Military regimes favoring Islamic-oriented governments have dominated national politics since independence from the UK in 1956. Sudan was embroiled in two prolonged civil wars during most of the remainder of the 20th century. These conflicts were rooted in northern economic, political, and social domination of largely non-Muslim, non-Arab southern Sudanese. The first civil war ended in 1972 but broke out again in 1983. The second war and famine-related effects resulted in more than four million people displaced and, according to rebel estimates, more than two million deaths over a period of two decades. Peace talks gained momentum in 2002-04 with the signing of several accords. The final North/South Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), signed in January 2005, granted the southern rebels autonomy for six years. After which, a referendum for independence is scheduled to be held. A separate conflict, which broke out in the western region of Darfur in 2003, has displaced nearly two million people and caused an estimated 200,000 to 400,000 deaths. The UN took command of the Darfur peacekeeping operation from the African Union on 31 December 2007. As of early 2008, peacekeeping troops were struggling to stabilize the situation, which has become increasingly regional in scope, and has brought instability to eastern Chad, and Sudanese incursions into the Central African Republic. Sudan also has faced large refugee influxes from neighboring countries, primarily Ethiopia and Chad. Armed conflict, poor transport infrastructure, and lack of government support have chronically obstructed the provision of humanitarian assistance to affected populations.
Early history of Sudan
Archaeological evidence has confirmed that the area in the North of Sudan was inhabited at least 60,000 years ago. A settled culture appeared in the area around 8,000 BC, living in fortified villages, where they subsisted on hunting and fishing, as well as grain gathering and cattle herding while also being shepherds.
The area was known to the Egyptians as Kush and had strong cultural and religious ties to Egypt. In the 8th century BC, however, Kush came under the rule of an aggressive line of monarchs, ruling from the capital city, Napata, who gradually extended their influence into Egypt. About 750 BC, a Kushite king called Kashta conquered Upper Egypt and became ruler of Thebes until approximately 740 BC. His successor, Piankhy, subdued the delta, reunited Egypt under the Twenty-fifth Dynasty, and founded a line of kings who ruled Kush and Thebes for about a hundred years. The dynasty's intervention in the area of modern Syria caused a confrontation between Egypt and Assyria. When the Assyrians in retaliation invaded Egypt, Taharqa (688-663 BC), the last Kushite pharaoh, withdrew and returned the dynasty to Napata, where it continued to rule Kush and extended its dominions to the south and east.
In 590 BC, an Egyptian army sacked Napata, compelling the Kushite court to move to Meroe near the 6th cataract. The Meroitic kingdom subsequently developed independently of Egypt, and during the height of its power in the 2nd and 3rd centuries BC, Meroe extended over a region from the 3rd cataract in the north to Sawba, near present-day Khartoum (the modern day capital of Sudan).
The pharaonic tradition persisted among Meroe's rulers, who raised stelae to record the achievements of their reigns and erected pyramids to contain their tombs. These objects and the ruins at palaces, temples and baths at Meroe attest to a centralized political system that employed artisans' skills and commanded the labour of a large work force. A well-managed irrigation system allowed the area to support a higher population density than was possible during later periods. By the 1st century BC, the use of hieroglyphs gave way to a Meroitic script that adapted the Egyptian writing system to an indigenous, Nubian-related language spoken later by the region's people.
In the 6th century AD, the people known as the Nobatae occupied the Nile's west bank in northern Kush. Eventually they intermarried and established themselves among the Meroitic people as a military aristocracy. Until nearly the 5th century, Rome subsidized the Nobatae and used Meroe as a buffer between Egypt and the Blemmyes. About CE 350, an Axumite army from Abyssinia captured and destroyed Meroe city, ending the kingdom's independent existence.
By the 6th century, three states had emerged as the political and cultural heirs of the Meroitic Kingdom. Nobatia in the North, also known as Ballanah, had its capital at Faras, in what is now Egypt; the central kingdom, Muqurra (Makuria), was centred at Dunqulah, about 150 kilometers south of modern Dunqulah; and Alawa (Alodia), in the heartland of old Meroe, which had its capital at Sawba (now a suburb of modern-day Khartoum). In all three kingdoms, warrior aristocracies ruled Meroitic populations from royal courts where functionaries bore Greek titles in emulation of the Byzantine court.
A missionary sent by Byzantine empress Theodora arrived in Nobatia and started preaching Christianity about 540 AD. The Nubian kings became Monophysite Christians. However, Makuria was of the Melkite Christian faith, unlike Nobatia and Alodia.
The spread of Islam
After many attempts at military conquest failed, the Arab commander in Egypt concluded the first in a series of regularly renewed treaties known as Albaqut (pactum) with the Nubians that governed relations between the two peoples for more than 678 years.
Islam progressed in the area over a long period of time through intermarriage and contacts with Arab merchants and settlers. In 1093, a Muslim prince of Nubian royal blood ascended the throne of Dunqulah as king.
The two most important Arabic-speaking groups to emerge in Nubia were the Jaali and the Juhayna. Both showed physical continuity with the indigenous pre-Islamic population. Today's northern Sudanese culture combines Nubian and Arabic elements.
Kingdom of Sinnar
During the 1500s, a people called the Funj, under a leader named Amara Dunqus, appeared in southern Nubia and supplanted the remnants of the old Christian kingdom of Alwa, establishing As-Saltana az-Zarqa (the Blue Sultanate) at Sinnar. The Blue Sultanate eventually became the keystone of the Funj Empire. By the mid-16th century, Sinnar controlled Al Jazirah and commanded the allegiance of vassal states and tribal districts north to the 3rd cataract and south to the rain forests. The government was substantially weakened by a series of succession arguments and coups within the royal family. In 1820 Muhammad Ali of Egypt sent 4,000 troops to invade Sudan. The pasha's forces accepted Sinnar's surrender from the last Funj sultan, Badi VII.
Union with Egypt 1821-1885
In 1820, the Egyptian ruler Muhammad Ali Pasha invaded and conquered northern Sudan. Though technically the Wāli of Egypt under the Ottoman Sultan, Muhammad Ali styled himself as Khedive of a virtually independent Egypt. Seeking to add Sudan to his domains, he sent his son Ibrahim Pasha to conquer the country, and subsequently incorporate it into Egypt. This policy was expanded and intensified by Ibrahim's son, Ismail I, under whose reign most of the remainder of modern-day Sudan was conquered. The Egyptian authorities made significant improvements to the Sudanese infrastructure (mainly in the north), especially with regard to irrigation and cotton production.
In 1879, the Great Powers forced the removal of Ismail and established his son Tewfik I in his place. Tewfik's corruption and mismanagement resulted in the Orabi Revolt, which threatened the Khedive's survival. Tewfik appealed for help to the British, who subsequently occupied Egypt in 1882. The Sudan was left in the hands of the Khedivial government, and the mismanagement and corruption of its officials became notorious
Eventually, a revolt broke out in Sudan, led by the Sudanese religious leader Muhammad Ahmad ibn as Sayyid Abd Allah, the self-proclaimed Mahdi (Guided One), who sought to purify Islam and end foreign domination in Sudan. His revolt culminated in the fall of Khartoum and the death of the British governor General Gordon (Gordon of Khartoum) in 1885. The Egyptian and British forces withdrew from Sudan leaving the Mahdi to form a short-lived theocratic state.
Mahdist Rule: The Mahdiya
The Mahdiyah (Mahdist regime) did not impose traditional Islamic laws. The new ruler's aim was more political than anything else. This was evident in the animosity he showed towards existing muslims and locals who did not show loyalty to his system and rule. He authorised the burning of lists of pedigrees and books of law and theology.
The Mahdi maintained that his movement was not a religious order that could be accepted or rejected at will, but that it was a universal regime, which challenged man to join or to be destroyed.
Originally, the Mahdiyah was a jihad state, run like a military camp. Sharia courts enforced Islamic law and the Mahdi's precepts, which had the force of law. Six months after the fall of Khartoum, the Mahdi died of typhus, and after a power struggle amongst his deputies, Abdallahi ibn Muhammad, with the help primarily of the Baqqara Arabs of western Sudan, overcame the opposition of the others and emerged as unchallenged leader of the Mahdiyah. After consolidating his power, Abdallahi ibn Muhammad assumed the title of Khalifa (successor) of the Mahdi, instituted an administration, and appointed Ansar (who were usually Baqqara) as emirs over each of the several provinces.
Regional relations remained tense throughout much of the Mahdiyah period, largely because of the Khalifa's brutal methods to extend his rule throughout the country. In 1887, a 60,000-man Ansar army invaded Ethiopia, penetrating as far as Gondar. In March 1889, king Yohannes IV of Ethiopia, marched on Metemma; however, after Yohannes fell in battle, the Ethiopian forces withdrew. Abd ar Rahman an Nujumi, the Khalifa's general, attempted to Egypt in 1889, but British-led Egyptian troops defeated the Ansar at Tushkah. The failure of the Egyptian invasion broke the spell of the Ansar's invincibility. The Belgians prevented the Mahdi's men from conquering Equatoria, and in 1893, the Italians repulsed an Ansar attack at Akordat (in Eritrea) and forced the Ansar to withdraw from Ethiopia.
Anglo-Egyptian Sudan 1899-1956
In the 1890s, the British sought to re-establish their control over Sudan, once more officially in the name of the Egyptian Khedive, but in actuality treating the country as British imperial territory. By the early 1890s, British, French, and Belgian claims had converged at the Nile headwaters. Britain feared that the other imperial powers would take advantage of Sudan's instability to acquire territory previously annexed to Egypt. Apart from these political considerations, Britain wanted to establish control over the Nile to safeguard a planned irrigation dam at Aswan.
"The War in the Soudan." A U.S. poster depicting British and Mahdist armies in battle, produced to advertise a Barnum & Bailey circus show titled "The Mahdi, or, For the Victoria Cross", 1897.
Lord Kitchener led military campaigns from 1896 to 1898. Kitchener's campaigns culminated in the Battle of Omdurman. Following defeat of the Mahdists at Omdurman, an agreement was reached in 1899 establishing Anglo-Egyptian rule, under which Sudan was run by a governor-general appointed by Egypt with British consent. In reality, much to the revulsion of Egyptian and Sudanese nationalists, Sudan was effectively administered as a British colony. The British were keen to reverse the process, started under Muhammad Ali Pasha, of uniting the Nile Valley under Egyptian leadership, and sought to frustrate all efforts aimed at further uniting the two countries.
During World War II, Sudan was directly involved militarily in the East African Campaign. Formed in 1925, the Sudan Defence Force (SDF) played an active part in responding to the early incursions into the Sudan from Italian East Africa during 1940. In 1942, the SDF also played a part in the invasion of the Italian colony by British and Commonwealth forces.
From 1924 until independence in 1956, the British had a policy of running Sudan as two essentially separate territories, the north (Muslim) and south (Christian). The last British Governor-General was Sir Robert Howe.
Independence January 1, 1956
The continued British occupation of Sudan fueled an increasingly strident nationalist backlash in Egypt, with Egyptian nationalist leaders determined to force Britain to recognize a single independent union of Egypt and Sudan. With the formal end of Ottoman rule in 1914, Husayn Kamil was declared Sultan of Egypt and Sudan, as was his brother Fuad I who succeeded him. The insistence of a single Egyptian-Sudanese state persisted when the Sultanate was re-titled the Kingdom of Egypt and Sudan, but the British continued to frustrate these efforts.
The first real independence attempt was made in 1924 by a group of Sudanese military officers known as the White Flag League. The group was led by first lieutenant Ali Abdullatif and first lieutenant Abdul Fadil Almaz. The latter led an insurrection of the military training academy, which ended in their defeat and the death of Almaz after the British army blew up the military hospital where he was garrisoned. This defeat was (allegedly) partially the result of the Egyptian garrison in Khartoum North not supporting the insurrection with artillery as was previously promised.
Even when the British ended their occupation of Egypt in 1936 (with the exception of the Suez Canal Zone), Sudan remained under British occupation. The Egyptian Revolution of 1952 finally heralded the beginning of the march towards Sudanese independence. Having abolished the monarchy in 1953, Egypt's new leaders, Muhammad Naguib, whose mother was Sudanese, and Gamal Abdel-Nasser, believed the only way to end British domination in Sudan was for Egypt to officially abandon its sovereignty over Sudan. Since Britain's own claim to sovereignty in Sudan theoretically depended upon Egyptian sovereignty, the revolutionaries calculated that this tactic would leave Britain with no option but to withdraw. Their calculation proved to be correct, and in 1954 the governments of Egypt and Britain signed a treaty guaranteeing Sudanese independence on January 1, 1956.
Afterwards, the newly elected Sudanese government led by the first prime minister Ismail Al-Azhari, went ahead with the process of Sudanisation of the state's government, with the help and supervision of an international committee. Independence was duly granted and on January 1, 1956, in a special ceremony held at the People's Palace where the Egyptian and British flags were lowered and the new Sudanese flag, composed of green, blue and white stripes, was raised in their place
First Sudanese Civil War 1955 - 1972
In 1955, the year before independence, a civil war began between northern and southern Sudan. The southerners, anticipating independence, feared the new nation would be dominated by the north.
Historically, the north of Sudan had closer ties with Egypt and was predominantly Arab and Muslim while the south was predominantly a mixture of Christianity and Animism. These divisions had been further emphasized by the British policy of ruling the north and south under separate administrations. From 1924, it was illegal for people living above the 10th parallel to go further south and for people below the 8th parallel to go further north. The law was ostensibly enacted to prevent the spread of malaria and other tropical diseases that had ravaged British troops, as well as to facilitate spreading Christianity among the predominantly Animist population while stopping the Arabic and Islamic influence from advancing south. The result was increased isolation between the already distinct north and south and arguably laid the seeds of conflict in the years to come.
The resulting conflict, known as the First Sudanese Civil War, lasted from 1955 to 1972. The 1955 war began when Southern army officers mutinied and then formed the Anya-Nya guerilla movement. A few years later the first Sudanese military regime took power under Major-General Abboud. Military regimes continued into 1969 when General Ja'afar al Nimiery led a successful coup. In 1972, a cessation of the north-south conflict was agreed upon under the terms of the Addis Ababa Agreement, following talks which were sponsored by the World Council of Churches. This led to a ten-year hiatus in the national conflict.
Second Sudanese Civil War from 1983 - 2005
In 1983, the civil war was reignited following President Gaafar Nimeiry's decision to circumvent the Addis Ababa Agreement. President Gaafar Nimeiry attempted to create a federated Sudan including states in southern Sudan, which violated the Addis Ababa Agreement that had granted the south considerable autonomy. He appointed a committee to undertake “a substantial review of the Addis Ababa Agreement, especially in the areas of security arrangements, border trade, language, culture and religion”. Mansour Khalid a former foreign minister wrote, “Nimeiri had never been genuinely committed to the principles of the Addis Ababa Agreement". In September 1983, the civil war was reignited when President Gaafar Nimeiry's culminated the 1977 revisions by imposing new Islamic laws on all of Sudan, including the non-Muslim south. When asked about revisions he stated “The Addis Ababa agreement is myself and Joseph Lagu and we want it that way… I am 300 percent the constitution. I do not know of any plebiscite because I am mandated by the people as the President”. Southern troops rebelled against the northern political offensive, and launched attacks in June of 1983. In 1995, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter negotiated the longest ceasefire in the history of the war to allow humanitarian aid to enter Southern Sudan which had been inaccessible due to violence. This ceasefire, which lasted almost six months, has since been called the “Guinea Worm Ceasefire.”
The Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), based in southern Sudan, was formed in May 1983. Finally, in June 1983, the Sudanese government under President Gaafar Nimeiry abrogated the Addis Ababa Peace Agreement (A.A.A.). The situation was exacerbated after President Gaafar Nimeiry went on to implement Sharia Law in September of the same year.
The war continued even after Nimeiry was ousted and a democratic government was elected with Al Sadig Al Mahdi's Umma Party having the majority in the parliament. The leader of the SPLA John Garang refused to recognize the government and to negotiate with it as representative of Sudan but agreed to negotiate with government officials as representative of their political parties.
In 1989, a bloodless coup brought control of Khartoum into the hands of Omar al-Bashir and the National Islamic Front headed by Dr. Hassan al-Turabi. The new government was of Islamic orientation and later it formed the Popular Defence Forces (al Difaa al Shaabi) and began to use religious propaganda to recruit people, as the regular army was demoralised and under pressure from the SPLA rebels. This worsened the situation in the tribal south, as the fighting became more intense, causing casualties among the Christian and animist minority.
The SPLA started as a Marxist movement, with support from the Soviet Union and the Ethiopian Marxist President Mengistu Haile Meriem. In time, however, it sought support in the West by using the northern Sudanese government's religious propaganda to portray the war as a campaign by the Arab Islamic government to impose Islam and the Arabic language on the Christian south. In 1991 the SPLA was split when Riek Machar withdrew and formed his own faction.
The war went on for more than 20 years, including the use of Russian-made combat helicopters and military cargo planes which were used as bombers to devastating effect on villages and tribal rebels alike. "Sudan's independent history has been dominated by chronic, exceptionally cruel warfare that has starkly divided the country on racial, religious, and regional grounds; displaced an estimated four million people (of a total estimated population of thirty-two million); and killed an estimated two million people." It damaged Sudan's economy and led to food shortages, resulting in starvation and malnutrition. The lack of investment during this time, particularly in the south, meant a generation lost access to basic health services, education, and jobs.
Peace talks between the southern rebels and the government made substantial progress in 2003 and early 2004. The peace was consolidated with the official signing by both sides of the Nairobi Comprehensive Peace Agreement 9 January 2005, granting southern Sudan autonomy for six years, to be followed by a referendum about independence. It created a co-vice president position and allowed the north and south to split oil deposits equally, but also left both the north's and south's armies in place. John Garang, the south's peace agreement appointed co-vice president died in a helicopter crash on August 1, 2005, three weeks after being sworn in. This resulted in riots, but the peace was eventually able to continue.
The United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) was established under UN Security Council Resolution 1590 of March 24, 2005. Its mandate is to support implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, and to perform functions relating to humanitarian assistance, and protection and promotion of human rights.
In October 2007 the former southern rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) withdrew from government in protest over slow implementation of a landmark 2005 peace deal which ended the civil war. Observers say the biggest obstacle to reconciliation is the unresolved status of the
Darfur conflict and war crimes charges
Map of Northeast Africa highlighting the Darfur region of Sudan.
Just as the long north-south civil war was reaching a resolution, some clashes occurred in the western region of Darfur in the early 1970s between the pastoral tribes and the agricultural famine. The rebels accused the central government of neglecting the Darfur region economically, although there is uncertainty regarding the objectives of the rebels and whether it merely seeks an improved position for Darfur within Sudan or outright secession. Both the government and the rebels have been accused of atrocities in this war, although most of the blame has fallen on Arab militias known as the Janjawid, which are armed men appointed by the Al Saddiq Al Mahdi administration to stop the long-standing chaotic disputes between Darfur tribes. According to declarations by the United States Government, these militias have been engaging in genocide; the fighting has displaced hundreds of thousands of people, many of them seeking refuge in neighbouring Chad. The government claimed victory over the rebels after capturing a town on the border with Chad in early 1994. However, the fighting resumed in 2003.
On September 9, 2004, the United States Secretary of State Colin Powell termed the Darfur conflict a genocide, claiming it as the worst humanitarian crisis of the 21st century. There have been reports that the Janjawid has been launching raids, bombings, and attacks on villages, killing civilians based on ethnicity, raping women, stealing land, goods, and herds of livestock. So far, over 2.5 million civilians have been displaced and the death toll is variously estimated from 200,000 to 400,000 killed. These figures have remained stagnant since initial UN reports of the conflict hinted at genocide in 2003/2004.
On May 5, 2006, the Sudanese government and Darfur's largest rebel group, the SLM (Sudanese Liberation Movement), signed the Darfur Peace Agreement, which aimed at ending the three-year long conflict. The agreement specified the disarmament of the Janjawid and the disbandment of the rebel forces, and aimed at establishing a temporal government in which the rebels could take part. The agreement, which was brokered by the African Union, however, was not signed by all of the rebel groups. Only one rebel group, the SLA, led by Minni Arko Minnawi, signed the DPA.
Since the agreement was signed, however, there have been reports of widespread violence throughout the region. A new rebel group has emerged called the National Redemption Front, which is made up of the four main rebel groups that refused to sign the May peace agreement. Recently, both the Sudanese government and government-sponsored Muslim militias have launched large offensives against the rebel groups, resulting in more deaths and more displacements. Clashes among the rebel groups have also contributed to the violence. Recent fighting along the Chad border has left hundreds of soldiers and rebel forces dead and nearly a quarter of a million refugees cut from aid. In addition, villages have been bombed and more civilians have been killed. UNICEF recently reported that around 80 infants die each day in Darfur as a result of malnutrition.
The people in Darfur are predominantly Black Africans of Muslim beliefs. While the Janjawid militia is made up of Black Arabs, the majority of Arab groups in Darfur remain uninvolved in the conflict. Darfurians—Arab and non-Arab alike—profoundly distrust a government in Khartoum that has brought them nothing but trouble.
The International Criminal Court has indicted State Minister for Humanitarian Affairs Ahmed Haroun and alleged Muslim Janjawid militia leader Ali Mohammed Ali, aka Ali Kosheib, in relation to the atrocities in the region. Ahmed Haroun belongs to the Bargou tribe, one of the non-Arab tribes of Darfur, and is alleged to have incited attacks on specific non-Arab ethnic groups. Ali Kosheib is an ex-soldier and a leader of the popular defense forces, and is alleged to be one of the key leaders responsible for attacks on villages in west Darfur.
The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor on Darfur, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, announced on July 14, 2008, ten criminal charges against President Bashir, accusing him of sponsoring war crimes and crimes against humanity. The ICC's prosecutors have claimed that al-Bashir "masterminded and implemented a plan to destroy in substantial part" three tribal groups in Darfur because of their ethnicity. The ICC's prosecutor for Darfur, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, is expected within months to ask a panel of ICC judges to issue an arrest warrant for Bashir.
The Arab League, AU, and even France support Sudan’s efforts to suspend the ICC investigation. They are willing to consider Article 16 of the Rome Statute, which states ICC investigations, can be suspended for one year if the investigation endangers the peace process.
The Chad-Sudan conflict officially started on December 23, 2005, when the government of Chad declared a state of war with Sudan and called for the citizens of Chad to mobilize themselves against the "common enemy", which the Chadian government sees as the Rally for Democracy and Liberty (RDL) militants, Chadian rebels backed by the Sudanese government, and Sudanese militiamen. The militants attacked villages and towns in eastern Chad, stealing cattle, murdering citizens, and burning houses. Over 200,000 refugees from the Darfur region of northwestern Sudan currently claim asylum in eastern Chad. Chadian president Idriss Déby accuses Sudanese President Omar Hasan Ahmad al-Bashir of trying to "destabilize our country, to drive our people into misery, to create disorder and export the war from Darfur to Chad."
The incident prompting the declaration of war was an attack on the Chadian town of Adré near the Sudanese border that led to the deaths of either one hundred rebels (as most news sources reported) or three hundred rebels. The Sudanese government was blamed for the attack, which was the second in the region in three days, but Sudanese foreign ministry spokesman Jamal Mohammed Ibrahim denied any Sudanese involvement, "We are not for any escalation with Chad. We technically deny involvement in Chadian internal affairs." The Battle of Adré led to the declaration of war by Chad and the alleged deployment of the Chadian air force into Sudanese airspace, which the Chadian government denies.
The leaders of Sudan and Chad signed an agreement in Saudi Arabia on May 3, 2007 to stop fighting from the Darfur conflict along their countries' 1,000-kilometre (600 mi) border.
The Eastern Front is a coalition of rebel groups operating in eastern Sudan along the border with Eritrea, particularly the states of Red Sea and Kassala. The Eastern Front's Chairman is Musa Mohamed Ahmed. While the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) was the primary member of the Eastern Front, the SPLA was obliged to leave by the January 2005 agreement that ended the Second Sudanese Civil War. Their place was taken in February 2004 after the merger of the larger Beja Congress with the smaller Rashaida Free Lions, two tribal based groups of the Beja and Rashaida people, respectively. The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), a rebel group from Darfur in the west, then joined.
Both the Free Lions and the Beja Congress stated that government inequity in the distribution of oil profits was the cause of their rebellion. They demanded to have a greater say in the composition of the national government, which has been seen as a destabilizing influence on the agreement ending the conflict in Southern Sudan.
The Eastern Front had threatened to block the flow of crude oil, which travels from the oil fields of the south-central regions to outside markets through Port Sudan. A government plan to build a second oil refinery near Port Sudan was also threatened. The government was reported to have three times as many soldiers in the east to suppress the rebellion and protect vital infrastructure as in the more widely reported Darfur region.
The Eritrean government in mid-2006 dramatically changed their position on the conflict. From being the main supporter of the Eastern Front they decided that bringing the Sudanese government around the negotiating table for a possible agreement with the rebels would be in their best interests. They were successful in their attempts and on the 19 June 2006, the two sides signed an agreement on declaration of principles. This was the start of four months of Eritrean-mediated negotiations for a comprehensive peace agreement between the Sudanese government and the Eastern Front, which culminated in signing of a peace agreement on 14 October 2006, in Asmara. The agreement covers security issues, power sharing at a federal and regional level, and wealth sharing in regards to the three Eastern states Kassala, Red Sea and Al Qadarif.
Humanitarian needs and 2007 floods
Southern Sudan is acknowledged to have some of the worst health indicators in the world. In 2004, there were only three surgeons serving southern Sudan, with three proper hospitals, and in some areas there was just one doctor for every 500,000 people. The humanitarian branch of the United Nations, consisting of several UN agencies coordinated by OCHA, works to bring life-saving relief to those in need. It is estimated by OCHA, that over 3.5 million people in Darfur (including 2.2 million IDPs) are heavily reliant on humanitarian aid for their survival. By contrast, in 2007 OCHA, under the leadership of Eliane Duthoit, started to gradually phase out in Southern Sudan, where humanitarian needs are gradually diminishing, and are slowly but markedly leaving the place to recovery and development activities.
In July 2007, many parts of the country were devastated by flooding, prompting an immediate humanitarian response by the United Nations and partners, under the leadership of acting United Nations Resident Coordinators David Gressly and Oluseyi Bajulaiye. Over 400,000 people were directly affected, with over 3.5 million at risk of epidemics. The United Nations have allocated US$ 13.5 million for the response from its pooled funds, but will launch an appeal to the international community to cover the gap.The humanitarian crisis is in danger of worsening. Following attacks in Darfur, the U.N. World Food Program announced it could stop food aid to some parts of Darfur.
Location: Northern Africa, bordering the Red Sea, between Egypt and Eritrea
Geographic coordinates: 15 00 N, 30 00 E
Map references: Africa
Area: total: 2,505,810 sq km
land: 2.376 million sq km
water: 129,810 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly more than one-quarter the size of the US
Land boundaries: total: 7,687 km
border countries: Central African Republic 1,165 km, Chad 1,360 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 628 km, Egypt 1,273 km, Eritrea 605 km, Ethiopia 1,606 km, Kenya 232 km, Libya 383 km, Uganda 435 km
Coastline: 853 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 18 nm
continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Climate: tropical in south; arid desert in north; rainy season varies by region (April to November)
Terrain: generally flat, featureless plain; mountains in far south, northeast and west; desert dominates the north
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Red Sea 0 m
highest point: Kinyeti 3,187 m
Natural resources: petroleum; small reserves of iron ore, copper, chromium ore, zinc, tungsten, mica, silver, gold, hydropower
Land use: arable land: 6.78%
permanent crops: 0.17%
other: 93.05% (2005)
Irrigated land: 18,630 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources: 154 cu km (1997)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural): total: 37.32 cu km/yr (3%/1%/97%)
per capita: 1,030 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards: dust storms and periodic persistent droughts
Environment - current issues: inadequate supplies of potable water; wildlife populations threatened by excessive hunting; soil erosion; desertification; periodic drought
Environment - international agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note: largest country in Africa; dominated by the Nile and its tributaries
Sudan has an authoritarian government in which all effective political power is in the hands of President Omar al-Bashir. Bashir and his party have controlled the government since he led the military coup on 30 June 1989.
From 1983 to 1997, the country was divided into five regions in the north and three in the south, each headed by a military governor. After the military coup on April 6, 1985, regional assemblies were suspended. The RCC was abolished in 1993, and the ruling National Islamic Front changed its name to the National Congress Party. The new party included some non Muslim members; mainly Southern Sudanese Politicians, some of whom were appointed as ministers or state governors. After 1997, the structure of regional administration was replaced by the creation of twenty-six 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 Islamic 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 remained 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. Since then his outspoken style has had him in prison or under house-arrest, his most recent stint beginning in March 2004 and ending in June 2005. During that time he was under house-arrest for his role in a failed coup attempt in September 2003, an allegation he has denied. According to some reports, the president had no choice but to release him, given that a coalition of National Democratic Union (NDA) members headquartered in both Cairo and Eritrea, composed of the political parties known as the SPLM/A, Umma Party, Mirghani Party, and Turabi's own National People's Congress, were calling for his release at a time when an interim government was preparing to take over in accordance with the Naivasha agreement and the Machokos Accord.In the proposed 2009 elections, Vice President Slava Kiir declared he is likely to challenge Bashir for the Presidential seat.
Population: 40,218,456 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 41.1% (male 8,451,576/female 8,093,609)
15-64 years: 56.4% (male 11,407,233/female 11,275,685)
65 years and over: 2.5% (male 518,822/female 471,530) (2008 est.)
Median age: total: 18.9 years
male: 18.7 years
female: 19.1 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.134% (2008 est.)
Birth rate: 34.31 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate: 13.64 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate: 0.67 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.1 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 86.98 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 87.09 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 86.86 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 50.28 years
male: 49.38 years
female: 51.23 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate: 4.58 children born/woman (2008 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 2.3% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 400,000 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 23,000 (2003 est.)
Major infectious diseases: degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness)
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2008)
Nationality: noun: Sudanese (singular and plural)
Ethnic groups: black 52%, Arab 39%, Beja 6%, foreigners 2%, other 1%
Religions: Sunni Muslim 70% (in north), Christian 5% (mostly in south and Khartoum), indigenous beliefs 25%
Languages: Arabic (official), English (official), Nubian, Ta Bedawie, diverse dialects of Nilotic, Nilo-Hamitic, Sudanic languages
note: program of "Arabization" in process
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 61.1%
female: 50.5% (2003 est.)
Education expenditures: 6% of GDP (1991)
Country name: conventional long form: Republic of the Sudan
conventional short form: Sudan
local long form: Jumhuriyat as-Sudan
local short form: As-Sudan
former: Anglo-Egyptian Sudan
Government type: Government of National Unity (GNU) - the National Congress Party (NCP) and Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) formed a power-sharing government under the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA); the NCP, which came to power by military coup in 1989, is the majority partner; the agreement stipulates national elections in 2009
Capital: name: Khartoum
geographic coordinates: 15 36 N, 32 32 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 25 states (wilayat, singular - wilayah); A'ali an Nil (Upper Nile), Al Bahr al Ahmar (Red Sea), Al Buhayrat (Lakes), Al Jazirah (El Gezira), Al Khartum (Khartoum), Al Qadarif (Gedaref), Al Wahdah (Unity), An Nil al Abyad (White Nile), An Nil al Azraq (Blue Nile), Ash Shamaliyah (Northern), Bahr al Jabal (Bahr al Jabal), Gharb al Istiwa'iyah (Western Equatoria), Gharb Bahr al Ghazal (Western Bahr al Ghazal), Gharb Darfur (Western Darfur), Janub Darfur (Southern Darfur), Janub Kurdufan (Southern Kordofan), Junqali (Jonglei), Kassala (Kassala), Nahr an Nil (Nile), Shamal Bahr al Ghazal (Northern Bahr al Ghazal), Shamal Darfur (Northern Darfur), Shamal Kurdufan (Northern Kordofan), Sharq al Istiwa'iyah (Eastern Equatoria), Sinnar (Sinnar), Warab (Warab)
Independence: 1 January 1956 (from Egypt and UK)
National holiday: Independence Day, 1 January (1956)
Constitution: constitution implemented on 30 June 1998, partially suspended 12 December 1999 by President BASHIR; under the CPA, Interim National Constitution ratified 5 July 2005; Constitution of Southern Sudan signed December 2005
Legal system: based on English common law and Islamic law; as of 20 January 1991, the now defunct Revolutionary Command Council imposed Islamic law in the northern states; Islamic law applies to all residents of the northern states regardless of their religion; however, the CPA establishes some protections for non-Muslims in Khartoum; some separate religious courts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; the southern legal system is still developing under the CPA following the civil war; Islamic law will not apply to the southern states
Suffrage: 17 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Umar Hassan Ahmad al-BASHIR (since 16 October 1993); First Vice President Salva KIIR (since 4 August 2005), Vice President Ali Osman TAHA (since 20 September 2005); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Umar Hassan Ahmad al-BASHIR (since 16 October 1993); First Vice President Salva KIIR (since 4 August 2005), Vice President Ali Osman TAHA (since 20 September 2005)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president; note - the National Congress Party or NCP (formerly the National Islamic Front or NIF) dominates al-BASHIR's cabinet
elections: election last held 13-23 December 2000; next to be held no later than July 2009 under terms of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement
election results: Umar Hassan Ahmad al-BASHIR reelected president; percent of vote - Umar Hassan Ahmad al-BASHIR 86.5%, Ja'afar Muhammed NUMAYRI 9.6%, three other candidates received a combined vote of 3.9%; election widely viewed as rigged; all popular opposition parties boycotted elections because of a lack of guarantees for a free and fair election
note: al-BASHIR assumed power as chairman of Sudan's Revolutionary Command Council for National Salvation (RCC) in June 1989 and served concurrently as chief of state, chairman of the RCC, prime minister, and minister of defense until mid-October 1993 when he was appointed president by the RCC; he was elected president by popular vote for the first time in March 1996
Legislative branch: bicameral National Legislature consists of a Council of States (50 seats; members indirectly elected by state legislatures to serve six-year terms) and a National Assembly (450 seats; members presently appointed, but in the future 75% of members to be directly elected and 25% elected in special or indirect elections; to serve six-year terms)
elections: last held 13-22 December 2000 (next to be held 2009)
election results: NCP 355, others 5; note - replaced by appointments under the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement
Judicial branch: Constitutional Court of nine justices; National Supreme Court; National Courts of Appeal; other national courts; National Judicial Service Commission will undertake overall management of the National Judiciary
Political parties and leaders: National Congress Party or NCP [Umar Hassan al-BASHIR]; Sudan People's Liberation Movement or SPLM [Salva Mayardit KIIR]; and elements of the National Democratic Alliance or NDA including factions of the Democratic Union Party [Muhammad Uthman al-MIRGHANI] and Umma Party [SADIQ Siddiq al-Mahdi]; note - all political parties listed above in the Government of National Unity
Political pressure groups and leaders: Umma Party [Sadiq al-MAHDI]; Popular Congress Party or PCP [Hassan al-TURABI]
International organization participation: ABEDA, ACP, AfDB, AFESD, AMF, AU, CAEU, COMESA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAS, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Akec KHOC Aciew Khoc
chancery: 2210 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone:  (202) 338-8565
FAX:  (202) 667-2406
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Alberto M. FERNANDEZ
embassy: Sharia Ali Abdul Latif Avenue, Khartoum
mailing address: P. O. Box 699, Khartoum; APO AE 09829
telephone:  (183) 774701/2/3
FAX:  (183) 774137
note: US Consul in Cairo provides backup service for Khartoum
Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black with a green isosceles triangle based on the hoist side
Sudan has a rich and unique musical culture that has been through chronic instability and repression during the modern history of Sudan. Beginning with the imposition of strict sharia law in 1989, many of the country's most prominent poets, like Mahjoub Sharif, were imprisoned while others, like Mohammed el Amin (returned to Sudan in mid of 1990s) and Mohammed Wardi (returned to Sudan 2003), fled to Cairo. Traditional music suffered too, with traditional Zar ceremonies being interrupted and drums confiscated . At the same time, however, the European militaries contributed to the development of Sudanese music by introducing new instruments and styles; military bands, especially the Scottish bagpipes, were renowned, and set traditional music to military march music. The march March Shulkawi No 1, is an example, set to the sounds of the Shilluk.
Modern tribal music
The Nuba, on the front lines between the north and the south of Sudan, have retained a vibrant folk tradition. The musical harvest festival Kambala is still a major part of Nuba culture. The Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) include a group called the Black Stars, a unit dedicated to "cultural advocacy and performance". Members include the guitarist and singer Ismael Koinyi, as well as Jelle, Jamus and Tahir Jezar .
Several Sudanese born basketball players have played in the American National Basketball Association. These include Deng Gai, Luol Deng, and Manute Bol. The Khartoum state league is considered to be the oldest soccer league in the whole of Africa as it started in the late 1920s. The Sudan Football Association started in 1954. The Sudan national football team, nicknamed Sokoor Al-Jediane is the national team of Sudan and is controlled by the Sudan Soccer Association. It is one of only a few countries to have played since the inaugural African Nations Cup in 1957. Todd Matthews-Jouda switched nationalities from American to Sudanese in September 2003 and competed at the 2004 Olympics.
Sudanese clothing varies in different parts of Sudan and most of the Sudanese dress like everybody in Europe: shirts, skirts, jeans, etc. The traditional dress is the jalabia which is a loose fitting dress accompanied with a large scarf worn by men and the thobe which is a long shirt worn by women.
Economy - overview: Sudan's economy is booming on the back of increases in oil production, high oil prices, and large inflows of foreign direct investment. GDP growth registered more than 10% per year in 2006 and 2007. From 1997 to date, Sudan has been working with the IMF to implement macroeconomic reforms, including a managed float of the exchange rate. Sudan began exporting crude oil in the last quarter of 1999. Agricultural production remains important, because it employs 80% of the work force and contributes a third of GDP. The Darfur conflict, the aftermath of two decades of civil war in the south, the lack of basic infrastructure in large areas, and a reliance by much of the population on subsistence agriculture ensure much of the population will remain at or below the poverty line for years despite rapid rises in average per capita income. In January 2007, the government introduced a new currency, the Sudanese Pound, at an initial exchange rate of $1.00 equals 2 Sudanese Pounds.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $80.98 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $46.16 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 10.2% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $1,900 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 32%
services: 35.2% (2007 est.)
Labor force: 7.415 million (1996 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 80%
services: 13% (1998 est.)
Unemployment rate: 18.7% (2002 est.)
Population below poverty line: 40% (2004 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Investment (gross fixed): 19% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget: revenues: $9.201 billion
expenditures: $10.62 billion (2007 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Public debt: 105.9% of GDP (2007 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 8% (2007 est.)
Stock of money: $5.549 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of quasi money: $4.068 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of domestic credit: $8.659 billion (31 December 2007)
Agriculture - products: cotton, groundnuts (peanuts), sorghum, millet, wheat, gum arabic, sugarcane, cassava (tapioca), mangos, papaya, bananas, sweet potatoes, sesame; sheep, livestock
Industries: oil, cotton ginning, textiles, cement, edible oils, sugar, soap distilling, shoes, petroleum refining, pharmaceuticals, armaments, automobile/light truck assembly
Industrial production growth rate: 22% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production: 3.944 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - consumption: 3.298 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 52.1%
other: 0% (2001)
Oil - production: 484,500 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - consumption: 79,760 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil - exports: 279,100 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports: 7,945 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves: 6.6 billion bbl (1 January 2007 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2006 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2006 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2006 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2006 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 86 billion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance: -$3.447 billion (2007 est.)
Exports: $8.879 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities: oil and petroleum products; cotton, sesame, livestock, groundnuts, gum arabic, sugar
Exports - partners: China 67.8%, Japan 19%, South Korea 2% (2007)
Imports: $7.722 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities: foodstuffs, manufactured goods, refinery and transport equipment, medicines and chemicals, textiles, wheat
Imports - partners: China 27.9%, Saudi Arabia 7.5%, India 6.3%, Egypt 5.6%, UAE 5.5%, Japan 4.2% (2007)
Economic aid - recipient: $1.829 billion (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $1.378 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external: $29.42 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $NA
Currency (code): Sudanese pounds (SDG)
Currency code: SDD
Exchange rates: Sudanese poundss (SDG) per US dollar - 2.06 (2007), 2.172 (2006), 2.4361 (2005), 2.5791 (2004), 2.6098 (2003)
note: in October 2007 Sudan redenominated its currency by transforming 100 units of Sudanese dinar into one unit of Sudanese pound
Telephones - main lines in use: 345,200 (2007)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 7.464 million (2007)
Telephone system: general assessment: well-equipped system by regional standards and being upgraded; cellular communications started in 1996 and have expanded substantially
domestic: consists of microwave radio relay, cable, radiotelephone communications, tropospheric scatter, and a domestic satellite system with 14 earth stations
international: country code - 249; linked to international submarine cable Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG); satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean), 1 Arabsat (2000)
Radio broadcast stations: AM 12, FM 1, shortwave 1 (1998)
Radios: 7.55 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 3 (1997)
Televisions: 2.38 million (1997)
Internet country code: .sd
Internet hosts: 33 (2008)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 2 (2002)
Internet users: 1.5 million (2007)
Airports: 101 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 16
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 9
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
under 914 m: 1 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 85
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 20
914 to 1,523 m: 37
under 914 m: 27 (2007)
Heliports: 4 (2007)
Pipelines: gas 156 km; oil 4,070 km; refined products 1,613 km (2007)
Railways: total: 5,978 km
narrow gauge: 4,578 km 1.067-m gauge; 1,400 km 0.600-m gauge for cotton plantations (2006)
Roadways: total: 11,900 km
paved: 4,320 km
unpaved: 7,580 km (2000)
Waterways: 4,068 km (1,723 km open year round on White and Blue Nile rivers) (2006)
Merchant marine: total: 3
by type: cargo 2, carrier 1 (2008)
Ports and terminals: Port Sudan
Military branches: Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF): Land Forces, Navy, Air Force, Popular Defense Forces; Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA): Land Forces (2008)
Military service age and obligation: 18-30 years of age for compulsory military service; 2-year service obligation (2006)
Manpower available for military service: males age 16-49: 9,639,923
females age 16-49: 9,321,106 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 16-49: 5,586,468
females age 16-49: 5,678,427 (2008 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually: male: 488,679
female: 469,547 (2008 est.)
Military expenditures: 3% of GDP (2005 est.)
Disputes - international: the effects of Sudan's almost constant ethnic and rebel militia fighting since the mid-20th century have penetrated all of the neighboring states; as of 2006, Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda provided shelter for over half a million Sudanese refugees, which includes 240,000 Darfur residents driven from their homes by Janjawid armed militia and the Sudanese military forces; Sudan, in turn, hosted about 116,000 Eritreans, 20,000 Chadians, and smaller numbers of Ethiopians, Ugandans, Central Africans, and Congolese as refugees; in February 2006, Sudan and DROC signed an agreement to repatriate 13,300 Sudanese and 6,800 Congolese; Sudan accuses Eritrea of supporting Sudanese rebel groups; efforts to demarcate the porous boundary with Ethiopia proceed slowly due to civil and ethnic fighting in eastern Sudan; the boundary that separates Kenya and Sudan's sovereignty is unclear in the "Ilemi Triangle," which Kenya has administered since colonial times; while Sudan claims to administer the Hala'ib Triangle north of the 1899 Treaty boundary along the 22nd Parallel; both states withdrew their military presence in the 1990s, and Egypt has invested in and effectively administers the area; periodic violent skirmishes with Sudanese residents over water and grazing rights persist among related pastoral populations along the border with the Central African Republic
Refugees and internally displaced persons: refugees (country of origin): 157,220 (Eritrea); 25,023 (Chad); 11,009 (Ethiopia); 7,895 (Uganda); 5,023 (Central African Republic)
IDPs: 5.3 - 6.2 million (civil war 1983-2005; ongoing conflict in Darfur region) (2007)
Trafficking in persons: current situation: Sudan is a source country for men, women, and children trafficked internally for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation; Sudan is also a transit and destination country for Ethiopian women trafficked abroad for domestic servitude; Sudanese women and girls are trafficked within the country, as well as possibly to Middle Eastern countries for domestic servitude; the terrorist rebel organization, Lord's Resistance Army, continues to harbor small numbers of Sudanese and Ugandan children in the southern part of the country for use as cooks, porters, and combatants; some of these children are also trafficked across borders into Uganda or the Democratic Republic of the Congo; militia groups in Darfur, some of which are linked to the government, abduct women for short periods of forced labor and to perpetrate sexual violence; during the two decades-long north-south civil war, thousands of Dinka women and children were abducted and subsequently enslaved by members of the Missiriya and Rezeigat tribes; while there have been no known new abductions of Dinka by members of Baggara tribes in the last few years, inter-tribal abductions continue in southern Sudan
tier rating: Tier 3 - Sudan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; combating human trafficking through law enforcement or prevention measures was not a priority for the government in 2007 (2008)