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About Sudan

Situated in Northeast Africa, Sudan is a country of immense diversity that fascinates and intrigues most of its visitors from anthropologists and archeologists to historians and average travelers. It is a country that is unique and complex in its climate, politics, environment, languages, cultures, religion and ethnicities.
While the population of Sudan predominately descends from both indigenous African groups and Arabs, today most tribes in the country speak Arabic and the Arab culture predominates. Over 97% of the population of Sudan are Sunni Muslims with a very small Christian minority.

Sudan is the third largest country on the African continent (after Algeria and DRC) and the 16th largest in the world. The country has international borders with seven other states.. The River Nile traverses the country from south to north while the Red Sea washes about 550 miles of eastern coast making Sudan a bridge between Africa and the Middle East.
Sudan’s terrain is generally flat plains, broken by several mountain ranges. In the west, the Deriba Caldera, located in the Marrah Mountains is the highest point in Sudan and the Red Sea hills in the east constitute the highest points in that area. The climate is mostly arid, but the amount of rainfall increases towards the south. Sudan’s rainy season lasts for about three months (July to September).

In the northern and western semi-desert areas, people rely on the scant rainfall for basic agriculture and many are nomads; travelling with their herds of sheep and camel, seeking pastures. Closer to the River Nile, irrigated farms grow cash crops.
The country faces a number of environmental challenges as a result of climate change, including soil erosion, desertification and recurrent droughts. Agricultural expansion, both public and private, has proceeded without conservation measures. The consequences have manifested themselves in the form of deforestation, soil desiccation and the lowering of soil fertility and water tables in various parts of the country.

History and Government

Sudan gained independence on 1 January 1956; since then, the country has experienced alternating forms of democratic and authoritarian government. Sudan’s period of conflict (1955-1972 and 1983-2005) stands as one of the longest in Africa’s post-independence history. This period of almost unbroken warfare was interrupted for almost a decade between 1972-1983 by the signing of the Addis Ababa Peace Agreement.
Continued conflict between the Khartoum-based Government and opposition forces in Sudan’s regions (Southern Sudan, Darfur and Eastern Sudan) have oftentimes reflected deep socio-political divides across the country, exacerbated by conflicts over natural resources and the socio-economic disenfranchisement of local communities. The current government, headed by President Omar al- Bashir, came to power through a military coup in June 1989.

In 2005, the National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army/Movement (SPLA/M) signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), formally ending the second phase of the war between the North and the South. The agreement was concluded within the framework of the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD), and supported by the regional grouping of East African States, and a troika of countries (USA, UK, & Norway).
Subsequently, a referendum took place in Southern Sudan from January 9 -15, 2011, on whether the region should remain as part of Sudan or become independent. The vast majority of voters in the ten states of South Sudan voted for independence. Hence, South Sudan declared officially its independence on January 9, 2011, becoming the world’s 193rd State.

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