[Country map of Sudan]



Location: Northern Africa, bordering the Red Sea, between Egypt and Eritrea

Map references: Africa

total area: 2,505,810 sq km
land area: 2.376 million sq km
comparative area: slightly more than one-quarter the size of the US

Land boundaries: total 7,687 km, Central African Republic 1,165 km, Chad 1,360 km, Egypt 1,273 km, Eritrea 605 km, Ethiopia 1,606 km, Kenya 232 km, Libya 383 km, Uganda 435 km, Zaire 628 km

Coastline: 853 km

Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 18 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
territorial sea: 12 nm

International disputes: administrative boundary with Kenya does not coincide with international boundary; administrative boundary with Egypt does not coincide with international boundary creating the "Hala'ib Triangle," a barren area of 20,580 sq km, tensions over this disputed area began to escalate in 1992 and remain high

Climate: tropical in south; arid desert in north; rainy season (April to October)

Terrain: generally flat, featureless plain; mountains in east and west

Natural resources: small reserves of petroleum, iron ore, copper, chromium ore, zinc, tungsten, mica, silver, gold

Land use:
arable land: 5%
permanent crops: 0%
meadows and pastures: 24%
forest and woodland: 20%
other: 51%

Irrigated land: 18,900 sq km (1989 est.)

current issues: inadequate supplies of potable water; wildlife populations threatened by excessive hunting; soil erosion; desertification
natural hazards: dust storms
international agreements: party to - Climate Change, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection; signed, but not ratified - Biodiversity, Desertification

Note: largest country in Africa; dominated by the Nile and its tributaries


Population: 30,120,420 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 46% (female 6,801,001; male 7,124,892)
15-64 years: 52% (female 7,706,864; male 7,830,980)
65 years and over: 2% (female 280,297; male 376,386) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.35% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 41.29 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 11.74 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: NA migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)
note: the flow of refugees from the civil war in Sudan into neighboring countries continues, often at the rate of tens of thousands annually; Uganda was the main recipient of Sudanese refugees in the past year; repatriation of Eritrean and Ethiopean refugees in Sudan continues

Infant mortality rate: 77.7 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 54.71 years
male: 53.81 years
female: 55.65 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 6 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Sudanese (singular and plural)
adjective: Sudanese

Ethnic divisions: black 52%, Arab 39%, Beja 6%, foreigners 2%, other 1%

Religions: Sunni Muslim 70% (in north), indigenous beliefs 25%, Christian 5% (mostly in south and Khartoum)

Languages: Arabic (official), Nubian, Ta Bedawie, diverse dialects of Nilotic, Nilo-Hamitic, Sudanic languages, English
note: program of Arabization in process

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1983)
total population: 32%
male: 44%
female: 21%

Labor force: 6.5 million
by occupation: agriculture 80%, industry and commerce 10%, government 6%
note: labor shortages for almost all categories of skilled employment (1983 est.)


conventional long form: Republic of the Sudan
conventional short form: Sudan
local long form: Jumhuriyat as-Sudan
local short form: As-Sudan
former: Anglo-Egyptian Sudan

Digraph: SU

Type: ruling military junta - Revolutionary Command Council (RCC) - dissolved on 16 October 1993 and government civilianized

Capital: Khartoum

Administrative divisions: 9 states (wilayat, singular - wilayat or wilayah*); A'ali an Nil, Al Wusta*, Al Istiwa'iyah*, Al Khartum, Ash Shamaliyah*, Ash Sharqiyah*, Bahr al Ghazal, Darfur, Kurdufan
note: on 14 February 1994, the 9 states comprising Sudan were divided into 26 new states; the new state boundary alignments are undetermined

Independence: 1 January 1956 (from Egypt and UK)

National holiday: Independence Day, 1 January (1956)

Constitution: 12 April 1973, suspended following coup of 6 April 1985; interim constitution of 10 October 1985 suspended following coup of 30 June 1989

Legal system: based on English common law and Islamic law; as of 20 January 1991, the now defunct Revolutionary Command Council imposed Islamic law in the northern states; the council is still studying criminal provisions under Islamic law; Islamic law applies to all residents of the northern states regardless of their religion; some separate religious courts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

Suffrage: none

Executive branch:
Chief of State and Head of Government: President Lt. General Umar Hasan Ahmad al-BASHIR (since 16 October 1993); prior to 16 October 1993, BASHIR served concurrently as Chief of State, Chairman of the RCC, Prime Minister, and Minister of Defence (since 30 June 1989); First Vice President Major General al-Zubayr Muhammad SALIH (since 19 October 1993); Second Vice President (Police) Maj. General George KONGOR (since NA February 1994); note - upon its dissolution on 16 October 1993, the RCC's executive and legislative powers were devolved to the President and the Transitional National Assembly (TNA), Sudan's appointed legislative body
cabinet: Cabinet; appointed by the president; note - on 30 October 1993, President BASHIR announced a new, predominantly civilian cabinet, consisting of 20 federal ministers, most of whom retained their previous cabinet positions; on 9 February 1995, he abolished three ministries and redivided their portfolios to create several new ministries; these changes increased National Islamic Front presence at the ministerial level and consolidated its control over the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; President BASHIR's government is dominated by members of Sudan's National Islamic Front, a fundamentalist political organization formed from the Muslim Brotherhood in 1986; front leader Hasan al-TURABI controls Khartoum's overall domestic and foreign policies

Legislative branch: appointed 300-member Transitional National Assembly; officially assumes all legislative authority for Sudan until the proposed 1995 resumption of national elections

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, Special Revolutionary Courts

Political parties and leaders: none; banned following 30 June 1989 coup

Other political or pressure groups: National Islamic Front, Hasan al-TURABI


Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Ahmad SULAYMAN
chancery: 2210 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 338-8565 through 8570
FAX: [1] (202) 667-2406

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador Donald K. PETTERSON
embassy: Shar'ia Ali Abdul Latif, Khartoum
mailing address: P. O. Box 699, Khartoum; APO AE 09829
telephone: 74700, 74611 (operator assistance required)
FAX: Telex 22619 AMEMSD

Flag: three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black with a green isosceles triangle based on the hoist side


Overview: Sudan is buffeted by civil war, chronic political instability, adverse weather, high inflation, a drop in remittances from abroad, and counterproductive economic policies. Governmental entities account for more than 70% of new investment. The private sector's main areas of activity are agriculture and trading, with most private industrial investment predating 1980. Agriculture employs 80% of the work force. Industry mainly processes agricultural items. Sluggish economic performance over the past decade, attributable largely to declining annual rainfall, has reduced levels of per capita income and consumption. A large foreign debt and huge arrearages continue to cause difficulties. In 1990 the International Monetary Fund took the unusual step of declaring Sudan noncooperative because of its nonpayment of arrearages to the Fund. After Sudan backtracked on promised reforms in 1992-93, the IMF threatened to expel Sudan from the Fund. To avoid expulsion, Khartoum agreed to make payments on its arrears to the Fund, liberalize exchange rates, and reduce subsidies. These measures have been partially implemented. The government's continued prosecution of the civil war and its growing international isolation led to a further deterioration of the nonagricultural sectors of the economy during 1994. Agriculture, on the other hand, after several disappointing years, enjoyed a bumper fall harvest in 1994; its strong performance produced an overall growth rate in GDP of perhaps 7%.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $23.7 billion (1994 est.)

National product real growth rate: 7% (1994 est.)

National product per capita: $870 (1994 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 112% (FY93/94 est.)

Unemployment rate: 30% (FY92/93 est.)

revenues: $493 million
expenditures: $1.1 billion, including capital expenditures of $225 million (1994 est.)

Exports: $419 million (f.o.b., FY93/94)
commodities: gum arabic 29%, livestock/meat 24%, cotton 13%, sesame, peanuts
partners: Western Europe 46%, Saudi Arabia 14%, Eastern Europe 9%, Japan 9%, US 3% (FY87/88)

Imports: $1.7 billion (c.i.f., FY93/94)
commodities: foodstuffs, petroleum products, manufactured goods, machinery and equipment, medicines and chemicals, textiles
partners: Western Europe 32%, Africa and Asia 15%, US 13%, Eastern Europe 3% (FY87/88)

External debt: $17 billion (June 1993 est.)

Industrial production: growth rate 6.8% (FY92/93 est.); accounts for 11% of GDP

capacity: 500,000 kW
production: 1.3 billion kWh
consumption per capita: 42 kWh (1993)

Industries: cotton ginning, textiles, cement, edible oils, sugar, soap distilling, shoes, petroleum refining

Agriculture: accounts for 35% of GDP; major products - cotton, oilseeds, sorghum, millet, wheat, gum arabic, sheep; marginally self-sufficient in most foods

Economic aid:
recipient: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-89), $1.5 billion; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $5.1 billion; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $3.1 billion; Communist countries (1970-89), $588 million

Currency: 1 Sudanese pound (#Sd) = 100 piastres

Exchange rates: official rate - Sudanese pounds (#Sd) per US$1 - 434.8 (January 1995), 277.8 (1994), 153.8 (1993), 69.4 (1992), 5.4288 (1991), 4.5004 (1990); note - the commercial rate is 300 Sudanese pounds per US$1

Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June


total: 5,516 km
narrow gauge: 4,800 km 1.067-m gauge; 716 km 1.6096-m gauge plantation line

total: 20,703 km
paved: bituminous treated 2,000 km
unpaved: gravel 4,000 km; improved earth 2,304 km; unimproved earth 12,399 km

Inland waterways: 5,310 km navigable

Pipelines: refined products 815 km

Ports: Juba, Khartoum, Kusti, Malakal, Nimule, Port Sudan, Sawakin

Merchant marine:
total: 5 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 43,024 GRT/122,379 DWT
ships by type: cargo 3, roll-on/roll-off cargo 2

total: 70
with paved runways over 3,047 m: 1
with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
with paved runways under 914 m: 13
with unpaved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
with unpaved runways 1,524 to 2,438 m: 14
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 33


Telephone system: NA telephones; large, well-equipped system by African standards, but barely adequate and poorly maintained by modern standards
local: NA
intercity: consists of microwave radio relay, cable, radio communications, troposcatter, and a domestic satellite system with 14 stations
international: 1 INTELSAT (Atlantic Ocean) and 1 ARABSAT earth station

broadcast stations: AM 11, FM 0, shortwave 0
radios: NA

broadcast stations: 3
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, Popular Defense Force Militia

Manpower availability: males age 15-49 6,806,588; males fit for military service 4,185,206; males reach military age (18) annually 313,958 (1995 est.)

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $600 million, 7.3% of GDP (FY93/94 est.)