionary Societies Act of 1962 has resulted in continued interference and disruption over the years to missionary activities; and there has been outright hostility as in the expulsion of missionaries, and most recently in the bombing of the Comboni Primary School and the bulldozing of mission schools. In line with other Arab countries, the Sudan instituted a policy of Arabizing the schools that presented problems for the southerners who had been taught until then in an English medium of instruction environment. There was, therefore, no Arab-educated elite in the South as there was in the North to institute such a policy of Arabization.

Modern Sudanese education at the secondary level has inherited a system of education that incorporated Islamic schools and Islamic subjects, and the English medium missionary schools of the South, into a centrally controlled national educational infrastructurethat has evolved into a modern system of imparting the previous elements of a traditional religious education, and also the so-called secular subjects requisite for a liberal education in the humanities, arts, and sciences.

The success of the system in passing along the Islamic traditions is fairly obvious, at least in the northern regions. But the failure to unify the country, and the alienation, polarization, and enmity resulting from the programs of enforced Arabization and Islamization of the southern regions especially, can only be seen as dismal failures to accommodate the needs of important elements of postindependence Sudanese society. And this failure has had ramifications for the educational system as a whole, economically, socially, ideologically, and psychologically. Funds have been diverted for the war effort. Transportation from rural areas to schools has been disrupted. And education has been used in the recruitment of youths for the war effort against parents' knowledge and wishes in many cases. The government has even gone so far as rounding up youths off the streets for conscription into military service, and they have withheld the secondary school educational certificates of Sudanese youth who did not enlist for service in the southern jihad. Factionalization and fracturing of diverse societal components against each other in fratricidal slaughter represent symptoms of the graver problems underlying the obvious deficiencies in modern Sudan's educational policy.

The meager statistics for school enrollment at the secondary level reveal the modern failures of the educational system in Sudan to provide a basic foundational level of schooling to the Sudanese populace. In 2000, only 401,424 students were enrolled in secondary schools out of 2.22 million eligible students. The financial constraints in the midst of warfare have meant that students must pay fees to support teachers who should have been salaried by the state, and the financial plight of teachers is only aggravated by the absence of school equipment, supplies, and adequate facilities.


Higher Education

In discussing higher education and scientific achievement in the context of historical Islam, it must be remembered that the Arab Empire's commercial blockade of the West imposed from the seventh to the twelfth centuries left European urban society impoverished, while the Muslim countries became economically and culturally enriched through their control of trade with India and the Far East. The indebtedness of the West to the Islamic world has been de-emphasized to the point that even the rebirth of learning and scholarship in Europe was at one time believed to have resulted from the direct influence of Greek and Roman sources without any input from the "barbaric" Muslims. In fact, the Arabs had translated and preserved the classical works of antiquity, and when the Muslims occupied Spain, Sicily, and southern Italy, they brought their high standards of scholarship and learning to be established in Muslim communities, part of the greater network of scholarship throughout the Muslim world. Although the Arabs never occupied all of Europe, they quite literally conquered Western civilization by cordoning it off through their blockade that extended from the Atlantic Ocean to Central Asia, preventing commercial interaction and cultural exchange with the East. The Arabs preserved the writings and cultural accomplishments of ancient Greece and Rome, and they passed along their scholarship and forms of educational systemization to Europe. That is to say, the body of knowledge that Europe inherited from the Arabs made possible the foundations of modern scientific inquiry. In mathematics the Arabs donated the foundational numerals used for computation, and Arabic numerals replaced the unwieldy Roman numerals. The Arab's mathematical bequeathal also included such advancements as logarithms, algebra, and trigonometry. In other branches of science as well, such as medicine, botany, natural history, and zoology, and the technical-vocational specializations such as paper manufacture, which the Arabs learned from the Chinese, the Muslim world was centuries ahead of backward Europe before the Renaissance. Today this historical bequeathal is an embarrassment of sorts for a civilization such as the West, which in the history of human knowledge and systems of thought would like to believe that it alone has always occupied the lofty perch of the most advanced civilization in the world.

The European university was not a direct product of the Islamic world, but the form which it was to take in the West from its inception in the Middle Ages, as a vitalized, corporately structured entity in the thirteenth century, resulted from what had been inherited from the Islamic structures of higher education. Higher learning in the Islamic world was organized along the lines of charitable trusts and endowments. A madrasa, or boarding school for higher learning most often associated with a mosque, was established through the gift of a benefactor, and the income from the endowment, such as the rental income from a property given or purchased as part of the endowment, was used for paying teachers, funding student stipends, and other educational-related purposes. The main purpose of such endowments was most often the study and teaching of fiqh and Islamic jurisprudence. Endowments provided for a given number of students to study law, hadith, sufism, and other subjects in the madrasa. Teachers of the various subjects were supported by the endowment, and the holder of an endowed chair in a particular subject would be supplied with teaching assistants much in the same manner as the needs of modern university departments are served by teaching and research assistants, part-time lecturers, and adjunct professors.

Students would learn through exposition by a mudarris (teacher) in oral lectures followed by clarification in tutorials and exercises supervised by teaching assistants, learning over several years the consensus of scholarship on particular legal and social issues of the day. Those students wanting to move on to become teachers themselves, or qadi, (judges) or muftis (Muslim legal experts), studied longer than other students, and they were trained in ijtihad, the process of logical dispute and reasoning by which a consensus was reached. At this higher level of learning, students received an advanced certification attesting to their competence in ijtihad, a higher level of ijaza (educational certificate), which authorized them to practice as teachers, judges, and legal experts within the Muslim Umma.

The university that the Islamic world borrowed back, so to speak, from Europe in the nineteenth century was an institution replete with Islamic elements that were the unrecognized inheritance earlier bequeathed to Europe by the Arabsthe foundational knowledge in mathematics, science, and classical studies that made possible the modern advancements and branches of inquiryand the organization of the educational infrastructure, including the endowments and charitable trusts that made possible the forms of higher learning that developed throughout Europe in the form of university communities. Europe took the borrowed system of knowledge in the Middle Ages, organized this borrowed knowledge, and developed it into a corporate system undergirding the branches of modern scholarship and scientific inquiry. So from a "borrower" in the Middle Ages, Europe became a "lender" in modern times, retransmitting to the Islamic world through colonialization and imperialization that which Islam had previously transmitted to the West. The branches of scientific inquiry and the system of education had been changed and christianized by European scholars and scientists, many of whom saw in God's creation the structure and orderliness of intelligent design, which man (and woman) could discover through scientific inquiry. To Christian minds, Christ was the force by "all things consist" (Colossians 1:17). The Christian belief that intelligent design had resulted in an orderly creation spurred some of the greatest minds in Christian Europe, Isaac Newton for example, to diligently search out in an orderly fashion, with scientific methodology, the laws, structure, and composition of a marvelous creation. Western civilization as a debtor to the Arabs, became a debtor to the great minds who demonstrated what scientific advancements could be achieved in searching out the orderly structures of God's creation from the vantage point of a Christian worldview. Both Muslim and Christian controlled governments had shown how scientific advancement could be curtailed by religious interference in politics, but the notion of freedom of conscience to be enunciated in the Protestant Reformation that swept Europe in the sixteenth century was to liberate great minds to do great works with fewer restrictions from overbearing interference by men of religion who sought to maintain their power base under the guise of religiosity.

In the Sudan, the western influence was represented in the complex administrative bureaucracy of Sudan's Condominium government, the missionary schools in the South, the establishment of Gordon Memorial College in Khartoum, and various other social institutions transferred from the Condominium to the national administration at independence. The Islamic counterparts to this influence both before and after the nationalist takeover of the Sudanese government took the form of social institutions developed specifically for the purpose of fostering the growth of an Islamic elite. The establishment and increasing influence of traditional Islamic schools and institutes such as the Islamic African Center of Khartoum (Al Merkaz Al Islami Al Ifriqi bi' Khartoum ), formed in 1977 by the government to offer African societies an alternative model of modernization to the Western model, was seen as a way to counteract the pervasive Western influence. The center's aim was to combat negative perceptions of Islam, and to reverse the work of the European imperialists and Christian missionaries through the development of an Islamic educated elite, young Muslims drawn from not only the Sudan, but other countries in Africa as well. The vision for extending Islam's frontiers beyond Sudan was strikingly reminiscent of the Mahdist Islamic vision.

The high level of instruction in Islamic and Arab culture at the center under highly qualified teachers was designed to reinforce Islamic orthodoxy and improve the general standards of education in communities throughout Sudan from which students had been drawn. The low standards of education among Sudanese youth in the 1960s and the domination of anti-Western nationalist thought in the wake of independence, inspired the Muslim political factions to more firmly embrace Islamization and Arabization as the vehicle for cultural decolonization of the Sudan. Strictly speaking, the Sudan had never been colonized because the joint administration under the co-domini powers represented a continuation of the Ottoman-style rule of the Sudan through Egypt's overlordship. But the effect was the same, and of the co-domini powers, Britain wielded the real authority. In the process of de-emphasizing and reversing the influence of the West, the new Muslim-educated elite, missionaries of the new Islamic revivalism (Al Sahwa Al Islamia Islamic awakening), were being prepared to take on the challenge of competing with Western style education, and Western-educated intellectuals. And from this process of cultural liberation from the "West is best" ideology as well as the "Mecca versus mechanization" dichotomy (Eickelman 1999), there were studies done by Islamists to analyze the possible models of Islamic teaching and research in the modern era.

Religious orthodoxy was needed to liberate the Sudanese from the shackles of European cultural colonization from Sudan's recent past. But in southern Sudan, the policy of Islamization and Arabization failed due toas Islamists themselves realizedthe deep-seated rejection of Islamization for ethnic and religious motivations driven by a desire for autonomy in the face of possible subordination to the new imperialist Islam. In the minds of southerners, Arabization became equated with Islamization. As the loga al Islamiyya (the language of Islam), the Arabic language was heavily freighted with the religion of Islam, and the one entailed the other.

It was hoped that the formation of a new Islamic elite from among the Sudanese youth would stimulate change in favor of the Islamist vision for Sudan. Prior to the establishment of the Islamic center in Khartoum, a center had been established in Omdurman in 1966, the Islamic African Center, created by government decree and housed in a building provided by the Sudanese Wahhabi movement. But from the initial cultural Islamization aims, the goals were to be transformed into the spread of militant Islam, not taking into account the large sectors of Sudanese society who did not want to be Islamicized, or who did not agree with the propagation of militant Islamfor example, nonfundamentalist, secularist Muslims of the North fearing the nonrealization of their own vision for a multiethnic, multireligious, multicultural Sudan.

The Muslim elite-in-training were expected to be able to evince a dynamic image of Islam, and students were trained in high standards of religious instruction. Additionally, they were granted scholarships and free maintenance allowances. The period from 1971 to 1982 saw the center transformed from having a cultural orientation to being militantly and fundamentally Islamist. By 1987 the center was also considering opening a center for female candidates as well for the training of the new elite. From the center, the students would go on to university, for example, the Islamic University of Omdurman, or with a diploma of Da'wa (extending the "call" to the Muslim faith, Islamic proselyzation and preaching), they were qualified as Muslim missionaries to propagate Islam in Sudan and elsewhere. The ideology of Da'wa equates with a militant, missionary activity in modern societies, combining the secular studies with the religious, in the formation of the ideal Muslim man. Of course, less importance was attached to the indoctrination of women. Their role was one of subservience, to comply with being driven from public view back to the domestic scene, behind the veil of religious seclusion. The center was defined by its opposition to Westernization, particularly Western modernization brought about by the missionary activities of the Christian organizations. Combating such Western influence with an indigenous Islamic discourse was a priority. After a governmental decree in 1992, the center became the International University of Africa, a model of an ideal African Islamic institution of higher learning.

Other changes in this period included the reincorporation of the Islamic University of Omdurman as the Quranic University of Omdurman, and the nationalization of the Khartoum branch of Cairo University, which was reincorporated as the University of the Two Niles (El Nileen University). The transformation of universities posed new challenges for educational development in the final decade of the 1900s. Finding highly qualified lecturers to fill teaching posts and integrating student populations from diverse backgrounds was difficult, but the center was successful in that the young, modern, urban youth were attracted toand by and large successfully initiated intothe Islamist vision being propagated by Islamic centers such as the Islamic African Center of Omdurman and the Islamic African Center of Khartoum. But the effect on the Muslim to non-Muslim discourse cannot be seen in any sense as a success. For militant movements such as the brand of political Islam espoused by Sudan's NIF regime since 1989, compromise is not an option. Strategic retreat perhaps, but never compromise.

During the 1990s there was a large increase in university student enrollment in Sudan. The number of new universities created in the last 15 years of the twentieth century is impressive. But this expansion in numbers has not necessarily been accompanied by a correlating growth of educational services in terms of quality of education and scientific research. From 4,000 university students in 1990, university enrollment increased to 30,000 in 1999, and the number of universities mushroomed from only 6 in 1989 to 26 in 1999. But as of the year 2000, the exodus from Sudan of qualified lecturers and teachers to the oil-rich Gulf states continued. In Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates, Sudanese educators could be sure of a regular salary, a degree of stability, and adequate facilities for their professions. This exodus of Sudanese professionals has made necessary the hiring of foreign educational professionals from Iraq, Egypt, Syria, and the poorer countries of the Arab world.

The growth of the Sudanese university system occurred after the 1989 military coup of General Omer Ahmed el Beshir, under whose administration a new educational policy was developed and implemented. This policy became known as the New Educational Policy of 1991, and it involved a reorganization of the entire educational system. The new policy targeted the curricula of state schools and the management of higher institutions of learning. As of 1991, the Ministry of Education issued orders instituting Arabic as the sole language of instructions at all levels of education, a directive which has not necessarily been strictly implemented, for example at Al Ahfad University where English remains the language of instruction. In the words of the 1998 constitution, other languages are "tolerated." The directive seems to have been aimed at the lower levels of education, in particular the schools in the South where English is still used. The Arabization of all universities and institutions of higher learning has meant that any student wanting to go for higher education in Sudan, must have a grounding in Arabic at the primary and secondary levels if he or she is to have any chance of obtaining a university placement. Also of importance, many universities were opened under the new policy, and students studying abroad at the time were requested to return to Sudan to enroll in one of the national universities. Additional changes included the reincorporation of the Khartoum Polytechnical Institute as the Sudan University of Science and Technology. Also as a result of the New Educational Policy of 1991, four new regional universities were established in Darfur, Kordofan, the Northern Region, and the Eastern Region, along with other specialized universities such as the Quranic University of Omdurman.

Additionally, the University Act gave the government authority over officer appointments for all universities, and according to this act all state postsecondary institutions had to be affiliated with one of the state uni-versities. The main criticism of the new policy has been that it has been informed more by the politics of the day, namely the politics of Islamization and Arabization, to the detriment of multicultural diversity and plurality of ideology instead of the recommendations of professional educators.


Administration, Finance, & Educational Research

As part of a centrally organized system, Sudan's educational institutions are tightly controlled by the Khartoum regime, and heavily influenced by the politics of the day. The Ministry of Education has three branches. The General Directorate of Education Planning is responsible for the planning and implementing of public educational policy, which includes:

  • Development and implementation of planning policies
  • Statistical data collection, analyses, and publication
  • Personnel training and coordination
  • Educational research and surveys
  • Problem resolution
  • Budget planning
  • Conference and seminar sponsorship/participation.

The General Directorate for Training and Education Qualifying is in charge of:

  • Preparing training plans/programs
  • Supervising the educational professional training process
  • Designing curricula for training programs
  • Qualifying trainers for conducting specialized training sessions.

And the National Committee for Education, Science, and Culture is responsible for:

  • Cooperating with Arab and Islamic states in coordination of educational policy
  • Organizing programs and national activities in education, science, culture
  • Facilitating participation in international conferences.

The civil war has devoured the funds needed so desperately for education, not to mention the more basic needs of food and shelter for the displaced populace. The meager enrollment in the state schools testifies to the educational catastrophe that continues as many Sudanese youths reach maturity without having been educated in a formal, systematic manner throughout their formative years.

In an ideal Sudan, the Ministry of Education's policies would ensure the provision of adequate educational services as outlined by the General Directorate of Education Planning. According to the Ministry of Education, these policies are centered on maintaining the plans and programs of education according to a nationally envisioned, inclusive strategy, in line with the objectives and educational policies prescribed by the government. A national educational strategy was devised by the NIF-dominated Bashir-Turabi regime in June 1989. Their government formulated and implemented the New Education Policy of 1991, targeting the national curricula of public schools, the management of higher institutions of learning, and the Arabization-Islamization of all schools within Sudanthereby tightening control over the process of religious and ideological homogenization.


Nonformal Education

In 2001 less than half of eligible Primary school-age students and less than one quarter of eligible secondary school-age students are enrolled in schools; there are thousands of displaced school-age children receiving no education whatsoever; and sitting on the ground under a tree is considered "school" by many students. It can be argued that nonformal education constitutes the most important means of schooling in war-ravaged Sudan. In the areas outside the famine zones relatively unaffected by the fighting, there are schools filled with children. But in the rural areas of Sudan, the educational process has suffered greatly. Erratic patterns of education and frequent disruptions in the learning process are characteristic features of education in Sudan.

With more internally displaced persons than any other country, Sudan poses tremendous challenges for educators in working with the repeatedly displaced populace in refugee camps. Amidst such hardship, a sporadic educational enterprise is conducted. According to the U.S. Committee for Refugees (USCR), 80 percent of the displaced population are very poor, spending about 80 percent of their income on food and meeting barely half of their nourishment needs. In Khartoum, only one third of the displaced children attend school. Such poverty means that most of these children never will attend school.


Rural Extension Programs: Among populations other than the children of displaced war refugees, nonformal education endeavors include programs to train women in rural extension projects. Al Ahfad University, the only university for women in Sudan, is a leader in this area, and its School of Rural Extension Education and Development has made important contributions in areas such as nutrition and health education, family planning, women's studies, and early childhood development. With over 4,600 students enrolled in the university, many of whom participate in the rural extension programs, the university has pioneered the contribution of educational projects to communities who need help and training the most. Other pioneering projects include the Ahfad Journal: Women and Change, the only professional journal regularly published in Sudan today, reporting research on the roles of women in Sudan, and the contributions that women can make to the development of their communities. Ahfad University also sponsors educational initiatives such as the Sudan-American Foundation for Education (SAFE), an organization that provides books, journals, and educational supplies for use at Ahfad and other universities. The secondhand materials donated to this organization from schools and individuals in the United States are a welcome contribution to the cash-starved educational sector in Sudan, and the materials are put to good use.

As far as rural education programs are concerned, Ahfad University has taken the lead in the nonformal education sector with regard to community outreach programs targeting the needs of women and the roles for them as positive agents for change within their communities. Through Ahfad University's Rural Extension Program, families in rural areas of Sudan are helped to improve their quality of life. Students involved in these extension programs live in rural areas, planning and participating in projects that help local women to educate themselves, organize community projects, develop leadership, and earn certificates in training. For example, past studies have investigated how women can become involved in small-scale economic enterprises to better feed their families. Other projects have involved training women how to implement better food-processing and storage techniques and new technologies in water management and animal husbandry. Education videos and films have been produced on health topics such as childbirth and midwifery, and also topics relating to the prevention of infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, STDs, and malaria.

Education of women through such programs is very important because the illiteracy rate among Sudanese women is around 90 percent (Badri, Haga Kashif 1994). Programs such as those sponsored by Ahfad's Rural Extension Program are vitally needed to raise the level of nourishment in the famine zones. Women, in the experience of aid groups, have been more honest than men in controlling the food better and using it to nourish their families instead of stealing and diverting it for the support of militia troops, whether Khartoum-sponsored or rebel-sponsored.

Since the establishment of the Sudanese Women's Union (SWU) in 1952, which was outlawed later by Islamists, and had to find other outlets for expression, the level of women's involvement in politics has varied, and some important gains have receded in recent years. But progress continues through nonformal education programs and rural extension outreaches such as those sponsored by Ahfad University. For example, issues such as improving the standard of learning for women and girls, healthcare and nutrition, literacy and numeracy, freedom in decision-making, and economic and political empowerment will be addressed and hopefully improved.

The social predicament of women (Duany, Julia Akery 1999) reflects the systematic gender-segregation in Sudanese society. Access to education for women is severely limited by traditional beliefs about women's roles and by familial inability to finance a girl's education; if progress is to be made in empowerment and education of women, important steps can be taken at the nonformal level of education.


Teaching Profession

The General Directorate for Training and Education Qualifying in the Sudanese Ministry of Education is responsible for overseeing the qualifying and preparation of educators and teaching personnel for service in the teaching profession. Designing training programs and curricula, and qualifying professionals for the educational training process, are among the directorate's mandates. Teachers and tutors for elementary and intermediate schools, holders of Sudan's Certificate of Higher Education, school headmasters, directors and supervisors, are enrolled for both short-and long-term training courses in university faculties of education throughout Sudan.

By requiring enrollment in such training courses for teachers and tutors who have never completed their professional qualifications, the Ministry of Education hopes to raise the level of instruction in the public education system. Since the New Educational Policy of 1991, and the accompanying new curricula, the need has become clear for refresher courses and sessions in basic subjects including Islamic religion, education and educational methodology, Arabic, English, Applied Arts, mathematics, and social studies. Specific training is offered for teachers working among the displaced populations, but one can only surmise as to the true agenda behind the educational process in "peace" camps to which forcibly displaced refugees have fled to escape "starvation traps," violence, and government-planned deprivation. For many, an education is obtained at the cost of being socialized into the Khartoum-subordinate Islamist culture.

Grants and scholarships are made available to teachers for further professional development in areas such as Islamic studies, education diplomas, math, technical and vocational studies. But education in Sudan is generally a subsistence-level enterprise. The war-induced poverty of Sudan has translated for teachers into unpaid salaries and poor working conditions, leaving teachers to rely on students' families for support and subsidy, and resulting in an exodus of qualified teachers amidst the civil strife and instability.


Summary

It is an interesting fact that some of the very criticisms leveled against the Condominium educational policy have become the criticisms of the modern Sudanese educational policy. Namely, education has been subordinated to the interests of the Khartoum regime whether to conscript youths for service in the southern jihad or to Islamize refugee children in the so-called "peace" camps. Rather than addressing the real needs of the entire populace, Khartoum has engaged in a protracted civil war against its citizens in the South while maintaining a posture of compromise. And this pseudowillingness to hold out the olive branch has meant that educational endeavor in the South has come to a standstill.

In other regions of the country, education has suffered from the diversion of funds to the war effort and the exodus of qualified teachers. The meager enrollment of school-age children testifies to the failures of the Sudanese government in meeting the educational needs of large sectors of the Sudanese populace. Such troubling issues prompt many questions. How will the alienation of southerners be dealt with in future educational policy planning? Will the accommodative ideals expressed in the constitution be upheld to allow a limited degree of autonomy and freedom from coercion?

What is clear though is that the Khartoum regime has the upper hand in the civil war. It is very likely to win the war, especially with the money earned from the oil pipeline and refinery exports. How to rebuild after the war and assimilate the displaced persons and populations of the South in forging a national unity will be a responsibility involving future educators. A difficult task indeed will be the rebuilding of an intact system of governance and social service after so many years of fratricidal war and bloodshed. The "lost brother" may be brought back from the "evil" influence of the West to the fold of Islam. But how many of the displaced Sudanese will survive this process? Will those who do survive merely bide their time, regrouping for a number of years, until they are ready again to assert their southern identity in resisting Khartoum?

The poisoned relations with the South, a poisoned image in the worldwide community, and a poisoned record of human rights violations have no antidote but the diluting passage of time. From Sudan's experience with political Islam, religion poisoned by political ambitions, or vice versa, will continue to be seen by manyand not just in the Westas yet another failure of a system that combines and intertwines religion with politics to the detriment of social services and provision of basic educational foundations to citizens. The Bashir regime has given ample proof that it is a "repressive system that survives by force." The 1990s for Sudan were years that gave "credence to the thesis that any government based on religious fundamentalism and intent on propagating its religious beliefs will by its nature be tyrannical, intolerant of dissent, and prepared to use any means, including violence against its own people, to maintain itself in power" (Peterson 1999).

If only educational objectives had been formulated to comprise solutions other than violent homogenization and cultural extermination. If only tolerance had prevailed. If only there had been a genuine willingness to compromise on all sides in light of the multicultural, multireligious, multi-lingual heritage of the Sudan. The poisoning of the education process is perhaps one of the saddest results of the Sudan's ongoing civil war. When there is little or no education for the children, educators have little hope of reversing the historical cycles of factionalization, violence, and bloodshed in the name of politicized Islamist religiosity.


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John P. Lesko

views updated

SUDAN

Compiled from the August 2005 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.

Official Name:
Republic of the Sudan


PROFILE

Geography

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.

People

Nationality:

Noun and adjective (sing. and pl.)—Sudanese.

Population (2005 est.):

40.2 million; 30%-33% urban.

Annual growth rate (2004 est.):

2.6%.

Ethnic groups:

Arab/Muslim north and black African/Christian and animist south.

Religion:

Islam (official), indigenous beliefs (southern Sudan), Christianity.

Language:

Arabic (official), English, tribal languages.

Education:

Years compulsory—8. Attendance—35%-40%. Literacy—61%.

Health:

Infant mortality rate—64/1,000. Life expectancy—58.5 yrs.

Work force:

Agriculture—80%; industry and commerce—7%; government—13%.

Government

Type:

Military dictatorship with progovernment parliament.

Independence:

January 1, 1956.

Constitution:

The Interim National Constitution was adopted on July 6, 2005, following drafting by the National Constitutional Review Commission, as mandated by the January 2005 Comprehensive Agreement. The previous constitution dates to 1998; it was passed by presidential decree but suspended in December 1999 when National Security Emergency law was promulgated by presidential decree.

Branches:

Executive—executive authority 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. Judicial—High Court, Minister of Justice, Attorney General, civil and special tribunals (where Islamic principles inspire the constitution as well as civil and criminal law and jurisprudence), constitutional court, tribal courts, and investigative commissions. Legislative—National Assembly. Elections in December 2000 were seriously flawed as the major parties boycotted the election; the majority of ruling party candidates ran unopposed; and most remaining members of parliament, especially from the south, were appointed by the President.

Administrative subdivisions:

Twenty-six states, each with a governor appointed by the president, along with a local cabinet and regional ministers (so-called Federal Rule system).

Political parties:

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 (2004 est.):

$7.6 billion.

Defense (2004 est.):

40% of GNP.

Economy

GDP (2004):

$19 billion.

GDP annual growth rate (2004):

6.4%.

Per capita income GDP (2004):

$490.

Avg. annual inflation rate:

9.0%.

Natural resources:

modest reserves of oil, natural gas, gold, iron ore, copper, and other industrial metals.

Agriculture (39% of GNP):

Products—cotton, peanuts, sorghum, sesame seeds, gum arabic, sugarcane, livestock.

Industry:

Types—motor vehicle assembly, cement, cotton, edible oils and sugar refining.

Trade (2004 est.):

Exports—$2.0 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—$2.6 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 Gulf states.

Fiscal year:

January 1-December 31.


PEOPLE

In 2005, Sudan's population reached an estimated 40.2 million. A new census is planned for 2007. The population of metropolitan Khartoum (including Khartoum, Omdurman, and Khartoum North) is growing rapidly and ranges from 6-7 million, including around 2 million displaced persons from the southern war zone as well as western and eastern drought-affected and rebellion-affected areas.

Sudan has two distinct major cultures—Arab and black African—with hundreds of ethnic and tribal divisions and language groups, which makes effective collaboration among them a major problem.

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 use a traditional 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 seminomadic 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 Negroid 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. This region has been negatively affected by war for all but 10 years since independence in 1956, resulting in serious neglect, lack of infrastructure development, and major destruction and displacement. More than 2 million people have died, and more than 4 million are internally displaced or have become refugees as a result of the civil war and war-related impacts. Here the 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 than in the north. The Dinka—whose population is estimated at more than 1 million—is the largest of the many black African tribes of the Sudan. Along with the Shilluk and the Nuer, they 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.


HISTORY

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. Historically, the pestilential swamps of the Suud discouraged expansion into the deeper south of the country. Although Egypt claimed all of present Sudan during most of the 19th century, it was unable to establish effective control over southern Sudan, which 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 formulated policies and supplied most of the top administrators.

Independence

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. The United States was among the first foreign powers to recognize the new state. 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).

The National Unionist Party (NUP), under Prime Minister Ismail al-Azhari, dominated the first cabinet, which was soon replaced by a coalition of conservative political forces. In 1958, following a period of economic difficulties and political maneuvering that paralyzed public administration, Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Abboud overthrew the parliamentary regime in a bloodless coup.

Gen. Abboud did not fulfill his promise to return Sudan to civilian government, however, and popular resentment against army rule led to a wave of riots and strikes in late October 1964 that forced the military to relinquish power.

A provisional government was installed until the April 1965 elections which saw a coalition government of the Umma and National Unionist Parties under Prime Minister Muhammad Ahmad Mahjoub. Between 1966 and 1969, Sudan had a series of governments that proved unable either to agree on a permanent constitution or to cope with problems of factionalism, economic stagnation, and ethnic dissidence. The succession of post-independence governments were dominated by Arab Muslims who viewed Sudan as a Muslim Arab state. Indeed, the Umma/NUP proposed 1968 constitution was arguably Sudan's first Islamic-oriented constitution.

Dissatisfaction culminated in a second military coup on May 25, 1969. The coup leader, Col. Gaafar Muhammad Nimeiri, became prime minister, and the new regime abolished parliament and outlawed all political parties. The Sudanese Communist Party capitalized on disputes between Marxist and non-Marxist elements within the ruling military coalition and led a coup in July 1971. It failed a few days later when, anti-communist military elements restored Nimeiri to power.

In 1972, the Addis Ababa agreement led to a cessation of the north-south civil war. The south was awarded a degree of self-rule. Hostilities ceased for ten years.

In 1976, the Ansars mounted a bloody but unsuccessful coup attempt. In July 1977, President Nimeiri met with Ansar leader Sadiq al-Mahdi, opening the way for reconciliation. Hundreds of political prisoners were released, and in August a general amnesty was announced for all opponents of Nimeiri's government.

In September 1983, as part of an Islamicization campaign, President Nimeiri announced his decision to incorporate traditional Islamic punishments drawn from Shari'a (Islamic Law) into the penal code. This was controversial even among Muslim groups. Ansar leader Sadiq al-Mahdi was placed under house arrest after publicly questioning Nimeiri's credentials to Islamicize Sudan's society. On April 26, 1983, President Nimeiri declared a state of emergency, in part to ensure that Shari'a was applied more broadly. Most constitutionally guaranteed rights were suspended. In the north, emergency courts, later known as "decisive justice courts," were established, with summary jurisdiction over criminal cases. Amputations for theft and public lashings for alcohol possession were common during the state of emergency. Southerners and other non-Muslims living in the north were also subjected to these punishments. These events, and other longstanding grievances, led to a resumption of the civil war that continued for 20 more years until the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed in late 2004.

In September 1984, President Nimeiri announced the end of the state of emergency and dismantled the emergency courts, but soon promulgated a new judiciary act, which continued many of the practices of the emergency courts. Despite Nimeiri's public assurances that the rights of non-Muslims would be respected, southerners and other non-Muslims remained deeply suspicious.

Early 1985 saw serious shortages of fuel and bread in Khartoum, a growing insurgency in the south, drought, famine, and an increasingly difficult refugee burden. In early April, during Nimeiri's absence from the country, massive demonstrations, triggered by price increases for bread and other staples, broke out in Khartoum.

On April 6, senior military officers led by Gen. Suwar al-Dahab mounted a coup. Among the first acts of the new government was to suspend the 1983 constitution and disband Nimeiri's Sudan Socialist Union. A 15-member transitional military council was named, chaired by Gen. Suwar al-Dahab. In consultation with an informal conference of political parties, unions, and professional organizations known as the "Gathering," the council appointed an interim civilian cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Dr. Al Gizouli Defalla.

Elections were held in April 1986, and a civilian government took over from the transitional military council. The government, headed by Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi of the Umma Party, consisted of a coalition of the Umma, DUP (formerly NUP), the National Islamic Front (Hassan al-Turabi's NIF) and several southern parties. This coalition dissolved and reformed several times over the next few years, with Sadiq al-Mahdi and his Umma party always in a central role.

During this period, the civil war intensified and the economy continued to deteriorate. Price increases for bread and basic goods sparked riots in 1988, causing the government to roll back the increases. The civil war was particularly divisive (see "Civil Strife" below). When Sadiq al-Mahdi refused to approve a peace plan reached by the DUP and the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) in November 1988, the DUP left the government. The new government consisted essentially of the Umma and the Islamic fundamentalist NIF.

In February 1989, the army presented Sadiq with an ultimatum: he could move toward peace or be thrown out. He formed a new government with the DUP and approved the SPLA/DUP agreement. On June 30, 1989, however, military officers under then-Col. Omar Hassan al-Bashir, with NIF instigation and support, replaced the government with the Revolutionary Command Council for National Salvation (RCC), a junta comprised of 15 (reduced to 12 in 1991) military officers assisted by a civilian cabinet. General al-Bashir became president and chief of state, prime minister and chief of the armed forces. Twelve years later, he continues to hold executive authority over the Khartoum government.

In March 1991, a new penal code, the Criminal Act of 1991, instituted harsh punishments nationwide, including amputations and stoning. Although the southern states were "officially" exempt from these Islamic prohibitions and penalties, the 1991 act provided for a possible future application of Islamic Law (Shari'a) in the south. In 1993, the government transferred all non-Muslim judges from the south to the north, replacing them with Muslim Judges. The introduction of Public Order Police to enforce Shari'a law resulted in the arrest and treatment under Shari'a law of southerners and other non-Muslims living in the north.

Civil Strife

Since independence, Sudan has experienced almost constant ethnic and religious strife which has penetrated all the states bordering it. These countries have provided shelter to fleeing refugees or have served as operating bases for rebellious movements. The civil strife has retarded Sudan's economic and political development as well as forced massive internal displacement of its people.

On the eve of independence in 1955, when the Khartoum Government reneged on promises to southerners to create a federal government, southern army officers mutinied. For the next 17 years, the southern region experienced civil strife, and various southern leaders agitated for regional autonomy or outright secession.

This chronic state of insurgency against the central government was suspended in 1972 after the signing of the Addis Ababa Accords granting southern Sudan wide regional autonomy on internal matters. But a 1983 decree by President Nimeiri declaring his intention to transform Sudan into a Muslin Arab state, divided the south into three regions and instituted Shari'a law. This decree revived southern opposition and militant insurgency.

The new government rescinded this decree after the 1985 coup and made other significant overtures aimed at reconciling north and south but did not rescind the so-called September Laws of the Nimeiri regime instituting Shari'a Law. In May 1986, the Sadiq al-Mahdi government began peace negotiations with the SPLA, led by Col. John Garang de Mabior. In that year the SPLA and a number of Sudanese political parties met in Ethiopia and agreed to the "Koka Dam" declaration, which called for abolishing Islamic law and convening a constitutional conference. In 1988, the SPLA and the DUP agreed on a peace plan calling for the abolition of military pacts with Egypt and Libya, freezing of Islamic law, an end to the state of emergency, and a cease-fire. A constitutional conference would then be convened.

Following an ultimatum from the armed forces in February 1989, the Sadiq al-Mahdi government approved this peace plan and engaged in several rounds of talks with the SPLA. A constitutional conference was tentatively planned for September 1989. The military government, which took over on June 30, 1989, however, repudiated the DUP/SPLA agreement and state it wished to negotiate with the SPLA without preconditions. Negotiations were renewed in August and December 1989, but there was little progress.

In August 1991, internal dissension among the rebels led opponents of Colonel Garang's leadership of the SPLA to form the so-called Nasir faction of the rebel army. In September 1992, William Nyuon Bany formed a second rebel faction, and in February 1993, Kerubino Kwanyin Bol formed a third rebel faction. On April 5, 1993, the three dissident rebel factions announced a coalition of their groups called SPLA United at a press conference in Nairobi, Kenya. After 1991, these factions occasionally clashed, diminishing the rebels' credibility with the West.

Since 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, powersharing, wealthsharing, 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.

In 1995, a coalition of internal and exiled opposition parties in the north and the south created the National Democratic Alliance as an anti-government umbrella group. This development opened a northeastern front to the civil war, making it more than before a center-periphery rather than simply a north-south conflict. The SPLA, DUP, and Umma Parties were the key groups forming the NDA, along with several smaller parties and northern ethnic groups.

In 1997, the government signed a series of agreements with rebel factions, led by former Garang Lieutenant Riek Machar, 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.

In July 2000, the Libyan/Egyptian Joint Initiative on the Sudan was mooted, calling for the establishment of an interim government, powersharing, constitutional reform, and new elections. Southern critics objected to the joint initiative because it neglected to address issues of the relationship between religion and the state and failed to mention the right of self-determination.

In September 2001, the Bush Administration named former Senator John Danforth as its Presidential Envoy for Peace in the Sudan. His role was to explore the prospects that the U.S. could play a useful role in the search for a just end to the civil war, and enhance the delivery of humanitarian aid to reduce the suffering of the Sudanese people stemming from the effects of civil war.

In July 2002, the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army reached a 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 Intergovernmental Authority on Development. The effort was mediated by Kenyan General Lazaro Sumbeiywo. Peace talks resumed and continued during 2003, with discussions regarding wealth sharing and three contested areas.

However, while the historic north-south conflict was on its way to resolution, a rebellion broke out in Darfur, in western Sudan, in 2003, 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 were non-Arabized black African Muslims. In seeking to defeat the rebel movements, the Government of Sudan armed and supported local tribal and other militias, which have come to be known as the "Jingaweit." Their members were composed of Arabized black African Muslims who herded cattle, camels and other livestock. Attacks on the civilian population by the Jingaweit, often with the direct support of Government of Sudan forces, have led to the death of tens of thousands of persons in Darfur. Some two million persons have been internally displaced in Darfur; an additional 213,000 have sought refuge from the conflict in neighboring Chad.

On September 9, 2004, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that "genocide has been committed in Darfur and that the Government of Sudan and the Jingaweit 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."

A cease-fire between the parties was signed in N'djamena, Chad, on April 8, 2004; despite the deployment of an African Union observer force to monitor implementation of the cease-fire and investigate violations, violence has continued. The SLA/M and JEM have continued negotiations with the Government of Sudan under mediation of the African Union. These talks resulted in additional protocols on addressing the humanitarian and security aspects of the conflict on November 9, 2004. Like previous agreements, these have been 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 are scheduled for the fall of 2005 and will cover power sharing, wealth sharing, and security arrangements. The African Union, with the support of the UN Security Council, the United States, and the rest of the international community, began deploying a larger monitoring and observer force in October 2004. By July 2005, this force had reached approximately 3,320, with the African Union committing to a force level of roughly 7,700 by September 2005. The United Nations Security Council had passed three resolutions (1556, 1564, and 1574), all intended to move the Government of Sudan to rein in the Jingaweit, 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 United States has been a leader in pressing for strong international action by the United Nations and its agencies. In February 2005, the U.S. circulated a draft resolution in the UN Security Council that would establish a UN peace support operation in the Sudan and includes measures to pressure the parties to the Darfur conflict to abide by their commitments in previous resolutions, including targeted sanctions.

On November 19, 2004, the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army signed a declaration committing themselves to conclude a final comprehensive peace agreement by December 31, 2004, in the context of a special session of the United Nations Security Council in Nairobi, Kenya—only the fourth 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. It also demanded that the Government of Sudan and the SLA/M and JEM halt all violence in Darfur.

In keeping with their commitment to the Security Council, the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army 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 United States and the international community have welcomed this decisive step forward for peace in Sudan.

A series of UN Security Council resolutions in late March 2005 underscored the concerns of the international community regarding Sudan's continuing conflicts. Resolution 1590 of March 24 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 of March 29 criticized the Government of Sudan and rebels in Darfur for having failed to comply with several previous Security Council resolutions, for ceasefire violations, and for human rights abuses. The resolution also calls 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. The resolution additionally 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.

As of July 2005, large-scale conflict in Darfur had diminished, although attacks on humanitarian operations increased, rendering assistance to internally displaced and vulnerable persons hazardous. Overall international assistance levels reached more than $1.3 billion since the UN's September 2003 appeal; principal implementing agencies included the World Food Program (WFP), UNHCR, UNICEF, and various non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

On April 28, 2005, the African Union decided to expand its 3,320-member peacekeeping operation to approximately 7,700 total personnel by September 2005. This will include roughly 5,500 troops, 1,600 civilian police, and 700 military observers. The civil war had displaced more than 4 million southerners. Some fled into southern cities, such as Juba; others trekked as far north as Khartoum and even into Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Egypt, and other neighboring countries. These people were unable to grow food or earn money to feed themselves, and malnutrition and starvation became widespread. The lack of investment in the south resulted as well in what international humanitarian organizations call a "lost generation" who lack educational opportunities and access to basic health care services, and who have little prospect for productive employment in the small and weak economies of the south or the north. Following an internal outcry, the Sadiq al-Mahdi government in March 1989 agreed with the UN and donor nations (including the U.S.) on a plan called Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS), under which some 100,000 metric tons of food was moved into both government and SPLA-held areas of the Sudan, and widespread starvation was averted. Phase II of OLS to cover 1990 was approved by both the government and the SPLA in March 1990. In 1991, Sudan faced a 2-year drought and food shortage across the entire country. The U.S., UN, and other donors attempted to mount a coordinated international relief effort in both north and south Sudan to prevent a catastrophe. However, due to Sudan's human rights abuses and its pro-Iraqi stance during the Gulf War, many donors cut much of their aid to the Sudan. In a similar drought in 2000-01, the U.S. and the international community again responded to avert mass starvation in the Sudan. The U.S. and other donors continue to provide large amounts of humanitarian aid to all parts of the Sudan.


GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS

Sudan has an authoritarian government in which all effective political power is in the hands of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir. Bashir and his party have controlled the government since he led the military coup on June 30, 1989.

From 1983 to 1997, the Sudan was divided into five regions in the north and three in the south, each headed by a military governor. After the April 6, 1985 military coup, regional assemblies were suspended. The RCC was abolished in 1996, and the ruling National Islamic Front changed its name to the National Congress Party. After 1997, the structure of regional administration was replaced by the creation of 26 states. The executives, cabinets, and senior-level state officials are appointed by the president, and their limited budgets are determined by and dispensed from Khartoum. The states, as a result, remain economically dependent upon the central government. Khartoum state, comprising the capital and outlying districts, is administered by a governor.

In December 1999, a power struggle climaxed between President al-Bashir and then-speaker of parliament Hassan al-Turabi, who was the NIF founder and an Islamist ideologue. Al-Turabi was stripped of his posts in the ruling party and the government, parliament was disbanded, the constitution was suspended, and a state of national emergency was declared by presidential decree. Parliament resumed in February 2001 after the December 2000 presidential and parliamentary elections. National emergency laws remained in effect until July 6, 2005, when they were lifted for all provinces except Red Sea, Kassala, and Darfur. Al-Turabi was arrested in February 2001, and charged with being a threat to national security and the constitutional order for signing a memorandum of understanding with the SPLA. He was placed in a maximum security prison. Al-Turabi was released in 2003, then detained again in 2004, and released again on July 6, 2005.

The Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed January 9, 2005, provides for a new constitution, and new arrangements for power sharing, wealth sharing, and security applicable throughout the country. New institutions were created following the July 9, 2005 installation of the Government of National Unity, wherein SPLM Chairman John Garang became the First Vice President. Thereafter, a new Government of Southern Sudan will be established. On April 30, 2005, the National Constitution Review Commission convened to draft the Interim National Constitution, which was ratified on July 6, 2005.

On July 30, 2005, the charismatic and revered SPLM leader John Garang died unexpectedly when the helicopter returning him to the Sudan after a meeting with Uganda's president crashed. The SPLM immediately named Salva Kiir as his successor and he replaced Garang as First Vice President a few days later.

Principal Government Officials

Last Updated: 12/19/2005

President: Umar Hassan Ahmad AL BASHIR, Lt. Gen.
First Vice President: Salva KIIR
Second Vice President: Ali Osman TAHA
Assistant to the President: Nafie Ali NAFIE
Min. of Agriculture & Forestry: Mohammed al-Amin Issa KABASHI
Min. of Animal & Resources: GALWAK Deng
Min. of Cabinet Affairs: DENG Alor Kuol
Min. of Culture, Youth, & Sport: Mohammed Yusuf ABDALLAH
Min. of Defense: Abdel Rahim Mohammed HUSSEIN
Min. of Energy & Mining: Awad Ahmed AL-JAZ
Min. of Environment & Urban Development: Ahmed Babkir NAHAR
Min. of Federal Government: Abdel Basit Saleh SABDARAT
Min. of Finance & Planning: Zubeir Mohammed HASSAN
Min. of Foreign Affairs: LAM Akol Ajawin
Min. of Foreign Trade: George BORENG Niyami
Min. of General Education: Hamid Muhammad IBRAHIM
Min. of Health: Tabita SOKAYA
Min. of Higher Education: Peter NIYOT Kok
Min. of Humanitarian Affairs: KOSTI Manibe
Min. of Industry: Jalal AL-DUGAIR
Min. of Information & Communication: Zahawi Ibrahim MALEK
Min. of Interior: Zubeir Beshir TAHA
Min. of International Cooperation: AL TIJANI Saleh Hudeib
Min. of Investment: Malik AGAR Ayar
Min. of Justice & Prosecutor General: Mohammed Ali AL-MARDI
Min. of Labor & Human Resources: Alison MANANI Magaya
Min. of Parliamentary Affairs: Josheph OKELO
Min. of the Presidency: BAKRI Hassan Saleh
Min. of Religious Affairs & Waqf: Azhari Al-Tigani Awad AL-SID
Min. of Science & Technology: Abdalrahman SAID, Lt. Gen. (Ret.)
Min. of Tourism: Josef MALWAL
Min. of Transportation: KUOL Manyang Ajok
Min. of Water Resources: Kamal Ali MOHAMMED
Attorney General: Ali Mohamed Osman YASSIN
Governor, Central Bank of Sudan: Muhammad al-Hasan SABIR
Charge d'Affaires, Washington, DC: Khidir HAROUN
Permanent Representative to the UN, New York: El Fatih Mohammed Ahmed ERWA

Sudan maintains an embassy in the United States at 2210 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel: (202) 338-8565; fax: (202) 667-2406).


ECONOMY

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 are taking 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 wheat is 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 one 4,800-kilometer (2, 748-mi.), single-track railroad with a feeder line, supplemented by limited river steamers, Sudan airways, and about 1,900 km. (1,200 mi.) 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 km. (840 mi.) 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 Khartoum North. 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 produce all of Sudan's 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 out-flow 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.

Sudan is seeking to expand its installed capacity of electrical generation of around 300 megawatts—of which 180 mw is hydroelectric and the rest, thermal. Considering the continuing U.S. economic, trade, and financial sanctions regime, European investors are the most likely providers of technology for this purpose. More than 70% of Sudan's hydropower comes from the Roseires Dam on the Blue Nile grid. Various projects are proposed to expand hydropower, thermal generation, and other sources of energy, but so far the government has had difficulty arranging sufficient financing.

The Merowe dam project has received a boost from various Arab funds. The Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development donated $150 million, the Abu Dhabi Development Fund $100 million, the Kuwaiti Development Fund $150 million, and the Saudi Fund $150 million. The Sultanate of Oman may finance the dam power plant with $106 million. The Merowe dam, if built, would have a capacity of 1,250 mw. It would be built at the Nile's fourth cataract. Egypt has not voiced major objections on the issue of Nile water diversion, which Sudan's hydroelectric project would entail. The estimated total cost of the dam is $1.8 billion.

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 (GDP). 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 International Monetary Fund 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 (EU) agricultural credits, totaling more than 1 billion euros, also were suspended.

Sudan produces about 312,000 barrels per day (b/d) of oil, which brought in about $1.9 billion in 2003 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 is 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 2000-01 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. However, the small industrial sector remains in the doldrums, and Sudan's inadequate and declining infrastructure inhibits economic growth.


DEFENSE

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. Some rebels currently fighting in the south are former army members. 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 and NDA without employing former rebel and Arab militias to fight in support of regular troops.

Sudan's military forces have historically 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 gun ships, Anatov medium bombers, MiG 23 fighter aircraft, mobile artillery pieces, and light assault weapons. Sudan now receives most of its military equipment from Iraq, China, Russia, and Libya.


FOREIGN RELATIONS

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 crossborder 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." This unity was never implemented.

During the 1990s, Sudan sought to steer a nonaligned course, courting Western aid and seeking rapprochement with Arab states, while maintaining cooperative ties with Libya, Syria, North Korea, Iran, and Iraq. Sudan's support for regional insurgencies such as Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Eritrian Islamic Jihad, Ethiopian Islamic Jihad, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Hizbullah, and the Lord's Resistance Army generated great concern about their contribution to regional instability. Allegations of the government's complicity in the assassination attempt against the Egyptian President in Ethiopia in 1995 led to UN Security Council 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 regional relations.


U.S.-SUDANESE RELATIONS

U.S. interests in Sudan are counterterrorism, regional stability, internal peace, protection of human rights, and humanitarian relief.

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 impetus to the improvement of 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. 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 American 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 nonessential personnel and all dependents left for 6 months. Sudan in this period was the single largest recipient of U.S. development and military assistance in Sub-Saharan Africa. The U.S. has worked closely with Sudanese governments since 1986 to see that emergency relief assistance is provided to those displaced by the civil war. However, official U.S. development assistance was suspended in 1989 in the wake of the military coup against the elected government.

Sudan's position during the Iraq/Kuwait crisis in the early 1990s strained relations with the U.S. Sudan stated that Iraq should not have invaded Kuwait, but it was equally critical of the presence of Western forces on Islamic holy lands.

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 a number of draw-downs and/or evacuations of U.S. personnel from Khartoum in the earlymid 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 1996 suspension of U.S. Embassy operations in Khartoum and a radical reduction in American Embassy and USAID staff. The U.S. added Sudan to its terrorism list in 1993 because Sudan was a safe haven for Islamic terrorist groups and because Sudan supported insurrections and/or radicals in Algeria, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Tunisia, and Uganda. After Sudan was designated a state sponsor of terrorism, relations plummeted and have only made a modest recovery to date.

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 retaliatory 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 U.S. and Sudan entered into a bilateral dialogue on counter-terrorism in May 2000, and Sudan has provided concrete cooperation against international terrorism since the September 11, 2001 terrorism strikes on New York and Washington. However, though Sudan publicly supported the international coalition actions against the al Qa'ida 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. However, the United States remains a major donor of humanitarian aid to Sudan. For fiscal years 2003-2005, the United States Government committed almost $2 billion to Sudan for humanitarian assistance, conflict resolution in Darfur, reconstruction and development and support for implementation of the peace accord.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

KHARTOUM (E) Address: Ali Abdel Latif St; APO/FPO: 2200 Khartoum Place, Dulles VA 20189-2200; Phone: (249)(183)774701/4; Fax: (249) (183)774137 / 775680; Workweek: Sun-Thur 0800-1630.

AMB OMS:Kelly G. Taylor
DCM:Andrew Steinfeld
DCM/CHG:Cameron Hume
DCM OMS:Sandra McInturff
POL:Eric Whitaker
MGT:Jonita Whitaker
AID:Kate Farnsworth
DAO:William Godbout
EEO:Katharine Moseley
FMO:Robert Watson
GSO:Dianna Chianis
ICASS Chair:William Godbout
IMO:Richard McInturff
ISO:Gene Tien
PAO:Katharine Moseley
RSO:Michael Bishop
Last Updated: 1/9/2006

TRAVEL

Consular Information Sheet

May 17, 2005

Country Description:

Sudan is a large, developing country in northeastern Africa. The capital is Khartoum. Most of southern Sudan and parts of the Nuba Mountains, southern Blue Nile, Darfur and the Eritrean border area are held by armed opposition groups and are outside government control. The information in this document applies to government-held areas of Sudan, unless otherwise stated.

Entry Requirements:

A passport and visa are required. Travelers should obtain the latest information and details from the Embassy of Sudan, 2210 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 338-8565, http://www.sudanembassy.org/. U.S. citizens are advised to apply for visas well in advance of any proposed travel, as the Embassy of Sudan closed intermittently to visa issuance in late 2004. American citizens who were born in Sudan and have Sudanese identification (in addition to a U.S. passport) may apply for a visa at Khartoum International Airport. Visas are not available at other airports or at the border. Travelers must pay an airport departure tax. The government of Sudan does not allow persons with passports bearing an Israeli visa or entry/exit stamps to enter the country. Visit the Embassy of Sudan web site at http://www.sudanembassy.org/ for the most current visa information.

Safety and Security

The U.S. Embassy's ability to provide consular services, including emergency assistance, is severely limited. Even when consular personnel are temporarily in country, the U.S. Embassy does not have the infrastructure or resources to provide more than the most basic consular assistance.

Travel in all parts of Sudan, particularly outside the capital city of Khartoum, is potentially hazardous. The Government of Sudan and southern rebel forces signed a framework peace agreement in early June 2004 aimed at ending a 20-year civil war. Although fighting has subsided, danger may persist in the southern Sudanese provinces of Upper Nile, Blue Nile, and Bahr El Ghazal. There has been fighting between Government of Sudan backed forces and other rebel forces in the western province of Darfur. The fighting, combined with drought and famine, has resulted in an international humanitarian crisis. In the South, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), which normally operates in northern Uganda and occasionally shelters in southern Sudan, has allegedly threatened to target Americans. The land border with Egypt is open. Land transportation between Eritrea and Sudan is not dependable. The Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) controls all border crossings from Kenya and Uganda.

Americans considering seaborne travel around Sudan's coastal waters should exercise caution, as there have been several incidents of armed attacks and robberies at sea by unknown groups in the last year, including one involving two American vessels. Extreme caution should be exercised as these groups are considered armed and dangerous. When transiting in and around the Horn of Africa and/or in the Red Sea near Yemen, it is strongly recommended that vessels convoy in groups, and maintain good communications contact at all times. Marine channels 13 and 16 VHF-FM are international call-up and emergency channels and are commonly monitored by ships at sea. 2182 Mhz is the HF international call-up and emergency channel. Wherever possible, travel in trafficked sea-lanes. Avoid loitering in or transiting isolated or remote areas. In case of emergency, contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. In the event of an attack, consider activating Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons.

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov where the current Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, Travel Warnings and Public Announcements can be found.

Crime:

Petty crime and thievery are common in Khartoum. Crimes against individuals are not as common but do occur. Travelers should maintain security awareness at all times. Travelers should exercise extra caution at the airport, in markets, and at public gatherings. Spontaneous street demonstrations are common and should be avoided if possible. Individuals who are outside between 11 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. are subject to document searches at police checkpoints.

Travel in all parts of Sudan, particularly outside the capital city of Khartoum, is potentially hazardous. Banditry and lawlessness is common in western Sudan, particularly in the Darfur province along the Chadian and Libyan borders. War and famine have severely damaged the infrastructure and social services in most of the country are non-existent.

Information for Victims of Crime:

The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

Medical Facilities and Health Information:

Medical facilities fall short of U.S. standards in Khartoum, and are almost non-existent for all but the most minor of treatments outside of the capital. Government hospitals and clinics are poorly equipped. Individuals with medical conditions that may require treatment are discouraged from traveling to Sudan. Medicines are only intermittently available, and travelers should carry sufficient supplies of needed medications in clearly marked containers. Emergency ambulance services are not readily available. Travelers must pay cash in advance for any treatment. The U.S. Embassy in Khartoum maintains a list of local doctors and clinics in Khartoum for reference.

Malaria is prevalent in all areas of Sudan. Travelers should take malaria prophylaxis. P. falciparum malaria, the serious and sometimes fatal strain in Sudan, is resistant to the anti-malarial drug chloroquine. Because travelers to Sudan are at high risk for contracting malaria, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that travelers should take one of the following anti-malarial drugs: mefloquine (Lariam™), doxycycline, or atovaquone/proguanil (Malarone™). The CDC has determined that a traveler who is on an appropriate antimalarial drug has a greatly reduced chance of contracting the disease. In addition, other personal protective measures, such as the use of insect repellents, protective clothing and mosquito nets also help to reduce malaria risk. Travelers who become ill with a fever or flu-like illness while traveling in a malaria-risk area and up to one year after returning home should seek prompt medical attention and tell the physician their travel history and what antimalarials they have been taking. For additional information on malaria, protection from insect bites, and antimalarial drugs, please visit the CDC Travelers' Health web site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel/malinfo.htm.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or via the CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization's (WHO) website at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith.

Medical Insurance:

The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions:

While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Sudan is provided for general reference only and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

As part of local culture, strangers may stop to help lone women drivers stranded at the side of the road. However, individual drivers should accept such help at their own risk.

Road conditions are hazardous due to unpredictable local driving habits, pedestrians and animals in the roadway, and the lack of basic safety equipment on many vehicles. Roads are narrow and poorly maintained. Only some major highways are paved. Roads in southern Sudan may be impassable during the rainy season, while roads in the north can be quickly covered with shifting sand at any time during the year. Nighttime driving throughout the country is dangerous and should be avoided if at all possible, as vehicles often operate without lights or park in the road without warning. Ambulance and road emergency services are available in major urban areas but are extremely limited or unavailable elsewhere in the country.

Public transportation is limited except in and between major urban areas. Passenger facilities are basic and crowded, especially during rush hours or seasonal travel. Schedules are unpublished and subject to change without notice. Vehicle maintenance does not meet the same standards as those in the United States or other western countries. There is regular passenger train service from Khartoum to Wade Halfa (on the border with Egypt) and Port Sudan (on the Red Sea). Inter-city bus service between major cities is regular and inexpensive. Intra-city bus service in the major urban areas is generally regular, but most buses and bus stops are unmarked. Taxis are available in the major cities at hotels, tourist sites, and government offices. Public transit service to communities in the interior is usually limited to irregularly scheduled mini-buses. Most rural communities in the interior have no public transit whatsoever.

U.S. citizens are subject to the laws of the country in which they are traveling. Traffic entering from side streets has the right of way when entering a fast-moving main street. Cars have the steering wheel on the left side and drivers use the right side of the road. Traffic on the right has the right of way at stops. Right turns on a red light are prohibited. Speed limits are not posted. The legal speed limit for passenger cars on inter-city highways is 120 kph (about 70 mph), while in most urban areas it is 60 kph (about 35 mph). The speed limit in congested areas and school zones is 40 kph (about 25 mph).

All motor vehicle operators are required to purchase third-party liability insurance from the government. Nonetheless, many local drivers carry no insurance. Persons involved in an accident resulting in death or injury are required to report the incident to the nearest police station or official as soon as possible. Persons found at fault can expect fines, revocation of driving privileges, and jail sentences, depending on the nature and extent of the accident. Penalties for persons convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol are strict, and convicted offenders may expect fines, jail sentences, and corporal punishment.

U.S. citizens may use their U.S. issued driver's licenses up to 90 days after arrival. Thereafter, they must carry either an International Driving Permit (IDP) or a Sudanese driver's license. There are no restrictions on vehicle types, including motorcycles and motorized tricycles. Motorcycles, however, are not common.

Aviation Safety Oversight:

As there is no direct commercial air service between the United States and Sudan, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Sudan's Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with ICAO international aviation safety standards. For more information, travelers may visit the FAA's internet web site at www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/index.cfm.

Special Circumstances:

On November 4, 1997, President Clinton signed an Executive Order imposing comprehensive financial and commercial sanctions against Sudan, prohibiting U.S. transactions with Sudan. Travelers intending to visit Sudan despite the Travel Warning should contact the Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), Office of Compliance, regarding the effect of these sanctions; telephone 1-800-540-6322 or 202-622-2490; website http://www.treas.gov/ofac.

There is currently no curfew in Khartoum. However, persons who are outside between midnight and 5:00 a.m. are subject to document searches at police checkpoints. Hotel officials and local police can inform visitors whether a curfew is in effect in other localities.

Personal baggage is routinely searched upon arrival and departure. Travelers should not attempt to enter Sudan with alcohol. Permission is required to import video cameras and other electronic devices such as satellite phones, facsimile machines, televisions, and telephones. Travelers with such electronic items should inquire about entry restrictions when they apply for the required Sudanese visa and when they arrive at the port of entry. Travelers will not be allowed to depart Sudan with ivory and other animal products, or large quantities of gold. For additional information concerning entry and exit formalities, travelers should contact the nearest Sudanese diplomatic mission.

A permit is required before taking photographs anywhere in Khartoum, as well as in the interior of the country. Photographing military areas, bridges, drainage stations, broadcast stations, public utilities, slum areas, or beggars is prohibited.

Cellular telephone service is more reliable than landline telephone service. There is no telecommunications infrastructure in opposition-held Sudanese territory outside of relief agencies and opposition radio networks. E-mail is available in Sudan, and there are Internet cafes in Khartoum, but service can be erratic. Disruptions of water and electricity are frequent.

Sudan has a majority Muslim population and is very conservative. Alcohol is prohibited and conservative dress is expected. Although western women are not required to cover their heads, long sleeve shirts and full-length skirts or slacks are recommended. Short sleeve shirts are acceptable, but men are advised not to wear short pants in public.

The Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) requires travelers to areas under its control to obtain travel permits from the Nairobi office of the Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Association (SRRA). At times, the SRRA will not issue travel permits to persons holding Sudanese government visas. Other opposition groups issue their own travel permits.

Travelers to Sudan are required to register with police headquarters within three days of arrival. Travelers must obtain police permission before moving to another location in Sudan and must register with police within 24 hours of arrival at the new location. These regulations are strictly enforced. Even with proper documentation, travelers in Sudan have been subjected to delays and detention by Sudan's security forces, especially when traveling outside Khartoum. Authorities expect roadblocks to be respected.

Criminal Penalties:

While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Sudan's laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Sudan are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Engaging in illicit sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

Children's Issues:

For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, see the Office of Children's Issues website at http://www.travel.state.gov/family/family_1732.html.

Registration/Embassy Location:

The U.S. Embassy's ability to provide consular services, including emergency assistance, is severely limited. Americans living or traveling in Sudan are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Sudan. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.

The Embassy in Sudan is located at Sharia Ali Abdul Latif, Khartoum. The mailing address is P.O. Box 699, Khartoum. The telephone number is (249)183-774-701 (0183-774-701 inside Sudan); fax (249)183-774-137 (0183-774-137 inside Sudan). In the event of an after-hours emergency, the Embassy duty officer can be reached at (249) 183-774-705. The workweek in Khartoum is Sunday through Thursday.

International Adoption

January 2006

The information below has been edited from a report of the State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of Overseas Citizens Services. For more information, please read the International Adoption section of this book and review current reports online at www.travel.state.gov/family.

Disclaimer:

The information in this flyer relating to the legal requirements of specific foreign countries is based on public sources and our current understanding. Questions involving foreign and U.S. immigration laws and legal interpretation should be addressed respectively to qualified foreign or U.S. legal counsel.

Availability of Children for Adoption:

Recent U.S. immigrant visa statistics reflect the following pattern for visa issuance to orphans:

FY-1996: IR-3 immigrant visas issued to Sudanese orphans adopted abroad - 0;IR-4 immigrant visas issued to Sudanese orphans adopted in the U.S. - 0
FY-1997: IR-3 Visas - 1; IR-4 Visas - 0
FY-1998: IR-3 Visas - 0; IR-4 Visas - 0
FY-1999: IR-3 Visas - 0; IR-4 Visas - 0
FY-2000: IR-3 Visas - 1; IR-4 Visas - 0

Sudanese Adoption Authority:

There is no central government office responsible for adoptions in Sudan. Each case is handled by the local Social Services Supervisor of the Governate for the Province.

Sudanese Adoption Procedures:

Adoption in Sudan is governed by the Child Care Act of 1971. Adoption is not allowed for Moslem children, but may be allowed for non-Moslem children, in so as far as the religious laws of the child's denomination allow. Please note that a child whose religion is unknown is automatically considered to be Moslem.

Sudanese Law also allows for a court appointed "Caretaker" (similar to a legal guardian in the United States) to oversee the welfare and upbringing of a child until he or she reaches legal majority (21 years of age). Caretakers may be assigned for both Moslem and non-Moslem children, but they must be of the same religion as the child.

Applications for "Caretaker" or adoptive parent status must be initiated with the Social Services Supervisor of the Governate for the Province where the child lives. If it decides to support the application, the Governate will then refer the application to Civil Court.

Once custody is granted, there is a probationary period of one year wherein the Social Services Supervisor must conduct regular visits. After the year is over, the caretaker or adoptive parent may return to the court to request permanent custody of the child until he/she reaches the age of majority. In certain exceptional circumstances, it is possible to reduce the probationary period with the approval of the Governor of the Province where the child resides.

The caretaker or adoptive parent must request the approval of the social worker in cases where there is a change of residence within Sudan. They must also secure the approval of the Governor for the Province where the child resides if they wish to take the child out of the country.

Age and Civil Status Requirements:

To qualify as a caretaker or adoptive parent, the applicant must be between 30 and 50 years of age, with a good reputation and behavior. Unmarried men are not eligible. Children over 14 years of age may not be placed in the custody of a caretaker or adoptive parent.

Doctors:

The U.S. Embassy maintains current lists of doctors and sources for medicines, should either you or your child experience health problems while in Sudan.

Sudanese Documentary Requirements:

Specific documentary requirements vary from Governate to Governate. Prospective caretaker or adoptive parents should contact the local Social Services Supervisor directly.

U.S. Immigration Requirements:

A Sudanese child adopted by an American citizen must obtain an immigrant visa before he or she can enter the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident. Please see the International Adoption section of this book for more details and review current reports online at travel.state.gov/family.

Sudanese Embassy in the United States:

Embassy of the Republic of Sudan
2210 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20008
Tel: (202) 338-8565 to 8570

U.S. Embassy in Sudan:

U.S. Embassy Khartoum
Consular Section
Sharia Ali Abdul Latif
Khartoum, Sudan
Tel: (249)(11) 774-700
Fax: (249)(11) 774-137

U.S. Embassy Cairo
Sudan Affairs
Consular Section
Garden City
Cairo, Egypt
Tel: (20)(2) 797-2770
Fax: (20)(2) 797-2472
E-mail: [email protected]

Additional information on consular services available in Sudan may be found on the U.S. Embassy Cairo
Website: http://usembassy.egnet.net/sudan.htm.

Additional Information:

Prospective adoptive parents are strongly encouraged to consult BCIS publication M-249, The Immigration of Adopted and Prospective Adoptive Children, as well as the Department of State publication, International Adoptions.

Questions:

Specific questions regarding adoption in Sudan may be addressed to the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Sudan. You may also contact the Office of Children's Issues, SA-29, 2201 C Street, NW, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC 20520-2818, Tel: 1-888-407-4747 with specific questions.

Travel Warning

August 5, 2005

This Travel Warning is being reissued to provide updated information on the security situation in Sudan, warn American citizens against all travel to Sudan, and remind them of continued terrorist threats aimed at Western and U.S. interests. This supersedes the Travel Warning of December 14, 2004.

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all travel to Sudan. Although the two parties to the long-running civil war have signed a peace accord to end the war, travel in the south is still dangerous, especially with the death of Vice President John Garang on July 30. There have been sporadic riots in Khartoum and increased violence in South Sudan. In addition, there is fighting in Darfur and a serious humanitarian crisis continues throughout western Sudan. Some violence has also been noted in the eastern areas bordering Eritrea.

As noted in previous Travel Warnings for Sudan, the U.S. Government has received indications of terrorist threats aimed at American and Western interests in Sudan. Terrorist actions may include suicide operations, bombings, or kidnappings. U.S. citizens should be aware of the risk of indiscriminate attacks on civilian targets in public places, which include tourist sites and locations where westerners are known to congregate, and commercial operations associated with U.S. or Western interests. As physical security remains high at official facilities, terrorists may turn towards softer targets, such as residential compounds.

Sporadic fighting instigated by militias often is reported in the southern parts of the country. Travel outside of the capital city of Khartoum is potentially dangerous. Threats have been made against foreigners working in the oil industry in Upper Nile province. Travel into southern Sudan requires a visa and a specific travel permit. As a result of violence and banditry, the United Nations has declared many parts of Darfur "No-Go" areas for UN personnel. Due to the potential for banditry and general lawlessness in rural areas, land travel at night should be avoided. The U.S. Government is seriously concerned about aviation safety throughout Sudan.

There have been demonstrations in Khartoum against United States foreign policy. In some instances, demonstrators have thrown rocks at the U.S. Embassy and Westerners. Americans should avoid large crowds and demonstrations.

The U.S. Embassy's ability to provide consular services, including emergency assistance, is severely limited. Information on services available for American citizens can be found on the web site of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo at http://www.usembassy.egnet.net/sudan.htm.

U.S. citizens who remain in or travel to Sudan despite this Warning are urged to register their presence via the Internet at the State Department's travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov. U.S. citizens may also visit the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum to register and to obtain updated information on travel and security in Sudan. The Embassy in Sudan is located at Sharia Ali Abdul Latif, Khartoum. The mailing address is P.O. Box 699, Khartoum, Sudan. The telephone number is (249) 183-774-701 (0183-774-701 inside Sudan); fax (249) 183-774-137 (0183-774-137 inside Sudan). The after-hours emergency number is (249) 183-774-705 (0183-444-705 inside Sudan). The work-week in Khartoum is Sunday through Thursday.

American travelers to southern Sudan are also urged to register via the Internet with U.S Embassy Khartoum, or directly with the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. The Embassy in Kenya is located on United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya; telephone (254)(20) 363-6000; fax (254)(20) 363-6410. The after-hours number for the Embassy duty officer is (254)(20) 363-6170. The Embassy's international mailing address is P.O. Box 606 Village Market, 00621 Nairobi, Kenya. Mail with U.S. domestic postage may be sent to the Embassy at Unit 64100, APO AE 09831.

Additional information on Sudan may be found in the Department of State's Consular Information Sheet for Sudan and the East Africa Public Announcement, both on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov. Updates to security conditions may be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. and Canada, or 202-501-4444 from all other countries.

views updated

SUDAN

Compiled from the January 2005 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.

Official Name:
Republic of the Sudan


PROFILE

Geography

Area: 2.5 million sq. km. (967,500 sq. mi.); almost the size of continental U.S.

Cities: Capital—Khartoum. Other cities—Port Sudan, Kassala, Kosti, Juba (capital of southern region). No current accurate population statistics available.

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.

People

Nationality: Noun and adjective (sing. and pl.)—Sudanese.

Population: (2003 est.) 32 million; 30%-33% urban.

Annual growth rate: (2003 est.) 5%.

Ethnic groups: Arab-African, black African.

Religions: Islam (official), indigenous beliefs (southern Sudan), Christianity.

Languages: Arabic (official), English, tribal languages.

Education: Years compulsory—8. Attendance—35%-40%. Literacy—30%.

Health: Infant mortality rate—99/1,000. Life expectancy—52 yrs.

Work force: Agriculture—86%; industry and commerce—9%; government—5%.

Government

Type: Military dictatorship with progovernment parliament.

Independence: January 1, 1956.

Constitution: 1998 (passed by presidential decree but suspended in December 1999 when National Security Emergency law was promulgated by presidential decree.)

Branches: Executive—executive authority held by the president who also is the prime minister, head of state, head of government, and commander in chief of the armed forces. Judicial—High Court, Minister of Justice, Attorney General, civil and special tribunals (where Islamic principles inspire the constitution as well as civil and criminal law and jurisprudence), constitutional court, tribal courts, and investigative commissions. Legislative—National Assembly. Elections in December 2000 were seriously flawed as the major parties boycotted the election; the majority of ruling party candidates ran unopposed; and most remaining members of parliament, especially from the south, were appointed by the President.

Administrative subdivisions: Twenty-six states, each with a governor appointed by the president, along with a local cabinet and regional ministers (so-called Federal Rule system).

Political parties: 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: (2004 est.) $7.6 billion.

Defense: (2004 est.) 40% of GNP.

Economy

GDP: (2003) $13 billion.

GDP Annual growth rate: (2003) 5%.

Per capita income GDP: (2003) $300.

Avg. annual inflation rate: (2003) 13%.

Natural resources: modest reserves of oil, natural gas, gold, iron ore, copper, and other industrial metals.

Agriculture: (40% of GNP) Products—cotton, peanuts, sorghum, sesame seeds, gum arabic, sugarcane, livestock.

Industry: Types—motor vehicle assembly, cement, cotton, edible oils and sugar refining.

Trade: (2004 est.) Exports—$2.0 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—$2.6 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 Gulf states.

Fiscal year: January 1-December 31.


PEOPLE

In Sudan's 1993 census, the population was calculated at 26 million. No comprehensive census has been carried out since that time due to the continuation of the civil war. Current estimates range to 32 million. The population of metropolitan Khartoum (including Khartoum, Omdurman, and Khartoum North) is growing rapidly and ranges from 6-7 million, including around 2 million displaced persons from the southern war zone as well as western and eastern drought-affected areas.

Sudan has two distinct major cultures—Arab and black African—with hundreds of ethnic and tribal divisions and language groups, which makes effective collaboration among them a major problem.

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 use a traditional 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 seminomadic 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 Negroid 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. This region has been negatively affected by war for all but 10 years since independence in 1956, resulting in serious neglect, lack of infrastructure development, and major destruction and displacement. More than 2 million people have died, and more than 4 million are internally displaced or have become refugees as a result of the civil war and war-related impacts. Here the Sudanese practice mainly indigenous traditional beliefs, although Christian missionaries have converted some. The south also contains many tribal groups and many more languages are used than in the north. The Dinka—whose population is estimated at more than 1 million—is the largest of the many black African tribes of the Sudan. Along with the Shilluk and the Nuer, they 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.


HISTORY

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. Historically, the pestilential swamps of the Suud discouraged expansion into the deeper south of the country. Although Egypt claimed all of the present Sudan during most of the 19th century, it was unable to establish effective control over southern Sudan, which 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; they are associated with the single largest political grouping, the Umma Party, led by the descendant of the Mahdi, Sadiq al-Mahdi. Taking advantage of conditions 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 Ango-Egyptian force under Lord Kitchener in 1898. Sudan was proclaimed a condominium in 1899 under British-Egyptian administration. While maintaining the appearance of joint administration, the British Empire formulated policies and supplied most of the top administrators.

Independence

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. The United States was among the first foreign powers to recognize the new state. 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 sparked 17 years of civil war (1955-72).

The National Unionist Party (NUP), under Prime Minister Ismail al-Azhari, dominated the first cabinet, which was soon replaced by a coalition of conservative political forces. In 1958, following a period of economic difficulties and political maneuvering that paralyzed public administration, Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Abboud overthrew the parliamentary

regime in a bloodless coup. Gen. Abboud did not carry out his promises to return Sudan to civilian government, however, and popular resentment against army rule led to a wave of riots and strikes in late October 1964 that forced the military to relinquish power.

The Abboud regime was followed by a provisional government until parliamentary elections in April 1965 led to a coalition government of the Umma and National Unionist Parties under Prime Minister Muhammad Ahmad Mahjoub. Between 1966 and 1969, Sudan had a series of governments that proved unable either to agree on a permanent constitution or to cope with problems of factionalism, economic stagnation, and ethnic dissidence.

The succession of early post-independence governments were dominated by Arab Muslims who viewed Sudan as a Muslim Arab state. Indeed, the Umma/NUP-proposed 1968 constitution was arguably Sudan's first Islamic-oriented constitution.

Dissatisfaction culminated in a second military coup on May 25, 1969. The coup leader, Col. Gaafar Muhammad Nimeiri, became Prime Minister, and the new regime abolished parliament and outlawed all political parties.

Disputes between Marxist and non-Marxist elements within the ruling military coalition resulted in a briefly successful coup in July 1971, led by the Sudanese Communist Party. Several days later, anti-communist military elements restored Nimeiri to power.

In 1972, the Addis Ababa agreement led to a cessation of the north-south civil war and a degree of self-rule. This led to a period of 10 years of hiatus in the civil war.

In 1976, the Ansars mounted a bloody but unsuccessful coup attempt. In July 1977, President Nimeiri met with Ansar leader Sadiq al-Mahdi, opening the way for reconciliation. Hundreds of political prisoners were released, and in August 1977 a general amnesty was announced for all opponents of Nimeiri's government.

In September 1983, as part of an Islamicization campaign, President Nimeiri announced his decision to incorporate traditional Islamic punishments drawn from Shari'ah (Islamic law) into the penal code. This was controversial even among Muslim groups. After questioning Nimeiri's credentials to Islamicize Sudan's society, Ansar leader Sadiq al-Mahdi was placed under house arrest. President Nimeiri declared a state of emergency, in part to ensure that Shari'ah was applied more broadly. Most constitutionally guaranteed rights were suspended. In the north, emergency courts, later known as "decisive justice courts," were established, with summary jurisdiction over criminal cases. Amputations for theft and public lashings for alcohol possession were common during the state of emergency. Southerners and other non-Muslims living in the north were also subjected to these punishments. These events, and other longstanding grievances, in part led to a resumption of the civil war that had been in abeyance since 1972, and the war continues today.

In September 1984, President Nimeiri announced the end of the state of emergency and dismantled the emergency courts but soon promulgated a new judiciary act, which continued many of the practices of the emergency courts. Despite Nimeiri's public assurances that the rights of non-Muslims would be respected, southerners and other non-Muslims remained deeply suspicious.

Early 1985 saw serious shortages of fuel and bread in Khartoum, a growing insurgency in the south, drought and famine, and an increasingly difficult refugee burden. In early April, during Nimeiri's absence from the country, massive demonstrations, first triggered by price increases on bread and other staples, broke out in Khartoum.

On April 6, 1985 senior military officers led by Gen. Suwar al-Dahab mounted a coup. Among the first acts of the new government was to suspend the 1983 constitution and disband Nimeiri's Sudan Socialist Union. A 15-member transitional military council was named, chaired by Gen. Suwar al-Dahab. In consultation with an informal conference of political parties, unions, and professional organizations known as the "Gathering," the council appointed an interim civilian cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Dr. Al Gizouli Defalla.

Elections were held in April 1986, and the transitional military council turned over power to a civilian government as promised. The government, headed by Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi of the Umma Party, consisted of a coalition of the Umma, DUP (formerly NUP), the National Islamic Front (Hassan al-Turabi's NIF) and several southern parties. This coalition dissolved and reformed several times over the next few years, with Sadiq al-Mahdi and his Umma party always in a central role.

During this period, the civil war intensified in lethality and the economy continued to deteriorate. When prices of basic goods were increased in 1988, riots ensued, and the price increases were canceled. The civil war was particularly divisive (see "Civil Strife" below). When Sadiq al-Mahdi refused to approve a peace plan reached by the DUP and the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) in November 1988, the DUP left the government. The new government consisted essentially of the Umma and the Islamic fundamentalist NIF.

In February 1989, the army presented Sadiq with an ultimatum: he could move toward peace or be thrown out. He formed a new government with the DUP and approved the SPLA/DUP agreement. On June 30, 1989, however, military officers under then-Col. Omar Hassan al-Bashir, with NIF instigation and support, replaced the government with the Revolutionary Command Council for National Salvation (RCC), a junta comprised of 15 (reduced to 12 in 1991) military officers assisted by a civilian cabinet. General al-Bashir became President and chief of state, Prime Minister and chief of the armed forces. He continues to hold executive authority over the Khartoum government.

In March 1991, a new penal code, the Criminal Act of 1991, instituted harsh punishments nationwide, including amputations and stoning. Although the southern states are "officially" exempt from these Islamic prohibitions and penalties, the 1991 act provides for a possible future application of Islamic law (Shari'ah) in the south. In 1993, the government transferred all non-Muslim judges from the south to the north, replacing them with Muslim judges. The introduction of Public Order Police to enforce Shari'ah law resulted in the arrest and treatment under Shari'ah law of southerners and other non-Muslims living in the north.

Civil Strife

In 1955, southern resentment of northern Muslim Arab domination culminated in a mutiny among southern troops in Equatoria Province. For the next 17 years, the southern region experienced civil strife, and various southern leaders agitated for regional autonomy or outright secession.

This chronic state of insurgency against the central government was suspended in 1972 after the signing of the Addis Ababa Accords granting southern Sudan wide regional autonomy on internal matters. But a 1983 decree by President Nimeiri that declared his intention to transform Sudan into a Muslim Arab state, and divided the south into three regions and instituted Shari'ah law, revived southern opposition and militant insurgency.

After the 1985 coup, the new government rescinded this decree and made other significant overtures aimed at reconciling north and south but did not rescind the so-called September Laws of the Nimeiri regime instituting Shari'ah law. In May 1986, the Sadiq al-Mahdi government began peace negotiations with the SPLA, led by Col. John Garang de Mabior. In that year the SPLA and a number of Sudanese political parties met in Ethiopia and agreed to the "Koka Dam" declaration, which called for abolishing Islamic law and convening a constitutional conference. In 1988, the SPLA and the DUP agreed on a peace plan calling for the abolition of military pacts with Egypt and Libya, freezing of Islamic law, an end to the state of emergency, and a cease-fire. A constitutional conference would then be convened.

Following an ultimatum from the armed forces in February 1989, the Sadiq al-Mahdi government approved this peace plan and engaged in several rounds of talks with the SPLA. A constitutional conference was tentatively planned for September 1989. The military government, which took over on June 30, 1989, however, repudiated the DUP/SPLA agreement and stated it wished to negotiate with the SPLA without preconditions. Negotiating sessions in August and December 1989 brought little progress. The SPLA controlled large areas of Equatoria, Bahr al Ghazal, and Upper Nile provinces and also operated in the southern portions of Darfur, Kordofan, and Blue Nile provinces. The government controlled a number of the major southern towns and cities, including Juba, Wau, and Malakal. An informal cease-fire in May broke down in October 1989, and fighting has continued since then.

In August 1991, internal dissension among the rebels led opponents of Colonel Garang's leadership of the SPLA to form the so-called Nasir faction of the rebel army. In September 1992, William Nyuon Bany formed a second rebel faction, and in February 1993, Kerubino Kwanyin Bol formed a third rebel faction. On April 5, 1993, the three dissident rebel factions announced a coalition of their groups called SPLA United at a press conference in Nairobi, Kenya. The factions clashed occasionally, and the rebels lost much of their credibility with the West.

Since 1993, the leaders of Eritrea, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Kenya have pursued a peace initiative for the Sudan under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), but results have been 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—the relationship between religion and the state, powersharing, wealthsharing, 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.

In 1995, a coalition of internal and exiled opposition parties in the north and the south created the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) as an anti-government umbrella group. This development opened a northeastern front to the civil war, making it more than before a center-periphery rather than simply a north-south conflict. The SPLA, DUP, and Umma Parties were the key groups forming the NDA, along with several smaller parties and northern ethnic groups.

In 1997, the government signed a series of agreements with rebel factions, led by former Garang lieutenant Riek Machar, 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.

In July 2000, the Libyan/Egyptian Joint Initiative on the Sudan was mooted, calling for the establishment of an interim government, power-sharing, constitutional reform, and new elections. Southern critics objected to the joint initiative because it neglected to address issues of the relationship between religion and the state and failed to mention the right of self-determination. It is unclear to what extent this initiative will have a significant impact on the search for peace, as some critics view it as more aimed at a resolution among northern political parties and protecting the perceived security interests of Egypt in favor of the unity of the Sudan.

In September 2001, former Senator John Danforth was designated Presidential Envoy for Peace in the Sudan. His role aimed to explore the prospects that the U.S. could play a useful catalytic role in the search for a just end to the civil war, and enhance humanitarian services delivery that could help reduce the suffering of the Sudanese people stemming from warrelated effects.

In July 2002, the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army reached a 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 Intergovernmental Authority on Development. The effort was mediated by Kenyan General Lazaro Sumbeiywo. In August and November, both sides entered negotiations on other issues, including power and wealth sharing, but have not yet signed a formal protocol agreement. In October 2002, both sides signed a memorandum of understanding that called for a cessation of hostilities and unimpeded humanitarian access to all areas of the country, and which both parties largely have respected. Peace talks resumed and continued during 2003, with discussions regarding wealth sharing and three contested areas.

A rebellion broke out in Darfur, in western Sudan, in 2003, led by two rebel groups—the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). In seeking to defeat the rebel movements, the Government of Sudan armed and supported local tribal and other militias, which have come to be known as the "Jingaweit." Attacks on the civilian population by the Jingaweit, often with the direct support of Government of Sudan forces, has led to the death of tens of thousands of persons in Darfur. Some 1.5 million persons have been internally displaced in Darfur; an additional 201,000 have sought refuge from the conflict in neighboring Chad. The conflict continues in late 2004.

On September 9, 2004, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that "genocide has been committed in Darfur and that the Government of Sudan and the Jingaweit bear responsibility–and that genocide may still be occurring."

A cease-fire between the parties was signed in N'djamena, Chad, on April 8, 2004; despite the deployment of an African Union observer force to monitor implementation of the cease-fire and investigate violations, violence has continued. The SLA/M and JEM have continued negotiations with the Government of Sudan under mediation of the African Union. These talks resulted in additional protocols on addressing the humanitarian and security aspects of the conflict on November 9, 2004. Like previous agreements, these have been violated by both sides. The African Union, with the support of the United Nations Security Council, the United States, and the rest of the international community, began deploying a larger monitoring and observer force in October 2004. The mandate of this force, which will eventually have more than 3,000 personnel, includes some aspects of protection of the civilian population.

The United Nations Security Council had passed two resolutions (1556 and 1564) prior to Resolution 1574, all intended to move the Government of Sudan to rein in the Jingaweit, 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 United States has been a leader in pressing for strong international action by the United Nations and its agencies.

On November 19, 2004, the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army signed a declaration committing themselves to conclude a final comprehensive peace agreement by December 31, 2004, in the context of a special session of the United Nations Security Council in Nairobi, Kenya—only the fourth 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. It also demanded that the Government of Sudan and the SLA/M and JEM halt all violence in Darfur.

In keeping with their commitment to the Security Council, the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army initialed the final elements of the comprehensive agreement on December 31, 2004. The two parties formally signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement on January 9, 2005. The United States and the international community have welcomed this decisive step forward for peace in Sudan.

The ongoing civil war had displaced more than 4 million southerners. Some fled into southern cities, such as Juba; others trekked as far north as Khartoum and even into Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Egypt, and other neighboring countries. These people were unable to grow food or earn money to feed themselves, and malnutrition and starvation became widespread. The lack of investment in the south resulted as well in what international humanitarian organizations call a "lost generation" who lack educational opportunities and access to basic health care services, and who have little prospect for productive employment in the small and weak economies of the south or the north.

Following an internal outcry, the Sadiq al-Mahdi government in March 1989 agreed with the UN and donor nations (including the U.S.) on a plan called Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS), under which some 100,000 metric tons of food was moved into both government and SPLA-held areas of the Sudan, and widespread starvation was averted. Phase II of OLS to cover 1990 was approved by both the government and the SPLA in March 1990. In 1991, Sudan faced a 2-year drought and food shortage across the entire country. The U.S., UN, and other donors attempted to mount a coordinated international relief effort in both north and south Sudan to prevent a catastrophe. However, due to Sudan's human rights abuses and its pro-Iraqi stance during the Gulf War, many donors cut much of their aid to the Sudan. In a similar drought in 2000-01, the U.S. and the international community again responded to avert mass starvation in the Sudan. The U.S. and other donors continue to provide large amounts of humanitarian aid to all parts of the Sudan.


GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS

Sudan has an authoritarian government in which all effective political power is in the hands of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir. Bashir and his party have controlled the government since he led the military coup on June 30, 1989.

From 1983 to 1997, the Sudan was divided into five regions in the north and three in the south, each headed by a military governor. After the April 6, 1985 military coup, regional assemblies were suspended. The RCC was abolished in 1996, and the ruling National Islamic Front changed its name to the National Congress Party. After 1997, the structure of regional administration was replaced by the creation of 26 states. The executives, cabinets, and senior-level state officials are appointed by the president, and their limited budgets are determined by and dispensed from Khartoum. The states, as a result, remain economically dependent upon the central government. Khartoum state, comprising the capital and outlying districts, is administered by a governor.

In December 1999, a power struggle climaxed between President al-Bashir and then-speaker of parliament Hassan al-Turabi, who was the NIF founder and an Islamist ideologue. Al-Turabi was stripped of his posts in the ruling party and the government, parliament was disbanded, the constitution was suspended, and a state of national emergency was declared by presidential decree. Parliament resumed in February 2001 after the December 2000 presidential and parliamentary elections, but the national emergency laws remain in effect. Al-Turabi was arrested in February 2001, and charged with being a threat to national security and the constitutional order for signing a memorandum of understanding with the SPLA. He was placed in a maximum-security prison and remains in custody.

Principal Government Officials

Last Updated: 1/25/05

President: al-Bashir , Umar Hassan Ahmad, Lt. Gen.
First Vice President: Taha , Ali Osman Mohamed
Second Vice President: Machar , Moses Kacoul
Assistant President:
Chmn., Bureau of Federal Rule: Muhammad , Ali al-Haj
Min. of Agriculture & Forests: al-Khalifa , Magzoub
Min. of Animal & Fish Resources: Deng , Galwak
Min. of Aviation: Malwal , Joseph
Min. at the Cabinet: al-Awad , al-Hadi Abdallah Mohammed
Min. at the Cabinet: Arop , Martin Malwal
Min. of Cabinet Affairs: al-Nur , Tayyar Abdallah Ali Safi
Min. of Culture: Majid , Abdel Basset Abdel
Min. of Defense: Salih , Bakri Hassan, Maj. Gen.
Min. of Education: Nahar , Ahmed Babikir
Min. of Electricity: Fartak , Ali Temim
Min. of Energy & Mining: al-Jaz , Awad Ahmed
Min. of Environment & Urban Planning: Tahir , al-Tigani Adam, Maj. Gen.
Min. of External Relations: Ismail , Mustafa Osman
Min. of External Trade: Kasha , Abd al-Hameed Musa
Min. of Federal Relations: Suleiman , Ibrahim, Gen.
Min. of Federal Rule: Nafie , Nafie Ali
Min. of Finance & Planning: al-Zubeir , Ahmed Hassan
Min. of Foreign Affairs: Ismail , Mustafa Osman
Min. of Guidance & Waqfs: al-Bashir , Issam Ahmed
Min. of Health: Ballal , Ahmed, Dr.
Min. of Higher Education: Magzoub , Mubarak
Min. of Humanitarian Affairs: Hamed , Ibrahim Mahmoud
Min. of Industry: al-Diqair , Jalal Yousouf, Dr.
Min. of Information & Communication: Sabdarat , Abd al-Basit
Min. of Interior: Hussein , Abdel Rahim Mohamed, Brig.
Min. of International Cooperation: Takana , Yusuf Suleiman
Min. of Investment: Badr , al-Sherif Ahmad Omar
Min. of Irrigation & Water Resources: Mohamed , Kamal Ali
Min. of Justice & Prosecutor General: Yassin , Ali Mohamed Osman
Min. of Labor: Magaya , Alison Manani, Maj. Gen. (Ret.)
Min. of Manpower: Manani , Alison
Min. of Parliamentary Relations: Sabdarat , Abd al-Basit
Min. of Presidential Affairs: Kheir , Altayeb Ibrahim Mohamed
Min. of Religious Endowment: al-Bashir , Isam Ahmed
Min. of Roads & Bridges: Eila , Mohammed Tahir
Min. of Science & Technology: Taha , Zubeir Bashir
Min. of Sports & Youth: Riziq , Hassan Osman
Min. of Tourism & National Heritage: Majid , Abdel Basset Abdel
Min. of Transportation: al-Waseilah , Sammani al-Cheikh
Min. of Welfare & Social Planning: Mohamed , Samia Ahmed
Presidential Adviser for African Affairs: Eddin , Ali Hassan Taj
Presidential Adviser for Peace Affairs: al-Addin , Ghazi Salah
Presidential Adviser for Political Affairs: al-Mahdi , Qutbi
Presidential Adviser for Religious Affairs: Alimam , Ahmed Ali
Sec. of the Higher Council for Peace: Khalifa , Mohamed al-Amin
Attorney General: Yassin , Ali Mohamed Osman
Governor, Central Bank of Sudan: Sabir , Muhammad al-Hasan
Charge d'Affaires, Washington, DC: Haroun , Khidir
Permanent Representative to the UN, New York: Erwa , El Fatih Mohammed Ahmed

Sudan maintains an embassy in the United States at 2210 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel: (202) 338-8565; fax: (202) 667-2406).


ECONOMY

In 2003, the Sudan's mostly agricultural economy continued to be crippled by the civil war, destruction of infrastructure, economic mismanagement, and the existence of more than 4 million internally displaced persons and refugees. The country continued taking some steps toward transitioning from a socialist to a market-based economy; however, the government and governing party supporters remained heavily involved in the economy.

Sudan's primary resources are agricultural, but oil production and export are taking 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 wheat is 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 one 4,800-kilometer (2, 748-mi.), single-track railroad with a feeder line, supplemented by limited river steamers, Sudan airways, and about 1,900 km. (1,200 mi.) 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 km. (840 mi.) 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 Khartoum North. 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 produce all of Sudan's 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.

Sudan is seeking to expand its installed capacity of electrical generation of around 300 megawatts—of which 180 mw is hydroelectric and the rest, thermal. Considering the continuing U.S. economic, trade, and financial sanctions regime, European investors are the most likely providers of technology for this purpose. More than 70% of Sudan's hydropower comes from the Roseires Dam on the Blue Nile grid. Various projects are proposed to expand hydropower, thermal generation, and other sources of energy, but so far the government has had difficulty arranging sufficient financing.

The Merowe dam project has received a boost from various Arab funds. The Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development donated $150 million, the Abu Dhabi Development Fund $100 million, the Kuwaiti Development Fund $150 million, and the Saudi Fund $150 million. The Sultanate of Oman may finance the dam power plant with $106 million. The Merowe dam, if built, would have a capacity of 1,250 mw. It would be built at the Nile's fourth cataract. Egypt has not voiced major objections on the issue of Nile water diversion, which Sudan's hydroelectric project would entail. The estimated total cost of the dam is $1.8 billion.

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 (GDP). 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 International Monetary Fund 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 (EU) agricultural credits, totaling more than 1 billion euros, also were suspended.

Sudan produces about 312,000 barrels per day (b/d) of oil, which brought in about $1.9 billion in 2003 and provides 70% of the country's total export earnings. These earnings could rise to an estimated $2 billion by the end of 2004. The oil production is expected to reach 500,000 barrels by 2005. However, without a swift resolution of its 20-year civil war, the country and its people will continue to reap little benefit from its natural resources, its infrastructure will continue to deteriorate, oil production and exports will at best remain stagnant in the next few years, and Sudan will never be able to attain its export and development potential.

In 2000-01 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. However, the small industrial sector remains in the doldrums, spending for the war continues to preempt other social investments, and Sudan's inadequate and declining infrastructure inhibits economic growth.


DEFENSE

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. Some rebels currently fighting in the south are former army members. 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 and NDA without employing former rebel and Arab militias to fight in support of regular troops.

Sudan's military forces have historically 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 gun ships, Anatov medium bombers, MiG 23 fighter aircraft, mobile artillery pieces, and light assault weapons. Sudan now receives most of its military equipment from Iraq, China, Russia, and Libya.


FOREIGN RELATIONS

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 crossborder 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." This unity was never implemented.

During the 1990s, Sudan sought to steer a nonaligned course, courting Western aid and seeking rapprochement with Arab states, while maintaining cooperative ties with Libya, Syria, North Korea, Iran, and Iraq. Sudan's support for regional insurgencies such as Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Eritrian Islamic Jihad, Ethiopian Islamic Jihad, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Hizbullah, and the Lord's Resistance Army generated great concern about their contribution to regional instability. Allegations of the government's complicity in the assassination attempt against the Egyptian President in Ethiopia in 1995 led to UN Security Council 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 regional relations.


U.S.-SUDANESE RELATIONS

U.S. interests in Sudan are counterterrorism, regional stability, internal peace, protection of human rights, and humanitarian relief.

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 impetus to the improvement of 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. 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 American 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 nonessential personnel and all dependents left for 6 months. Sudan in this period was the single largest recipient of U.S. development and military assistance in Sub-Saharan Africa. The U.S. has worked closely with Sudanese governments since 1986 to see that emergency relief assistance is provided to those displaced by the civil war. However, official U.S. development assistance was suspended in 1989 in the wake of the military coup against the elected government.

Sudan's position during the Iraq/Kuwait crisis in the early 1990s strained relations with the U.S. Sudan stated that Iraq should not have invaded Kuwait, but it was equally critical of the presence of Western forces on Islamic holy lands.

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 a number of draw-downs and/or evacuations of U.S. personnel from Khartoum in the earlymid 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 1996 suspension of U.S. Embassy operations in Khartoum and a radical reduction in American Embassy and USAID staff. The U.S. added Sudan to its terrorism list in 1993 because Sudan was a safe haven for Islamic terrorist groups and because Sudan supported insurrections and/or radicals in Algeria, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Tunisia, and Uganda. After Sudan was designated a state sponsor of terrorism, relations plummeted and have only made a modest recovery to date.

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 retaliatory 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 U.S. and Sudan entered into a bilateral dialogue on counter-terrorism in May 2000, and Sudan has provided concrete cooperation against international terrorism since the September 11, 2001 terrorism strikes on New York and Washington. However, though Sudan publicly supported the international coalition actions against the al Qa'ida 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.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

KHARTOUM (E) Address: Ali Abdel Latif St; APO/FPO: 2200 Khartoum Place, Dulles VA 20189-2200; Phone: (249) (183) 774701/4; Fax: (249) (183) 774137/775680; Workweek: Sun-Thur 0800-1630

AMB:CDA Robert Whitehead
AMB OMS:Sandra McInturff
CM OMS:Nancy Strachan
POL:Janice L. Elmore
MGT:Michelle L. Stefanick
AID:Kate Farnsworth
DAO:William Godbout
GSO:Martin Nolan
ICASS Chair:William Godbout
IMO:Richard McInturff
ISO:Joseph Dalrymple
PAO:Elizabeth Colton
RSO:Richard Ingram
Last Updated: 2/14/2005

TRAVEL

Consular Information Sheet

December 6, 2004

Country Description: Sudan is a large, developing country in northeastern Africa. The capital is Khartoum. Most of southern Sudan and parts of the Nuba Mountains, southern Blue Nile, Darfur and the Eritrean border area are held by armed opposition groups and are outside government control. The information in this document applies to government-held areas of Sudan, unless otherwise stated.

Entry/Exit Requirements: A passport and visa are required. Travelers should obtain the latest information and details from the Embassy of Sudan, 2210 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 338-8565, http://www.sudanembassy.org/. U.S. citizens are advised to apply for visas well in advance of any proposed travel, as the Embassy of Sudan closed intermittently to visa issuance in late 2004. American citizens who were born in Sudan and have Sudanese identification (in addition to a U.S. passport) may apply for a visa at Khartoum International Airport. Visas are not available at other airports or at the border. Travelers must pay an airport departure tax. The government of Sudan does not allow persons with passports bearing an Israeli visa or entry/exit stamps to enter the country.

Safety and Security: The U.S. Embassy's ability to provide consular services, including emergency assistance, is severely limited. Even when consular personnel are temporarily in country, the U.S. Embassy does not have the infrastructure or resources to provide more than the most basic consular assistance.

Travel in all parts of Sudan, particularly outside the capital city of Khartoum, is potentially hazardous. The Government of Sudan and southern rebel forces signed a framework peace agreement in early June 2004 aimed at ending a 20-year civil war. Although fighting has subsided, danger may persist in the southern Sudanese provinces of Upper Nile, Blue Nile, and Bahr El Ghazal. There has been fighting between Government of Sudan backed forces and other rebel forces in the western province of Darfur. The fighting, combined with drought and famine, has resulted in an international humanitarian crisis. In the South, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), which normally operates in northern Uganda and occasionally shelters in southern Sudan, has allegedly threatened to target Americans. The land border with Egypt is open. Land transportation between Eritrea and Sudan is not dependable. The Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) controls all border crossings from Kenya and Uganda.

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov where the current Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, Travel Warnings and Public Announcements can be found.

Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S., or for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-317-472-2328. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

The Department of State urges American citizens to take responsibility for their own personal security while traveling overseas. For general information about appropriate measures travelers can take to protect themselves in an overseas environment, see the Department of State's pamphlet A Safe Trip Abroad.

Crime: Petty crime and thievery are common in Khartoum. Crimes against individuals are not as common but do occur. Travelers should maintain security awareness at all times. Travelers should exercise extra caution at the airport, in markets, and at public gatherings. Spontaneous street demonstrations are common and should be avoided if possible. Individuals who are outside between 11 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. are subject to document searches at police checkpoints.

Travel in all parts of Sudan, particularly outside the capital city of Khartoum, is potentially hazardous. Banditry and lawlessness is common in western Sudan, particularly in the Darfur province along the Chadian and Libyan borders. War and famine have severely damaged the infrastructure and social services in most of the country are non-existent.

Information for Victims of Crime: The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed. Posts in countries that have victims of crime assistance programs should include that information. See our information on Victims of Crime at http://travel.state.gov/travel/brochure_victim_assistance.html.

Medical Facilities and Health Information: Medical facilities fall short of U.S. standards in Khartoum, and are almost non-existent for all but the most minor of treatments outside of the capital. Government hospitals and clinics are poorly equipped. Individuals with medical conditions that may require treatment are discouraged from traveling to Sudan. Medicines are only intermittently available, and travelers should carry sufficient supplies of needed medications in clearly marked containers. Emergency ambulance services are not readily available. Travelers must pay cash in advance for any treatment. The U.S. Embassy in Khartoum maintains a list of local doctors and clinics in Khartoum for reference.

Malaria is prevalent in all areas of Sudan. Travelers should take malaria prophylaxis. P. falciparum malaria, the serious and sometimes fatal strain in Sudan, is resistant to the antimalarial drug chloroquine. Because travelers to Sudan are at high risk for contracting malaria, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that travelers should take one of the following anti-malarial drugs: mefloquine (Lariam™), doxycycline, or atovaquone/proguanil (Malarone™). The CDC has determined that a traveler who is on an appropriate antimalarial drug has a greatly reduced chance of contracting the disease. In addition, other personal protective measures, such as the use of insect repellents, protective clothing and mosquito nets also help to reduce malaria risk. Travelers who become ill with a fever or flu-like illness while traveling in a malaria-risk area and up to one year after returning home should seek prompt medical attention and tell the physician their travel history and what anti-malarials they have been taking. For additional information on malaria, protection from insect bites, and anti-malarial drugs, please visit the CDC Travelers' Health web site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel/malinfo.htm.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299), or via the CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization's (WHO) website at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith.

Medical Insurance: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Sudan is provided for general reference only and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

As part of local culture, strangers may stop to help lone women drivers stranded at the side of the road. However, individual drivers should accept such help at their own risk.

Road conditions are hazardous due to unpredictable local driving habits, pedestrians and animals in the roadway, and the lack of basic safety equipment on many vehicles. Roads are narrow and poorly maintained. Only some major highways are paved. Roads in southern Sudan may be impassable during the rainy season, while roads in the north can be quickly covered with shifting sand at any time during the year. Nighttime driving throughout the country is dangerous and should be avoided if at all possible, as vehicles often operate without lights or park in the road without warning. Ambulance and road emergency services are available in major urban areas but are extremely limited or unavailable elsewhere in the country.

Public transportation is limited except in and between major urban areas. Passenger facilities are basic and crowded, especially during rush hours or seasonal travel. Schedules are unpublished and subject to change without notice. Vehicle maintenance does not meet the same standards as those in the United States or other western countries. There is regular passenger train service from Khartoum to Wade Halfa (on the border with Egypt) and Port Sudan (on the Red Sea). Inter-city bus service between major cities is regular and inexpensive. Intra-city bus service in the major urban areas is generally regular, but most buses and bus stops are unmarked. Taxis are available in the major cities at hotels, tourist sites, and government offices. Public transit service to communities in the interior is usually limited to irregularly scheduled mini-buses. Most rural communities in the interior have no public transit whatsoever.

U.S. citizens are subject to the laws of the country in which they are traveling. Traffic entering from side streets has the right of way when entering a fast-moving main street. Cars have the steering wheel on the left side and drivers use the right side of the road. Traffic on the right has the right of way at stops. Right turns on a red light are prohibited. Speed limits are not posted. The legal speed limit for passenger cars on inter-city highways is 120 kph (about 70 mph), while in most urban areas it is 60 kph (about 35 mph). The speed limit in congested areas and school zones is 40 kph (about 25 mph).

All motor vehicle operators are required to purchase third-party liability insurance from the government. Nonetheless, many local drivers carry no insurance. Persons involved in an accident resulting in death or injury are required to report the incident to the nearest police station or official as soon as possible. Persons found at fault can expect fines, revocation of driving privileges, and jail sentences, depending on the nature and extent of the accident. Penalties for persons convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol are strict, and convicted offenders may expect fines, jail sentences, and corporal punishment.

U.S. citizens may use their U.S.issued driver's licenses up to 90 days after arrival. Thereafter, they must carry either an International Driving Permit (IDP) or a Sudanese driver's license. There are no restrictions on vehicle types, including motorcycles and motorized tricycles. Motorcycles, however, are not common.

Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service between the United States and Sudan, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Sudan's Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with ICAO international aviation safety standards. For more information, travelers may visit the FAA's internet web site at www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/index.cfm.

Travelers should avoid flying on Sarit Airlines. The U.S. Government banned use of Sarit Airlines by U.S. Government employees and contractors effective October 22, 2004, following numerous crashes and safety incidents over the previous year. Two of those incidents resulted in fatalities.

Special Circumstances: On November 4, 1997, President Clinton signed an Executive Order imposing comprehensive financial and commercial sanctions against Sudan, prohibiting U.S. transactions with Sudan. Travelers intending to visit Sudan despite the Travel Warning should contact the Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), Office of Compliance, regarding the effect of these sanctions; telephone 1-800-540-6322 or 202-622-2490; website http://www.treas.gov/ofac.

There is currently no curfew in Khartoum. However, persons who are outside between midnight and 5:00 a.m. are subject to document searches at police checkpoints. Hotel officials and local police can inform visitors whether a curfew is in effect in other localities.

Personal baggage is routinely searched upon arrival and departure. Travelers should not attempt to enter Sudan with alcohol. Permission is required to import video cameras and other electronic devices such as satellite phones, facsimile machines, televisions, and telephones. Travelers with such electronic items should inquire about entry restrictions when they apply for the required Sudanese visa and when they arrive at the port of entry. Travelers will not be allowed to depart Sudan with ivory and other animal products, or large quantities of gold. For additional information concerning entry and exit formalities, travelers should contact the nearest Sudanese diplomatic mission.

A permit is required before taking photographs anywhere in Khartoum, as well as in the interior of the country. Photographing military areas, bridges, drainage stations, broadcast stations, public utilities, slum areas, or beggars is prohibited.

Cellular telephone service is more reliable than landline telephone service. There is no telecommunications infrastructure in opposition-held Sudanese territory outside of relief agencies and opposition radio networks. E-mail is available in Sudan, and there are Internet cafes in Khartoum, but service can be erratic. Disruptions of water and electricity are frequent.

Sudan has a majority Muslim population and is very conservative. Alcohol is prohibited and conservative dress is expected. Although western women are not required to cover their heads, long sleeve shirts and full-length skirts or slacks are recommended. Short sleeve shirts are acceptable, but men are advised not to wear short pants in public.

The Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) requires travelers to areas under its control to obtain travel permits from the Nairobi office of the Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Association (SRRA). At times, the SRRA will not issue travel permits to persons holding Sudanese government visas. Other opposition groups issue their own travel permits.

Travelers to Sudan are required to register with police headquarters within three days of arrival. Travelers must obtain police permission before moving to another location in Sudan and must register with police within 24 hours of arrival at the new location. These regulations are strictly enforced. Even with proper documentation, travelers in Sudan have been subjected to delays and detention by Sudan's security forces, especially when traveling outside Khartoum. Authorities expect roadblocks to be respected.

Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offences. Persons violating name of country laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Name of Country are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Engaging in illicit sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

Children's Issues: For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, see the Office of Children's Issues website at http://travel.state.gov/family/index.html.

Registration/Embassy Location: The U.S. Embassy's ability to provide consular services, including emergency assistance, is severely limited. Americans living or traveling in Sudan are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Sudan. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.

The Embassy in Sudan is located at Sharia Ali Abdul Latif, Khartoum. The mailing address is P.O. Box 699, Khartoum. The telephone number is (249)183-774-701 (0183-774-701 inside Sudan); fax (249)183-774-137 (0183-774-137 inside Sudan). The workweek in Khartoum is Sunday through Thursday.

Travel Warning

December 14, 2004

This Travel Warning is being reissued to remind Americans of continued terrorist threats aimed at Western and U.S. interests, and update them on concerns regarding the security situation in Sudan. This supersedes the Travel Warning of June 30, 2004.

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all unnecessary travel to Sudan. Although the two parties to the long-running civil war are negotiating a peace accord to end the war, travel in the south is still dangerous. In addition, there is fighting in Darfur and a serious humanitarian crisis continues throughout western Sudan. The government of Sudan has declared certain areas of the country off limits to foreigners.

As noted in previous Travel Warnings for Sudan, the U.S. Government has received indications of terrorist threats aimed at American and Western interests in Sudan. Terrorist actions may include suicide operations, bombings, or kidnappings. U.S. citizens should be aware of the risk of indiscriminate attacks on civilian targets in public places, which include tourist sites and locations where westerners are known to congregate, and commercial operations associated with U.S. or western interests. As physical security remains high at official facilities, terrorists may turn towards softer targets, such as residential compounds.

Sporadic fighting has continued between Sudanese government forces, the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Army (SPLA), and various militias in the southern and western parts of the country. The ceasefire in the Nuba Mountains generally has been respected, but any travel outside of the capital city of Khartoum is potentially dangerous. Travel into opposition-held areas of Sudan requires a specific travel permit from the SPLA or other rebel movements controlling the territory. Due to the potential for banditry and general lawlessness in some rural areas, land travel at night should be avoided. The U.S. Government remains seriously concerned about aviation safety, especially aircraft operated by Sarit Airlines.

There have been demonstrations in Khartoum in the past against United States foreign policy. In some instances, demonstrators have thrown rocks at the U.S. Embassy and Westerners. Americans should avoid large crowds and demonstrations.

The U.S. Embassy's ability to provide consular services, including emergency assistance, is severely limited. There is no consular officer resident in Sudan on a regular basis. Information describing the services available for American citizens can be found on the web site of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo: http://www.usembassy.egnet.net/sudan.htm.

U.S. citizens who remain in or travel to Sudan despite this Warning are encouraged to register their presence via the Internet through the State Department's travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov. U.S. citizens may also visit the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum to register and to obtain updated information on travel and security in Sudan. The Embassy in Sudan is located at Sharia Ali Abdul Latif, Khartoum. The mailing address is P.O. Box 699, Khartoum, Sudan. The telephone number is (249) 183-774-701 (0183-774-701 inside Sudan); fax (249) 183-774-137 (0183-774-137 inside Sudan). The after-hours emergency number is (249) 183-774-705 (0183-444-705 inside Sudan). The workweek in Khartoum is Sunday through Thursday.

American travelers to southern Sudan are also encouraged to register via the Internet, or directly with the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. The Embassy in Kenya is located on United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya; telephone (254)(20) 363-6000; facsimile (254)(20) 363-6410. In the event of an after-hours emergency, the Embassy duty officer may be contacted at (254)(20) 363-6170. The Embassy's international mailing address is P.O. Box 606 Village Market, 00621 Nairobi, Kenya. Mail using U.S. domestic postage may be addressed to Unit 64100, APO AE 09831, USA.

Further information on Sudan may be found in the Department of State's Consular Information Sheet for Sudan, and the East Africa Public Announcement, on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov. Updates to security conditions may be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States, or 317-472-2328 from overseas.

International Adoption

January 2005

The information below has been edited from a report of the State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of Overseas Citizens Services. For more information, please read the International Adoption section of this book and review current reports online at www.travel.state.gov/family

Disclaimer: The information in this circular relating to the legal requirements of specific foreign countries is provided for general information only. Questions involving interpretation of specific foreign laws should be addressed to foreign legal counsel.

Availability of Children for Adoption: Recent U.S. immigrant visa statistics reflect the following pattern for visa issuance to orphans:

FY-1996: IR-3 immigrant visas issued to Sudanese orphans adopted abroad – 0, IR-4 immigrant visas issued to Sudanese orphans adopted in the U.S. – 0
FY-1997: IR-3 Visas—1,
IR-4 Visas – 0
FY-1998: IR-3 Visas—0,
IR-4 Visas – 0
FY-1999: IR-3 Visas—0,
IR-4 Visas – 0
FY-2000: IR-3 Visas—1,
IR-4 Visas—0

Sudanese Adoption Authority: There is no central government office responsible for adoptions in Sudan. Each case is handled by the local Social Services Supervisor of the Governate for the Province.

Sudanese Adoption Procedures: Adoption in Sudan is governed by the Child Care Act of 1971. Adoption is not allowed for Moslem children, but may be allowed for non-Moslem children, in so as far as the religious laws of the child's denomination allow. Please note that a child whose religion is unknown is automatically considered to be Moslem.

Sudanese Law also allows for a court appointed "Caretaker" (similar to a legal guardian in the United States) to oversee the welfare and upbringing of a child until he or she reaches legal majority (21 years of age). Caretakers may be assigned for both Moslem and non-Moslem children, but they must be of the same religion as the child.

Once custody is granted, there is a probationary period of one year wherein the Social Services Supervisor must conduct regular visits. After the year is over, the caretaker or adoptive parent may return to the court to request permanent custody of the child until he/she reaches the age of majority. In certain exceptional circumstances, it is possible to reduce the probationary period with the approval of the Governor of the Province where the child resides.

The caretaker or adoptive parent must request the approval of the social worker in cases where there is a change of residence within Sudan. They must also secure the approval of the Governor for the Province where the child resides if they wish to take the child out of the country.

Age and Civil Status Requirements: To qualify as a caretaker or adoptive parent, the applicant must be between 30 and 50 years of age, with a good reputation and behavior. Unmarried men are not eligible. Children over 14 years of age may not be placed in the custody of a caretaker or adoptive parent.

Doctors: The U.S. Embassy maintains current lists of doctors and sources for medicines, should either you or your child experience health problems while in Sudan.

Sudanese Documentary Requirements: Specific documentary requirements vary from Governate to Governate. Prospective caretaker or adoptive parents should contact the local Social Services Supervisor directly.

U.S. Immigration Requirements: A Sudanese child adopted by an American citizen must obtain an immigrant visa before he or she can enter the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident. Please see the International Adoption section of this book for more details and review current reports online at travel.state.gov/family

Sudanese Embassy in the United States: Embassy of the Republic of Sudan; 2210 Massachusetts Ave., NW; Washington, DC 20008; Tel: (202) 338-8565 to 8570

U.S. Embassy in Sudan: The U.S. Embassy in Khartoum was never closed but it does not provide regular consular services. However, a consular officer based in Cairo, Egypt makes periodic visits to Sudan. The officer can be contacted via the Consular Section in Khartoum or directly at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.

U.S. Embassy Khartoum
Consular Section
Sharia Ali Abdul Latif
Khartoum, Sudan
Tel: (249)(11) 774-700;
Fax: (249)(11) 774-137

U.S. Embassy Cairo
Sudan Affairs
Consular Section
Garden City
Cairo, Egypt
Tel: (20)(2) 797-2770;
Fax: (20)(2) 797-2472
E-mail: [email protected]

Additional information on consular services available in Sudan may be found on the U.S. Embassy Cairo web site: http://usembassy.egnet.net/sudan.htm.

Questions: Specific questions regarding adoption in Sudan may be addressed to the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Sudan. You may also contact the Office of Children's Issues, SA-29, 2201 C Street, NW, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC 20520-2818, Tel: 1-888-407-4747 with specific questions.

views updated

Sudan

Compiled from the November 2006 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.

Official Name:
Republic of the Sudan

PROFILE

PEOPLE

HISTORY

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS

ECONOMY

DEFENSE

FOREIGN RELATIONS

U.S.-SUDANESE RELATIONS

TRAVEL

PROFILE

Geography

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.

People

Nationality: Noun and adjective (sing. and pl.)—Sudanese.

Population: (2005 est.) 40.2 million; 30%-33% urban.

Annual growth rate: (2004 est.) 2.6%.

Ethnic groups: Arab/Muslim north and black African/Christian and ani-mist 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—64/1,000. Life expectancy—58.5 yrs.

Work force: Agriculture—80%; industry and commerce—7%; government—13%.

Government

Independence: January 1, 1956.

Type: Provisional Government established by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in January 2005 that provides for power sharing with the former southern rebels on a 70-30 basis pending national elections during the mid-2007 to mid-2008 time frame.

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 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (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 conformance with the Interim National Constitution and the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

Government 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. Legislative—National Assembly. The National Assembly, the upper house, has 450 members with a ratio of 70/30 (70% northern, 30% southern.) There is also a lower 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.

Political 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.

Budget: (2004 est.) $7.6 billion.

Defense: (2004 est.) 40% of GNP.

Economy

GDP: (2005) $22.75 billion.

GDP annual growth rate: (2005) 7%.

Per capita income GDP: (2005) $2,100.

Avg. annual inflation rate: (2005) 9.0%.

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: (2005 est.) Exports—$6.989 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 (2005 est.)—$5.028 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.

PEOPLE

Sudan’s population is one of the most diverse on the African continent. There are two distinct major cultures—”Arab” and black African—with 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 Negroid 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. More than 2 million people have died, and more than 4 million are internally displaced or have become refugees as a result of the civil war and war-related impacts. 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 of the Sudan. Along with the Shilluk and the Nuer, they 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 2006, Sudan’s population reached an estimated 41 million. A new census is planned for 2007. The population of metropolitan Khartoum (including Khartoum, Omdurman, and North Khartoum) is growing rapidly and ranges from 6-7 million, including around 2 million internally displaced persons from the former southern war zone as well as western and eastern regions affected by drought, conflict, and marginalization. In Darfur, there are an estimated 1.8 million internally displaced persons and another 220,000 refugees in neighboring Chad—200,000 in 12 camps and 20,000 in the border area.

HISTORY

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

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 lead-ers—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. This protracted conflict is rooted in the cultural and religious divides that characterize the country. 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. Since independence, Sudan has experienced almost constant ethnic and religious strife that has penetrated all the states bordering it. These countries have provided shelter to fleeing refugees or have served as operating bases for rebel movements. The civil strife has retarded Sudan’s economic and political development as well as forced massive internal displacement of its people. In 1958, General Ibrahim Abboud seized power and pursued a policy of Arabization and Islamization in the south 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. Numeiri in turn was the target of a coup attempt by communist members of the government. It failed and Numeiri 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 effectively 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 after the April 1986 elections. 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. 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 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 U.N. imposed sanctions on Sudan for alleged connections to the assassination attempt on Egyptian President Mubarak.

Its policy 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 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.

However, by mid-2001, prospects for peace in Sudan appeared fairly remote. A few days before the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, the Bush Administration named former Senator John Danforth as its Presidential Envoy for Peace in the Sudan. His role was to explore the prospects that the U.S. could play a useful role in the search for a just end to the civil war, and enhance the delivery of humanitarian aid to reduce the suffering of the Sudanese people stemming from the effects of civil war. The terrorist attacks of September 11 dramatically impacted the bilateral relationship between the United States and the Khartoum Government.

End to the Civil War

In July 2002, the Government of Sudan and the SPLM/A reached a 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 regarding 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. It also demanded that the Government of Sudan and the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) halt all violence in Darfur.

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. 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.

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS

Prior to the 2005 CPA, Sudan had an authoritarian government in which all effective political power was in the hands of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir. Bashir and his party have controlled the government since he led the military coup in 1989.

The CPA established a new Government of National Unity and the Interim national Government of Southern Sudan and called for wealth-sharing, power-sharing, and security arrangements between the two parties. On July 9, 2005, the Presidency was inaugurated with alBashir sworn in as President and John Garang, SPLM leader, installed as First Vice President. 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.”

To date, other implemented provisions of the CPA include the formation of the National Assembly, appointment of Cabinet members, signing of the Southern Sudan Constitution, and the appointment of state governors and adoption of state constitutions.

New commissions have also been created. Thus far, those formed include the 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, plans are on schedule for a population census to be conducted in 2007 in preparation for national elections. The CPA mandates that the government hold national elections at the end of a five year interim period in 2011.

On July 30, 2005, the charismatic and revered SPLM leader John Garang died unexpectedly in a helicopter crash. The SPLM immediately named Salva Kiir, Garang’s deputy, as First Vice President. As stipulated in the CPA, Kiir now holds the posts of President of the Government of Southern Sudan and Commander-iChief of the SPLA.

Darfur

In 2003, while the historic north-south conflict was on its way to resolution, a rebellion broke out in Darfur, in western Sudan, led by two rebel groups—the SLM/A and the JEM. These groups represented agrarian farmers who are non-Arabized black African Muslims. In seeking to defeat the rebel movements, the Government of Sudan armed and supported local tribal and other militias, which have come to be known as the “Janjaweed.” Their members were composed of 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 forces, have led to the death of tens of thousands of persons in Darfur, with an estimated 1.8 million internally displaced persons and another 220,000 refugees in neighboring Chad, i.e., 200,000 in 12 camps and 20,000 in the border area

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.”

A cease-fire between the parties was signed in N’Djamena, Chad, on April 8, 2004. However, despite the deployment of an African Union Military Mission to monitor implementation of the cease-fire and investigate violations, violence has continued. The SLM/A and JEM negotiated with the Government of Sudan under African Union auspices, resulting in 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 in SLM/A leadership.

The African Union, with the support of the 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 move 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.

On May 5, 2006, under strong pressure from the AU and the International community. the Government and an SLM/A faction led by Minni Minawi signed the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) in Abuja. 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 September 12, the Security Council adopted UNSCR 1706, authorizing the transition of AMIS to a larger more robust UN peacekeeping operation. Sudan continues to object to the deployment of a UN force to Darfur. Meanwhile, the AU extended the AMIS peacekeeping mandate through December 31, 2006.

Principal Government Officials

Last Updated: 12/6/2006

President: Umar Hassan Ahmad alBASHIR, Fd. Mar.

First Vice Pres.: Salva KIIR Mayardit

Vice Pres.: Ali Osman TAHA

Senior Asst. to the Pres.: Minni Arkou MINNAWI

Asst. to the Pres.: Nafie Ali NAFIE

Min. of Agriculture & Forestry: Mohammed al-Amin Issa KABASHI

Min. of Animal & Resources: GALWAK Deng

Min. of Cabinet Affairs: DENG Alor Kuol

Min. of Culture, Youth, & Sport: Mohammed Yusuf ABDALLAH

Min. of Defense: Abdel Rahim Mohammed HUSSEIN

Min. of Energy & Mining: Awad Ahmed AL-JAZ

Min. of Environment & Urban Development: Ahmed Babkir NAHAR

Min. of Federal Government: Abdel Basit Saleh SABDARAT

Min. of Finance & National Economy: Al-Zubayr Ahmad al-HASAN

Min. of Finance & Planning: Zubeir Mohammed HASSAN

Min. of Foreign Affairs: LAM Akol Ajawin

Min. of Foreign Trade: George BORENG Niyami

Min. of General Education: Hamid Muhammad IBRAHIM

Min. of Health: Tabita SOKAYA

Min. of Higher Education: Peter NIYOT Kok

Min. of Humanitarian Affairs: KOSTI Manibe

Min. of Industry: Jalal AL-DUGAIR

Min. of Information & Communication: Zahawi Ibrahim MALEK

Min. of Interior: Zubeir Beshir TAHA

Min. of International Cooperation: ALTIJANI Saleh Hudeib

Min. of Investment: Malik AGAR Ayar

Min. of Justice & Prosecutor General: Mohammed Ali AL-MARDI

Min. of Labor & Human Resources: Alison MANANI Magaya

Min. of Parliamentary Affairs: Josheph OKELO

Min. of the Presidency: BAKRI Hassan Saleh

Min. of Religious Affairs & Waqf: Azhari Al-Tigani Awad AL-SID

Min. of Science & Technology: Abdalrahman SAID, Lt. Gen. (Ret.)

Min. of Tourism: Josef MALWAL

Min. of Transportation: KUOL Manyang Ajok

Min. of Water Resources: Kamal Ali MOHAMMED

Attorney General: Ali Mohamed Osman YASSIN

Governor, Central Bank of Sudan: Muhammad al-Hasan SABIR

Charge d’Affaires, Washington, DC: Khidir HAROUN

Permanent Representative to the UN, New York: Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem MOHAMAD

Sudan maintains an embassy in the United States at 2210 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel: (202) 338-8565; fax: (202) 667-2406).

ECONOMY

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 one 4,800-kilometer (2,748-miles), single-track railroad with a feeder line, supplemented by limited river steamers, Sudan Airways, and about 1,900 kilometers (1,200 miles) 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 Khartoum North. 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.

Sudan is seeking to expand its installed capacity of electrical generation of around 300 megawatts—of which 180 megawatts is hydroelectric and the rest, thermal. Considering the continuing U.S. economic, trade, and financial sanctions regime, European investors are the most likely providers of technology for this purpose. More than 70% of Sudan’s hydropower comes from the Roseires Dam on the Blue Nile grid. Various projects are proposed to expand hydropower, thermal generation, and other sources of energy, but so far the government has had difficulty arranging sufficient financing.

The Merowe dam project has received a boost from various Arab funds. The Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development donated $150 million, the Abu Dhabi Development Fund $100 million, the Kuwaiti Development Fund $150 million, and the Saudi Fund $150 million. The Sultanate of Oman may finance the dam power plant with $106 million. The Merowe dam, if built, would have a capacity of 1,250 megawatts. It would be built at the Nile’s fourth cataract. Egypt has not voiced major objections on the issue of Nile water diversion, which Sudan’s hydroelectric project would entail. The estimated total cost of the dam is $1.8 billion.

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.

DEFENSE

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. Some SPLM and NDA troops are former army members. 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 and NDA without employing former rebel and Arab militias to fight in support of regular troops.

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, Anatov 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

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 crossborder 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, Hizbullah, 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

Although Sudan is on the U.S. Government’s state sponsors of terrorism list, the United States is a major donor of humanitarian aid to Sudan, and the U.S. has welcomed steps toward peace in the country. The U.S. also has been a leader in pressing for strong international action by the United Nations and its agencies in Darfur. The U.S. and the international community welcomed the January 9, 2005 signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and the May 5, 2006 signing of the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA), while a series of UN Security Council resolutions in late March 2005 and 2006 underscored concerns about Sudan’s continuing conflicts. On September 11, 2006 the U.S. linked improved relations to Sudanese acceptance of a UN peacekeeping operation in Darfur. (For more, see “End to the Civil War” and “Darfur,” above.)

A Review of 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 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.

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. Embassy Officials

KHARTOUM (E) Address: Ali Abdel Latif St; APO/FPO: 2200 Khartoum Place, Dulles VA 20189-2200; Phone: (249)(183)774701/4; Fax: (249) (183) 774137/775680; Workweek: SunThur 0800-1630.

AMB:Cameron Hume
AMB OMS:Kelly G. Taylor
DCM:Roberto Powers
DCM OMS:Lisa Coles
POL:Eric Whitaker
MGT:Jonita Whitaker
AID:Kate J Almquist
CLO:Fiona F Hamid
EEO:Sergey A Olhovsky
FMO:Louis Nelli
GSO:Lori Johnson
ICASS Chair:Eric Whitaker
IMO:Bob Siletzky
ISO:Vansin C Dokken
ISSO:Vansin C Dokken
PAO:Joel Maybury
RSO:Steven Bernstein

Last Updated: 10/11/2006

TRAVEL

Consular Information Sheet : October 11, 2006

Country Description: Sudan is a large, developing country in northeastern Africa. The capital is Khartoum. Over the past 20 years, Sudan has experienced two major conflicts: a civil war involving Southern Sudan, and a complex, multi-party armed struggle in Darfur. Both have hindered development and resulted in a general deterioration of security infrastructure and conditions in some regions. The transportation infrastructure is limited in most parts of the country and generally does not meet western standards.

Entry/Exit Requirements: A passport and visa are required before traveling to all areas of Sudan. A South Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (SSRRC) permit may be necessary for travel to Southern Sudan, but is not a substitute for a visa issued by a Sudanese embassy or consulate. Travelers should obtain the latest information and details from the Embassy of Sudan at 2210 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20008, tel. (202) 338-8565, http://www.sudanembassy.org/. U.S. citizens are advised to apply for visas well in advance of any proposed travel; travelers with Israeli visas or other evidence of travel to Israel in their passports may be denied visas. Visas are not available at airports or the border, except for American citizens who were born in Sudan and have Sudanese identification (in addition to a U.S. passport); the latter may apply for a visa at Khartoum International Airport. Such visas may be endorsed for entry only through Khartoum International Airport.

Personal baggage, including the contents of laptop computers, is routinely searched upon arrival and departure. If authorities find material they deem objectionable (such as pornography), the traveler may be detained or arrested. Travelers should not attempt to enter Sudan with alcohol. Permission is required to import video cameras and other electronic devices such as satellite phones, facsimile machines, televisions, and telephones.

Travelers with such electronic items should inquire about entry restrictions when they apply for a Sudanese visa and when they arrive at the port of entry. Travelers are not allowed to depart Sudan with ivory and other animal products, or large quantities of gold. For additional information concerning entry and exit formalities, travelers should contact the nearest Sudanese diplomatic mission.

On October 1, the Government of Sudan announced that the movements of all U.S. citizens visiting Sudan (other than U.S. diplomats assigned to the Embassy in Khartoum) would be restricted to a 25-mile radius of the Republican Palace in central Khartoum. The Sudanese government has not clarified whether Americans who already possess travel permits will be allowed to go beyond the 25-mile radius.

Americans who have valid travel permits and plan to travel outside Khartoum should check with local authorities. Travelers are also urged to obtain a photography permit from the Sudanese government if they intend to take any photographs.

All visitors are required to register with authorities within three days of arrival. Travelers must obtain police permission before moving to another location in Sudan and must register with police within 24 hours of arrival at the new location. These regulations are strictly enforced. Even with proper documentation, travelers in Sudan can be subjected to delays and detention by Sudan’s security forces, especially outside Khartoum. Authorities expect roadblocks to be respected.

Travelers may also be required to obtain exit visas prior to their departure, if their length of stay is longer than the period printed on their original entry visa.

Travelers often are required to pay airport departure taxes if they are not already included in the cost of the ticket. Sudan does not allow persons with passports bearing an Israeli visa or entry/exit stamps to enter the country. Visit the Embassy of Sudan website at http://www.sudanembassy.org/ for the most current visa information.

Safety and Security: The U.S. Embassy’s ability to provide consular services, including emergency assistance, is severely limited due to limited staffing and extreme difficulties accessing many areas outside of Khartoum. The U.S. Embassy does not have the infrastructure or resources to provide more than basic consular assistance.

Travel in all parts of Sudan, particularly outside the capital city of Khartoum, is potentially hazardous. The government of Sudan and southern rebel forces signed a peace agreement in January 2005 aimed at ending a 20-year civil war, and a Government of National Unity was formed in September 2005. Although fighting has subsided, areas of insecurity still persist in the southern Sudanese states of Upper Nile, Blue Nile, and Bahr El Ghazal. War and famine have severely damaged the infrastructure; social services in most of the country are non-existent. The land borders with all nine neighboring countries are open and porous. Land transportation between Eritrea and Sudan is not dependable. The Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) controls all border crossings with Kenya and Uganda.

Large-scale demonstrations and rioting broke out in Khartoum in early August 2005, following the death of First Vice President John Garang. There were a number of anti-Western demonstrations in Khartoum in 2006. In general, these demonstrations were peaceful and well organized by the protestors and the police. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. American citizens are therefore urged to avoid the areas of demonstrations if possible, and to exercise caution if within the vicinity of any demonstrations.

In western Sudan, a large number of armed groups, many displaced people, and active conflict pose serious security concerns in Darfur. Banditry and lawlessness are common in western Sudan, particularly in the Darfur province along the borders with Chad and Libya. There has been fighting between government-backed forces and rebel forces in the western Darfur region. The fighting, combined with drought and famine, has resulted in an international humanitarian crisis.

Ground travel outside of and between cities in Southern Sudan and Darfur is discouraged for security reasons. Land mines and banditry remain a serious problem in Southern Sudan, especially in the region south of Juba. Travelers to southern Sudan are urged to use only main roads and paths unless an area has been labeled as cleared by a competent de-mining authority. In the south, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), which normally operates in northern Uganda and occasionally shelters in Southern Sudan, allegedly has threatened to target Americans.

Americans considering sea travel in Sudan’s coastal waters should exercise caution as there have been incidents of armed attacks and robberies by unknown groups in recent years, including one involving two American vessels. Exercise extreme caution, as these groups are considered armed and dangerous. When transiting in and around the Horn of Africa and/or in the Red Sea near Yemen, it is strongly recommended that vessels convoy in groups and maintain good communications contact at all times. Marine channels 13 and 16 VHF-FM are international call-up and emergency channels and are commonly monitored by ships at sea. 2182 Mhz is the HF international call-up and emergency channel. Wherever possible, travel in trafficked sea-lanes.

Avoid loitering in or transiting isolated or remote areas. In case of emergency, contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. In the event of an attack, consider activating Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons.

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department’s Internet web site, where the current Travel Warnings and Public Announcements, including the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, can be found. Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S., or for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

Crime: Crimes against individuals, while not common in Khartoum, occur on occasion. Travelers should maintain security awareness and observe common sense security practices at all times. Travelers should exercise caution at large markets and public gatherings.

Information for Victims of Crime: The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

Medical Facilities and Health Information: Medical facilities fall short of U.S. standards in Khartoum, and are almost non-existent outside of the capital for all but the most minor treatment. Government hospitals and clinics are poorly equipped. Individuals with medical conditions that may require treatment are discouraged from traveling to Sudan. Medicines are only intermittently available, and travelers should carry sufficient supplies of needed medications in clearly marked containers. Emergency ambulance services are not readily available. Travelers must pay cash in advance for any treatment. The U.S. Embassy in Khartoum maintains a list of local doctors and clinics in Khartoum for reference. Malaria is prevalent in all areas of Sudan, with a sometimes-fatal strain that is resistant to chloroquine. Because of the high risk, consult a health practitioner before traveling, seek alternative anti-malarial drugs, and take personal protective measures, such as insect repellents, protective clothing, and mosquito nets. Travelers who become ill with a fever or flulike illness while traveling in a malaria-risk area and up to one year after returning home should seek prompt medical attention and tell the physician their travel history and what anti-malarial drugs they have been taking. For additional information about malaria and anti-malarial medications, please visit the Centers for Disease Control’s Travelers’ Health website at http://www.cdc.gov/malaria/.

There have been reported cases of cholera and typhoid in Southern Sudan.

In January 2006, there was an outbreak of avian influenza in poultry in northern Sudan. Although no human cases were reported, the outbreak was widespread. A similar outbreak occurred several weeks earlier in Egypt, in which several human cases, including deaths, were reported. For additional information, consult the following web sites:

http://www.avma.org/public_health/influenza/avian_faq.asp.

http://www.fao.org/ag/againfo/subjects/en/health/diseases-cards/avian_cats.html. http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/publications/wildlife_health_bulletins/WHB_05_03.jsp.

http://www.oie.int/eng/en_index.htm.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or via the CDC’s Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization’s (WHO) website at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith.

Medical Insurance: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Sudan is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

As part of local culture, strangers may stop to help lone women drivers stranded at the side of the road. However, individual drivers should accept such help at their own risk.

Road conditions throughout Sudan are hazardous due to unpredictable local driving habits, pedestrians and animals in the roadway, and the lack of basic safety equipment on many vehicles. Many roads are narrow and poorly maintained. Only some major highways are paved. At times, visibility is poor due to dust and sand storms. Roads in southern Sudan are frequently impassable during the rainy season, while roads in the north can be quickly covered with shifting sand at any time during the year. Nighttime driving throughout the country is dangerous and should be avoided if at all possible, as vehicles often operate without lights or park in the road without warning. Ambulance and road emergency services are available in major urban areas but are extremely limited or unavailable elsewhere in the country. Local drivers tend to show little regard for right of way and frequently exceed safe speed limits for road, traffic, and weather conditions.

Public transportation is limited except in and between major urban areas. Passenger facilities are basic and crowded, especially during rush hours or seasonal travel. Schedules are unpublished and subject to change without notice. Vehicle maintenance does not meet the same standards as those in the United States or other western countries. There is regular passenger train service from Khartoum to Wadi Halfa (on the border with Egypt) and Port Sudan (on the Red Sea). Inter-city bus service between major cities is regular and inexpensive. Intra-city bus service in the major urban areas is generally regular, but most buses and bus stops are unmarked. Taxis are available in the major cities at hotels, tourist sites, and government offices. Travelers are encouraged to hire cars and drivers from reputable sources with qualified drivers and safe vehicles. Public transit service to communities in the interior is usually limited to irregularly scheduled mini-buses. Most rural communities in the interior have no public transportation whatsoever.

U.S. citizens are subject to the laws of the country in which they are traveling. Cars have the steering wheel on the left side and drivers use the right side of the road. Traffic from side streets on the right has the right of way when entering a fast-moving main street. Traffic on the right has the right of way at stops. Right turns on a red light are prohibited. Speed limits are not posted. The legal speed limit for passenger cars on inter-city highways is 120 kph (about 70 mph), while in most urban areas it is 60 kph (about 35 mph). The speed limit in congested areas and school zones is 40 kph (about 25 mph). All motor vehicle operators are required to purchase third-party liability insurance from the government. Nonetheless, many local drivers carry no insurance. Persons involved in an accident resulting in death or injury are required to report the incident to the nearest police station or official as soon as possible. Persons found at fault can expect fines, revocation of driving privileges, and jail sentences, depending on the nature and extent of the accident. Penalties for persons convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol are strict, and convicted offenders may expect fines, jail sentences, and corporal punishment.

Americans may use their U.S. driver’s licenses up to 90 days after arrival, and then must carry either an International Driving Permit (IDP) or a Sudanese driver’s license. There are no restrictions on vehicle types, including motorcycles and motorized tricycles, although motorcycles are not common.

Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service between the United States and Sudan, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Sudan’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. For more information, travelers may visit the FAA’s Internet website at http://www.faa.gov. Flights during the dusty and rainy seasons are frequently delayed or cancelled.

Special Circumstances: In November 1997, the U.S. imposed comprehensive financial and commercial sanctions against Sudan, prohibiting U.S. transactions with Sudan. Travelers intending to visit Sudan despite the Travel Warning should contact the Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), Office of Compliance, regarding the effect of these sanctions; telephone 1-800-540-6322 or 202-622-2490.

Sudan has a cash-only economy, with no international ATMs. Major credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, or American Express, are not accepted due to U.S. sanctions. Travelers must be prepared to pay cash for everything.

There is currently no curfew in Khartoum. Hotel officials and local police can inform visitors whether a curfew is in effect in other localities. However, anyone who is outside between 2300 and 0500 is subject to document searches at police checkpoints. There is a strict curfew enforced throughout Darfur from 2130 to 0630.

A permit is required before taking photographs anywhere in Khartoum, as well as in the interior of the country. Photographing military areas, bridges, drainage stations, broadcast stations, public utilities, slum areas, and beggars is prohibited.

Cellular telephone service is more reliable than landline service. There is no telecommunications infrastructure in opposition-held Sudanese territory outside of relief agencies and opposition radio networks. Email is available in Sudan, and there are Internet cafes in Khartoum, but service can be erratic. There are frequent disruptions of water and electricity. Sudan has a majority Muslim population and is very conservative. Alcohol is prohibited and conservative dress is expected. Although western women are not required to cover their heads, long-sleeved shirts and full-length skirts or slacks are recommended. Short-sleeved shirts are acceptable, but men should not wear short pants in public.

Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country’s laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Sudan’s laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. The consumption of alcohol is a criminal offense in Sudan. Persons who possess or consume alcohol are subject to harassment, arrest, and/or flogging. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Sudan are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

Children’s Issues: For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, see the Office of Children’s Issues website at http://travel.state.gov/family/family_1732.html.

Registration/Embassy Location: Americans living or traveling in Sudan are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department’s travel registration website, to obtain updated information on travel and security within Sudan. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the United States Embassy in Khartoum. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency. The U.S. Embassy is located at Sharia Ali Abdul Latif, Khartoum; tel. (249-183) 774-701/2/3 (outside Sudan); tel. (0183) 774-701/2/3 inside Sudan. For after-hours emergencies, please call 249-183-774-705 and leave a message for the Consular Duty Officer.

International Adoption : June 2006

The Department of State has occasionally received inquiries from American citizens concerned about the plight of the children of Sudan and wondering about the possibility of adopting them. At this time, it is not generally possible to adopt Sudanese children, for several reasons. Intercountry adoptions are fundamentally private civil legal matters governed by the laws of the children’s home country, which has the primary responsibility and jurisdiction for deciding what would be in the children’s best interests. The U.S. and international media have occasionally reported on the difficult situation faced by Sudanese children, and it is completely understandable that some American citizens want to respond to such stories by offering to open their homes and adopt these children in need. However, it is a generally agreed international principle that uprooting children during a war, natural disaster or other crisis may in fact exacerbate the children’s situation. It can be extremely difficult in such circumstances to determine whether children who appear to be orphans truly are. It is also not uncommon in a hostile situation for parents to send their children out of the area, or for families to become separated during an evacuation. Even when it can be demonstrated that children are indeed orphaned or abandoned, they are often taken in by other relatives. Staying with relatives in extended family units is generally a better solution than uprooting a child completely. There are still ways in which U.S. citizens can help the children of Sudan. Many American non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working in Sudan say that what is needed most at this time are financial contributions. Individuals who wish to assist can do the most good by making a financial contribution to an established NGO that will be well placed to respond to Sudan’s most urgent needs, including those related to the children of Sudan. The Department of State continues to strongly warn U.S. citizens against travel to Sudan, which remains very dangerous.

Travel Warning October 5, 2006

This Travel Warning for Sudan reminds U.S. citizens of the continued threat of terrorism in Sudan and notes restrictions on travel by American citizens outside Khartoum. This supersedes the Travel Warning issued for Sudan on August 31, 2006.

The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens against all travel to Sudan, particularly in the Darfur area where there is a continuing buildup of Government and rebel military forces and where violence has increased significantly, and to remind travelers that the U.S. Government has received indications of terrorist threats aimed at American and Western interests in Sudan. Terrorist actions may include suicide operations, bombings, or kidnappings. U.S. citizens should be aware of the risk of indiscriminate attacks on civilian targets in public places, which include tourist sites and locations where westerners are known to congregate, and commercial operations associated with U.S. or Western interests. As physical security remains high at official facilities, terrorists may turn towards softer targets, such as residential compounds.

Sporadic fighting instigated by militias is often reported in the southern parts of the country. Travel outside of the capital city of Khartoum is potentially dangerous. Threats have been made against foreigners working in the oil industry in Upper Nile state. As a result of violence and banditry, the United Nations has declared many parts of Darfur “No-Go” areas for UN personnel. Due to the potential for banditry and general lawlessness in rural areas, land travel at night should be avoided.

On October 1, the Government of Sudan announced that the movements of all U.S. citizens visiting Sudan would be restricted to a 25-mile radius of the Republican Palace in Central Khartoum. The Sudanese government has not clarified whether Americans who already possess travel permits will be allowed to go beyond the 25 mile radius. Americans who have valid travel permits and plan to travel outside Khartoum should check with local authorities.

In August, five foreigners, including two Americans, were arrested and detained in Darfur after entering Sudan via the Chadian border town of Bahai without the appropriate documentation. Several of these individuals had solicited and obtained escorts in Chad who allegedly promised to facilitate entry into Sudan but who were ultimately unable to follow through with their commitments. Americans who travel to Sudan despite this travel warning must possess a valid passport with at least six months of validity and a Sudanese visa. Travelers must apply for a visa in their own country of residence. The Sudanese Government requires that anyone seeking to enter the Darfur area, or to take photographs or perform other journalistic functions anywhere in Sudan, must obtain a special permit. This includes journalists, photographers, and other press/media employees. Additional information about entry requirements for Sudan and other countries is located on the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs website at http://travel.state.gov. Failure to possess the appropriate travel documents and permits can result in the traveler’s arrest and detention for multiple crimes, including illegal entry, publication of false information, and espionage. If convicted, sentences range from deportation to life in prison or the death penalty.

U.S. citizens who travel to Sudan despite this Travel Warning are strongly urged to register with the Embassy in Khartoum or through the State Department’s Travel Registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency. The U.S. Embassy is located at Sharia Ali Abdul Latif, Khartoum; tel. (249-183) 774-701/2/3 (outside Sudan); tel. (0183) 774-701/2/3 inside Sudan. For after-hours emergencies, please call 249-183-774-705 and leave a message with Post One for the Consular Duty Officer.

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Sudan

PROFILE
PEOPLE
HISTORY
ECONOMY
DEFENSE
FOREIGN RELATIONS
U.S.-SUDANESE RELATIONS
TRAVEL

Compiled from the January 2008 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.

Official Name:

Republic of the Sudan

PROFILE

Geography

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.

People

Nationality: Noun and adjective (sing. and pl.)—Sudanese.

Population: (2005 est.) 40.2 million; 30%-33% urban.

Annual growth rate: (2004 est.) 2.6%.

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—64/ 1,000. Life expectancy—58.5 yrs.

Work force: Agriculture—80%; industry and commerce—7%; government—13%.

Government

Independence: January 1, 1956.

Type: Provisional Government established by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in January 2005 that provides for power sharing pending national elections. 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 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (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 conformance with the Interim National Constitution and the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

Government 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.

Political 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.

Budget: (2004 est.) $7.6 billion.

Defense: (2004 est.) 40% of GNP.

Economy

GDP: (2005) $22.75 billion.

GDP annual growth rate: (2005)7%.

Per capita income: GDP: (2005) $2,100.

Avg. annual inflation rate: (2005) 9.0%.

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: (2005 est.) Exports—$6.989 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 (2005 est.)— $5.028 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.

PEOPLE

Sudan's population is one of the most diverse on the African continent. There are two distinct major cultures—”Arab” and black African—with 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 seminomadic 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. More than 2 million people have died, and more than 4 million are internally displaced or have become refugees as a result of the civil war and war-related impacts. 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 of the Sudan. Along with the Shilluk and the Nuer, they 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 2006, Sudan's population reached an estimated 41 million. A new census is planned for 2008. The population of metropolitan Khartoum (including Khartoum, Omdurman, and North Khartoum) is growing rapidly and ranges from 6-7 million, including around 2 million internally displaced persons from the former southern war zone as well as western and eastern regions affected by drought, conflict, and marginalization. In Darfur, there are an estimated 1.8 million internally displaced persons and another 220,000 refugees in neighboring Chad—200,000 in 12 camps and 20,000 in the border area.

HISTORY

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

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 retarded 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 in the south that strengthened southern opposition. General Abboud was over-thrown 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 Nimeir 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 Dar-fur 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 effectively 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 after the April 1986 elections. 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. Meanwhile, the period of the 1990s saw a growing sense of alienaation 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 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 U.N.

imposed sanctions on Sudan for alleged connections to the assassination attempt on Egyptian President Mubarak. Its policy 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 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.

However, by mid-2001, prospects for peace in Sudan appeared fairly remote. A few days before the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, the Bush Administration named former Senator John Danforth as its Presidential Envoy for Peace in the Sudan. His role was to explore the prospects that the U.S. could play a useful role in the search for a just end to the civil war, and enhance the delivery of humanitarian aid to reduce the suffering of the Sudanese people stemming from the effects of civil war. The terrorist attacks of September 11 dramatically impacted the bilateral relationship between the United States and the Khartoum government. (For “U.S.Sudanese Relations,” see below.)

End to the Civil War

In July 2002, the Government of Sudan and the SPLM/A reached a 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 regarding 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. It also demanded that the Government of Sudan and the Sudan Liberation Movement/ Army (SLM/A) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) halt all violence in Darfur.

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 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 leader, installed as First Vice President. 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 immediately named Salva Kiir, Garang' s deputy, as First Vice President. As stipulated in the CPA, Kiir now 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. New CPA-mandated commissions have also been created. Thus far, those formed include the 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, plans are anticipated for a population census to be conducted in February 2008 in preparation for national elections in 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. During the ceremony, President Bashir and First Vice President Kiir exchanged forceful accusations concerning the delays in the implementation of the agreement. In his remarks, Salva Kiir described the achievement of the CPA as the most important achievement in modern Sudanese history and confirmed that there would be no retreat from the path of peace. While some progress has been achieved during the last two years, meaningful implementation of key CPA requirements has faltered and relations between the National Congress Party (NCP) and SPLM are at an all-time low. As of October 2007, a lack of progress on issues such as north-south border demarcation, certain security provisions, and north-south sharing of oil revenues threatened to erode the CPA. International attention is refocusing on the CPA as the mainstay of peace in Sudan in response to calls for reinvigorated CPA implementation.

Darfur

In 2003, while the historic north-south conflict was on its way to resolution, increasing reports of attacks on civilians, especially aimed at non-Arab tribes, began to surface. A rebellion broke out in Darfur, in the extremely marginalized western Sudan, led by two rebel groups—the SLM/A and the 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 tribal and other militias, which have come to be known as the “Jan-jaweed.” Their members were composed mostly of Arabized black African Muslims who herded cattle, camels, and other livestock. Attacks on the civilian population by the Jan-jaweed, often with the direct support of Government of Sudan forces, have led to the death of tens of thousands of persons in Darfur, with an estimated 2.0 million internally displaced persons and another 234,000 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.” A cease-fire between the parties was signed in N'Djamena, Chad, on April 8, 2004. However, despite the deployment of an African Union Military Mission to monitor implementation of the cease-fire and investigate violations, violence has continued. The SLM/A and JEM negotiated with the Government of Sudan under African Union auspices, resulting in 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 in SLM/A leadership.

The African Union, with the support of the 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 move 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 Dar-fur 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.

On May 5, 2006, under strong pressure from the African Union (AU) and the international community, the government and an SLM/A faction led by Minni Minawi signed the Dar-fur Peace Agreement (DPA) in Abuja. 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. Nat-sios 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 UN support to AMIS in three phases—light, heavy, and a joint AU/UN hybrid support operation. On November 30, the African Union Peace and Security Council also endorsed the Addis Ababa conclusions. International efforts in 2007 focused on finalizing plans for a joint AU/UN hybrid peacekeeping operation and encouraging a peaceful politcal settlement under the lead of the UN and AU. UN Security Council Resolution 1769 was adopted on July 31, 2007, providing the mandate for a joint peacekeeping force to deploy to Darfur. The UN African Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) assumed authority from AMIS on January 1, 2008. When UNAMID reaches full strength, it will number 26,000 people.

Following passage of UNSCR 1769, the UN and the AU launched political discussions aimed at consolidating rebel positions in advance of formal negotiations. The UN/AU convened a first round of talks in Sirte, Libya, on October 27, 2007. Efforts continued in early 2008 to advance the political process.

Principal Government Officials

Last Updated: 2/1/2008

Pres.: Umar Hassan Ahmad al-BASHIR, Fd. Mar.

First Vice Pres.: Salva KIIR Mayardit

Vice Pres.: Ali Osman TAHA

Senior Asst. to the Pres.: Minni Arkou MINNAWI

Asst. to the Pres.: Nafie Ali NAFIE

Min. of Agriculture & Forestry: Mohammed al-Amin Issa KABASHI

Min. of Animal & Resources: GALWAK Deng

Min. of Cabinet Affairs: PAGAN Amum Okiech

Min. of Culture, Youth, & Sport: Mohammed Yusuf ABDALLAH

Min. of Defense: Abdel Rahim Mohammed HUSSEIN

Min. of Energy & Mining: Awad Ahmed AL-JAZ

Min. of Environment & Urban Development: Ahmed Babkir NAHAR

Min. of Federal Govt.: Abdel Basit Saleh SABDARAT

Min. of Finance & National Economy: Al-Zubayr Ahmad al-HASAN

Min. of Finance & Planning: Zubeir Mohammed HASSAN

Min. of Foreign Affairs: DENG Alor Kuol

Min. of Foreign Trade: James KOK Rio

Min. of Gen. Education: Hamid Muhammad IBRAHIM

Min. of Health: Tabita SOKAYA

Min. of Higher Education: George BORENG Niyami

Min. of Humanitarian Affairs: Harun Ron LUAL

Min. of Industry: Jalal AL-DUGAIR

Min. of Information & Communication: Zahawi Ibrahim MALEK

Min. of Interior: Zubeir Beshir TAHA

Min. of Intl. Cooperation: AL-TIJANI Saleh Hudeib

Min. of Investment: KOSTI Manibe

Min. of Justice & Prosecutor Gen.: Mohammed Ali AL-MARDI

Min. of Labor & Human Resources: Alison MANANI Magaya

Min. of Parliamentary Affairs: Josheph OKELO

Min. of the Presidency: BAKRI Hassan Saleh

Min. of Religious Affairs & Waqf: Azhari Al-Tigani Awad AL-SID

Min. of Science & Technology: Abdalrahman SAID, Lt. Gen. (Ret.)

Min. of Tourism: Josef MALWAL

Min. of Transportation: Philip Thon LIK

Min. of Water Resources: Kamal Ali MOHAMMED

Attorney Gen.: Ali Mohamed Osman YASSIN

Governor, Central Bank of Sudan: Muhammad al-Hasan SABIR

Charge d'Affaires to the US: John UKEC Leuth

Permanent Representative to the UN, New York: Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem MOHAMAD

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).

ECONOMY

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 one 4,800-kilometer (2,748-miles), single-track railroad with a feeder line, supplemented by limited river steamers, Sudan Airways, and about 1,900 kilometers (1,200 miles) 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 Khartoum North. 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. Sudan is seeking to expand its installed capacity of electrical generation of around 300 megawatts—of which 180 megawatts is hydroelectric and the rest, thermal. Considering the continuing U.S. economic, trade, and financial sanctions regime, European investors are the most likely providers of technology for this purpose. More than 70% of Sudan's hydropower comes from the Roseires Dam on the Blue Nile grid. Various projects are proposed to expand hydropower, thermal generation, and other sources of energy, but so far the government has had difficulty arranging sufficient financing.

The Merowe dam project has received a boost from various Arab funds. The Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development donated $150 million, the Abu Dhabi Development Fund $100 million, the Kuwaiti Development Fund $150 million, and the Saudi Fund $150 million. The Sultanate of Oman may finance the dam power plant with $106 million. The Merowe dam, if built, would have a capacity of 1,250 megawatts. It would be built at the Nile's fourth cataract. Egypt has not voiced major objections on the issue of Nile water diversion, which Sudan's hydroelectric project would entail. The estimated total cost of the dam is $1.8 billion.

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.

DEFENSE

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. Some SPLM and NDA troops are former army members. 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 and NDA without employing former rebel and Arab militias to fight in support of regular troops.

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, Anatov 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

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 non-aligned 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

The United States is a major donor of humanitarian aid to Sudan, and the U.S. has welcomed steps toward peace in the country. The U.S. also has been a leader in pressing for strong international action by the United Nations and its agencies in Darfur. The U.S. and the international community welcomed the January 9, 2005 signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and the May 5, 2006 signing of the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA), while a series of UN Security Council resolutions in late March 2005 and 2006 underscored concerns about Sudan's continuing conflicts. On September 11, 2006 the U.S. linked improved relations to Sudanese acceptance of a UN peacekeeping operation in Darfur. Since that time, the U.S. has been successful in bringing new economic sanctions against Sudan, as well as ushering in the passage of UN Security Council Resolution 1769 on July 31, 2007, which mandated the rapid deployment of a joint African Union/United Nations hybrid peacekeeping force to Darfur. (For more, see “End to the Civil War” and “Darfur,” above.)

A Review of 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 with-drawn 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 drawdowns 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 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 Dar-fur, President Bush imposed new economic sanctions on Sudan in May 2007. The sanctions blocked assets of Sudanese citizens implicated in Dar-fur 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. Embassy Officials

Last Updated: 2/19/2008

KHARTOUM (E) Ali Abdel Latif St, APO/FPO 2200 Khartoum Place, Dulles VA 20189-2200, (249) (183)774701/4, Fax (249) (183) 774137 / 775680, Workweek: Sun-Thur 0800-1630, Website: http://khartoum.usembassy.gov.

DCM OMS:Lisa Coles
AMB OMS:Sanya Hunsucker
FM:Paul Davenport
MGT:John Kowalski
AMB:Alberto Fernandez
DCM:Roberto Powers
PAO:Joel Maybury
GSO:Arne Baker
RSO:Daniel Hunt
AID:Patrick Fleuret
CLO:Fiona F Hamid
EEO:Sergey A Olhovsky
ICASS:Chair Joel Maybury
IMO:Bob Siletzky
ISO:Joanne Davenport
POL:Robert Wong

TRAVEL

Consular Information Sheet

August 31, 2007

Country Description: Sudan is a diverse, developing country in northeastern Africa. The capital city is Khartoum. The civil war between the northern and southern regions ended in 2005. A multi-party conflict continues in the west in Darfur, and the armed Ugandan group known as The Lord's Resistance Army is present in the south. Security conditions are adverse in these and some other regions. Transportation networks and other forms of infrastructure are poor and do not meet western standards. Even where available, water and electric services suffer frequent outages.

Travelers should check the Department of State website at http://travel.state.gov for the latest Travel Warnings and/or Travel Alerts.

Entry Requirements: The Government of Sudan requires all travelers to present a passport and an entry visa. Most travelers must obtain the entry visa before arrival; only American citizens who also possess a Sudanese national identification document (such as a Sudanese passport or national identification card) may apply for an entry visa at Khartoum International Airport. The Government of Sudan routinely denies visas to travelers whose passports contain visas issued by the Government of Israel or other evidence of travel to Israel such as exit or entry stamps. Travelers must obtain an exit visa before departure from Sudan as well as pay any airport departure tax not included in the traveler's airline ticket. Visitors may obtain the latest information and further details from the Embassy of Sudan, 2210 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008, tel: 202-338-8565.

Travel permits issued by the semiautonomous Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) or by the South Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (SSRRC) are not adequate for entry to the country, although travelers may find these documents useful to present to local authorities when in the south.

Personal baggage, including computers, is routinely searched on arrival to and departure from Sudan. The authorities will seize material deemed objectionable, such as alcohol or pornography, and may detain or arrest the traveler. Travelers intending to bring electronic items should inquire about entry requirements when they apply for a visa; restrictions apply to many devices, including video cameras, satellite phones, facsimile machines, televisions, and telephones. Travelers are not allowed to depart Sudan with ivory, some other animal products, or large quantities of gold.

All visitors must register with the authorities within three days of arrival. Travelers must obtain police permission before moving to another location in Sudan, and must register again with the police within 24 hours of arrival. The government requires separate travel permits for specific areas of the country, including Dar-fur. These regulations are strictly enforced and even travelers with proper documentation may expect delay or temporary detention from the security forces, especially outside the capital. Authorities expect travelers to strictly respect roadblocks and other checkpoints.

Travelers who wish to take any photographs must obtain a photography permit from the Government of Sudan, Ministry of Interior, Department of Aliens.

Safety and Security: The U.S. Embassy's ability to provide consular services in Sudan, including emergency assistance, is severely limited. Many areas outside the capital of Khartoum are extremely difficult to access. Terrorist groups continue to seek opportunities to carry out attacks against U.S. interests. Terrorist actions may include suicide operations, bombings, or kidnappings. U.S. citizens should be aware of the risk of indiscriminate attacks on civilian targets in public places, which include tourist sites and locations where westerners are known to congregate, and commercial operations associated with U.S. or Western interests. As physical security remains high at official facilities, terrorists may turn towards softer targets, such as residential compounds. Travel in many parts of Sudan is hazardous. Outside the major cities infrastructure is extremely poor, medical care is limited, and very few facilities for tourists exist.

Conflict among various armed groups and government forces continues in western Sudan, in the states of North Darfur, South Darfur, and West Dar-fur. Banditry and lawlessness are also common in the west. Many local residents are in camps for internally-displaced persons and receive humanitarian assistance for basic needs such as food, water, and shelter. Expatriate humanitarian work-ers have been the targets of carjackings and burglaries. Land mines remain a major hazard in southern Sudan, especially south of the city of Juba. Visitors should travel only on main roads unless a competent de-mining authority such as the UN has marked an area as clear of mines. The armed Ugandan group known as The Lord's Resistance Army is present along the southern border and reportedly has announced it will target Americans.

Occasional clashes between armed groups representing communal interests continue to occur in the centrally-located states of Upper Nile, Blue Nile, and Bahr al Ghazal. Banditry also occurs. Sudan shares porous land borders with nine other countries, which include Chad, the Central African Republic, Uganda, Zaire, Ethiopia, and Eritrea. Conflict in these countries occasionally spills over into Sudan. Americans considering sea travel in Sudan's coastal waters should exercise caution as there have been incidents of armed attacks and robberies by unknown groups in recent years, including one involving two American vessels. Exercise extreme caution, as these groups are considered armed and dangerous. When transiting in and around the Horn of Africa and/or in the Red Sea near Yemen, it is strongly recommended that vessels convoy in groups and maintain good communications contact at all times. Marine channels 13 and 16 VHF-FM are international call-up and emergency channels and are commonly monitored by ships at sea. 2182 Mhz is the HF international call-up and emergency channel. Wherever possible, travel in trafficked sea-lanes. Avoid loitering in or transiting isolated or remote areas. In case of emergency, contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. In the event of an attack, consider activating Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons. For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov, where the current Worldwide Caution Travel Alert, Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts can be found. Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S. and Canada, or for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444.

Crime: Crimes against individuals occur occasionally but are not common in Khartoum. However, carjacking and armed robbery continue to occur in western and southern Sudan. Travelers should exercise caution in markets, other crowded public areas, and in public gatherings. Sexual assault is more prevalent in the areas of armed conflict.

Information for Victims of Crime: The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

Medical Facilities and Health Information: Individuals with medical conditions which may require treatment are discouraged from traveling to Sudan. Medical facilities in Khartoum fall short of U.S. standards; outside the capital, very few facilities exist and hospitals and clinics are poorly equipped. Travelers must pay cash in advance for any medical treatment. Ambulance services are not available. Medicines are available only intermittently; travelers should bring sufficient supplies of needed medicines in clearly-marked containers. Malaria is prevalent in all areas of Sudan. The strain is resistant to chloroquine and can be fatal. Consult a health practitioner before traveling, obtain suitable anti-malarial drugs, and use protective measures, such as insect repellent, protective clothing, and mosquito nets. Travelers who become ill with a fever or a flu-like illness while in Sudan, or within a year after departure, should promptly seek medical care and inform their physician of their travel history and the kind of anti-malarial drugs used. For additional information about malaria and anti-malarial drugs please see the Center for Disease Control t ravelers' h ealth web site, http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or via the CDC's I nternet site at http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization's (WHO) web site at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith/en.

Medical Insurance: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Sudan is provided for general reference only, and may not be accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Road conditions throughout Sudan are hazardous due to erratic driver behavior, pedestrians and animals in the roadways, and the lack of basic safety equipment on many vehicles. Only major highways and some streets in the cities are paved; many roads are narrow, rutted, and poorly maintained. Local drivers do not observe conventions for the right-of-way, stop in the road without warning, and frequently exceed safe speeds for road, traffic, and weather conditions. Driving at night is dangerous and should be avoided if possible; many vehicles operate without lights. In the north and west, dust storms and sand storms, known locally as haboobs, greatly reduce visibility when they occur. Roads in these areas can be quickly covered with shifting sand at any season of the year. Roads in southern Sudan often are impassable during the rainy season, from March to October.

U.S. citizens are subject to the laws of the country in which they are traveling, including traffic laws. In Sudan vehicles have the steering wheel on the left side and drivers use the right side of the road. Traffic from side streets on the right has the right-of-way when entering a cross street, including fast-moving main streets. Traffic on the right has the right-of-way at stops. Right turns on a red light are prohibited. Speed limits are not posted, but the legal speed limit for passenger cars on inter-city highways is 120 kph (about 70 mph), while in most urban areas the limit is 60 kph (about 35 mph.) The speed limit in congested areas and school zones is 40 kph (about 25 mph).

Many local drivers carry no insurance despite the legal requirement that all motor vehicle operators purchase third-party liability insurance from the government. Persons involved in an accident resulting in death or injury must report the incident to the nearest police station or police officer as soon as possible. Persons found at fault can expect fines, revocation of driving privileges, and jail sentences, depending on the nature and extent of the accident. Persons convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol face fines, jail sentences, and corporal punishment. Americans may use their U.S. driver's licenses for up to 90 days after arrival in Sudan, and then must carry either an International Driving Permit (IDP) or a Sudanese driver's license. There are no restrictions on vehicle types, including motorcycles and motorized tricycles.

Public transportation is limited to within and between major urban areas. Passenger facilities are basic and crowded, especially during rush hours and periods of seasonal travel. Schedules are unpublished and subject to change without notice. Vehicle maintenance does not meet U.S. standards. There is routine passenger train service on the route from Khartoum to Wadi Halfa (on the border with Egypt) and to Port Sudan (on the Red Sea.) Bus service between major cities is regular and inexpensive. Intra-city bus service in the major urban areas is regular, but most buses and bus stops are privately-operated and unmarked. Taxis are available in the major cities at hotels, tourist sites, and government offices. The motorized rickshaws in common use in Khartoum are unsafe. Travelers are encouraged to hire cars and drivers from reputable sources with qualified drivers and safe vehicles. Irregularly-scheduled minibuses provide some public transit to rural communities; many areas lack any public transportation.

Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service between the United States and Sudan, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Sudan's Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. For more information, travelers may visit the FAA's I nternet web site at http://www.faa.gov.

Two hijackings originated in Sudan in 2007; no passengers were harmed. Adverse seasonal weather conditions, such as dust or sand storms in the north between April and June and severe rain storms in the south between March and October, cause frequent flight cancellations.

Special Circumstances: In November 1997, the U.S. imposed comprehensive financial and commercial sanctions against Sudan, prohibiting U.S. transactions with Sudan. Travelers intending to visit Sudan despite the Travel Warning should contact the Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), Office of Compliance, telephone 1-800-540-6322 or 202-622-2490, regarding the effect of these sanctions. Travelers must be prepared to pay cash for all purchases, including hotel bills, airfares purchased locally, and all other travel expenses. Major credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, or American Express, cannot be used in Sudan due to U.S. sanctions. Sudan has no international ATMs. Local ATMs draw on local banks only. Travelers, including journalists, must obtain a photography permit before taking any photographs. Even with a photography permit, photographing military areas, bridges, drainage stations, broadcast stations, public utilities, slum areas, and beggars is prohibited. Sudan is a conservative society, particularly in the capital and other areas where the Muslim population is the majority. Alcohol is prohibited by law and modest dress is expected. Loose, long-sleeved shirts and full-length skirts or slacks are recommended attire for women visitors. Women who are not Muslim are not expected or required to cover their heads. Men may wear short-sleeved shirts but short pants are not acceptable in public.

Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Sudanese laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in alcohol or illegal drugs in Sudan are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States as well in Sudan.

Children's Issues: Sudan does not permit foreigners to adopt children who are Sudanese citizens. For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, see the Office of Children's Issues web page.

Registration and Embassy Locations: Americans living or traveling in Sudan are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's travel registration website so that they can obtain updated information on travel and security within Sudan. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency. The U.S. Embassy is located at Sharia Ali Abdel Latif, Khartoum, Sudan; tel: 249 1 83 774-701, http://khartoum.usembassy.gov.

International Adoption

June 2006

The Department of State has occasionally received inquiries from American citizens concerned about the plight of the children of Sudan and wondering about the possibility of adopting them. At this time, it is not generally possible to adopt Sudanese children, for several reasons. Intercountry adoptions are fundamentally private civil legal matters governed by the laws of the children's home country, which has the primary responsibility and jurisdiction for deciding what would be in the children's best interests.

The U.S. and international media have occasionally reported on the difficult situation faced by Sudanese children, and it is completely understandable that some American citizens want to respond to such stories by offering to open their homes and adopt these children in need. However, it is a generally agreed international principle that uprooting children during a war, natural disaster or other crisis may in fact exacerbate the children's situation. It can be extremely difficult in such circumstances to determine whether children who appear to be orphans truly are. It is also not uncommon in a hostile situation for parents to send their children out of the area, or for families to become separated during an evacuation. Even when it can be demonstrated that children are indeed orphaned or abandoned, they are often taken in by other relatives. Staying with relatives in extended family units is generally a better solution than uprooting a child completely.

There are still ways in which U.S. citizens can help the children of Sudan. Many American non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working in Sudan say that what is needed most at this time are financial contributions. Individuals who wish to assist can do the most good by making a financial contribution to an established NGO that will be well placed to respond to Sudan's most urgent needs, including those related to the children of Sudan.

views updated

SUDAN

Compiled from the March 2003 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.


Official Name:
Republic of the Sudan


PROFILE
PEOPLE
HISTORY
GOVERNMENT
ECONOMY
DEFENSE
FOREIGN RELATIONS
U.S.-SUDANESE RELATIONS
TRAVEL


PROFILE


Geography

Area: 2.5 million sq. km. (967,500 sq. mi.); almost the size of continental U.S.

Cities: Capital—Khartoum. Other cities—Port Sudan, Kassala, Kosti, Juba (capital of southern region). No current accurate population statistics available.

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.


People

Nationality: Noun and adjective (sing. and pl.)—Sudanese.

Population: (2000 est.) 30 million; 30%-33% urban.

Annual growth rate: (2000 est.) 2.8%.

Ethnic groups: Arab-African, black African.

Religions: Islam (official), indigenous beliefs (southern Sudan), Christianity.

Languages: Arabic (official), English, tribal languages.

Education: Years compulsory—8. Attendance—35%-40%. Literacy—30%.

Health: Infant mortality rate—99/1,000. Life expectancy—52 yrs.

Work force: Agriculture—86%; industry and commerce—9%; government—5%.


Government

Type: Military dictatorship with pro-government parliament.

Independence: January 1, 1956.

Constitution: 1998 (passed by presidential decree but suspended in December 1999 when National Security Emergency law was promulgated by presidential decree.)

Branches: Executive—Executive authority held by the president who also is the prime minister, head of state, head of government and commander in chief of the armed forces.Judicial—High court, Minister of Justice, Attorney General, civil and special tribunals (where Islamic principals inspire the constitution as well as civil and criminal law and jurisprudence), constitutional court, tribal courts and investigative commissions. Parliament: National Assembly. Elections in December 2000 were seriously flawed as the major parties boycotted the election; the majority of ruling party candidates ran unopposed; and most remaining MPs, especially from the south, were appointed by the President.

Administrative subdivisions: Twenty-six states, each with a governor appointed by the president, along with a local cabinet and regional ministers (so-called Federal Rule system).

Political parties: 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: (2001 est.) $2.9 billion. Defense (2000 est.) 35% of GNP.


Economy

GDP: (2000 est.) $11 billion.

GDP annual growth rate: (2001 est.) 6%.

Per capita income GDP: (2001 est.) $300.

Avg. annual inflation rate: (2001 est.) 13%.

Natural resources: modest reserves of oil, natural gas, gold, iron ore, copper, and other industrial metals.

Agriculture: (40% of GNP) Products—cotton, peanuts, sorghum, sesame seeds, gum arabic, sugarcane, livestock.

Industry: Types—motor vehicle assembly, cement, cotton, edible oils and sugar refining.

Trade: (2000 est.) Exports—$1.8 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—$1.5 billion: oil and petroleum products, oil pipeline, pumping and refining equipment, chemical products and equipment, wheat and wheat flour, transport equipment, food stuffs, tea, agricultural inputs and machinery, industrial inputs and manufactured goods. Major suppliers—European Union, China, Malaysia, Canada, England, Italy, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the Gulf states.

Fiscal year: July 1-June 30.



PEOPLE

In Sudan's 1981 census, the population was calculated at 21 million. No comprehensive census has been carried out since that time due to the resumption of the civil war in 1983. Current estimates range to 30 million.


The population of metropolitan Khartoum (including Khartoum, Omdurman, and Khartoum North) is growing rapidly and ranges from 6-7 million, including around 2 million displaced persons from the southern war zone as well as western and eastern drought-affected areas.


Sudan has two distinct major cultures—Arab and Black African—with hundreds of ethnic and tribal divisions and language groups, which makes effective collaboration among them a major problem.


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 use a traditional non-Arabic mother tongue (i.e., 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 seminomadic 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 Negroid 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. This region has been negatively affected by war for all but 10 years of the independence period (1956), resulting in serious neglect, lack of infrastructure development, and major destruction and displacement. More than 2 million people have died, and more than 4 million are internally displaced or become refugees as a result of the civil war and war-related impacts. Here the Sudanese practice mainly indigenous traditional beliefs, although Christian missionaries have converted some. The south also contains many tribal groups and uses many more languages than in the north. The Dinka (pop. est. more than 1 million) is the largest of the many Black African tribes of the Sudan. Along with the Shilluk and the Nuer, they 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.



HISTORY

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. Historically, the pestilential swamps of the Suud discouraged expansion into the deeper south of the country. Although Egypt claimed all of the present Sudan during most of the 19th century, it was unable to establish effective control over southern Sudan, which 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 the descendant of the Mahdi, Sadiq al Mahdi. Taking advantage of conditions 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 Ango-Egyptian force under Lord Kitchener in 1898. Sudan was proclaimed a condominium in 1899 under British-Egyptian administ ration. While maintaining the appearance of joint administration, the British Empire formulated policies, and supplied most of the top administrators.


Independence

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. The United States was among the first foreign powers to recognize the new state. 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 sparked 17 years of civil war (1955-72).


The National Unionist Party (NUP), under Prime Minister Ismail al-Azhari, dominated the first cabinet, which was soon replaced by a coalition of conservative political forces. In 1958, following a period of economic difficulties and political maneuvering that paralyzed public administration, Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Ibrahim
Abboud overthrew the parliamentary regime in a bloodless coup.


Gen. Abboud did not carry out his promises to return Sudan to civilian government, however, and popular resentment against army rule led to a wave of riots and strikes in late October 1964 that forced the military to relinquish power.


The Abboud regime was followed by a provisional government until parliament elections in April 1965 led to a coalition government of the Umma and National Unionist Parties under Prime Minister Muhammad Ahmad Mahjoub. Between 1966 and 1969, Sudan had a series of governments that proved unable either to agree on a permanent constitution or to cope with problems of factionalism, economic stagnation, and ethnic dissidence. The succession of early post-independence governments were dominated by Arab Muslims who viewed Sudan as a Muslim Arab state. Indeed, the Umma/NUP proposed 1968 constitution was arguable Sudan's first Islamic-oriented constitution.

Dissatisfaction culminated in a second military coup on May 25, 1969. The coup leader, Col. Gaafar Muhammad Nimeiri, became prime minister, and the new regime abolished parliament and outlawed all political parties.


Disputes between Marxist and non-Marxist elements within the ruling military coalition resulted in a briefly successful coup in July 1971, led by the Sudanese Communist Party. Several days later, anti-communist military elements restored Nimeiri to power.


In 1972, the Addis Ababa agreement led to a cessation of the north-south civil war and a period of cessation of the civil was and a degree of self-rule. This led to a period of ten years of hiatus in the civil war.


In 1976, the Ansars mounted a bloody but unsuccessful coup attempt. In July 1977, President Nimeiri met with Ansar leader Sadiq al-Mahdi, opening the way for reconciliation. Hundreds of political prisoners were released, and in August a general amnesty was announced for all opponents of Nimeiri's government.


In September 1983, as part of an Islamicization campaign, President Nimeiri announced his decision to incorporate traditional Islamic punishments drawn from Shari'a (Islamic Law) into the penal code. This was controversial even among Muslim groups. After questioning Nimeiri's credentials to Islamicize Sudan's society, Ansar leader Sadiq al-Mahdi was placed under house arrest. On April 26, 1983, President Nimeiri declared a state of emergency, in part to ensure that Shari'a was applied more broadly. Most constitutionally guaranteed rights were suspended. In the north, emergency courts, later known as "decisive justice courts," were established, with summary jurisdiction over criminal cases. Amputations for theft and public lashings for alcohol possession were common during the state of emergency. Southerners and other non-Muslims living in the north were also subjected to these punishments. These events, and other longstanding grievances, in part led to a resumption of the civil war that was held in abeyance since 1972, and the war continues until today.


In September 1984, President Nimeiri announced the end of the state of emergency and dismantled the emergency courts but soon promulgated a new judiciary act, which continued many of the practices of the emergency courts. Despite Nimeiri's public assurances that the rights of non-Muslims would be respected, southerners and other non-Muslims remained deeply suspicious.

Early 1985 saw serious shortages of fuel and bread in Khartoum, a growing insurgency in the south, drought and famine, and an increasingly difficult refugee burden. In early April, during Nimeiri's absence from the country, massive demonstrations, first triggered by price increases on bread and other staples, broke out in Khartoum.


On April 6, senior military officers led by Gen. Suwar al-Dahab mounted a coup. Among the first acts of the new government was to suspend the 1983 constitution and disband Nimeiri's Sudan Socialist Union. A 15-member transitional military council was named, chaired by Gen. Suwar al-Dahab. In consultation with an informal conference of political parties, unions, and professional organizations known as the "Gathering," the council appointed an interim civilian cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Dr. Al Gizouli Defalla.


Elections were held in April 1986, and a transitional military council turned over power to a civilian government as promised. The government, headed by Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi of the Umma Party, consisted of a coalition of the Umma, DUP (formerly NUP), the National Islamic Front (Hassan al-Turabi's NIF) and several southern parties. This coalition dissolved and reformed several times over the next few years, with Sadiq al-Mahdi and his Umma party always in a central role.


During this period, the civil war intensified in lethality and the economy continued to deteriorate. When prices of basic goods were increased in 1988, riots ensued, and the price increases were cancelled. The civil war was particularly divisive (see "Civil Strife" below). When Sadiq al-Mahdi refused to approve a peace plan reached by the DUP and the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) in November 1988, the DUP left the government. The new government consisted essentially of the Umma and the Islamic fundamentalist NIF.

In February 1989, the army presented Sadiq with an ultimatum: he could move to ward peace or be thrown out. He formed a new government with the DUP and approved the SPLA/DUP agreement. On June 30, 1989, however, military officers under then-Col. Omar Hassan al-Bashir, with NIF instigation and support, replaced the government with the Revolutionary Command Council for National Salvation (RCC), a junta comprised of 15 (reduced to 12 in 1991) military officers assisted by a civilian cabinet. General al-Bashir became president and chief of state, prime minister and chief of the armed forces. Twelve years later, he continues to hold executive authority over the Khartoum government.


In March 1991, a new penal code, the Criminal Act of 1991, instituted harsh punishments nationwide, including amputations and stoning. Although the southern states are "officially" exempt from these Islamic prohibitions and penalties, the 1991 act provides for a possible future application of Islamic Law (Shari'a) in the south. In 1993, the government transferred all non-Muslim judges from the south to the north, replacing them with Muslim Judges. The introduction of Public Order Police to enforce Shari'a law resulted in the arrest and treatment under Shari'a law of southerners and other non-Muslims living in the north.


Civil Strife

In 1955, southern resentment of northern Muslim Arab domination culminated in a mutiny among southern troops in Equatoria Province. For the next 17 years, the southern region experienced civil strife, and various southern leaders agitated for regional autonomy or outright secession.


This chronic state of insurgency against the central government was suspended in 1972 after the signing of the Addis Ababa Accords granting southern Sudan wide regional autonomy on internal matters. But a 1983 decree by President Nimeiri that declared his intention to transform Sudan into a Muslin Arab state, and divided the south into three regions and instituted Shari'a law, revived southern opposition and militant insurgency.


After the 1985 coup, the new government rescinded this decree and made other significant overtures aimed at reconciling north and south but did nor rescind the so-called September Laws of the Nimeiri regime instituting Shari'a Law. In May 1986, the Sadiq al-Mahdi government began peace negotiations with the SPLA, led by Col. John Garang de Mabior. In that year the SPLA and a number of Sudanese political parties met in Ethiopia and agreed to the "Koka Dam" declaration, which called for abolishing Islamic law and convening a constitutional conference. In 1988, the SPLA and the DUP agreed on a peace plan calling for the abolition of military pacts with Egypt and Libya, freezing of Islamic law, an end to the state of emergency, and a cease-fire. A constitutional conference would then be convened.


Following an ultimatum from the armed forces in February 1989, the Sadiq al-Mahdi government approved this peace plan and engaged in several rounds of talks with the SPLA. A constitutional conference was tentatively planned for September 1989. The military government, which took over on June 30, 1989, however, repudiated the DUP/SPLA agreement and state it wished to negotiate with the SPLA without preconditions. Negotiating sessions in August and December 1989 brought little progress.


The SPLA is in control of large areas of Equatoria, Bahral Ghazal, and Upper Nile provinces and also operates in the southern portions of Darfur, Kordo fan, and Blue Nile provinces. The government controls a number of the major southern towns and cities, including Juba, Wau, and Malakal. An informal cease-fire in May broke down in October 1989, and fighting has continued since then.

In August 1991, internal dissension among the rebels led opponents of Colonel Garang's leadership of the SPLA to form the so-called Nasir faction of the rebel army. In September 1992, William Nyuon Bany formed a second rebel faction, and in February 1993, Kerubino Kwanyin Bol formed a third rebel faction. On April 5, 1993, the three dissident rebel factions announced a coalition of their groups called SPLA United at a press conference in Nairobi, Kenya. After 1991, the factions clashed occasionally and thus, the rebels lost much of their credibility with the West.


Since 1993, the leaders of Eritrea, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Kenya have pursued a peace initiative for the Sudan under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD), but results have been 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, powersharing, wealthsharing, and the right of self-determination for the south. The Sudanese Government did not sign the DOP until 1997 after major battle field losses to the SPLA.


In 1995, a coalition of internal and exiled opposition parties in the north and the south created the National Democratic Alliance as an anti-government umbrella group. This development opened a northeastern front to the civil war, making it more than before a center-periphery rather than simply a north-south conflict. The SPLA, DUP, and Umma Parties were the key groups forming the NDA, along with several smaller parties and northern ethnic groups.


Also in 1997, the government signed a series of agreements with rebel factions, led by former Garang Lieutenant Riek Machar, 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.

In July 2000, the Libyan/Egyptian Joint Initiative on the Sudan was mooted, calling for the establishment of an interim government, powersharing, constitutional reform, and new elections. Southern critics objected to the joint initiative because it neglected to address issues of the relationship between religion and the state and failed to mention the right of self-determination. It is unclear to what extent this initiative will have a significant impact on the search for peace, as some critics view it as more aimed at a resolution among northern political parties and protecting the perceived security interests of Egypt in favor of the unity of the Sudan.


In September 2001, former Senator John Danforth was designated Presidential Envoy for Peace in the Sudan. His role is to explore the prospects that the U.S. could play a useful catalytic role in the search for a just end to the civil war, and enhance humanitarian services delivery that can help reduce the suffering of the Sudanese people stemming from warrelated effects.


The ongoing civil war has displaced more than 4 million southerners. Some fled into southern cities, such as Juba; others trekked as far north as Khartoum and even into Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Egypt, and other neighboring countries. These people were unable to grow food or earn money to feed themselves, and malnutrition and starvation became widespread. The lack of investment in the south resulted as well in what international humanitarian organizations call a "lost generation" who lack educational opportunities, access to basic health care services, and little prospects for productive employment in the small and weak economies of the south or the north.


Following an internal outcry, the Sadiq al-Mahdi government in March 1989 agreed with the UN and donor nations (including the U.S.) on a plan called Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS), under which some 100,000 tons of food was moved into both government and SPLA-held areas of the Sudan, and widespread starvation was averted. Phase II of OLS to cover 1990 was approved by both the government and the SPLA in March 1990. In 1991, Sudan faced a 2-year drought and food shortage across the entire country. The U.S., UN, and other donors attempted to mount a coordinated international relief effort in both north and south Sudan to prevent a catastrophe. However, due to Sudan's human rights abuses and its pro-Iraqi stance during the Gulf War, many donors cut much of their aid to the Sudan. In a similar drought in 2000-01, the U.S. and the international community again responded to avert mass starvation in the Sudan. The U.S. and other donors continue to provide large amounts of humanitarian aid to all parts of the Sudan.



GOVERNMENT

From 1983 to 1997, the Sudan was divided into five regions in the north and three in the south, each headed by a military governor. After the 1985 coup, regional assemblies were suspended. The RCC was abolished in 1996, and the ruling National Islamic Front changed its name to the National Congress Party. After 1997, the structure of regional administration was replaced by the creation of 26 states. The executives, cabinets, and senior-level state officials are appointed by the president and their limited budgets are determined by and dispensed from Khartoum. The states, as a result, remain economically dependent upon the central government. Khartoum state, comprising the capital and outlying districts, is administered by a governor.

In December 1999, a power struggle climaxed between president al-Bashir and NIF founder, Islamist ideologue, and then speaker of parliament Hassan al-Turabi. Al-Turabi was stripped of his posts in the ruling party and the government, parliament was disbanded, the constitution was suspended, and a state of national emergency was declared by presidential decree. Parliament resumed in February 2001 after the December 2000 presidential and parliamentary elections, but the national emergency laws remain in effect. Al-Turabi was arrested in February 2001, and charged with being a threat to national security and the constitutional order for signing a memorandum of understanding with the SPLA. He was placed in a maximum-security prison and remains in custody.


Principal Government Officials
Last Updated: 12/10/03


President: al-Bashir, Umar Hassan Ahmad, Lt. Gen.

First Vice President: Taha, Ali Osman Mohamed

Second Vice President: Machar, Moses Kacoul

Assistant to the President: al-Mahdi, Mubarak al-Fadil

Chmn., Bureau of Federal Rule: Muhammad, Ali al-Haj

Min. of Agriculture & Forests: al-Khalifa, Magzoub

Min. of Animal Resources: Gai, Riak

Min. of Cabinet Affairs: al-Nur, Tayyar Abdallah Ali Safi

Min. of Civil Aviation: Malwal, Joseph

Min. of Communications & Roads: Eila, Mohamed Tahir

Min. of Culture: Maged, Abdel Basset Abdel

Min. of Defense: Salih, Bakri Hassan, Maj.Gen.

Min. of Education: Nahar, Ahmed Babiker

Min. of Electricity: Fartak, Ali Tamim

Min. of Energy & Mining: al-Jaz, Awad

Min. of Environment & Urban Planning: Tahir, al-Tigani Adam, Maj. Gen.

Min. of External Relations: Ismail, Mustafa Osman

Min. of External Trade: Kasha, Abd al-Hameed Musa

Min. of Federal Relations: Suleiman, Ibrahim, Gen.

Min. of Federal Rule: Nafie, Nafie Ali

Min. of Finance and Planning: al-Zubeir, Ahmed Hassan

Min. of Foreign Affairs: Ismail, Mustafa Osman

Min. of Health: Ballal, Ahmed, Dr.

Min. of Higher Education: Magzoub, Mubarak

Min. of Humanitarian Affairs: Hamed, Ibrahim Mahmoud

Min. of Industry: al-Diqair, Jalal Yousouf, Dr.

Min. of Information & Communication: Malek, al-Zahawi Ibrahim

Min. of Interior: Hussein, Abdelrahim Mohamed, Brig.

Min. of International Cooperation: Takana, Yusuf Suleiman

Min. of Investments: Badr, al-Cherif Ahmad Omar

Min. of Irrigation: Mohamed, Kamal Ali

Min. of Justice & Prosecutor General: Yassin, Ali Mohamed Osman

Min. of Labor: Magaya, Alison Manani, Maj. Gen. (Ret.)

Min. of Manpower: Manani, Alison

Min. of Parliamentary Relations: Sabdarat, Abd al-Basit

Min. of Presidential Affairs: Salih, Salah Ahmed Mohamed, Maj. Gen.

Min. of Religious Endowment: al-Bashir, Isam Ahmed

Min. of Roads: Ailla, Mohamed Tahir

Min. of Science & Technology: Taha, al-Zubeir Bashir

Min. of Sports & Youth: Riziq, Hassan Osman

Min. of Tourism & National Heritage: al- Basha, Abdel Galil

Min. of Transportation: al-Waseilah, Sammani al-Cheikh

Min. of Welfare & Social Planning: Mohamed, Samia Ahmed

Presidential Adviser for African Affairs: Eddin, Ali Hassan Taj

Presidential Adviser for Peace Affairs: al- Addin, Ghazi Salah

Presidential Adviser for Political Affairs: al-Mahdi, Qutbi

Presidential Adviser for Religious Affairs: Alimam, Ahmed Ali

Sec. of the Higher Council for Peace: Khalifa, Mohamed al-Amin

Attorney General: Yassin, Ali Mohamed Osman

Governor, Central Bank of Sudan: Sabir, Muhammad al-Hasan Charged'Affaires, Washington, DC: Haroun, Khidir

Permanent Representative to the UN, New York: Erwa, El Fatih Mohammed Ahmed



ECONOMY

Sudan's primary resources are agricultural, but oil production and export are taking 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 wheat is 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 one 4,800-kilometer (2, 748-mi.), single-track railroad with a feeder line, supplemented by limited river steamers, Sudan airways, and about 1,900 km. (1,200 mi.) 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 km. (840 mi.) 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 Khartoum North. 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 produce all of Sudan's 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.


Sudan is seeking to expand its installed capacity of electrical generation of around 300 megawatts—of which 180 MW is hydroelectric and the rest, thermal. European investors, considering the continuing U.S. economic, trade, and financial sanctions regime, are the most likely providers of technology for this purpose. More than 70% of Sudan's hydropower comes from the Roseires Dam on the Blue Nile grid. Various projects are proposed to expand hydropower, thermal generation, and other sources of energy, but so far the government has had difficulty arranging sufficient financing.


Historically, the U.S., the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and other Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) national traditionally 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 $13 billion, more than the country's entire annual GDP. During the late 1970s and 1980s, the 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 International Monetary Fund 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 began implementing 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 EU agricultural credits, totaling more than one billion Euros, also were suspended.


As a result of oil export earnings around $500 million in 2000-01, 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. However, the small industrial sector remains in the doldrums, spending for the war continues to preempt other social investments, and Sudan's inadequate and declining infrastructure inhibits economic growth.



DEFENSE

The Sudan People's Armed Forces is a 60,000-member army supported by a small air force and navy. Irregular tribal and former rebel militias and Popular Democratic Forces supplement the army's strength in the field. This is mixed force, having the additional duty of maintaining internal security. Some rebels currently fighting in the south are former army members. Sudan's military forces have historically 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.


During the 1990s, periodic purges of the professional officer corps by the ruling Islamist regime has eroded command authority as well as war-fighting capabilities. Indeed, the Sudanese Government admits it is now incapable of carrying out its war aims against the SPLA and NDA without employing former rebel and Arab militias to fight in support of regular troops. Oil revenues have allowed the government to purchase modern weapons systems, including Hind helicopter gun ships, Anatov medium bombers, MiG 23 fighter aircraft, mobile artillery pieces, and light assault weapons. Sudan now receives most of its military equipment from Iraq, China, Russia, and Libya.



FOREIGN RELATIONS

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 crossborder raids into western Sudan. After the 1985 coup, 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." This unity was never implemented.


During the 1990s, Sudan sought to steer a nonaligned course, courting Western aid and seeking rapprochement with Arab states, while maintaining cooperative ties with Libya, Syria, North Korea, Iran, and Iraq. Sudan's support for regional insurgencies such as Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Eritrian Islamic Jihad, Ethiopian Islamic Jihad, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Hizbullah, and the Lord's Resistance Army generated great concern about their contribution to regional instability. Allegations of the government's complicity in the assassination attempt against the Egyptian president in Ethiopia in 1995 led to UN Security Council 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 regional 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 in 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 impetus to the improvement of 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. 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 American 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. A U.S. embassy employee was shot on April 16, 1986. Immediately following this incident, all nonessential personnel and all dependents left for 6 months. Sudan in this period was the single largest recipient of U.S. development and military assistance in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, official U.S. assistance was suspended in 1989 in the wake of the military coup against the elected government.


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 a number of 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 its designation as a state sponsor of terrorism in 1993 and suspension of U.S. embassy operations in Khartoum in 1996 and a radical reduction in American embassy and USAID staff. 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 retaliatory cruise missile strikes against Khart oum. 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 Charged'affaires.


U.S. interests in Sudan are counterterrorism, regional stability, internal peace, protection of human rights, and humanitarian relief. The U.S. worked closely with Sudanese governments since 1986 to see that emergency relief assistance is provided to those displaced by the civil war. Sudan's position during the Iraq/Kuwait crisis strained relations with the U.S. Sudan stated that Iraq should not have invaded Kuwait, but it was equally critical of the presence of Western forces on Islamic holy lands. Because Sudan was a safe haven for Islamic terrorist groups and because Sudan supported insurrections and/or radicals in Algeria, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Tunisia, and Uganda, the U.S. added Sudan to its terrorism list. After that, relations plummeted and have only made modest recovery to date.


The U.S. and Sudan entered into a bilateral dialogue on counter-terrorism in May 2000, and Sudan has provided concrete cooperation against international terrorism since the September 11, 2001 terrorism strikes on New York and Washington. However, though Sudan publicly supported the international coalition actions against the al Qa'ida 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. At the time of this writing, Sudan remains on the state-sponsors of terrorism list.

In July 2002, the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army reached a 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 Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). The effort was mediated by Kenyan General Lazaro Sumbeiywo. In August and November, both sides entered negotiations on other issues, including power and wealth sharing, but to date have not yet signed a formal protocol agreement. In October 2002, both sides signed a Memorandum of Understanding agreeing to cease hostilities and allow unimpeded humanitarian access to all areas of Sudan. This memorandum helped foster an environment conducive to constructive peace negotiations. As of the time of this writing, peace talks are still underway.


Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

Khartoum (E), Ali Abdel Latif • P.O. Box 699, Khartoum, Sudan Unit 64105, APO AE 09831, Tel [249] (11) 774700 or 774611, Fax 774137.

CHG: Gerard M. Gallucci
EXE OMS: Pamela Taylor (res. Nairobi>
DCM: D. Purnell Delly
CON: Fred Stern (res. Cairo)
POL: [Vacant]
MGT: Ronald R. Hartley
RSO: John Krajicek
IPO: [Vacant]
IMO: [Vacant]
PDO: [Vacant]



Last Modified: Monday, December 15, 2003


TRAVEL


Consular Information Sheet
January 30, 2004


Country Description: Sudan is a large, developing country in northeastern Africa. The capital is Khartoum. Most of southern Sudan and parts of the Nuba Mountains, southern Blue Nile, and the Eritrean border area are held by armed opposition groups and are outside government control. The information in this document applies to government-held areas of Sudan, unless otherwise stated.


Entry Requirements/Registration with Local Police: A passport and visa are required. Visas may be obtained from the Sudanese Embassy in Washington, D.C. for $50. The government of Sudan does not allow persons with passports bearing an Israeli visa or entry/exit stamps to enter the country. American citizens who were born in Sudan and have Sudanese identification (in addition to a U.S. passport) may apply for a visa at Khartoum International Airport. Visas are not available at other airports or at the border. Travelers must pay an airport departure tax of U.S. $20.


The Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) requires travelers to areas under its control to obtain travel permits from the Nairobi office of the Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Association (SRRA). At times, the SRRA will not issue travel permits to persons holding Sudanese government visas. Other opposition groups issue their own travel permits.


Travelers to Sudan are required to register with police headquarters within three days of arrival. Travelers must obtain police permission before moving to another location in Sudan and must register with police within 24 hours of arrival at the new location. These regulations are strictly enforced. Even with proper documentation, travelers in Sudan have been subjected to delays and detention by Sudan's security forces, especially when traveling outside Khartoum. Authorities expect roadblocks to be respected.


For further information on entry requirements and registration with local police, contact the Embassy of the Republic of Sudan, 2210 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20008; telephone (202) 338-8565 to 8570; website http://www.sudanembassy.org. Overseas, inquiries may be made at the nearest Sudanese embassy or consulate or directly to the Ministry of External Relations in Khartoum by email: [email protected]


Trade Restrictions: On November 4, 1997, President Clinton signed an Executive Order imposing comprehensive financial and commercial sanctions against Sudan, prohibiting U.S. transactions with Sudan. Travelers intending to visit Sudan despite the Travel Warning should contact the Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), Office of Compliance, regarding the effect of these sanctions; telephone 1-800-540-6322 or 202-622-2490; website http://www.treas.gov/ofac.


Safety and Security: Travel in all parts of Sudan, particularly outside the capital city of Khartoum, is potentially hazardous. Civil war persists in the southern Sudanese provinces of Upper Nile and Bahr El Ghazal. Fighting has spread to Blue Nile, Red Sea and Kassala provinces, to Darfur, and along the Ethiopian and Eritrean borders. Banditry is common in western Sudan, particularly in Darfur province along the Chadian and Libyan borders, where a state of emergency exists. The land border with Egypt is open. Land transportation between Eritrea and Sudan is not dependable. The Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) controls all border crossings from Kenya and Uganda.


Curfew: There is currently no curfew in Khartoum. However, persons who are outside between midnight and 5:00 a.m. are subject to document searches at police checkpoints. Hotel officials and local police can inform visitors whether a curfew is in effect in other localities.

Crime: Petty crime and thi every occur. Travelers should exercise caution at the airport, in markets, and at public gatherings.


If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.


The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to local police and to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. The pamphlets A Safe Trip Abroad and Tips for Travelers to Sub-Saharan Africa provide useful information on personal security while traveling abroad and on travel in the region in general. Both are available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.gpoaccess.gov or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.


Medical Facilities: Medical facilities in Sudan are limited. The U.S. Embassy in Khartoum maintains a list of local doctors and clinics for reference.


Medical Insurance: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and if it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. U.S. medical insurance plans seldom cover health costs incurred outside the United States unless supplemental coverage is purchased. Further, U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States. However, many travel agents and private companies offer insurance plans that will cover health care expenses incurred overseas, including emergency services such as medical evacuations.

When making a decision regarding health insurance, Americans should consider that many foreign doctors and hospitals require payment in cash prior to providing service and that a medical evacuation to the United States may cost well in excess of 50,000 dollars (US). Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas often face extreme difficulties. When consulting with your insurer prior to your trip, please ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas healthcare provider or if you will be reimbursed later for expenses that you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.


Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs brochure Medical Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page.


Other Health Information: Malaria is prevalent in all areas of Sudan. Travelers should take malaria prophylaxis. P. falciparum malaria, the serious and sometimes fatal strain in Sudan, is resistant to the anti-malarial drug chloroquine. Because travelers to Sudan are at high risk for contracting malaria, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that travelers should take one of the following antimalarial drugs: mefloquine (Lariam™), doxycycline, or atovaquone/proguanil (Malarone™). The CDC has determined that a traveler who is on an appropriate antimalarial drug has a greatly reduced chance of contracting the disease. In addition, other personal protective measures, such as the use of insect repellents, protective clothing and mosquito nets also help to reduce malaria risk. Travelers who become ill with a fever or flu-like illness while traveling in a malaria-risk area and up to one year after returning home should seek prompt medical attention and tell the physician their travel history and what antimalarials they have been taking. For additional information on malaria, protection from insect bites, and antimalarial drugs, please visit the CDC Travelers' Health website at http://www.cdc.gov/travel/malinfo.htm.


Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299), or via the CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization's website at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith.


Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Sudan is provided for general reference only and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.


Safety of Public Transportation: Poor
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Poor


As part of local culture, strangers may stop to help lone women drivers stranded at the side of the road. However, individual drivers should accept such help at their own risk.


Road conditions are hazardous due to unpredictable local driving habits, pedestrians and animals in the roadway, and the lack of basic safety equipment on many vehicles. Roads are narrow and poorly maintained. Only some major highways are paved. Roads in southern Sudan may be impassable during the rainy season, while roads in the north can be quickly covered with shifting sand at anytime during the year. Nighttime driving throughout the country is dangerous and should be avoided if at all possible, as vehicles often operate without lights or park in the road without warning. Ambulance and road emergency services are available in major urban areas but are extremely limited or unavailable elsewhere in the country.

Public transit is limited except in and between major urban areas. Passenger facilities are basic and crowded, especially during rush hours or seasonal travel. Schedules are unpublished and subject to change without notice. Vehicle maintenance does not meet the same standards as those in the United States or other western countries. There is regular passenger train service from Khartoum to Wade Halfa (on the border with Egypt) and Port Sudan (on the Red Sea). Inter-city bus service between major cities is regular and inexpensive. Intra-city bus service in the major urban areas is generally regular, but most buses and bus stops are unmarked. Taxis are available in the major cities at hotels, tourist sites, and government offices. Public transit service to communities in the interior is usually limited to irregularly scheduled minibuses. Most rural communities in the interior have no public transit whatsoever.


U.S. citizens are subject to the laws of the country in which they are traveling. Traffic entering from side streets has the right of way when entering a fast-moving main street. Cars have the steering wheel on the left side and drivers use the right side of the road. Traffic on the right has the right of way at stops. Right turns on a red light are prohibited. Speed limits are not posted. The legal speed limit for passenger cars on inter-city highways is 120 kph (about 70 mph), while in most urban areas it is 60 kph (about 35 mph). The speed limit in congested areas and school zones is 40 kph (about 25 mph).

All mot or vehicle operators are required to purchase third-party liability insurance from the government. Nonetheless, many local drivers carry no insurance. Persons involved in an accident resulting in death or injury are required to report the incident to the nearest police station or official as soon as possible. Persons found at fault can expect fines, revocation of driving privileges, and jail sentences, depending on the nature and extent of the accident. Penalties for persons convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol are strict, and convicted offenders may expect fines, jail sentences, and corporal punishment.


U.S. citizens may use their U.S.-issued driver's licenses up to 90 days after arrival. Thereafter, they must carry either an International Driving Permit (IDP) or a Sudanese driver's license. There are no restrictions on vehicle types, including motorcycles and motorized tricycles. Motorcycles, however, are not common.


For additional general information about road safety, including links to foreign government sites, see the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov/road_safety.html. For specific information concerning Sudanese driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax, and mandatory insurance, contact the Sudanese Embassy in Washington, D.C.


Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service by local carriers at present, or economic authority to operate such service between the U.S. and Sudan, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Sudan's civil aviation authority for compliance with international aviation safety standards for oversight of Sudan's air carrier operations. For further information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation within the U.S. at 1-800-322-7873, or visit the FAA Internet home page at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/index.cfm.


The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign air carriers for suitability as official providers of air services. For information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers, travelers may contact the DOD at (618)229-4801.


Air Travel: Unforeseen circumstances such as sandstorms and electrical outages may cause flight delays. Khartoum International Airport's arrival and departure procedures are lengthy. Passengers on international flights should allow three hours for pre-departure security and other processing at the airport. Passengers for domestic flights should be at the airport at least two hours before flights. Domestic flights, including those to and from Port Sudan, Dongola, and Juba are subject to change or cancellation without notice. There are no scheduled commercial flights to or from opposition-held areas.


In late 2002, there was an attempted hijacking of a Saudi Arabian airliner by a Sudanese passenger. In the spring of 2003, a Sudanair Boeing 737 crashed shortly after takeoff, killing all aboard.


Currency Regulations: The basic unit of currency is the dinar. The dinar was introduced in the early 1990s. Prior to that, the currency unit was the Sudanese pound, which is currently worth one-tenth of the value of the dinar. Many merchants still quote prices in pounds.


A currency declaration statement is required upon arrival and departure from Sudan. Visitors who attempt to exchange money at unauthorized banking institutions or on the black market risk arrest and/or loss of funds. Please note restrictions on transactions with Sudan contained in the section on Trade Restrictions. Some visitors to Sudan have experienced difficulty using U.S. dollar denomination instruments, such as travelers checks or credit cards, due to U.S. economic sanctions.

Photography Restrictions: A permit is required before taking photographs anywhere in Khartoum, as well as in the interior of the country. Photographing military areas, bridges, drainage stations, broadcast stations, public utilities, slum areas, or beggars is prohibited.


Infrastructure: Cellular telephone service is more reliable than landline telephone service. There is no telecommunications infrastructure in opposition-held Sudanese territory outside of relief agencies and opposition radio networks. E-mail is available in Sudan, and there are Internet cafes in Khartoum, but service can be erratic. Disruptions of water and electricity are frequent.


General Standards of Conduct: Sudan has a majority Muslim population and is very conservative. Alcohol is prohibited and conservative dress is expected. Although western women are not required to cover their heads, long sleeve shirts and full-length skirts or slacks should be worn. Men can wear short sleeve shirts but should not wear short pants in public.


Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available under U.S law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Sudanese laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Sudan are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and fines.


Children's Issues: For information on international adoption of children, international parental child abduction, and international child support enforcement issues, please refer to our Internet site at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html or telephone (202) 736-7000.


U.S. Embassy Staffing: The United States Embassy operated with no full-time American staff in Khartoum from 1996 through 2002 due to concerns about the ability to protect American government employees. The U.S. Embassy is currently open and has some full-time staff based in Khartoum. Although a U.S. consular officer makes periodic visits to Sudan, the officer's ability to provide consular services, including emergency assistance, is severely limited. Information describing when the consular officer will be in Sudan, as well as the services available for Americans, can be found on the website of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo: http://www.usembassy.egnet.net/sudan.htm.

Registration/Embassy Location: U.S. citizens traveling to Sudan are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum and to obtain updated information on travel and security in Sudan. The Embassy is located at Sharia Ali Abdul Latif, Khartoum. The mailing address is P.O. Box 699, Khartoum. The telephone number is (249)11-774-701 (011-774-701 inside Sudan); fax (249)11-774-137 (011-774-137 inside Sudan). The U.S. consular officer can also be contacted by email at: [email protected] and [email protected] When not in Sudan, the U.S. consular officer can be reached at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, telephone number (20)2-797-2098. The workweek in Khartoum and Cairo is Sunday through Thursday.


Travel Warning
November 14, 2003


This Travel Warning is being issued to alert Americans to terrorist threats aimed at Western, including U.S., interests and remind them of continued concerns regarding the security situation in Sudan. This supersedes the Travel Warning of March 26, 2003.


The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all travel to Sudan. Although the fighting resulting from the 20-year civil war has diminished greatly, the two parties have not signed a peace accord ending the war.

The fighting affects southern, western and eastern Sudan.


The U.S. Government has received indications of terrorist threats aimed at American and Western interests in Sudan. Terrorist actions may include suicide operations, bombings, or kidnappings. U.S. citizens should be aware of the risk of indiscriminate attacks on civilian targets in public places, which include tourist sites and locations where westerners are known to congregate, and commercial operations associated with U.S. or western interests. As physical security remains high at official facilities, terrorists may turn towards softer targets, such as residential compounds.


Sporadic fighting has continued between Sudanese government forces, the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Army (SPLA), and various militias in the southern part of the country. There is also reported violence in the Darfur and eastern areas. Threats have been made against foreigners working in the oil industry in Upper Nile province. The areas around Kassala and southern Blue Nile province remain affected by the civil war. The cease fire in the Nuba Mountains has generally been respected. At least one American relief worker has been beaten and falsely accused of espionage. Other Americans have been held hostage. Travel into opposition-held areas of Sudan requires a specific travel permit from the SPLA or other rebel movements controlling the territory.

There have been demonstrations in Khartoum against United States foreign policy. In some instances, demonstrators have thrown rocks at the U.S. Embassy and Westerners. Americans should avoid large crowds and demonstrations.


There are no consular officers resident in Sudan. Although a U.S. consular officer makes periodic visits to Sudan, the officer's ability to provide consular services, including emergency assistance, is severely limited. Information describing when the consular officer will be in Sudan, as well as the services available for American citizens, can be found on the website of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo: http://www.usembassy.egnet.net/sudan.htm.

U.S. citizens who remain in or travel to Sudan despite this warning are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum and to obtain updated information on travel and security in Sudan. The Embassy is located at Sharia Ali Abdul Latif, Khartoum. The mailing address is P.O. Box 699, Khartoum. The telephone number is (249) 11-774-701 (011-774-701 inside Sudan); Fax (249) 11-774-137 (011-774-137 inside Sudan). The U.S. consular officer can also be contacted by email at: [email protected] and [email protected] When not in Sudan, the U.S. consular officer can be reached at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, telephone number (20) 2-797-2098. The workweek in Khartoum and Cairo is Sunday through Thursday.


Further information on Sudan may be found in the Department of State's Consular Information Sheet for Sudan, and the East Africa Public Announcement, on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov. Updates to security conditions may be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States, or 317-472-2328 from overseas.

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SUDAN

Republic of the Sudan

Jumhuriyat as-Sudan

COUNTRY OVERVIEW

LOCATION AND SIZE.

Sudan is located in North Africa. Sudan borders the following countries: Central African Republic (1,165 kilometers, 724 miles), Chad (1,360 kilometers, 845 miles), Democratic Republic of the Congo (628 kilometers, 390 miles), Egypt (1,273 kilometers, 791 miles), Eritrea (650 kilometers, 404 miles), Ethiopia (1,606 kilometers, 998 miles), Kenya (232 kilometers, 144 miles), Libya (383 kilometers, 238 miles), and Uganda (435 kilometers, 270 miles). Sudan is the largest country on the African continent; its total area is 2,505,810 square kilometers (966,710 square miles), making the country slightly larger than one-quarter the size of the United States. The 853-kilometer (530-mile) long coastline borders the Red Sea and lies between Egypt and Eritrea. The Sudan's capital, Khartoum, is located in the central part of the country, on the Nile river.

POPULATION.

The population of Sudan was estimated at 35,079,814 in July 2000 and represents a net growth of 2.84 percent in comparison with 1999. Estimates increased to 36,080,373 by July 2001. The birth rate stood at 37.89 per 1,000 and the death rate at 10.04 death per 1,000 in 2001. In 1975, the total population was estimated at 16 million, in 1998 at 28.3 million, in 2001 at 36.1 million, and in 2015 it should reach 39.8 million.

The Sudanese population is highly diverse, consisting of about 19 different ethnic groups and almost 600 subgroups. Most of the inhabitants are of black African origin (52 percent), 39 percent are Arabs, 6 percent Beja, and 3 percent foreigners and other small national groups. Cultural conflicts between the black Africans, who live mostly in the south, and the Arabics, who live mainly in the north, have been the source of many internal struggles within the country. The official language is Arabic, which is spoken by about 60 percent of the population. An estimated 115 tribal languages are spoken as well, including Nubian, Ta Beawie, Nilotic, and Nilo-Hamitic. English and several Sudanic languages are also spoken.

The population is relatively young: while 45 percent are younger than 14 years old, only about 2 percent are older than 65. A majority of the population (69 percent) lives in the rural regions, while 31 percent live in the urban areas. The average population density is 9.8 per square kilometer (25.4 per square mile). The highest density is in the western and some southern provinces of the country, while the northern part of the country is rarely inhabited.

Population development and assessment is complicated by a continuing civil war and famine. Many people fall victim to the conflict or die as a result of the famine or diseases, and some of them escape to find asylum in Chad or Uganda. The average life expectancy is estimated at 55.85 years for men and 58.08 years for women. The literacy rate is 58 percent for men and 35 percent for women.

OVERVIEW OF ECONOMY

For the past 2 decades, Sudan has suffered from a violent civil war, chronic political instability, devastating drought, weak world commodity prices, decreases in remittances from abroad, and counterproductive economic policies. Agriculture is the largest portion of the economy, accounting for 39 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) and employing nearly 80 percent of the workforce. Other important areas of the private sector include trading and the processing of agricultural products. Sluggish economic performance over the past decade, attributable to declining annual rainfall, has kept per capita income at low levels. A large foreign debt and huge arrears continue to cause economic difficulties.

In 1990, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) took the unusual step of declaring Sudan non-cooperative because of its nonpayment of arrears to the Fund. After Sudan backtracked on promised reforms in 1992-93, the IMF threatened to expel Sudan from the Fund. To avoid expulsion, the Sudanese government agreed to make token payments on its arrears, to liberalize exchange rates , and to reduce subsidies . By 2000, the government had partially implemented these measures. The government has also tried to develop the oil sector, and, working with foreign partners, the country is now producing approximately 150,000 barrels per day. But the continuing civil war and the country's growing international isolation has inhibited growth in the nonagricultural sectors of the economy.

In addition to civil strife, Sudan has an economy which suffers from the country's geographic location. Sudan belongs to the Sahel belt of Africa along the Sahara Desert, which comprises some of the poorest countries in the world. The dry climate in the central parts of the country makes economic and agricultural performance difficult. The main agricultural activities concentrate, therefore, in Khartoum, Port Sudan, or around the Nile River.

In 1999, the government changed its economic behavior and started implementation of IMF programs, including privatization and economic liberalization. It decreased subsidies on some products, which consequently led to a 30 percent increase in the price of chicken and beef and a 20 percent increase in the price of oil and petrol. Foreign direct investments , mainly from rich Arab countries, have enabled oil pipelines and extraction accessories construction, producing an estimated oil income for 2000 of US$300 million. The reforms have sparked the economy. The GDP growth was predicted to be 7 percent in 2000.

The privatization program was expected to include some of the largest state-controlled companies, including the state airlines Sudan Air, the state energy giant NEC, the irrigation system Al-Gezira, the sugar factories, and the maritime transport providers. French energy company, Electricité de France, has already expressed its interest in NEC, and 1 consortium (group) from South Korea was pursuing the purchase of the irrigation system. The future regulation of the private sector remains unclear. The legislature has not laid firm regulations for the private sector and some financial experts fear that that may limit the activities of private companies and allow monopolies in some sectors. The uncertainty surrounding the legislation for the private sector has stalled foreign investment in the country.

POLITICS, GOVERNMENT, AND TAXATION

Before independence in 1956, Sudan had been a British-Egyptian condominium (under the common governance of both countries). Since independence, Sudan's political situation has been very unstable. Sudan experienced several coups d'etat and conflicts. There is a clear difference between the predominantly Arab and Muslim north side and the predominantly African south, which has a population of mainly Christians and followers of indigenous religions. The cultural differences between the groups has led to an ongoing conflict within the country.

Since independence, the northern population has dominated politics, filling more governmental posts and gaining official authority. Shortly after independence, southerners, upset by the strict Islamic penal code (which included amputations for stealing and public beatings for alcohol possession) that had been added to the country's laws and the deterioration of the economy, began a civil war to gain independence for the south.

The country experienced its first coup d'etat in 1958, another in 1964, and yet another in 1969. The coup of 1969 brought Jaafar al-Nimairi to power and started Sudan's cooperation with the countries of the Communist block. Nimairi shaped Sudan's government around the idea of National Socialism and patterned his administration after his idol Abd al-Nasser in Egypt. Nimairi established the Arab Socialist Union and included the Communist Party in a government coalition. He also gave a great deal of autonomy to the south. In 1971, Communists tried to overtake the government, but Nimairi remained in power with help of the army.

Until this conflict, all the revolutions and coups d'etat in Sudan were bloodless. This one changed the course. Nimairi had the Communist leaders executed. He also turned away from the Communist block and sought better cooperation with the rich oil-producing countries of the Persian Gulf, mainly Saudi Arabia. Under Nimairi, Sudan actively tried to attract more foreign direct investment (FDI) and studied which areas of the economy should be targeted. Agricultural production, especially grains, topped the list for FDI; some even expected that Sudan could become the main grain supplier for all Arab countries. Sudan's first oil deposits were also found, which led to conflicts with the south over the proposed oil revenues distribution.

But economic growth did not come to Sudan; by the 1980s, the economy had deteriorated and the living standards of the vast majority of the population plunged to very low levels. In addition, in 1983 Nimairi again changed his ruling policy, this time to a radical Islamism and Islamic fundamentalism. He tried to implement the Islamic legislative system "Sharia in praxis," which included such extreme punishments as cutting off a hand for theft or stoning to death for fornication. He also canceled autonomy for the south.

Civil war erupted, displacing nearly 2 million people. The war practically split the country in 2. The larger northern part of Sudan remained under the official control of the Muslim pro-governmental army. The south was controlled by the Sudan People's Liberation Army led by John Garang. But the division was unstable, and by 1985, another coup removed Nimairi's regime from power. The new government was led by Sadiq al-Mahdi, an Oxford University graduate and an intellectual. Al-Mahdi sought normalization of the political situation and revitalization of the economy. However, he did not succeed in finding compromise with the rebelling south, and another coup overthrew his administration in 1989.

The 1989 coup installed a one-party system led by the National Islamic Front (NIF). Umar al-Bashir became the official head of the state and prime minister. Hasan al-Turabi became the second most important political figure since 1989 as the leader of the NIF and the spiritual Islamic leader of the country. The new regime was marked by a hard dictatorship, prohibition of any political activities that would not be in accordance with official propaganda, suppression of any opposition, and support for international terrorism.

The only country that continues to have good relations with Sudan is Iran, its main financial supporter. Sudan has served as a vanguard and loyal agent of Iranian interests in the region. Through Sudan, many extremist Islamic and fundamentalist movements were supported in neighboring Egypt, Ethiopia, Uganda, and other countries. Therefore, the relations with those countries deteriorated, and Sudan remained totally isolated. The country once granted asylum to the international terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. The extremist Islamic and fundamentalist leadership of the country forced the population to follow its religious instructions and introduced hard Islamic laws which led to uprisings among other religious groups and sharpened the fights for independence in the south. Sudanese leaders introduced more violence to the country when they blamed neighboring countries (Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Uganda) for giving support to the Sudan People's Liberation Army, which led to border conflicts with those countries.

By the 1990s, Sudan was so isolated that its economic situation became unsustainable. In addition, some changes in the Iranian political scene occurred that led to policy changes towards Sudan. The new Iranian government did not want to be connected with Sudan's support for international terrorism and pressed the Sudanese government to change its political course. In 1996, the terrorist Osama bin Laden was expelled from Sudan. Negotiations with the opposition leaders, including former country leaders Sadiq al-Mahdi and Jaafar al-Nimairi, started. However, the political change was not sufficient. In 1997, the United States imposed economic sanctions that forbid U.S. companies from investing in Sudan.

In 1998, the NIF was reorganized as the National Congress (NC) and the country adopted a new constitution and legislature allowing political activities and official registration of other parties. This new legislature came into force in 1999 and other political parties were formed at that time, including the National Democratic Alliance (NDA; the Alliance consists of the Umma Party and Democratic Unionist Party), Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), Muslim Brothers, People's Social Party, and the Liberation Party.

This change in the policy brought about conflict between the president Umar al-Bashir and the religious leader and chairman of the parliament, Hasan al-Turabi.In December 1999, Umar al-Bashir dismissed the parliament and declared a state of emergency. Al-Turabi summoned protest demonstrations, but with little success. Al-Turabi was excluded from the official policy and formed his own opposition group called the Popular National Congress.

In December 2000, there were presidential and parliamentary elections. Umar al-Bashir gained 86 percent of the votes and the ruling National Congress of President Umar al-Bashir won 97 percent of the seats. Nevertheless, most of the opposition representatives, including al-Turabi, boycotted the elections, saying the elections were manipulated and rigged. The political situation is, in spite of Bashir's victory, still not clear or stable. Negotiations with the south, for example, have not been fruitful.

Until the recent time, the government had a dominant role in the country's economy. All key sectors were totally controlled by the state authorities, with the exception of some small activities and agriculture. The taxation policy of the government was always very unstable and obscure. The state budget has been in permanent deficit. Financial experts, however, expect this to change now that the government has started a privatization and liberalization process.

INFRASTRUCTURE, POWER, AND COMMUNICATIONS

The infrastructure is at a relatively low level because of the bad economic situation and internal conflicts. Some parts of the country (mainly in the south) are cut off from the modern world, leaving some villages totally isolated. The total railways length is 5,500 kilometers (3,418 miles). However, because of the conflict in the south and long time neglect, the quality of the rail tracks is very poor. Therefore, only about one-fifth of its length could be used. Narrow single track railways from the beginning of this century are prevailing. The main railway leads from Wadi Halfa through Khartoum to El Obeid, from Khartoum to Port Sudan and from El Obeid to Nyala in the southern part of the country. In 1997, new railways were finished connecting Muglad and Abu Jabra. All railways are managed by the state-run Sudan Railways Corporation.

There are 50,000 kilometers (31,070 miles) of roads in Sudan, but the quality is commonly very poor. Many of the roads are located in the desert and are not passable during the rainy seasons. Only the road connecting Khartoum and Port Sudan is covered by asphalt. Bus connections are between these 2 cities and Kassala. Gravel roads connect Khartoum with Port Sudan, Atbara, Dongola, and Gedarif. The connections are commonly very bad and transport facilities very old. The Iranian government

Communications
Country Newspapers Radios TV Sets a Cable subscribers a Mobile Phones a Fax Machines a Personal Computers a Internet Hosts b Internet Users b
1996 1997 1998 1998 1998 1998 1998 1999 1999
Sudan 27 271 87 0.0 0 0.6 1.9 0.00 5
United States 215 2,146 847 244.3 256 78.4 458.6 1,508.77 74,100
Egypt 40 324 122 N/A 1 0.5 9.1 0.28 200
Dem. Rep. of Congo 3 375 135 N/A 0 N/A N/A 0.00 1
aData are from International Telecommunication Union, World Telecommunication Development Report 1999 and are per 1,000 people.
bData are from the Internet Software Consortium (http://www.isc.org) and are per 10,000 people.
SOURCE: World Bank. World Development Indicators 2000.

is financing the construction of connections between Rabak and Juba. Taxi services are available in big cities, but donkeys and camels are often used in villages. To improve the infrastructure, the government opened road construction to the private sector in 1998. According to contracts with Saudi Arabia, 250 kilometers (155 miles) of new roads between Khartoum and Port Sudan should be finished in 20 years. Another project, which should bring 126 kilometers (78 miles) of roads between Khartoum and Wad Medani in 20 years, involves the cooperation of the United Arab Emirates.

Besides roads and railways, water is also an important transport route in Sudan. The Nile River is the main source of some 5,310 kilometers (3,300 miles) of water transportation routes. There are some ports, including Khartoum, along the Nile and others, including Port Sudan and Sawakin, along the Red Sea. The main sea port is Port Sudan. The country has 4 merchant marine ships.

Sudan Airways owns 2 Boeing 707s, 2 Boeing 737-200s, 4 Fokkers, and 3 Airbus planes. Major airports are in Khartoum and Port Sudan, and there are some minor airports throughout the country. Of the country's 61 airports, 12 have paved runways. There is 1 heliport.

Sudan has not established a comprehensive power supply for the country. Khartoum uses 87 percent of the country's energy. The country's own energy producing power is not sufficient and is complicated by the conflict in the south. Sometimes, the opposition groups have stopped the power stations providing Khartoum with energy and have endangered the city. Hydroelectric power stations in Roseires, Sennar, and Khaslun Al Gibra provide 250 megawatts (MW), 15MW and 12MW of electric energy. The capacity changes during the year. Dips in power supply are caused by river pollution from heavy materials and mud in the raining seasons that requires turbines to be repaired. When the hydroelectric plants slow their production for repairs, heating plants located around Khartoum supply energy, but their total capacity is only 150MW. The government plans construction of 2 new hydroelectric power stations. The Merowe project located 300 kilometers (186 miles) north of Khartoum should have 10 generators, each of them producing 110MW. The Kajbar project should supply 80MW. In addition, a heating plant that will produce 200MW is planned to be built near Khartoum. Negotiations regarding possible non-traditional power station construction are being held with some German companies. Such power stations could use solar or wind energy.

The telephone system in Sudan is well equipped by regional standards, but barely adequate and poorly maintained by modern standards. There were about 75,000 fixed telephone lines in use (serving 6,000 inhabitants) in the 1990s, but the World Factbook estimated that there were 400,000 by 2000. About 40 percent of the fixed lines are in Khartoum. Cellular communications started in 1996, and there were about 3,000 mobile phones by the end of the 1990s and nearly 20,000 by 2000. In 1997, an agreement between the Sudanese government and French company Alcatel for telephone net modernization was signed. A Sudan-South Korean consortium (including Sudatel and Daewoo companies) is constructing mobile phone facilities for Khartoum, Omdurman, and Wad Medani. The target is to gain 1.5 million users by 2003.

Other means of communication include radio, television, and computers. There are 7.55 million radios in use and 2.38 million televisions (141 per 1,000 people). There were 12 AM stations, 1 FM, 1 shortwave, and 3 television stations in 1997. There was only 1 Internet service provider by 2000, and only 2 of every 1,000 inhabitants owned a personal computer.

ECONOMIC SECTORS

Sudan belongs to a group of the poorest and least developed countries in the world. Its economy is very sluggish and underdeveloped. Sudan's civil war and political instability have caused havoc on the country's economic sectors. There are labor shortages for almost all the categories of skilled employment. The most recent labor force estimation is from 1996 and measured the workforce at 11 million. Of that 11 million, 4 percent (or 440,000) were officially registered as unemployed. Some estimate that the real unemployment rate is nearly 30 percent, however. Most of the population survives on subsistence agriculture . Industry is limited to some textile and foodstuffs manufacturing facilities, which operate at very low standards.

Since the late 1990s, the government has been trying to improve the economic prospects of the country. If it succeeds in breaking international isolation, mitigating the inner conflict, and attracting more investment, the country could experience significant growth. There were plans for developing the petrochemical and chemical industry, improving textile manufacturing, and attracting tourism. But by 2001, little progress had been made.

AGRICULTURE

The agricultural sector is the most important economic sector in the country. It created 39 percent of the GDP, employed about 80 percent of population, and contributed 80 percent of the country's exports in the late 1990s. Cotton is the main agriculture export item, although its export volumes have been decreasing recently. The lack of any marketing or developed market policy is evident. The government has suggested the end of export taxes in order to promote more agriculture products in the future. Other agricultural products include sesame seeds, sorghum, and gum arabic.

Sudan's climatic conditions, mainly the rainy seasons, enable double annual harvests (in July and November) in the southern parts of the country. Most of the agricultural activities are concentrated near the Nile River. The Al Gezira irrigation system that is located between the White and the Blue Nile Rivers (both rivers merge to form the Nile River) is the most important agriculture project and, according to some statistics, is also the largest artificially irrigated region in the world. As the irrigation system has been put in place, sorghum, wheat, and groundnuts have been planted instead of cotton in an effort to make Sudan self-sufficient in foodstuffs.

Animal husbandry represents a very important part of the national economy, as well. Its production increased during recent years as a result of better veterinary treatment, better credit policy, and higher prices in the market.

Fishing is another important sector of the national economy. The average yearly production averages around 33,000 tons, from which sea fish represent about 1,500 tons. Perch is the most important fresh-water fish, which is caught mostly in the Nile River.

INDUSTRY

Sudanese industry accounted for an estimated 17 percent of GDP in 1998. The small size of the country's industrial sector is a result of chronic problems, including lack of skilled labor force, raw materials, and investments. These problems are most apparent in the textile and foodstuff industries, as well as in the production of sugar. If these problems were resolved, Sudan could dramatically reduce its reliance on imports.

About 80 percent of the industrial sector is privately-owned. The main industries are: tannery and leather production, weaving mills, spinning mills, gum arabic production, paper mills, minerals, ores, and raw materials extraction. The tannery industry creates 6 percent of the country's exports. It contains production of raw furs for export and local market, furs for the footwear industry, belts production, and artificial leathers. There are 7 big tanneries and 290 traditional manufacturers in Sudan. The furs and leathers are manufactured in 72 factories, and the yearly production of shoes amounts to 12 million pairs.

The textile industry is the oldest one in the country. Weaving and spinning mills are supported by the government that has spread the motto, "Let's wear what we produce ourselves." There is a large gap between production and consumption, however. Production amounts to 2,000 tons of combed cotton yarn: 235 million meters of textile fabrics, 5 million pieces of clothing, 1 million cover blankets, and 400 tons of cotton bandages yearly. By the end of the 1990s, plans were in place to increase investment incentives that would boost production capacities, to invest in new technologies, and to build spare parts factories. In 1999, an agreement with a Chinese consortium was signed that could lead to a new cooperation in textile factories reconstruction.

Sudan is the biggest producer of arabic gum that is extracted from the resin of Senegalese acacia trees. Its production covers 80 percent of the world consumption. The gum is used in foodstuffs, the chemical industry, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and lithography.

Sudan has 2 paper mills producing 2 tons of paper every year. Because Sudan has access to all the materials necessary for production (wood, papyrus, and other raw materials) and a cheap labor force, it is expected that investments in this sector will grow in the future.

Foodstuffs production include sugar, beef, poultry, fish, and others. Sugar production is very important to Sudan. Sudan is the third largest producer of sugar in Africa, after South Africa and Egypt. The yearly production is estimated at 450,000 tons in the late 1990s, up from 100,000 tons in 1980. The government plans enlargement of crop fields near the Nile River. The biggest country producer is White Nile Sugar Co. The Kenana Sugar Company is an excellent example of how the government wants joint ventures and investments to spur growth in the industrial sector. The growth of the Kenana Sugar Company prompted the government to open its state-owned Sudanese Sugar Company to private investment at the beginning of the millennium.

There are large deposits of copper, gold, chrome, iron ore, lead, wolfram, zinc, uranium, diamonds, marble, talc and plaster. The gold production is estimated at 6 tons yearly and is realized by 2 joint ventures: first, Sudan-Chinese and, second, Sudan-French. Total gold deposits are expected to contain 37 tons. Copper extraction is to be set in the future in cooperation with the British Western Cordofan.

Oil deposits were found in the 1960s and 1970s and Sudan started its extraction in the 1980s. Most of the oil deposits are located in the southern part of the country. Disputes over how the oil revenues would be used fueled the civil conflict and made construction of extraction facilities and a pipeline difficult. Many times, opposition groups have blasted some of the pipelines and cut production.

Oil extraction and export in Sudan has benefitted from cooperation with foreign companies. Foreign oil consortiums from China, Malaysia, Canada, Qatar, and Austria are operating in the country. (The United States has imposed sanctions against the country so large U.S. oil companies have withdrawn from Sudan.) A pipeline from the oilfields in the south to Port Sudan along the Red Sea was completed in 1998, and the country exported its first oil in 1999. The yearly oil production is expected to reach 1 million barrels in 2005. This result, however, depends also on the political climate and evasion from attacks. Besides this there are still some unchecked fields where new deposits are expected. Oil refineries are already established in Port Sudan, El Obeid, and Abu Gabra.

A petrochemical factory is being built 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of Khartoum in cooperation with China. Its yearly production should be 2.5 million tons. Gas deposits were detected in the Red Sea shelves, where 7 sources are being drilled.

SERVICES

The service sector's contribution to the GDP suffered in the early and mid-1990s but appeared to be improving by the end of the decade. In 1996, services accounted for 40.6 percent of the GDP, but services in 1999 accounted for only 34.4 percent. By 1998, services had increased to 44 percent of the GDP, according to the World Factbook. Services include commerce and commerce services, restaurants and hotels, finance and insurance, transport and communications, and government offices.

TOURISM.

Revenues from tourism could play a more important role in the future, but their contribution to the state budget is now very poor because of the low quality and standards. To increase revenues, the government, in coordination with the International Monetary Fund, has privatized many accommodations and tourist facilities. The government plans to enlarge usage of the Red Sea for special tourism activities, including wind surfing and diving possibilities. There are plans for the construction of new hotels, restaurants, and camps as well as tourist agencies. The Nile River could also be used for water sports.

The country has a total hotel capacity of 17,990 beds. The total number of hotels is 45, with another 48 in construction. There are 3 tourist resorts, 8 youth hostels, and 2 tourist camps. There are 3 five-star hotels in Khartoum (the Hilton, Grand Holiday Villa, and Palace), 1 four-star hotel (Meridien), and 5 three-star hotels. Khartoum and Port Sudan have the most accommodations.

Development of the tourism sector is complicated by the conflict in the south of the country and the unstable political situation. The government had difficulty attracting tourists and had difficulty getting Sudan added to the lists of world famous tourist places. Although the number of tourists is expected to grow in the future, Sudan could hardly attract as many tourists as neighboring Egypt at the end of 1990. Without a more stable political climate, Sudan will not be able to attract increasing numbers of tourists.

INTERNATIONAL TRADE

Sudan has long had an adverse foreign trade balance. Foreign trade has been negatively influenced by the civil war and international isolation. In August 1999, Sudan started exporting oil. Nearly 70 percent of the oil production is exported. In 1999-2000, the country experienced its first trade surplus . That surplus rose to US$500 million in 2000 on exports of US$1.7 billion and imports of US$1.2 billion.

Foodstuffs are the most important import into Sudan. But steel and alloy products were the main industrial items having been imported to Sudan. Their imports accounted for US$76.6 million. Spare parts import accounted for US$88.3 million, audio and video devices for US$43.1 million, refrigerators for US$112.2 million, personal cars for US$30.2 million, lorries and trucks for US$38.7 million, and buses for US$6.8 million.

Export and import policy has recently been liberalized. In the past, the country was isolated, and foreign trade was highly restricted. Since the early 1990s, trade

Trade (expressed in billions of US$): Sudan
Exports Imports
1975 .438 .887
1980 .543 1.576
1985 .374 .771
1990 .374 .619
1995 .556 1.219
1998 .596 1.915
SOURCE: International Monetary Fund. International Financial Statistics Yearbook 1999.
Exchange rates: Sudan
Sudanese dinars per US$1
Jan 2001 257.44
2000 257.12
1999 252.55
1998 200.80
1997 157.57
1996 125.08
SOURCE: CIA World Factbook 2001 [ONLINE].

policy has been more open. All import prohibitions were removed with the exception of alcoholic beverages, drugs, hazard playing machines, weapons, and ammunition. Foreign trade has been especially encouraged in 2 free zones : the Red Sea Free Trade Zone and the Al Gaili Free Zone.

MONEY

The Sudanese dinar has declined in value as a consequence of the civil war and political instability in the country. Until the late 1990s, the Sudanese pound (an old currency) was commonly used as well. In July 1999, the Sudanese Central Bank made the formal declaration that all dealings in the Sudanese pound should stop.

The Central BankBank of Sudanregulates the liquidity of other banks and governs the financial aspects of national development programs. The bank has 11 branches. Although the banking system has been centralized in the past, changes in the economic policy of the country has led some to expect that the banking sector will be liberalized in the future. There are 29 other banks in Sudan with a total of 671 offices.

Sudan has 1 stock exchange, the Khartoum Stock Exchange, which was started in 1994, even though plans for a Sudanese stock exchange began in 1962. The Khartoum Stock Exchange is one of the only stock exchanges to work under the rules of the Islamic Sharia. One of the primary objectives of the stock exchange is to promote savings and to infuse the private sector with the capital it needs to grow. There are 8 brokers for the stock exchange.

POVERTY AND WEALTH

Sudan is one of the poorest countries of the world. Most of the population lives in unbelievably hard conditions. One of the Sahel countries, Sudan is located in the Sahara desert. Hard climate conditions and lack of natural resources were always responsible for the poor life conditions. But the country's political instability and internal conflict has increased the poverty.

GDP per Capita (US$)
Country 1975 1980 1985 1990 1998
Sudan 237 229 210 198 296
United States 19,364 21,529 23,200 25,363 29,683
Egypt 516 731 890 971 1,146
Dem. Rep. of Congo 392 313 293 247 127
SOURCE: United Nations. Human Development Report 2000; Trends in human development and per capita income.

The southern parts of the country are practically isolated and it is very hard to estimate the level of poverty in those territories, although it is known that many people are dying of hunger or diseases. It is difficult for international aid or health-care organizations to provide care for southern Sudanese because of the civil war.

Most of the population is nourished from subsistence agriculture. Food is so scarce that during droughts lives are endangered. The isolationist policies of the totalitarian regime deprived the country of foreign direct investment, as well. The result was that only sporadic international humanitarian aid reached some of the poorest regions for many years. Historically, the United States has been the most important donor of financial aid to the south.

To escape the difficult conditions, many people have fled the country. The people of relative wealth in Sudan live in Khartoum, Port Sudan, and near the Nile River, where the conditions are a bit better. Only small groups of people loyal to the regime would be considered "rich."

According to the Human Development Report 2000, 26.6 percent of the population is not expected to survive to more than 40 years of age. Comparatively, in Egypt the number is only 9.9 percent and in China 7.7 percent. The early death of so many Sudanese can be traced to the violence but also the lack of basic necessities. About 27 percent of the population do not have access to safe water (in Egypt, 13 percent); 30 percent have no access to health services (in Egypt, 1 percent). For children under the age of 5, 34 percent are underweight (in Egypt, 12 percent). The World Factbook estimated that the GDP per capita at purchasing power parity in 2000 was US$1,000. All of these numbers underscore the difficulty of most people's lives in Sudan.

WORKING CONDITIONS

The working conditions in Sudan are very difficult to measure. Although the World Factbook estimated the unemployment rate to be 4 percent in 1996, some believe the real unemployment is much higher, perhaps even 30 percent. Estimating unemployment is impeded by the lack of official registration, the fact that women are isolated in their homes as housekeepers, and the isolation of southern regions.

Sudanese nationals once made up a very skilled workforce. Since the British colonial era, education has been given a high priority. Many Sudanese succeeded at the best British schools and universities. Sudanese were known as intelligent and educated people. Unfortunately, during the years of political instability and conflicts, education deteriorated and most of the skilled people fled the country. There are no chances for skilled people to succeed in Sudan. The salaries are very low and political loyalty is the main criterion for creating a successful career. You can find more Sudanese intellectuals, doctors, engineers, and specialists in New York; Washington, D.C.; London; or Paris than in Khartoum or other parts of Sudan.

Of the Sudanese in Sudan, 80 percent work in agriculture, 10 percent in industry and commerce, and about 6 percent in government offices. Working conditions in the rural areas are very undeveloped and resemble medieval times. Children also commonly work.

COUNTRY HISTORY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

7TH CENTURY. The territory is conquered by Arab fighters and added to the Arab-Islamic empire.

1820-21. Mohammed Ali conquers the areas and incorporates it with Egypt. Gold extraction and slavery flourish.

1885-98. Mohammed Ahmed al-Mahdi, an Islamic spiritual leader, brings independence to Sudan.

1898. Sudan is conquered and proclaimed a Egyptian-British condominium. The British dominate the ruling of the government.

1956. Independence is declared.

1958-64. Ibrahim Abbud becomes president. Abbud prohibits political parties and starts the Islamisation of the country. Arabic is introduced as an official language, replacing English. First conflicts with the south begin. In 1964, Abbud resigns after mass protests.

1964-69. Relative stability, prosperity, and parliamentary democracy come to Sudan.

1969. Jaafar al-Nimairi organizes a coup d'etat. Nimairi grants wide autonomy to the south but follows socialistic and nationalistic policy influenced by the Communist countries.

1971. Communists try to overthrow the government, but Nimairi's forces defeat them, and Nimairi orders the leaders to be executed. Nimairi breaks off relations with the Communist countries in favor of cooperation with conservative Islamic oil producing countries of the Persian Gulf.

1983. Nimairi introduces Islamic law into the civil legal system. Autonomy for the south is terminated and the economy deteriorates. The civil war starts.

1985-89. Sadiq al-Mahdi, descendant of the legendary Mohammed Ahmed al-Mahdi, overthrows Nimairi. Al-Mahdi's regime brings relative stability and some economic growth to Sudan. But Al-Mahdi is unable to stop the conflict in the south.

1989-99. Umar al-Bashir overthrows al-Mahdi's regime and institutes a dictatorship. Hasan al-Turabi, the Islamic spiritual leader and chairman of the parliament, becomes the second most important state official. Together, al-Bashir and al-Turabi enforce one of the worst totalitarian regimes in the world. Strict Islamic laws and fundamentalist rules are implemented. Sudan supports international terrorism. The civil war rages in the south. Sudan is practically isolated internationally.

1996. Bashir is popularly elected as president of Sudan.

2000. Bashir is popularly elected for a second term as president.

FUTURE TRENDS

The future of Sudan is uncertain. Even though Bashir won 2 democratic elections, the opposition to his government seems to be growing. His main opponent, Turabi, boycotted the elections in 2000 and is actively seeking coalitions with other strong leaders, including Sadiq al-Mahdi and John Garang. The coalition of more parties and more autonomy for the south is necessary for any kind of positive development in the future.

Sudan has an urgent need for foreign direct investment. Without it, Sudan will hardly be able to survive. Sudan needs to stop its isolationist policies and seek cooperation with other countries. Even though the government is seeking such changes, it is unlikely that much improvement will happen under the current government. It is more likely that the government of Sudan will change and open the country to relative democracy and a more open economy.

Sudan has experienced some positive changes: it has improved relations with its neighbors, mainly Egypt and Libya, and mutual cooperation agreements have been signed with these countries. In addition, the country has started to cooperate with the International Monetary Fund, and the economy is implementing liberalization and privatization policies. Sudan's focus on these policies combined with more oil extraction and exploration are the most encouraging trends for future.

DEPENDENCIES

Sudan has no territories or colonies.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Africa: South of the Sahara. European Publications Ltd., 1997.

Anderson, G. Norman. Sudan in Crisis: The Failure of Democracy. Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida, 1999.

Bank of Sudan. <http://bankofsudan.org>. Accessed October 2001.

Economist Intelligence Unit. Country Profile: Sudan 1999-2000. London: Economist Intelligence Unit, 2000.

International Historical Statistics: Africa, Asia and Oceania 1750-1993. Macmillan Reference Ltd., 1999.

International Monetary Fund. International Financial Statistics Yearbook 2000. London: International Monetary Fund, 2000.

Kok, Peter Nyot. Governance and Conflict in the Sudan 1985-1995: Analysis, Evaluation and Documentation. Berlin: Deutsches Orient Institut, 1996.

Sidahmed, Abdel Salam. Politics and Islam in Contemporary Sudan. London: St. Martin's Press, 1996.

"Sudan." WTC Corps. <http://www.wtc-corps.org/resources/sudan.htm>. Accessed October 2001.

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. World Factbook 2001. <http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/index.html>. Accessed September 2001.

World Bank. Human Development Report 2000. London: WorldBank, 2000.

World Bank. World Development Indicators 2000. London: World Bank, 2000

Tomas Strnad

CAPITAL:

Khartoum.

MONETARY UNIT:

Sudanese dinar (SDD). One Sudanese dinar equals 100 piastres. There are bills of 10, 25, 50,100 and 1,000SDD.

CHIEF EXPORTS:

Cotton, sesame, livestock, groundnuts (peanuts), oil, gum arabic.

CHIEF IMPORTS:

Foodstuffs, petroleum products, manufactured goods, machinery and transport equipment, medicines and chemicals, textiles.

GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT:

US$35.7 billion (purchasing power parity, 2000 est.).

BALANCE OF TRADE:

Exports: US$1.7 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.). Imports: US$1.2 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.).

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Sudan

Culture Name

Sudanese

Alternative Names

In Arabic, it is called Jumhuriyat as-Sudan, or simply as-Sudan.

Orientation

Identification. In the Middle Ages, Arabs named the area that is present-day Sudan "Bilad al-Sudan," or "land of the black people." The north is primarily Arab Muslims, whereas the south is largely black African, and not Muslim. There is strong animosity between the two groups and each has its own culture and traditions. While there is more than one group in the south, their common dislike for the northern Arabs has proved a uniting force among these groups.

Location and Geography. Sudan is in Africa, south of Egypt. It shares borders with Egypt, Libya, Chad, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Kenya, and Ethiopia. It is the largest country in Africa and the ninth largest in the world, covering one million square miles (2.59 million square kilometers). The White Nile flows though the country, emptying into Lake Nubia in the north, the largest manmade lake in the world. The northern part of the country is desert, spotted with oases, where most of the population is concentrated. To the east, the Red Sea Hills support some vegetation. The central region is mainly high, sandy plains. The southern region includes grasslands, and along the border with Uganda the Democratic Republic of the Congo, dense forests. The southern part of the country consists of a basin drained by the Nile, as well as a plateau, and mountains, which mark the southern border. These include Mount Kinyeti, the highest peak in Sudan. Rainfall is extremely rare in the north but profuse in the south, which has a wet season lasting six to nine months. The central region of the country generally gets enough rain to support agriculture, but it experienced droughts in the 1980s and 1990s. The country supports a variety of wildlife, including crocodiles and hippopotamuses in the rivers, elephants (mainly in the south), giraffes, lions, leopards, tropical birds, and several species of poisonous reptiles.

The capital, Khartoum, lies at the meeting point of the White and Blue Niles, and together with Khartoum North and Omdurman forms an urban center known as "the three towns," with a combined population of 2.5 million people. Khartoum is the center for commerce and government; Omdurman is the official capital; and North Khartoum is the industrial center, home to 70 percent of Sudan's industry.

Demography. Sudan has a population of 33.5 million. Fifty-two percent of the population are black and 39 percent are Arab. Six percent are Beja, 2 percent are foreign, and the remaining 1 percent are composed of other ethnicities. There are more than fifty different tribes. These include the Jamala and the Nubians in the north; the Beja in the Red Sea Hills; and several Nilotic peoples in the south, including the Azande, Dinka, Nuer, and Shilluk. Despite a devastating civil war and a number of natural disasters, the population has an average growth rate of 3 percent. There is also a steady rural-urban migration.

Linguistic Affiliation. There are more than one hundred different indigenous languages spoken in Sudan, including Nubian, Ta Bedawie, and dialects of Nilotic and Nilo-Hamitic languages. Arabic is the official language, spoken by more than half of the population. English is being phased out as a foreign language taught in the schools, although it is still spoken by some people.

Symbolism. The flag adopted at independence had three horizontal stripes: blue, symbolizing the Nile River; yellow, for the desert; and green, for the forests and vegetation. This flag was replaced in 1970 with one more explicitly Islamic in its symbolism. It consists of three horizontal stripes: red, representing the blood of Muslim martyrs; white, which stands for peace and optimism; and black, which represents the people of Sudan and recalls the flag flown by the Mahdi during the 1800s. It has a green triangle at the left border, which symbolizes both agriculture and the Islamic faith.

History and Ethnic Relations

Emergence of the Nation. The first known civilization to inhabit the region of present-day Sudan were the Meroitic people, who lived in the area between the Atbara and Nile Rivers from 590 b.c.e. until 350 b.c.e., when the city of Meroe was ransacked by the Ethiopians. At about this time, three Christian kingdomsNobatia, Makurra, and Alwacame into power in the area. Several hundred years later, in 641, the Arabs arrived, bringing the Islamic faith with them. They signed a treaty with the Christians to coexist in peace, but throughout the next seven centuries, Christianity gradually died out as more Arabs immigrated to the area and gained converts. In 1504 the Funj people arrived, initiating a rule that would last for nearly three centuries. This was known as the Black Sultanate. Little is known about the origins of the Funj; it is speculated that perhaps they were part of the Shilluk or some other southern tribe that migrated north. Funj rulers converted to Islam, and their dynasty saw the spread of the religion throughout the area.

During the 1800s, the slave trade became a growing business in the region. There had long been a system of domestic slavery, but in the nineteenth century, the Egyptians began taking Sudanese slaves to work as soldiers. Also, European and Arab traders who came to the area looking for ivory established a slave-trade market. This tore apart tribal and family structures and almost entirely eliminated several of the weaker tribes. It was not until the twentieth century that the slave trade was finally abolished.

In 1820, Egypt, at the time part of the Ottoman Empire, invaded the Sudan, and ruled for sixty years until the Sudanese leader Muhammad Ahmed, known as the Mahdi, or "promised one," took over in 1881.

When the British took control of Egypt in 1882, they were wary of the Mahdi's increasing power. In the Battle of Shaykan in 1883, followers of the Sudanese leader defeated the Egyptians and their British supporting troops. In 1885 the Mahdi's troops defeated the Egyptians and the British in the city of Khartoum. The Mahdi died in 1885 and was succeeded by Khalifa Abdullahi.

In 1896 the British and the Egyptians again invaded Sudan, defeating the Sudanese in 1898 at the Battle of Omdurman. Their control of the area would last until 1956. In 1922 the British adopted a policy of indirect rule in which tribal leaders were invested with the responsibility of local administration and tax collection. This allowed the British to ensure their dominion over the region as a whole, by preventing the rise of a national figure and limiting the power of educated urban Sudanese.

Throughout the 1940s an independence movement in the country gained momentum. The Graduates' Congress was formed, a body representing all Sudanese with more than a primary education and whose goal was an independent Sudan.

In 1952 Egypt's King Farouk was dethroned and replaced by the pro-Sudanese General Neguib. In 1953 the British-Egyptian rulers agreed to sign a three-year preparation for independence, and on 1 January 1956 Sudan officially became independent.

Over the next two years the government changed hands several times, and the economy floundered after two poor cotton harvests. Additionally, rancor in the south grew; the region resented its under representation in the new government. (Of eight hundred positions, only six were held by southerners.) Rebels organized a guerrilla army called the Anya Nya, meaning "snake venom."

In November 1958 General Ibrahim Abboud seized control of the government, banning all political parties and trade unions and instituting a military dictatorship. During his reign, opposition grew, and the outlawed political parties joined to form the United Front. This group, along with the Professional Front, composed of doctors, teachers, and lawyers, forced Abboud to resign in 1964. His regime was replaced by a parliamentary system, but this government was poorly organized, and weakened by the ongoing civil war in the south.

In May 1969 the military again took control, this time under Jaafar Nimeiri. Throughout the 1970s, Sudan's economy grew, thanks to agricultural projects, new roads, and an oil pipeline, but foreign debts also mounted. The following decade saw a decline in Sudan's economic situation when the 1984 droughts and wars in Chad and Ethiopia sent thousands of refugees into the country, taxing the nation's already scarce resources. Nimeiri was originally open to negotiating with southern rebels, and in 1972 the Addis Ababa Peace Agreement declared the Southern Region a separate entity. However, in 1985 he revoked that independence, and instituted new laws based on severe interpretations of the Islamic code.

The army deposed Nimeiri in 1985 and ruled for the following four years, until the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC), under the leadership of General Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir, took control. The RCC immediately declared a state of emergency. They did away with the National Assembly, banned political parties, trade unions, and newspapers, and forbade strikes, demonstrations, and all other public gatherings. These measures prompted the United Nations to pass a resolution in 1992 expressing concern over human rights violations. The following year, the military government was disbanded, but General Bashir remained in power as Sudan's president.

Internal conflict between the north and the south continued, and in 1994 the government initiated an offensive by cutting off relief to the south from Kenya and Uganda, causing thousands of Sudanese to flee the country. A peace treaty between the government and two rebel groups in the south was signed in 1996, but fighting continued. In 1998 peace talks, the government agreed to an internationally supervised vote for self-rule in the south, but a date was not specified, and the talks did not result in a cease-fire. As of the late 1990s, the Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA) controlled most of southern Sudan.

In 1996 the country held its first elections in seven years. President Bashir won, but his victory was protested by opposition groups. Hassan al-Turabi, the head of the fundamentalist National Islamic Front (NIF), which has ties with President Bashir, was elected president of the National Assembly. In 1998 a new constitution was introduced, that allowed for a multiparty system and freedom of religion. However, when the National Assembly began to reduce the power of the president, Bashir declared a state of emergency, and rights were again revoked.

National Identity. Sudanese tend to identify with their tribes rather than their nation. The country's borders do not follow the geographical divisions of its various tribes, which in many cases spill over into neighboring countries. Since independence, Muslims in the north have attempted to forge a national Sudanese identity based on Arabic culture and language, at the expense of southern cultures. This has angered many southerners and has proved more divisive than unifying. Within the south, however, the common fight against the north has served to bring together a number of different tribes.

Ethnic Relations. More than one hundred of Sudan's tribes coexist peacefully. However, relations between the north and the south have a history of animosity that dates to independence. The north is largely Arab, and the south has resented their movement to "Arabize" the country, replacing indigenous languages and culture with Arabic. This conflict has led to bloodshed and an ongoing civil war.

Urbanism, Architecture, and the Use of Space

Only 25 percent of the population live in cities or towns; the remaining 75 percent are rural. Khartoum boasts beautiful, tree-lined streets and gardens. It is also home to a large number of immigrants from rural areas, who come looking for work and who have erected shantytowns on the city's fringes.

The biggest town in the south is Juba, near the borders with Uganda, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It has wide, dusty streets and is surrounded by expanses of grassland. The town has a hospital, a day school, and a new university.

Other cities include Kassala, the country's largest market town, in the east; Nyala, in the west; Port Sudan, through which most international trade passes; Atbara, in the north; and Wad Medani in the central region, where the independence movement originated.

Architecture is varied, and reflects regional climatic and cultural differences. In the northern desert regions, houses are thick-walled mud structures with flat roofs and elaborately decorated doorways (reflecting Arabic influence). In much of the country, houses are made of baked bricks and are surrounded by courtyards. In the south, typical houses are round straw huts with conical roofs, called ghotiya. Nomads, who live throughout Sudan, sleep in tents. The style and material of the tents vary, depending on the tribe; the Rashiaida, for example, use goat hair, whereas the Hadendowa weave their homes from palm fiber.

Food and Economy

Food in Daily Life. The day usually begins with a cup of tea. Breakfast is eaten in the mid- to late morning, generally consisting of beans, salad, liver, and bread. Millet is the staple food, and is prepared as a porridge called asida or a flat bread called kisra. Vegetables are prepared in stews or salads. Ful, a dish of broad beans cooked in oil, is common, as are cassavas and sweet potatoes. Nomads in the north rely on dairy products and meat from camels. In general, meat is expensive and not often consumed. Sheep are killed for feasts or to honor a special guest. The intestines, lungs, and liver of the animal are prepared with chili pepper in a special dish called marara.

Cooking is done in the courtyards outside the house on a tin grill called a kanoon, which uses charcoal as fuel.

Tea and coffee are both popular drinks. Coffee beans are fried, then ground with cloves and spices. The liquid is strained through a grass sieve and served in tiny cups.

Food Customs at Ceremonial Occasions. At the Eid al-Adha, the Feast of the Great Sacrifice, it is customary to kill a sheep, and to give part of the meat to people who cannot afford it themselves. The Eid al-Fitr, or Breaking of the Ramadan Fast, is another joyous occasion, and involves a large family meal. The birthday of the Prophet Muhammad is primarily a children's holiday, celebrated with special desserts: pink sugar dolls and sticky sweets made from nuts and sesame seeds.

Basic Economy. Sudan is one of the twenty-five poorest countries in the world. It has been afflicted by drought and famine and by staggering foreign debt, which nearly caused the country to be expelled from the International Monetary Fund in 1990. Eighty percent of the labor force works in agriculture. Yields have suffered in recent years from decreased rainfall, desertification, and lack of sufficient irrigation systems; currently only 10 percent of arable land is cultivated. Major crops include millet, groundnuts, sesame seed, corn, wheat, and fruits (dates, mangoes, guavas, bananas, and citrus). In areas not conducive to farming, people (many of them nomads) support themselves by raising cattle, sheep, goats, or camels. Ten percent of the labor force is employed in industry and commerce, and 6 percent in the government. There is a shortage of skilled workers, many of whom emigrate to find better work elsewhere. There also is a 30 percent unemployment rate.

Land Tenure and Property. The government owns and operates the country's largest farm, a cotton plantation in the central El Gezira region. Otherwise, much of the land is owned by the different tribes. The various nomadic tribes do not make a claim to any particular territory. Other groups have their own systems for landownership. Among the Otoro in the east-central region, for example, land can be bought, inherited, or claimed by clearing a new area; among the Muslim Fur people in the west, land is administered jointly by kin groups.

Commercial Activities. Souks, or markets, are the centers of commercial activity in the cities and villages. One can buy agricultural products (fruits and vegetables, meat, millet) there, as well as handicrafts produced by local artisans.

Major Industries. Industries include cotton ginning, textiles, cement, edible oils, sugar, soap distilling, and petroleum refining.

Trade. Cotton is Sudan's primary export, accounting for more than a quarter of foreign currency that enters the country. However, production is vulnerable to climatic fluctuations, and the crop is often hurt by drought. Livestock, sesame, groundnuts, oil, and gum arabic also are exported. These products go to Saudi Arabia, Italy, Germany, Egypt, and France. Sudan imports large quantities of goods, including foodstuffs, petroleum products, textiles, machinery, vehicles, iron, and steel. These products come from China, France, Britain, Germany, and Japan.

Division of Labor. It is traditional for children to follow in the professions of their parents; for the majority of the population, this means continuing in the farming lifestyle; 80 percent of the workforce is in agriculture; 10 percent is in industry and commerce; 6 percent is in government; and 4 percent is unemployed (without a permanent job). In many tribes, political positions, as well as trades and livelihoods, also are hereditary. It is possible nowadays for children to choose professions different from their parents', but most people are constrained by financial considerations. There are facilities for training in a variety of professions, but Sudan still suffers from a shortage of skilled workers.

Social Stratification

Classes and Castes. Northern Sudanese have more access to education and economic opportunities and generally are better off than southerners. In the south, many of the upper class and politically powerful are Christian and attended missionary schools. In many Sudanese tribes, class and social status are traditionally determined by birth, although in some cases it took a good deal of savvy by the upper classes to maintain their positions. Among the Fur group, ironworkers formed the lowest rung of the social ladder and were not allowed to intermarry with those of other classes.

Symbols of Social Stratification. Among some southern tribes, the number of cattle a family owns is a sign of wealth and status.

Western clothing is common in the cities. Muslim women in the north follow the tradition of covering their heads and entire bodies to the ankles. They wrap themselves in a tobe, a length of semi-transparent fabric which goes over other clothing. Men often wear a long white robe called a jallabiyah, with either a small cap or a turban as a head covering. In rural areas people wear little clothing, or even none at all.

Facial scarring is an ancient Sudanese custom. While it is becoming less common today, it still is practiced. Different tribes have different markings. It is a sign of bravery among men, and beauty in women. The Shilluk have a line of bumps along the forehead. The Nuer have six parallel lines on the forehead, and the Ja'aliin mark lines on their cheeks. In the south, women sometimes have their entire bodies scarred in patterns that reveal their marital status and the number of children they have had. In the north, women often have their lower lips tattooed.

Political Life

Government. Sudan has a transitional government, as it is supposedly moving from a military junta to a presidential system. The new constitution went into effect after being passed by a national referendum in June 1998. The president is both chief of state and head of government. He appoints a cabinet (which is currently dominated by members of the NIF). There is a unicameral legislature, the National Assembly, which consists of 400 members: 275 elected by the populace, 125 chosen by an assembly of interests called the National Congress (also dominated by the NIF). However, on 12 December 1999, uneasy about recent reductions in his powers, President Bashir sent the military to take over the National Assembly.

The country is divided into twenty-six states, or wilayat. Each is administered by an appointed governor.

Leadership and Political Officials. Government officials are somewhat removed from the people; on the local level, governors are appointed rather than elected. A military coup in 1989 reinforced the general feeling of distance between the government and much of the populace. All political parties were banned by the military government. The new constitution legalized them, but this law is under review. The most powerful political organization is the NIF, which has a strong hand in government operations. In the south, the SPLA is the most visible political/military organization, with the goal of self-determination for the region.

Social Problems and Control. There is a twotiered legal system, of civil courts and religious courts. Previously, only Muslims were subject to religious rulings, but Bashir's fundamentalist government holds all citizens to its strict interpretation of Shari'a, or Islamic law. Separate courts handle offenses against the state. Political instability has resulted in high crime rates, and the country is unable to prosecute many of its criminals. The most common crimes are related to the ongoing civil war in the country. Religion and a sense of responsibility to the community are powerful informal social control mechanisms.

Military Activity. The military is composed of 92,000 troops: an army of 90,000, a navy of 1,700, and an air force of 300. The age of service is eighteen. A draft was instituted in 1990 to supply the government with soldiers for the civil war. It is estimated that Sudan spends 7.2 percent of its GNP on military expenses. The Sudanese government estimates that the civil war costs the country one million dollars a day.

Social Welfare and Change Programs

The government supports limited health and welfare programs. Health initiatives concentrate primarily on preventive medicine.

Nongovernmental Organizations and Other Associations

Various aid organizations have played a role in helping Sudan deal with its significant economic and social problems, including the World Food Program, Save the Children Fund, Oxford Committee for Famine Relief, and Doctors without Borders. The World Health Organization has been instrumental in eliminating smallpox and other diseases.

Gender Roles and Statuses

Division of Labor by Gender. Women take care of all domestic tasks and child rearing. In rural areas it is traditional for women to work in the fields as well. While a woman's life in town was traditionally more restricted, it is increasingly common to see females employed outside the home in urban areas. However, it is still the case that only 29 percent of the paid workforce is female.

The Relative Status of Women and Men. Sudan is a patriarchal society, in which women are generally accorded a lesser status than men. However, after age forty, women's lives become less constrained. Men and women live largely separate lives, and tend to socialize primarily with members of their own sex. Men often meet in clubs to talk and play cards, while women usually gather in the home.

Marriage, Family, and Kinship

Marriage. Marriages are traditionally arranged by the parents of the couple. This is still the case today, even among wealthier and more educated Sudanese. Matches are often made between cousins, second cousins, or other family members, or if not, at least between members of the same tribe and social class. Parents conduct the negotiations, and it is common for a bride and groom not to have seen each other before the wedding. There is generally a significant age difference between husband and wife. A man must be economically self-sufficient and able to provide for a family before he can marry. He has to be able to furnish an acceptable bride-price of jewelry, clothes, furniture, and among some tribes, cattle. Among the middle class, women usually are married after they finish school, at age nineteen or twenty; in poorer families or in rural areas, the age is younger. Polygyny was a common practice in the past. Divorce, although still considered shameful, is more common today than it once was. Upon dissolution of a marriage, the bride-price is returned to the husband.

Domestic Unit. Extended families often live together under the same roof, or at least nearby. Husband and wife typically move in with the wife's family for at least a year after marriage, or until they have their first child, at which point they move out on their own (although usually to a house in close proximity to the wife's parents).

Inheritance. Islamic law has a provision for inheritance by the oldest male son. Other inheritance traditions vary from tribe to tribe. In the north, among the Arab population, property goes to the eldest son. Among the Azande, a man's property (which consisted primarily of agricultural goods) was generally destroyed upon his death to prevent the accumulation of wealth. Among the Fur, property is usually sold upon the death of its owner; land is owned jointly by kin groups and therefore not divided upon death.

Kin Groups. In different regions of Sudan, traditional clan structures function differently. In some regions, one clan holds all positions of leadership; in others, authority is delegated among various clans and subclans. Kinship ties are reckoned through connections on both the mother's and the father's side, although the paternal line is given stronger consideration.

Socialization

Infant Care. There are several practices to protect newborn babies. For example, Muslims whisper Allah's name in the baby's ear, and Christians make the sign of the cross in water on his or her forehead. An indigenous tradition is to tie an amulet of a fish bone from the Nile around the child's neck or arm. Women carry their babies tied to their sides or backs with cloth. They often bring them along to work in the fields.

Child Rearing and Education. Boys and girls are raised fairly separately. Both are divided into age-specific groups. There are celebrations to mark a group's graduation from one stage to the next. For boys, the transition from childhood to manhood is marked by a circumcision ceremony.

The literacy rate is only 46 percent overall (58% for men and 36% for women), but the overall education level of the population has increased since independence. In the mid-1950s fewer than 150,000 children were enrolled in primary school, compared with more than 2 million today. However, the south still has fewer schools than the north. Most of the schools in the south were established by Christian missionaries during colonial times, but the government closed these schools in 1962. In villages, children usually attend Islamic schools known as khalwa. They learn to read and write, to memorize parts of the Qur'an, and to become members of an Islamic communityboys usually attend between ages five and nineteen, and girls generally stop attending after age ten. (Girls generally receive less education than boys, as families often consider it more valuable for their daughters to learn domestic skills and to work at home.) As payment at the khalwa, students or their parents contribute labor or gifts to the school. There also is a state-run school system, which includes six years of primary school, three years of secondary school, and either a three-year college preparatory program or four years of vocational training.

Higher Education. Early in the twentieth century, under Anglo-Egyptian rule, the only educational institution beyond the primary level was Grodon Memorial College, established in 1902 in Khartoum. The original buildings of this school are today part of the University of Khartoum, which was founded in 1956. The Kitchener School of Medicine, opened in 1924, the School of Law, and the Schools of Agriculture, Veterinary Science, and Engineering are all part of the university. The capital city alone has three universities. There also is one in Wad Medani and another in the southern city of Juba. The first teacher training school, Bakht er Ruda, opened in 1934, in the small town of Ed Dueim. In addition, a number of technical and vocational schools throughout the country offer training in nursing, agriculture, and other skilled professions. Ahfad University College, which opened in 1920 in Omdurman, as a girls' primary school, has done a great deal to promote women's education and currently enrolls about eighteen hundred students, all female.

Etiquette

Greetings and leave-takings are interactions with religious overtones; the common expressions all have references to Allah, which are taken not just metaphorically but also literally. "Insha Allah" ("if Allah wills") is often heard, as is "alhamdu lillah" ("may Allah be praised").

Food is an important part of many social interactions. Visits typically include tea, coffee, or soda, if not a full meal. It is customary to eat from a common serving bowl, using the right hand rather than utensils. In Muslim households, people sit on pillows around a low table. Before the meal, towels and a pitcher of water are passed around for hand washing.

Religion

Religious Beliefs. Seventy percent of the population are Sunni Muslim, 25 percent follow traditional indigenous beliefs, and 5 percent are Christian.

The word "Islam" means "submission to God." It shares certain prophets, traditions, and beliefs with Judaism and Christianity, the main difference being the Muslim belief that Muhammad is the final prophet and the embodiment of God, or Allah. The foundation of Islamic belief is called the Five Pillars. The first, Shahada, is profession of faith. The second is prayer, or Salat. Muslims pray five times a day; it is not necessary to go to the mosque, but the call to prayer echoes out over each city or town from the minarets of the holy buildings. The third pillar, Zakat, is the principle of almsgiving. The fourth is fasting, which is observed during the month of Ramadan each year, when Muslims abstain from food and drink during the daylight hours. The fifth Pillar is the Hajj, the pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, which every Muslim must make at some time in his or her life.

The indigenous religion is animist, ascribing spirits to natural objects such as trees, rivers, and rocks. Often an individual clan will have its own totem, which embodies the clan's first ancestor. The spirits of ancestors are worshiped and are believed to exercise an influence in everyday life. There are multiple gods who serve different purposes. Specific beliefs and practices vary widely from tribe to tribe and from region to region. Certain cattle-herding tribes in the south place great symbolic and spiritual value on cows, which sometimes are sacrificed in religious rituals.

Christianity is more common in the south than in the north, where Christian missionaries concentrated their efforts prior to independence. Most of the Christians are of the wealthier educated class, as much of the conversion is done through the schools. Many Sudanese, regardless of religion, hold certain superstitions, such as belief in the evil eye. It is common to wear an amulet or a charm as protection against its powers.

Religious Practitioners. There are no priests or clergy in Islam. Fakis and sheiks are holy men who dedicate themselves to the study and teaching of the Qur'an, the Muslim holy book. The Qur'an, rather than any religious leader, is considered to be the ultimate authority and to hold the answer to any question or dilemma one might have. Muezzins give the call to prayer and also are scholars of the Qur'an. In the indigenous religion of the Shilluk, kings are considered holy men and are thought to embody the spirit of the god Nyikang.

Rituals and Holy Places. The most important observation in the Islamic calendar is that of Ramadan. This month of fasting is followed by the joyous feast of Eid al Fitr, during which families visit and exchange gifts. Eid al-Adha commemorates the end of Muhammad's Hajj. Other celebrations include the return of a pilgrim from Mecca, and the circumcision of a child.

Weddings also involve important and elaborate rituals, including hundreds of guests and several days of celebration. The festivities begin with the henna night, at which the groom's hands and feet are dyed. This is followed the next day with the bride's preparation, in which all her body hair is removed, and she, too, is decorated with henna. She also takes a smoke bath to perfume her body. The religious ceremony is relatively simple; in fact, the bride and groom themselves are often not present, but are represented by male relatives who sign the marriage contract for them. Festivities continue for several days. On the third morning, the bride's and groom's hands are tied together with silk thread, signifying their union. Many of the indigenous ceremonies focus on agricultural events: two of the most important occasions are the rainmaking ceremony, to encourage a good growing season, and the harvest festival, after the crops are brought in.

The mosque is the Muslim house of worship. Outside the door there are washing facilities, as cleanliness is a necessary prerequisite to prayer, which demonstrates humility before God. One also must remove one's shoes before entering the mosque. According to Islamic tradition, women are not allowed inside. The interior has no altar; it is simply an open carpeted space. Because Muslims are supposed to pray facing Mecca, there is a small niche carved into the wall pointing out in which direction the city lies.

Among the Dinka and other Nilotic peoples, cattle sheds serve as shrines and gathering places.

Death and the Afterlife. In the Muslim tradition, death is followed by several days of mourning when friends, relatives, and neighbors pay their respects to the family. Female relatives of the deceased wear black for several months to up to a year or more after the death. Widows generally do not remarry, and often dress in mourning for the rest of their lives. Muslims do believe in the afterlife.

Medicine and Health Care

Technically, medical care is provided free of charge by the government, but in actuality few people have access to such care because of the shortage of doctors and other health care personnel. Most trained health workers are concentrated in Khartoum and other parts of the north. Health conditions in most of the country are extremely poor. Malnutrition is common, and increases people's vulnerability to diseases. It is especially pernicious in children. Access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation also are problems, which allow disease to spread rapidly among the population. Malaria, dysentery, hepatitis, and bilharizia are widespread, particularly in poor and rural areas. Bilharzia is transmitted by bathing in water infected with bilharzia larvae. It causes fatigue and liver damage, but once detected can be treated. Schistosomiasis (snail fever) and trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) affect significant numbers of people in the south. Other diseases include measles, whooping cough, syphilis, and gonorrhea.

AIDS is a growing problem in Sudan, particularly in the south, near the borders with Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Khartoum also has a high infection rate, due in part to emigration from the south. The spread of the disease has been exacerbated by uninformed health care workers transmitting it through syringes and infected blood. The government currently has no policy for dealing with the problem.

Secular Celebrations

The principal secular celebrations are on 1 January, Independence Day, and 3 March, National Unity Day

The Arts and Humanities

Support for the Arts. There is a National Theater in Khartoum, which hosts plays and other performances. The College of Fine and Applied Arts, also in the capital, has produced a number of well-regarded graphic artists.

Literature. The indigenous Sudanese literary tradition is oral rather than written and includes a variety of stories, myths, and proverbs. The written tradition is based in the Arab north. Sudanese writers of this tradition are known throughout the Arab world.

The country's most popular writer, Tayeb Salih, is author of two novels, The Wedding of Zein and Season of Migration to the North, which have been translated into English. Contemporary Sudanese poetry blends African and Arab influences. The form's best-known practitioner is Muhammad al-Madhi al-Majdhub.

Graphic Arts. Northern Sudan, and Omdurman in particular, are known for silver work, ivory carvings, and leatherwork. In the south, artisans produce carved wooden figures. In the deserts in the eastern and western regions of the country, most of the artwork is also functional, including such weapons as swords and spears.

Among contemporary artists, the most popular media are printmaking, calligraphy, and photography. Ibrahim as-Salahi, one of Sudan's best-known artists, has attained recognition in all three forms.

Performance Arts. Music and dance are central to Sudanese culture and serve many purposes, both recreational and religious. In the north, music reveals strong Arabic influence, and often involves dramatic recitations of verses from the Qur'an. In the south, the indigenous music relies heavily on drums and complex rhythms.

One ritual in which music plays a large part is the zar, a ceremony intended to cure a woman of possession by spirits; it is a uniquely female ritual that can last up to seven days. A group of women play drums and rattles, to which the possessed woman dances, using a prop as an object associated with her particular spirit.

The State of the Physical and Social Sciences

Because of its extreme poverty and political problems, Sudan cannot afford to allocate resources to programs in the physical and social sciences. The country does have several museums in Khartoum, including the National History Museum; the Ethnographical Museum; and the Sudanese National Museum, which houses a number of ancient artifacts.

Bibliography

Anderson, G. Norman. Sudan in Crisis: The Failure of Democracy, 1999.

Dowell, William. "Rescue in Sudan." Time, 1997.

Haumann, Mathew. Long Road to Peace: Encounters with the People of Southern Sudan, 2000.

Holt, P. M., and Daly, M. W. A History of Sudan: From the Coming of Islam to the Present Day, 2000.

Johnson, Douglas H., ed. Sudan, 1998.

Jok, Jok Madut. Militarization, Gender, and Reproductive Health in Southern Sudan, 1998.

Kebbede, Girma, ed. Sudan's Predicament: Civil War, Displacement, and Ecological Degradation, 1999.

Macleod, Scott. "The Nile's Other Kingdom." Time, 1997.

Nelan, Bruce W., et al. "Sudan: Why Is This Happening Again?" Time, 1998.

Peterson, Scott. Me Against My Brother: At War in Somalia, Sudan, and Rwanda, 2000.

Petterson, Donald. Inside Sudan: Political Islam, Conflict, and Catastrophe, 1999.

Roddis, Ingrid and Miles. Sudan, 2000.

"Southern Sudan's Starvation." The Economist, 1999.

"Sudan." U.N. Chronicle, 1999.

"Sudan's Chance for Peace." The Economist, 2000.

"Sudan Loses Its Chains." The Economist, 1999.

"Terrorist State." The Progressive, 1998.

"Through the Looking Glass." The Economist, 1999.

Woodbury, Richard, et al. "The Children's Crusade." Time, 1998.

Zimmer, Carl. "A Sleeping Storm." Discover, 1998.

Web Sites

"Sudan." CIA World Factbook 2000, http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/su

Eleanor Stanford

views updated

Sudan

1 Location and Size

2 Topography

3 Climate

4 Plants and Animals

5 Environment

6 Population

7 Migration

8 Ethnic Groups

9 Languages

10 Religions

11 Transportation

12 History

13 Government

14 Political Parties

15 Judicial System

16 Armed Forces

17 Economy

18 Income

19 Industry

20 Labor

21 Agriculture

22 Domesticated Animals

23 Fishing

24 Forestry

25 Mining

26 Foreign Trade

27 Energy and Power

28 Social Development

29 Health

30 Housing

31 Education

32 Media

33 Tourism and Recreation

34 Famous Sudanese

35 Bibliography

Republic of the Sudan Jumhuriyat as-Sudan

CAPITAL: Khartoum

FLAG: The national flag consists of a tricolor of red, white, and black horizontal stripes, with a green triangle at the hoist.

ANTHEM: Jundi al-Allah (Soldiers of God).

MONETARY UNIT: The Sudanese dinar (sd) is a paper currency of 100 piasters (qurush) or 1,000 milliemes. sd1 = $0.00405 (or $1 = sd247.17) as of 2005.

WEIGHTS AND MEASURES: The metric system is the legal standard, but a highly diverse system based on Egyptian and British standards is in local use.

HOLIDAYS: Independence Day, 1 January; Unity Day, 3 March; Uprising Day, 6 April; Decentralization Day, 1 July; Christmas, 25 December. Movable Muslim religious holidays include the 1st of Muharram (Muslim New Year), ‘Id al-Fitr, ‘Id al-’Adha’, and Milad an-Nabi.

TIME: 2 pm = noon GMT.

1 Location and Size

Located in northeast Africa, Sudan is the largest country on the continent. It covers an area of more than 2,505,810 square kilometers (967,493 square miles), slightly more than one-quarter the size of the United States. The total land boundary length is 7,687 kilometers (4,776 miles) and the total coastline (Red Sea) is 853 kilometers (529 miles). Sudan’s capital city, Khartoum, is located in the northeastern part of the country.

2 Topography

Most of Sudan is a vast plain traversed by the northward-flowing Nile River and its tributaries. Widely separated mountain chains and many hilly areas often reach altitudes of more than 2,000 meters (6,500 feet). The northern area is mainly desert, containing sections of both the Libyan Desert and the Nubian Desert. The western undulating sandy wastes merge into the Red Sea Hills to the east.

The dominant geographic feature is the Nile River, formed near Khartoum by the confluence of the Blue Nile and White Nile rivers. The Nile is the longest river in the world and has a total length of 6,693 kilometers (4,160 miles). There

GEOGRAPHICAL PROFILE

Geographic Features

Area: 2,505,810 sq km (967,493 sq mi)

Size ranking: 10 of 194

Highest elevation: 3,187 meters (10,456 feet) at Kinyeti

Lowest elevation: Sea level at the Red Sea

Land Use*

Arable land: 7%

Permanent crops: 0%

Other: 93%

Weather**

Average annual precipitation: 16.4 centimeters (6.5 inches)

Average temperature in January: 22.5°c (72.5°f)

Average temperature in July: 30.8°c (87.4°f)

* Arable Land: Land used for temporary crops, like meadows for mowing or pasture, gardens, and greenhouses.

Permanent crops: Land cultivated with crops that occupy its use for long periods, such as cocoa, coffee, rubber, fruit and nut orchards, and vineyards.

Other: Any land not specified, including built-on areas, roads, and barren land.

** The measurements for precipitation and average temperatures were taken at weather stations closest to the country’s largest city.

Precipitation and average temperature can vary significantly within a country, due to factors such as latitude, altitude, coastal proximity, and wind patterns.

are natural harbors at Port Sudan (Bur Sudan) and Suakin on the Red Sea. The largest lake in Sudan is Lake Nubia, which covers an area of 968 square kilometers (373 square miles).

The highest elevation is at Mount Kinyeti (3187 meters/10,456 feet) along the southern border with Uganda. The lowest point is at sea level (Red Sea).

3 Climate

Average temperatures range from 22.5°c (72.5°f) in winter to 30.8°c (87.4°f) in summer. Average annual rainfall varies from 120 centimeters (47 inches) in the south to less than 10 centimeters (4 inches) in the north. The most temperate climate occurs in the Red Sea Hills.

4 Plants and Animals

Acacia, desert shrub, and acacia short-grass shrub grow in the northern desert and the grasslands of the west. The broad-leafed tropical woodland and forest region is for the most part in the southwest; grass covers much of the southeast. Date palms line the banks of the Nile. Wildlife includes most of the mammals, birds, and reptiles common to central Africa. Many varieties of fish are found in the rivers and in the coastal waters of the Red Sea.

5 Environment

A shortage of clean water is a problem in Sudan, since serious health problems are caused by diseases carried in the water supply. The water on the nation’s coasts is also polluted by industrial byproducts, oil, and sewage. The nation’s agricultural land is also threatened by the advance of the desert. Due to uncontrolled hunting, the nation’s wildlife is threatened.

As of 2006, 16 mammal species and 10 bird species were threatened, as well as 17 types of plants. Endangered species include the waldrapp, northern white rhinoceros, slender-horned gazelle, and hawksbill turtle. The Sahara oryx has become extinct in the wild.

6 Population

The estimated population in 2005 was 40.2 million. A population of 61.3 million is projected for 2025. The population density was 15 persons per square kilometer (40 per square mile) in 2005. Khartoum, the capital, and its suburbs had a population of 4.3 million in 2005.

7 Migration

Many Sudanese were working abroad in the mid-1990s, chiefly in Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf countries but also in Libya. At the end of 2000, Sudan was hosting an estimated 415,000 refugees, mainly from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Chad, Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Somalia. In 2005, the estimated net migration rate was -8.9 migrants per 1,000 population. In 2000, there were 780,000 migrants in the country.

8 Ethnic Groups

Native Sudanese include Arabs (an estimated 39% of the population), Nilotic or Negroid peoples (including the Dinka, about 52% of the population), and Beja (6%). Foreign residents account for about 2% of the population. In all, there are nearly 600 ethnic groups.

9 Languages

Arabic, the official language, is the mother tongue of about half the population. Besides standard Arabic, Nubian and Ta Bedawie are also commonly spoken. English is used widely, particularly among the southern tribes. In all, more than 400 diverse dialects of Nilotic, Nilo-Hamitic, and Sudanic languages are spoken.

10 Religions

The state religion is Islam, primarily Sunni. An estimated 65% of the population are Sunni Muslim. There are sizable minorities of Christians and followers of traditional indigenous religions. Most of the Christians are professed Roman Catholics. Greek Orthodox, Coptics, and Anglicans are found in small numbers.

The government and Muslim majority continue to discriminate against and persecute non-Muslims.

11 Transportation

The 5,995 kilometers (3,725 miles) of railroad track link most of the main towns of Sudan. In 2002, the overall road system totaled 11,900 kilometers (7,395 mi), of which 4,320 kilometers (2,684 miles) were paved. In 2003, there were 37,100 automobiles and 47,465 commercial vehicles.

River transport services link many communities. Port Sudan, on the Red Sea, is primarily a cargo port, handling all of Sudan’s cotton exports as well as most food imports. The international airport is at Khartoum. The state-owned Sudan Airways Corporation, founded in 1947, links the main cities and provides international service. In 2003, 421,000 passengers were carried on scheduled domestic and international flights.

12 History

Early History The most important events in recorded Sudanese history occurred in the northern half of the country, where several kingdoms thrived between ancient and modern times. The kingdom of Kush (or Cush) broke away from Egyptian rule about 1000 bc and was destroyed about ad 350. Maqurra, in northern Sudan, fell in the 15th century. Alwa, in central Sudan, was conquered around the beginning of the 17th century. The inhabitants of the south, until the 20th century, lived in primitive tribal isolation, interrupted only by explorers.

In the 1820s, the Ottoman viceroy of Egypt, Muhammad ‘Ali, brought Sudan under Turkish-Egyptian rule, which lasted until 1885. By then, most of the Sudanese tribes had rebelled against the harshness and corruption of the regime and joined together under the leadership of Muhammad Ahmad bin ‘Abdallah. He proclaimed himself the Mahdi (Rightly Guided One), whose victory for Islam had been prophesied in Muslim tradition. The Mahdi installed himself as head of a theocratic (religion-based) state, which survived until 1898. The Mahdi’s successor, the Khalifa (‘Abdallah bin Muhammad), was defeated that year by an Anglo-Egyptian invasion force under General Horatio Herbert Kitchener in the battle of Omdurman. The French then attempted to seize parts of Sudan. They were prevented from doing so by Kitchener at Fashoda (now Kodok) in an incident that almost started a war between France and Great Britain. The British did much to restore law and order, stop slave trading, and bring modern government and economic stability to Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, as it was then called.

The Republic of Sudan Sudanese nationalism grew after World War I (1914–18) and during World War II (1939–45). After failed attempts to join Egypt and Sudan in a dual monarchy, the new Republic of the Sudan, under a parliamentary government, was proclaimed on 1 January 1956. On 17 November 1958, a military dictatorship seized power, headed by Lieutenant General Ibrahim Abboud, after a bloodless coup that had the support of some party leaders. President Abboud’s military regime was overthrown on 26 October 1964 and civilian politicians ruled for the next five years.

A revolutionary council led by Colonel Gaafar Mohammed Nimeiri (Ja’far Muhammad Numayri) overthrew the government in another bloodless coup on 25 May 1969 and established the Democratic Republic of the Sudan. On 25 May 1971, he proclaimed that Sudan would become a one-party state, with the Sudanese Socialist Union the sole political organization. Nimeiri, running unopposed, was elected president in September. One of his most significant acts was to bring an end to the civil war that had plagued Sudan since independence. In February 1972, the Sudanese government and the South Sudan Liberation Front (the Anyanya rebels) agreed on a cease-fire and on self-rule for the southern provinces. Nimeiri was reelected without opposition in 1977 and 1983, but his regime had to survive considerable turmoil both on the homefront and in relations with neighboring countries, especially Libya.

Nimeiri declared a state of emergency in April 1984 to cope with protests over rising prices and government policies. The state of emergency ended in September 1984, but by then a new rebellion was under way in the south, where people were unhappy with Nimeiri’s efforts to restrict their actions and apply Shariah (Muslim law). Riots broke out in the spring of 1985 when Nimeiri’s economic policies caused prices to rise. On 7 April 1985, Nimeiri was replaced by a military council headed by General Abdel-Rahman Swar ad-Dhahab. The country was renamed the Republic of Sudan, the ruling Sudanese Socialist Union was abolished, political and press freedom was restored, and food prices were lowered. Sudan returned to a foreign policy of nonalignment, backing away from its close ties with Egypt and the United States.

Unrest in the South General elections held in April 1986 resulted in a moderate civilian coalition government headed by Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi. The government began searching for a way to unite the country with the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). The SPLA controlled much of the south, blocking air traffic (including food relief) to the south and opposing major projects vital to the economy.

In March 1989, a new government composed of Ummah Party and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) ministers agreed to work with the SPLA. However, on 30 June 1989, a group of army officers led by Brigadier Umar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir overthrew the civilian government. The coup makers created a National Salvation Revolutionary Command Council (RCC), a junta (a group of people who run a government, particularly after a coup) composed of 15 military officers assisted by a civilian cabinet. They suspended the 1985 transitional constitution, took away press freedoms, and dissolved all parties and trade unions.

On 23 April 1990, al-Bashir declared a state of emergency and dissolved parliament because of an alleged coup attempt. The following day, 28 officers were court-martialed and executed. None of these reforms seemed to satisfy southern leaders. Peace talks sponsored by former U.S. president Jimmy Carter, Nigeria, and others broke down with few positive results.

Al-Bashir’s Islamic government is dominated by the fundamentalist National Islamic Front (NIF), under the leadership of Hassan al-Turabi. Al-Bashir remains president, chief of state, prime minister, and chief of the armed forces. Sudan has given sanctuary to Muslim rebels from Tunisia and Algeria, to the Hezbollah (Party of God), and to Abu Nidal’s Palestinian rebels. The regime has eliminated all non-Muslims from the civil service, the armed forces, the judiciary, and the educational system. The government is still fighting rebels in the south. As the fighting has grown, so has famine. Private and United Nations relief efforts have been temporarily delayed after attacks by rebels. Fighting between factions of the SPLA adds to the unrest. Opposition forces from the south have joined with the growing northern movement, the National Democratic Alliance. Rebels and pro-government Arabs often loot southern farmers’ crops and rustle their cattle, giving rise to chronic food shortages in the south. The United Nations estimated that in 1998 some 1.2 million southern Sudanese faced a severe food shortage. The World Food Program was sending five cargo planes of grain to southern Sudan each day, making it the biggest airlift in the agency’s history. More than 1.5 million Sudanese have died since 1983 due to civil war and famine.

Because of its militant Islamist policies, Sudan’s allies were limited to Afghanistan, Iran, Libya, and Syria. The United Nations General Assembly condemned Sudan’s human rights violations in March 1993.

On 20 August 1998, the United States launched an air strike against a facility in Khartoum that was believed to be a chemical weapons factory. The assault came as a response to the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania earlier in the month. The U.S. government believed that the facility in Khartoum supplied Islamist terrorists with chemicals used to make nerve gas.

Al-Bashir was reelected to the presidency in the 2000 elections.

By 2003, prospects for peace within Sudan had improved. The government and the SPLA agreed to renew their cease-fire for six months, extending a truce that had held since January 2002. On 25 September 2003, an agreement on security arrangements was signed between the government and the SPLA.

Beginning in 2003 in Darfur—the western region of Sudan which is slightly larger than France—Arab nomads supported by the Khartoum military and government-backed Janjaweed militia groups began to attack the Fur people, subsistence farmers who make up the major ethnic group in that region. The Fur are supported by the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A), The SLM/A in early 2003 began to attack government and military

BIOGRAPHICAL PROFILE

Name: Umar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir

Position: President

Took Office: 16 October 1993

Birthplace: Hosn Bannaga, a small village in Sudan

Birthdate: 1944

Religion: Islam

Education: Military academy in Cairo, Egypt

Of interest: Umar fought with the Egyptian army against Israel in the war in 1973.

outposts, with the intent of gaining influence in the affairs of the region. The government armed the nomads and sent the Janjaweed to raid black villages. The Janjaweed rampages resulted in what has been called one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises with countless rapes, the murders of more than 70,000 people, and the displacement of nearly 2 million people.

In April 2004, the two sides agreed to a temporary cease-fire to allow humanitarian agencies to reach those in need of help, but the Janjaweed continued their attacks. A Declaration of Principles for the Resolution of the Sudanese Conflict in Darfur was signed in July 2005, however, by that time, estimates of the number of dead ranged from 70,000–350,000.

13 Government

After the 1989 military coup, the 1985 transitional constitution was set aside. In January 1991, Islamic law was imposed in the six northern provinces. Executive and legislative authority was vested in a 15-member Revolutionary Command Council (RCC). Its chairman, acting as prime minister, appointed a 300-member transitional national assembly (TNA). In mid-October 1993, al-Bashir dissolved the RCC and officially declared himself president of a new civilian government. In 1995, al-Bashir realigned his cabinet to help the National Islamic Front maintain control over the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The TNA was replaced by an elected national assembly in March 1996.

In 1998, a new constitution was created that provided for a multi-party political system. The government is led by President Umar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir, who assumed supreme executive power in 1989 and retained it through several transitional governments in the early and mid-1990s before being popularly elected for the first time in March 1996. The president is both the chief of state and head of government, and he appoints the council of ministers. The president serves a five-year term. The single-chamber national assembly consists of 360 seats. Members serve four-year terms.

Local government consists of 26 states, each subdivided into 66 provinces and 218 districts.

14 Political Parties

The Revolutionary Command Council (RCC), which formed the latest military government, dissolved all parties in 1989. The fundamentalist National Islamic Front (NIF), however, continues to function openly and is the strength behind the government. NIF members and supporters hold most key positions and when Bashir dissolved the RCC in October 1993, the NIF further tightened its grip on the state.

The main opposition to the central government is the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). In 1997, the SPLA joined forces with the Beja Congress Armed Forces, part of a new alliance of northern rebels known as the National Democratic Alliance. This opposition has been sponsored by Ethiopia and Eritrea, and indirectly by the United States, which holds Sudan responsible for sponsoring terrorism.

A new constitution adopted in 1998 and revised in 2000 recognized political parties other than the NIF for the first time since 1989. Approved parties include the ruling National Congress Party (NCP), Popular National Congress (PNC), and more than 20 minor progovernment parties. As of early 2000, the leaders of two other major parties, the Ummah Party and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), who had cooperated with the SPLA rebels to form the National Democratic Alliance, were still in exile. In the fall of 1998, the National Islamic Front (NIF) changed its name to the National Congress Party.

In the boycotted parliamentary elections held between 13 and 22 December 2000, the NCP took 355 of 400 seats.

15 Judicial System

For the Muslim population, justice in personal matters is administered by Muslim law courts, which form the Shariah division of the Sudan judiciary. Civil justice is administered by the supreme court, courts of appeal, and lower courts. Criminal justice is administered by major courts, magistrates’ courts, and local people’s courts, which try civil cases as well.

16 Armed Forces

Sudanese armed forces totaled approximately 104,800 in 2005. The army had an estimated strength of 100,000; the navy, established in 1962, had 1,800 personnel; and the air force has 3,000 personnel. Paramilitary forces numbered 17,500 active members and 85,000 reserves. The defense budget totaled $483 million in 2005. The Sudanese armed forces, largely Muslim,

Yearly Growth Rate

This economic indicator tells by what percent the economy has increased or decreased when compared with the previous year.

face the estimated 25,000 rebels of the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army and another 3,000 in other opposition groups.

17 Economy

Sudan has an agricultural economy with great potential for production with the help of irrigation. The livestock sector is sizable as well. However, droughts have led to recent famines, and civil war has led to the virtual collapse of the economy. In 1993, Sudan’s failure to pay its international debt, together with its poor human rights record, led to the World Bank’s suspension of financing for 15 development projects, and to the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) suspension of Sudan’s voting rights in the organization. Sudan is the world’s largest debtor to the IMF, owing more than $1 billion. The civil war and growing international isolation restrict economic growth. Petroleum discoveries in the south-central region of Sudan and their export in 1999 raised hopes of economic salvation, but political instability undermines the prospect for lasting improvement in the economy.

18 Income

In 2005, Sudan’s gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated at $85.5 billion, or about $2,100 per person. The annual growth rate of GDP was estimated at 8%. The average inflation rate in 2002 was 11%.

19 Industry

Sudan’s industrial output has decreased since the early 1980s due to problems with trade and production. Before this difficult period, Sudan’s industries supplied many items that had formerly been imported, such as cotton textiles, sugar, household appliances, cement, and tires. Textiles are the largest industry. Factories process cotton seed and groundnuts into oil and cake. The Kenana sugar complex is one of the largest sugar plantations and refining installations in the world.

The country’s reserves of oil and gas are very large. There are three oil refineries, with a total production capacity of 122,000 barrels per day.

20 Labor

About 80% of the population relies on agriculture. There were approximately 11 million people in the total labor force. Industry engages less than 10% of the labor force. Unemployment was estimated at 18.7% in 2002.

The largest union is the Sudan Workers Trade Union Federation, with some 800,000 members in 2002.

The presence of slavery and forced labor in Sudan have increased in recent years. People are openly bought and sold as slaves. Slaves are generally abducted in one of the southern war zones and sent north to work as domestic servants or agricultural workers, or are sent abroad.

The minimum wage is about $11 per month and is not enough to support the average family. Although the minimum age for employment is legally set at 18 years, this is not enforced and children as young as 11 years old work full-time in all areas including industry.

21 Agriculture

About 7% total area of Sudan is arable. Principal cash crops are cotton, sesame, peanuts, sugarcane, dates, citrus fruits, mangoes, coffee, and tobacco. The principal subsistence crops are sorghum, millet, wheat, beans, cowpeas, pulses, corn, and barley. In 2004, agricultural products accounted for 23.5% of imports and 15.2% of exports.

Products in 2004 included 2.6 million tons of sorghum, 1.2 million tons of peanuts, 325,000 tons of sesame, and 332,000 tons of wheat. Cotton fiber production in 2004 was 187,000 tons. Production also included 5.5 million tons of sugarcane, 330,000 tons of dates, 137,000 tons of yams, and 60,000 tons of corn.

22 Domesticated Animals

In 2005, the livestock population was estimated at 47 million sheep, 38.3 million head of cattle, 42 million goats, 3.3 million camels, and 37

Components of the Economy

This pie chart shows how much of the country’s economy is devoted to agriculture (including forestry, hunting, and fishing), industry, or services.

million chickens. The national livestock herd was the second-largest in Africa (after that of Ethiopia). Nomadic or seminomadic pastoral tribes own most of the cattle. Livestock products in 2005 included an estimated 3.3 million tons of cow’s milk, 714,000 tons of meat, and 47,000 tons of eggs.

23 Fishing

In the southern provinces and towns, fish is a diet staple. The Nile River yields about 110 varieties of fish and the Red Sea is another valuable fishing ground. In 2003, the total catch was 59,607 tons, with 92% from freshwater sources.

24 Forestry

About 61.6 million hectares (152.2 million acres) of Sudan (about 26% of the land area) are covered by forests, half of which are dense stands of trees. Sudan supplies more than 80% of the world’s gum arabic, a substance extracted from the acacia and used in the production of medicines, candies, inks, and adhesives.

Yearly Balance of Trade

The balance of trade is the difference between what a country sells to other countries (its exports) and what it buys (its imports). If a country imports more than it exports, it has a negative balance of trade (a trade deficit). If exports exceed imports there is a positive balance of trade (a trade surplus).

Production of roundwood in 2003 was estimated at 19.6 million cubic meters (663.6 million cubic feet), with 88% used as fuel.

25 Mining

Sudan is not rich in mineral resources, although large iron ore reserves have been found near Port Sudan. Mineral production in 2003 included 84,000 tons of salt, 47,000 tons of mine chromite, 5,000 kilograms of gold, 4,600 tons of gypsum, and 320,000 tons of cement. Other minerals produced were asbestos, manganese, and mica. Sudan was also known to have deposits of copper, silver, tungsten, wollastonite, and zinc.

Selected Social Indicators

The statistics below are the most recent estimates available as of 2006. For comparison purposes, data for the United States and averages for low-income countries and high-income countries are also given. About 15% of the world’s 6.5 billion people live in high-income countries, while 37% live in low-income countries.

IndicatorSudan Low-income countriesHigh-income countriesUnited States
sources: World Bank. World Development Indicators. Washington, D.C.: The World Bank, 2006; Central Intelligence Agency. The World Factbook. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 2006; World Resources Institute, Washington, D.C.
Per capita gross national income (GNI)*$1,810 $2,258$31,009$39,820
Population growth rate2.2% 2%0.8%1.2%
People per square kilometer of land15 803032
Life expectancy in years: male55 587675
female58 608280
Number of physicians per 1,000 people0.2 0.43.72.3
Number of pupils per teacher (primary school)29 431615
Literacy rate (15 years and older)60.9% 65%>95%99%
Television sets per 1,000 people386 84735938
Internet users per 1,000 people33 28538630
Energy consumed per capita (kg of oil equivalent)477 5015,4107,843
CO2 emissions per capita (metric tons)0.27 0.8512.9719.92
* The GNI is the total of all goods and services produced by the residents of a country in a year. The per capita GNI is calculated by dividing a country’s GNI by its population and adjusting for relative purchasing power.
n.a.: data not available >: greater than <: less than

26 Foreign Trade

The most important exports are oil seeds, especially sesame (22%), cotton (17%), and sheep (12%). Other exports include gold (7.6%), vegetable oil (6.4%), crude vegetable materials (5.3%), and sugar (3.7%). The main imports are a broad range of industrial goods, petroleum products, and foodstuffs. In 2004, 64% of Sudan’s exports went to China and 13% to Japan, while imports came primarily from Saudi Arabia and China.

27 Energy and Power

In the absence of coal reserves, Sudan has come to rely mainly on waterpower to meet its commercial energy needs. In 2002, production of electricity amounted to 2.8 billion kilowatt-hours, of which 54.2% was from fossil fuels and the rest from hydropower. The burning of wood fulfills much of the total energy requirement. Sudan’s proven oil reserves, as of 2005, have more than doubled from those in 2001, to 563 million barrels verses 2001’s total of 262 millions barrels. Crude oil production totaled 271,000 barrels per day in 2002.

28 Social Development

Organized social welfare is administered by the central and local governments, labor unions, and fraternal organizations. Social legislation requires business firms to provide benefits for their employees.

The fundamentalist Islamic government has removed many of the basic rights and freedoms of women. Women have been removed from government jobs, have limited educational opportunities, and are arrested for wearing slacks or failing to cover their heads. The city of Khartoum ordered that women and men must be separated and unable to see each other at public and social events.

Because of the civil war, starvation and malnutrition are widespread. Government and SPLA forces regularly commit human rights abuses such as massacres, kidnapping, enslavement, forced military service, and rape. Sudanese soldiers and Muslim militias armed by the government transport captured southern blacks to the north, where they are used as household slaves. Freedom of speech, press, assembly, association, political choice, and religion are repressed.

29 Health

Hospital facilities and medical and public health services are free. Persistent diseases in the country include malaria, schistosomiasis, sleeping sickness, tuberculosis, and various forms of dysentery.

In 2005, average life expectancy was estimated at about 57 years. About 34% of children under five years old were considered malnourished. As of 2004, the number of people living with human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) was estimated at 400,000.

At last report, over half of the country’s housing units were gottias, single rooms with round mud walls and a conical straw roof; one-third were menzils, multiroom houses with toilet facilities.

A national housing authority provides low-cost housing to government employees, rural schoolteachers, and persons in low-income groups. Khartoum has a number of modern apartment buildings.

31 Education

Schooling is compulsory for eight years of basic education. The student-to-teacher ratio at the primary level averaged 29 to 1 in 2003. About 58% of primary-school-age children enroll in school.

The University of Khartoum has 10 faculties and about 14,000 students. A branch of Cairo University was opened at Khartoum in 1955. Other institutions include the Islamic University of Omdurman and the universities of El-Gezirah (at Wad Madani) and Juba. Some 60,000 students enroll at universities. Approximately 48% of these students are female.

As of 2004, the adult literacy rate has been estimated at 60.9% (males, 69%; females, 49.9%).

32 Media

As of 2003 there were 27 mainline telephones and 20 cellular phones for every 1,000 people. In 1999, there were 11 AM and one FM radio stations and 3 television stations. In 2003, there were 461 radios and 386 televisions for every 1,000 people. In 2002, 2 Internet providers served about 50,000 subscribers.

In 2001, there were 14 daily Arabic newspapers and two English papers. The largest dailies (with 2002 circulation rates) were Al Sudani (305,000), Al Ayam (200,000), Al Siasa (60,000), Al Khartoum (25,000), and the English-language Sudan Standard.

33 Tourism and Recreation

The main tourist attractions are big-game hunting in the jungles of the south, boat excursions down the Nile through the jungle and desert, deep-sea fishing, the Red Sea Hills, the underwater gardens at Port Sudan, and archaeological sites in the north.

Since the civil war and the establishment of Islamic rule, there is practically no tourism in Sudan. There were 50,000 tourist arrivals in 2001. In 1999, there were 4,545 hotel rooms with 7,907 beds.

34 Famous Sudanese

The one Sudanese to achieve world renown in modern history was the Mahdi (Muhammad Ahmad bin ‘Abdallah, 1843–1885), the religious leader who led the people of Sudan to overthrow their Egyptian rulers. His able but harsh successor, the Khalifa (‘Abdallah bin Muhammad at-Ta’a’ishi, d.1899), organized an independent government, which lasted until 1898, when an Anglo-Egyptian corps reconquered Sudan.

Famous British soldiers and administrators in Sudanese history were the generals Charles George Gordon (1833–1885), Horatio Herbert Kitchener (1850–1916), and Sir Francis Reginald Wingate (1861–1953).

The most influential figure in recent years was Gaafar Mohammed Nimeiri (Ja’far Muhammad Numayri, b.1930), leader of Sudan from the 1969 coup until 1985. Sadiq al-Mahdi (b.1936) was prime minister during 1966–1967 and 1985–1987.

35 Bibliography

BOOKS

Archibald, Erika F. A Sudanese Family. Minneapolis, MN: Lerner Publications Co., 1997.

Levy, Patricia. Sudan. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 1997, 1998.

Lobban, Richard. Historical Dictionary of the Sudan. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2002.

Roddis, Ingrid. Sudan. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 2000.

Service, Pamela F. The Ancient African Kingdom of Kush. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 1998.

Snyder, Gail. Sudan. Philadelphia: Mason Crest Publishers, 2004.

WEB SITES

Aquastat. www.fao.org/ag/Agl/AGLW/aquastat/countries/sudan/index.stm. (accessed on January 15, 2007).

Country Analysis Briefs. www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/Sudan/Background.html. (accessed on January 15, 2007).

Country Pages. www.state.gov/p/af/ci/su/. (accessed on January 15, 2007).

Government Home Page. sudanembassy.org/. (accessed on January 15, 2007).

World Heritage List. whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/sd. (accessed on January 15, 2007).