Sudan Population - History

Sudan Population - History

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41,087,825 (July 2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 29

Age structure:

0-14 years: 40.7% (male 8,535,551/female 8,173,616)
15-64 years: 56.8% (male 11,745,683/female 11,603,906)
65 years and over: 2.5% (male 532,968/female 496,101) (2009 est.)

Median age:

total: 19.1 years
male: 18.9 years
female: 19.2 years (2009 est.)

Population growth rate:

2.143% (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 48

Birth rate:

33.74 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 42

Death rate:

12.94 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 28

Net migration rate:

0.63 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 61


urban population: 43% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 4.3% annual rate of change (2005-10 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: 1.07 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2009 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 82.43 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 14
male: 82.48 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 82.37 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 51.42 years
country comparison to the world: 208
male: 50.49 years
female: 52.4 years (2009 est.)

Total fertility rate:

4.48 children born/woman (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 38

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

1.4% (2007 est.)

country comparison to the world: 45

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

320,000 (2007 est.)

country comparison to the world: 22

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

25,000 (2007 est.)

country comparison to the world: 19

Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness)
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
animal contact disease: rabies
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 (2009)


noun: Sudanese (singular and plural)
adjective: Sudanese

Ethnic groups:

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


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


Arabic (official), English (official), Nubian, Ta Bedawie, diverse dialects of Nilotic, Nilo-Hamitic, Sudanic languages

note: program of "Arabization" in process


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 61.1%
male: 71.8%
female: 50.5% (2003 est.)

Education expenditures:

The largest ethnic category comprises those considering themselves Arabs, but category internally split by regional and tribal loyalties and affiliation to various Muslim politico-religious groups. Major Muslim (but non-Arab) groups are Nubians in far north, nomadic Beja in northeast, and Fur in west. Southern non-Muslim groups include Dinka (more than 10 percent of total population and 40 percent in south), Nuer, and numerous smaller Nilotic and other ethnic groups.


Demographics of Sudan

The demographics of Sudan include the Sudanese people (Arabic: سودانيون ‎) and their characteristics, Sudan, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health, economic status, religious affiliations, and other aspects of the population.

In Sudan's 1993 census, the population was calculated at 30 million. No comprehensive census has been carried out since that time due to the Second Sudanese Civil War. Estimates of Sudan, including the population of South Sudan, ranged from 37 million (United Nations) to 45 million (CIA). Since the secession of South Sudan in July 2011, the current population of Sudan is estimated to be about 42 million [1] [2] . The population of metropolitan Khartoum (including Khartoum, Omdurman, and Khartoum North) is growing rapidly and ranges from six to seven million, including around two million displaced persons from the southern war zone, as well as western and eastern drought-affected areas.


Nile Valley Edit

By the eighth millennium BCE, people of a Neolithic culture had settled into a sedentary way of life there in fortified mud-brick villages, where they supplemented hunting and fishing on the Nile with grain gathering and cattle herding. [3] During the fifth millennium BCE, migrations from the drying Sahara brought neolithic people into the Nile Valley along with agriculture. The population that resulted from this cultural and genetic mixing developed social hierarchy over the next centuries become the Kingdom of Kush (with the capital at Kerma) at 17000 BCE. Anthropological and archaeological research indicate that during the pre-dynastic period Lower Nubia and Magadan Upper Egypt were ethnically, and culturally nearly identical, and thus, simultaneously evolved systems of Pharaonic kingship by 3300 BCE. [4] Together with other countries on Red Sea, Sudan is considered the most likely location of the land known to the ancient Egyptians as Punt (or "Ta Netjeru", meaning "God's Plan"), whose first mention dates to the 10th century BCE. [5]

Eastern Sudan Edit

In eastern Sudan, the Butana Group appears around 4000 BC. These people produced simple decorated pottery, lived in round huts and were most likely herdsmen, hunters, but also consumed land snails and there is evidence for some agriculture. [6] The Gash Group started around 3000 BC and is another prehistory culture known from several places. These people produced decorated pottery and lived from farming and cattle breeding. Mahal Teglinos was an important place about 10 hectare large. In the center were excavated mud brick built houses. Seals and seal impressions attest a higher level of administration. Burials in an elite cemetery were marked with rough tomb stones. [7] In the second millennium followed the Jebel Mokram Group. They produced pottery with simple incised decoration and lived in simple round huts. Cattle breeding was most likely the economical base. [8]

Kingdom of Kush Edit

Over the centuries, trade developed. Egyptian caravans carried grain to Kush and returned to Aswan with ivory, incense, hides, and carnelian (a stone prized both as jewellery and for arrowheads) for shipment downriver. Egyptian governors particularly valued gold in Nubia and soldiers in the pharaoh's army. Egyptian military expeditions penetrated Kush periodically during the Old Kingdom. Yet there was no attempt to establish a permanent presence in the area until the Middle Kingdom (c. 2100–1720 BC), when Egypt constructed a network of forts along the Nile as far south as Samnah in Lower Egypt to guard the flow of gold from mines in Wawat, the area between the First and Second Cataracts. [3]

Around 1720 BC, Canaanite nomads called the Hyksos took over Egypt, ended the Middle Kingdom, severed links with Kush, and destroyed the forts along the Nile River. To fill the vacuum left by the Egyptian withdrawal, a culturally distinct indigenous Kushite kingdom emerged at al-Karmah, near present-day Dongola. After Egyptian power revived during the New Kingdom (c. 1570–1100 BC), the pharaoh Ahmose I incorporated Kush as an Egyptian ruled province governed by a viceroy. Although Egypt's administrative control of Kush extended only down to the Fourth Cataract, Egyptian sources list tributary districts reaching to the Red Sea and upstream to the confluence of the Blue Nile and White Nile rivers. Egyptian authorities ensured the loyalty of local chiefs by drafting their children to serve as pages at the pharaoh's court. Egypt also expected tribute in gold and workers from local Kushite chiefs. [3]

Once Egypt had established political and military mastery over Kush, officials, priests, merchants, and artisans settled in the region. The Egyptian language became widely used in everyday activities. Many rich Kushites took to worshipping Egyptian gods and built temples for them. The temples remained centres of official religious worship until the coming of Christianity to the region during the sixth century. When Egyptian influence declined or succumbed to foreign domination, the Kushite elite regarded themselves as central powers and believed themselves as idols of Egyptian culture and religion. [3]

By the 11th century BC, the authority of the New Kingdom dynasties had diminished, allowing divided rule in Egypt, and ending Egyptian control of Kush. With the withdrawal of the Egyptians, there ceased to be any written record or information from Kush about the region's activities over the next three hundred years. In the early eighth century BC, however, Kush emerged as an independent kingdom ruled from Napata by an aggressive line of monarchs who slowly extended their influence into Egypt. Around 750 BC, a Kushite king called Kashta conquered Upper Egypt and became ruler of Thebes until approximately 740 BC. His successor, Piye, subdued the Nile Delta and conquered Egypt, thus initiating the Twenty-fifth Dynasty. Piye founded a line of kings who ruled Kush and Thebes for about a hundred years. The dynasty's interference with Assyria's sphere of influence in the Near East caused a confrontation between Egypt and the powerful Assyrian state, which controlled a vast empire comprising much of the Middle East, Anatolia, Caucasus [ citation needed ] and the Eastern Mediterranean Basin from their homeland in Upper Mesopotamia.

Taharqa (688–663 BC), the last Kushite pharaoh, was defeated and driven out of the Near East by Sennacherib of Assyria. Sennacherib's successor Esarhaddon went further, launching a full-scale invasion of Egypt in 674 BC, defeating Taharqa and quickly conquering the land. Taharqa fled back to Nubia, and native Egyptian princes were installed by the Assyrians as vassals of Esarhaddon. However, Taharqa was able to return some years later and wrest back control of a part of Egypt as far as Thebes from the Egyptian vassal princes of Assyria. Esarhaddon died in his capital Nineveh while preparing to return to Egypt and once more eject the Kushites. [9]

Esarhaddon's successor Ashurbanipal sent a general with a small army which again defeated and ejected Taharqa from Egypt. Taharqa died in Nubia two years later. His successor, Tantamani, attempted to regain Egypt. He successfully defeated Necho I, the puppet ruler installed by Ashurbanipal, taking Thebes in the process. The Assyrians then sent a powerful army southwards. Tantamani was heavily routed, and the Assyrian army sacked Thebes to such an extent it never truly recovered. A native ruler, Psamtik I was placed on the throne, as a vassal of Ashurbanipal, thus ending the Kushite/Nubian Empire.

Meroë Edit

Egypt's succeeding dynasty failed to reassert full control over Kush. Around 590 BC, however, an Egyptian army sacked Napata, compelling the Kushite court to move to a more secure location further south at Meroë near the Sixth Cataract. For several centuries thereafter, the Meroitic kingdom developed independently of Egyptian influence and domination, which passed successively under Iranian, Greek, and, finally, Roman domination. During the height of its power in the second and third centuries BC, Meroë extended over a region from the Third Cataract in the north to Soba, near present-day Khartoum, in the south. An Egyptian-influenced pharaonic tradition persisted among a line of rulers at Meroë, who raised stelae to record the achievements of their reigns and erected Nubian pyramids to contain their tombs. These objects and the ruins of palaces, temples, and baths at Meroë 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 first century BC, the use of Egyptian hieroglyphs gave way to a Meroitic alphabet adapted for the Nubian-related language spoken by the region's people.

Meroë's succession system was not necessarily hereditary the matrilineal royal family member deemed most worthy often became king. The kandake or queen mother's role in the selection process was crucial to a smooth succession. The crown appears to have passed from brother to brother (or sister) and only when no siblings remained from father to son.

Although Napata remained Meroë's religious centre, northern Kush eventually fell into disorder as it came under pressure from the Blemmyes, predatory nomads from east of the Nile. However, the Nile continued to give the region access to the Mediterranean world. Additionally, Meroë maintained contact with Arab and Indian traders along the Red Sea coast and incorporated Hellenistic and Indian cultural influences into its daily life. Inconclusive evidence suggests that metallurgical technology may have been transmitted westward across the savanna belt to West Africa from Meroë's iron smelteries.

Relations between Meroë and Egypt were not always peaceful. As a response to Meroë's incursions into Upper Egypt, a Roman army moved south and razed Napata in 23 BC. The Roman commander quickly abandoned the area, however, deeming it too poor to warrant colonization.

In the second century AD, the Nobatia occupied the Nile's west bank in northern Kush. They are believed to have been one of several well-armed bands of horse- and camel-borne warriors who sold their skills to Meroë for protection eventually they intermarried and established themselves among the Meroitic people as a military aristocracy. Until nearly the fifth century, Rome subsidized the Nobatia and used Meroë as a buffer between Egypt and the Blemmyes.

Meanwhile, the old Meroitic kingdom contracted because of the expansion of the powerful Kingdom of Aksum to the east. By 350, King Ezana of Axum had captured and destroyed the capital of Meroë, ending the kingdom's independent existence and conquering its territory.

On the turn of the fifth century, the Blemmyes established a short-lived state in Upper Egypt and Lower Nubia, probably centered around Talmis (Kalabsha), but before 450 they were already driven out of the Nile Valley by the Nobatians. The latter eventually founded a kingdom on their own, Nobatia. [11] By the 6th century there were in total three Nubian kingdoms: Nobatia in the north, which had its capital at Pachoras (Faras) the central kingdom, Makuria centred at Tungul (Old Dongola), about 13 kilometres (8 miles) south of modern Dongola and Alodia, in the heartland of the old Kushitic kingdom, which had its capital at Soba (now a suburb of modern-day Khartoum). [12] Still in the sixth century they converted to Christianity. [13] In the seventh century, probably at some point between 628 and 642, Nobatia was incorporated into Makuria. [14]

Between 639 and 641 the Muslim Arabs of the Rashidun Caliphate conquered Byzantine Egypt. In 641 or 642 and again in 652 they invaded Nubia but were repelled, making the Nubians one of the few who managed to defeat the Arabs during the Islamic expansion. Afterwards the Makurian king and the Arabs agreed on a unique non-aggression pact that also included an annual exchange of gifts, thus acknowledging Makuria's independence. [15] While the Arabs failed to conquer Nubia they began to settle east of the Nile, where they eventually founded several port towns [16] and intermarried with the local Beja. [17]

From the mid 8th-mid 11th century Christian Nubia went through its Golden Age, when its political power and cultural development peaked. [18] In 747 Makuria invaded Egypt, which at this time belonged to the declining Umayyads, [19] and it did so again in the early 960s, when it pushed as far north as Akhmim. [20] Makuria maintained close dynastic ties with Alodia, perhaps resulting in the temporary unification of the two kingdoms into one state. [21] The culture of the Medieval Nubians has been described as "Afro-Byzantine", [22] with the significance of the "African" component increasing over time. [23] Increasing Arab influence has also been noted. [24] The state organization was extremely centralized, [25] being based on the Byzantine bureaucracy of the 6th and 7th centuries. [26] Arts flourished in the form of pottery paintings [27] and especially wall paintings. [28] The Nubians developed an own alphabet for their language, Old Nobiin, basing it on the Coptic alphabet, while also utilizing Greek, Coptic and Arabic. [29] Women enjoyed high social status: they had access to education, could own, buy and sell land and often used their wealth to endow churches and church paintings. [30] Even the royal succession was matrilineal, with the son of the king's sister being the rightful heir. [31]

Since the late 11th/12th century, Makuria's capital Dongola was in decline, and Alodia's capital declined in the 12th century as well. [32] In the 14th (the earliest recorded migration from Egypt to the Sudanese Nile Valley dates to 1324 [33] ) and 15th century Bedouin tribes overran most of Sudan, [34] migrating to the Butana, the Gezira, Kordofan and Darfur. [35] In 1365 a civil war forced the Makurian court to flee to Gebel Adda in Lower Nubia, while Dongola was destroyed and left to the Arabs. Afterwards Makuria continued to exist only as a petty kingdom. [36] The last known Makurian king was Joel, who is attested for the years 1463 and 1484 and under whom Makuria probably witnessed a brief renaissance. [37] After his death the kingdom probably collapsed. [38] To the south, the kingdom of Alodia fell to either the Arabs, commanded by tribal leader Abdallah Jamma, or the Funj, an African people originating from the south. [39] Datings range from the 9th century after the Hijra (c. 1396–1494), [40] the late 15th century, [41] 1504 [42] to 1509. [43] An Alodian rump state might have survived in the form of the kingdom of Fazughli, lasting until 1685. [44]

In 1504 the Funj are recorded to have founded the kingdom of Sennar, in which Abdallah Jamma's realm was incorporated. [46] By 1523, when Jewish traveller David Reubeni visited Sudan, the Funj state already extended as far north as Dongola. [47] Meanwhile, Islam began to be preached on the Nile by Sufi holymen who settled there in the 15th and 16th centuries [48] and by David Reubeni's visit king Amara Dunqas, previously a Pagan or nominal Christian, was recorded to be Muslim. [49] However, the Funj would retain un-Islamic customs like the divine kingship or the consummation of alcohol until the 18th century. [50] Sudanese folk Islam preserved many rituals stemming from Christian traditions until the recent past. [51]

Soon the Funj came in conflict with the Ottomans, who had occupied Suakin around 1526 [52] and eventually pushed south along the Nile, reaching the third Nile cataract area in 1583/1584. A subsequent Ottoman attempt to capture Dongola was repelled by the Funj in 1585. [53] Afterwards, Hannik, located just south of the third cataract, would mark the border between the two states. [54] The aftermath of the Ottoman invasion saw the attempted usurpation of Ajib, a minor king of northern Nubia. While the Funj eventually killed him in 1611/12, his successors, the Abdallab, were granted the authority to govern everything north of the confluence of Blue and White Niles with considerable autonomy. [55]

During the 17th century the Funj state reached its widest extend, [56] but in the following century it began to decline. [57] A coup in 1718 brought a dynastic change, [58] while another one in 1761-1762 [59] resulted in the Hamaj regency, where the Hamaj (a people from the Ethiopian borderlands) effectively ruled while the Funj sultans were their mere puppets. [60] Shortly afterwards the sultanate began to fragment [61] by the early 19th century it was essentially restricted to the Gezira. [62]

The coup of 1718 kicked off a policy of pursuing a more orthodox Islam, which in turn promoted the Arabization of the state. [63] In order to legitimize their rule over their Arab subjects the Funj began to propagate an Umayyad descend. [64] North of the confluence of the Blue and White Niles, as far downstream as Al Dabbah, the Nubians would adopt the tribal identity of the Arab Jaalin. [65] Until the 19th century Arabic had succeeded in becoming the dominant language of central riverine Sudan [66] [67] [68] and most of Kordofan. [69]

West of the Nile, in Darfur, the Islamic period saw at first the rise of the Tunjur kingdom, which replaced the old Daju kingdom in the 15th century [70] and extended as far west as Wadai. [71] The Tunjur people were probably Arabized Berbers and, their ruling elite at least, Muslims. [72] In the 17th century the Tunjur were driven from power by the Fur Keira sultanate. [71] The Keira state, nominally Muslim since the reign of Sulayman Solong (r. c. 1660–1680), [73] was initially a small kingdom in northern Jebel Marra, [74] but expanded west- and northwards in the early 18th century [75] and eastwards under the rule of Muhammad Tayrab (r. 1751–1786), [76] peaking in the conquest of Kordofan in 1785. [77] The apogee of this empire, now roughly the size of present-day Nigeria, [77] would last until 1821. [76]

Turkish Sudan Edit

In 1820–21, an Ottoman force conquered and unified the northern portion of the country. The new government was known as the Turkiyah or Turkish regime. They were looking to open new markets and sources of natural resources. Historically, the pestilential swamps of the Sudd discouraged expansion into the deeper south of the country. Although Egypt claimed all of the present Sudan during most of the 19th century, and established a province Equatoria in southern Sudan to further this aim, it was unable to establish effective control over the area. In the later years of the Turkiyah, British missionaries travelled from modern-day Kenya into the Sudan to convert the local tribes to Christianity.

Mahdism and condominium Edit

In 1881, a religious leader named Muhammad Ahmad proclaimed himself the Mahdi ("guided one") and began a war to unify the tribes in western and central Sudan. His followers took the name "Ansars" ("followers") which they continue to use today, in association with the single largest political grouping, the Umma Party (once led by a 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 on 26 January 1885. The interim governor-general of the Sudan, the British Major-General Charles George Gordon, and many of the fifty thousand inhabitants of Khartoum were massacred.

The Mahdi died in June 1885. He was followed by Abdallahi ibn Muhammad, known as the Khalifa, who began an expansion of Sudan's area into Ethiopia. Following his victories in eastern Ethiopia, he sent an army to invade Egypt, where it was defeated by the British at Toshky. The British become aware of the weakness of the Sudan.

An Anglo-Egyptian force under Lord Kitchener in 1898 was sent to Sudan. Sudan was proclaimed a condominium in 1899 under British-Egyptian administration. The Governor-General of the Sudan, for example, was appointed by "Khedival Decree", rather than simply by the British Crown, but while maintaining the appearance of joint administration, the British Empire formulated policies, and supplied most of the top administrators.

British control (1896–1955) Edit

In 1896, a Belgian expedition claimed portions of southern Sudan that became known as the Lado Enclave. The Lado Enclave was officially part of the Belgian Congo. An 1896 agreement between the United Kingdom and Belgium saw the enclave turned over to the British after the death of King Leopold II in December 1909.

At the same time the French claimed several areas: Bahr el Ghazal, and the Western Upper Nile up to Fashoda. By 1896 they had a firm administrative hold on these areas and they planned on annexing them to French West Africa. An international conflict known as the Fashoda incident developed between France and the United Kingdom over these areas. In 1899, France agreed to cede the area to the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan.

From 1898, the United Kingdom and Egypt administered all of present-day Sudan as the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, but northern and southern Sudan were administered as separate provinces of the condominium. In the very early 1920s, the British passed the Closed Districts Ordinances which stipulated that passports were required for travel between the two zones, and permits were required to conduct business from one zone into the other, and totally separate administrations prevailed.

In the south, English, Dinka, Bari, Nuer, Latuko, Shilluk, Azande and Pari (Lafon) were official languages, while in the north, Arabic and English were used as official languages. Islam was discouraged by the British in the south, where Christian missionaries were permitted to work. Condominium governors of south Sudan attended colonial conferences in East Africa, not in Khartoum, and the British hoped to add south Sudan to their East African colonies.

Most of the British focus was on developing the economy and infrastructure of the north. Southern political arrangements were left largely as they had been prior to the arrival of the British. Until the 1920s, the British had limited authority in the south.

In order to establish their authority in the north, the British promoted the power of Sayyid Ali al-Mirghani, head of the Khatmiyya sect and Sayyid Abd al-Rahman al-Mahdi, head of the Ansar sect. The Ansar sect essentially became the Umma party, and Khatmiyya became the Democratic Unionist Party.

In 1943, the British began preparing the north for self-government, establishing a North Sudan Advisory Council to advise on the governance of the six North Sudanese provinces: Khartoum, Kordofan, Darfur, and Eastern, Northern, and Blue Nile provinces. Then, in 1946, the British administration reversed its policy and decided to integrate north and south Sudan under one government. The South Sudanese authorities were informed at the Juba Conference of 1947 that they would in future be governed by a common administrative authority with the north. From 1948, 13 delegates, nominated by the British authorities, represented the south on the Sudan Legislative Assembly.

Many southerners felt betrayed by the British, because they were largely excluded from the new government. The language of the new government was Arabic, but the bureaucrats and politicians from southern Sudan had, for the most part, been trained in English. Of the eight hundred new governmental positions vacated by the British in 1953, only four were given to southerners.

Also, the political structure in the south was not as organized in the north, so political groupings and parties from the south were not represented at the various conferences and talks that established the modern state of Sudan. As a result, many southerners did not consider Sudan to be a legitimate state.

Independence and the First Civil War Edit

During 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. On 18 August 1955 a revolt in the army in Torit Southern Sudan broke out, [78] which although quickly suppressed, led to a low level guerrilla insurgency by former Southern rebels, and marked the beginning of the First Sudanese Civil War. [79] On 15 December 1955 the Premier of Sudan Ismail al-Azhari announced that Sudan would unilaterally declare independence in four days time. [80] On 19 December 1955 the Sudanese parliament, unilaterally and unanimously, declared Sudan's independence. [81] The British and Egyptian governments recognized the independence of Sudan on 1 January 1956. 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 seventeen years of civil war (1955–1972). In the early period of the war, hundreds of northern bureaucrats, teachers, and other officials, serving in the south were massacred.

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 manoeuvring that paralysed public administration, Chief of Staff Major General Ibrahim Abboud overthrew the parliamentary regime in a bloodless coup d'état.

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.

The Nimeiry Era Edit

Dissatisfaction culminated in a second coup d'état on May 25, 1969. The coup leader, Col. Gaafar Nimeiry, 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 Nimeiry 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 ten years hiatus in the civil war.

Until the early 1970s, Sudan's agricultural output was mostly dedicated to internal consumption. In 1972, the Sudanese government became more pro-Western, and made plans to export food and cash crops. However, commodity prices declined throughout the 1970s causing economic problems for Sudan. At the same time, debt servicing costs, from the money spent mechanizing agriculture, rose. In 1978, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) negotiated a Structural Adjustment Program with the government. This further promoted the mechanized export agriculture sector. This caused great economic problems for the pastoralists of Sudan (See Nuba Peoples).

In 1976, the Ansars mounted a bloody but unsuccessful coup attempt. In July 1977, President Nimeiry 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 Nimeiry's government.

Arms suppliers Edit

Sudan relied on a variety of countries for its arms supplies. Since independence the army had been trained and supplied by the British, but relations were cut off after the Arab-Israel Six-Day War in 1967. At this time relations with the US and West Germany were also cut off. From 1968 to 1971, the Soviet Union and eastern bloc nations sold large numbers of weapons and provided technical assistance and training to Sudan. At this time the army grew from a strength of 18,000 to roughly 60,000 men. Large numbers of tanks, aircraft, and artillery were acquired at this time, and they dominated the army until the late 1980s. Relations cooled between the two sides after the coup in 1971, and the Khartoum government sought to diversify its suppliers. Egypt was the most important military partner in the 1970s, providing missiles, personnel carriers, and other military hardware.

Western countries began supplying Sudan again in the mid 1970s. The United States began selling Sudan a great deal of equipment around 1976. Military sales peaked in 1982 at US$101 million. The alliance with the United States was strengthened under the administration of Ronald Reagan. American aid increased from $5 million in 1979 to $200 million in 1983 and then to $254 million in 1985, mainly for military programs. Sudan thus becomes the second largest recipient of US aid to Africa (after Egypt). The construction of four air bases to house Rapid Deployment Force units and a powerful listening station for the CIA near Port Sudan is decided.[11] [1] [82]

Second Civil War Edit

In 1983, the civil war in the south was reignited following the government's Islamification policy which would have instituted Islamic law, among other things. After several years of fighting, the government compromised with southern groups. In 1984 and 1985 after a period of drought, several million people were threatened by famine, particularly in western Sudan. The regime is trying to hide the situation internationally. [83]

In March 1985, the announcement of the increase in the prices of basic necessities, at the request of the IMF with which the regime was negotiating, triggered the first demonstrations. On April 2, eight unions called for mobilization and a "general political strike until the abolition of the current regime". On the 3rd, massive demonstrations shook Khartoum, but also the country's main cities the strike paralysed institutions and the economy. On April 6, 1985, a group of military officers, led by Lieutenant General Abd ar Rahman Siwar adh Dhahab, overthrew Nimeiri, who took refuge in Egypt. Three days later, Dhahab authorized the creation of a fifteen-man Transitional Military Council (TMC) to rule Sudan. [83]

In June 1986, Sadiq al Mahdi formed a coalition government with Umma Party, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), the National Islamic Front (NIF), and four southern parties. Unfortunately, however, Sadiq proved to be a weak leader and incapable of governing Sudan. Party factionalism, corruption, personal rivalries, scandals, and political instability characterized the Sadiq regime. After less than a year in office, Sadiq al Mahdi dismissed the government because it had failed to draft a new penal code to replace the sharia, reach an agreement with the IMF, end the civil war in the south, or devise a scheme to attract remittances from Sudanese expatriates. To retain the support of the DUP and the southern political parties, Sadiq formed another ineffective coalition government.

In 1989, the government and southern rebels began to negotiate an end to the war, but a coup d'état brought a military junta into power which was not interested in compromise. The leader of the junta, Omar al-Bashir, consolidated his power over the next few years, declaring himself president.

The 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 neighbouring 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. In early 2003 a new rebellion of Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) groups in the western region of Darfur began. The rebels accused the central government of neglecting the Darfur region, although there is uncertainty regarding the objectives of the rebels and whether they merely seek 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 (Janjaweed) allied with the government. The rebels have alleged that these militias have been engaging in ethnic cleansing in Darfur, and the fighting has displaced hundreds of thousands of people, many of them seeking refuge in neighbouring Chad. There are various estimates on the number of human casualties, ranging from under twenty thousand to several hundred thousand dead, from either direct combat or starvation and disease inflicted by the conflict.

In 2004 Chad brokered negotiations in N'Djamena, leading to the April 8 Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement between the Sudanese government, the JEM, and the SLA. However, the conflict continued despite the ceasefire, and the African Union (AU) formed a Ceasefire Commission (CFC) to monitor its observance. In August 2004, the African Union sent 150 Rwandan troops in to protect the ceasefire monitors. It, however, soon became apparent that 150 troops would not be enough, so they were joined by 150 Nigerian troops.

On September 18, 2004 United Nations Security Council issued Resolution 1564 declaring that the government of Sudan had not met its commitments, expressing concern at helicopter attacks and assaults by the Janjaweed militia against villages in Darfur. It welcomed the intention of the African Union to enhance its monitoring mission in Darfur and urged all member states to support such efforts. During 2005 the African Union Mission in Sudan force was increased to about 7,000.

The Chadian-Sudanese conflict officially started on December 23, 2004, when the government of Chad declared a state of war with Sudan and called for the citizens of Chad to mobilize themselves against Rally for Democracy and Liberty (RDL) militants (Chadian rebels backed by the Sudanese government) and Sudanese militiamen who attacked villages and towns in eastern Chad, stealing cattle, murdering citizens, and burning houses.

Peace talks between the southern rebels and the government made substantial progress in 2003 and early 2004, although skirmishes in parts of the south have reportedly continued. The two sides have agreed that, following a final peace treaty, southern Sudan will enjoy autonomy for six years, and after the expiration of that period, the people of southern Sudan will be able to vote in a referendum on independence. Furthermore, oil revenues will be divided equally between the government and rebels during the six-year interim period. The ability or willingness of the government to fulfil these promises has been questioned by some observers, however, and the status of three central and eastern provinces was a point of contention in the negotiations. Some observers wondered whether hard line elements in the north would allow the treaty to proceed.

A final peace treaty was signed on 9 January 2005 in Nairobi. The terms of the peace treaty are as follows:

  • The south will have autonomy for six years, followed by a referendum on secession.
  • Both sides of the conflict will merge their armed forces into a 39,000-strong force after six years, if the secession referendum should turn out negative.
  • Income from oilfields is to be shared evenly between north and south.
  • Jobs are to be split according to varying ratios (central administration: 70 to 30, Abyei/Blue Nile State/Nuba mountains: 55 to 45, both in favour of the government).
  • Islamic law is to remain in the north, while continued use of the sharia in the south is to be decided by the elected assembly.

Islamisation Edit

The decade of the 1990s also saw a "top down" Islamisation of Sudan under the National Islamic Front and Hasan al-Turabi. Education was overhauled to focus on the glory of Arab and Islamic culture, and memorizing the Quran school uniforms were replaced with combat fatigues and students engaged in paramilitary drills. Religious police in the capital ensured that women were veiled, especially in government offices and universities. A relaxed political culture became much harsher, with human rights groups alleging a proliferation of torture chambers known as "ghost houses" used by security agencies. The war against the non-Muslim south was declared a jihad. [84] [85] On state television, actors simulated "weddings" between jihad martyrs and heavenly virgins (houris) on state television. Turabi also gave asylum and assistance to non-Sudanese jihadi, including Osama bin Laden and other Al Qaeda members. [84]

Recent history (2006 to present) Edit

On 31 August 2006, the United Nations Security Council approved Resolution 1706 to send a new peacekeeping force of 17,300 to Darfur. In the following months, however, UNMIS was not able to deploy to Darfur due to the Government of the Sudan's steadfast opposition to a peacekeeping operation undertaken solely by the United Nations. The UN then embarked on an alternative, innovative approach to try to begin stabilize the region through the phased strengthening of AMIS, before transfer of authority to a joint African Union/United Nations peacekeeping operation. Following prolonged and intensive negotiations with the Government of the Sudan and significant international pressure, the Government of the Sudan finally accepted the peacekeeping operation in Darfur.

In 2009 the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for al-Bashir, accusing him of crimes against humanity and war crimes.

In 2009 and 2010 a series of conflicts between rival nomadic tribes in South Kordofan caused a large number of casualties and displaced thousands.

An agreement for the restoration of harmony between Chad and Sudan, signed January 15, 2010, marked the end of a five-year war between them. [86]

The Sudanese government and the JEM signed a ceasefire agreement ending the Darfur conflict in February, 2010.

In January 2011 referendum on independence for Southern Sudan was held, and the South voted overwhelmingly to secede later that year as the Republic of South Sudan, with its capital at Juba and Kiir Mayardit as its first president. Al-Bashir announced that he accepted the result, but violence soon erupted in the disputed region of Abyei, claimed by both the North and the South.

On June 6, 2011 armed conflict broke out in South Kordofan between the forces of Northern and Southern Sudan, ahead of the scheduled independence of the South on July 9. This followed an agreement for both sides to withdraw from Abyei. On June, 20 of the parties agreed to demilitarize the contested area of Abyei where Ethiopian peacekeepers will be deployed. [87]

On July 9, 2011 South Sudan became an independent country. [88]

In April 2019, Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir was ousted after having ruled Sudan for nearly 30 years. President Omar al-Bashir seized power in a military coup in 1989. He was known as authoritarian and severe ruler. The International Criminal Court (ICC) accused him of war crimes during the Darfur conflict. [89]

After Omar al-Bashir (2019-present) Edit

Sudan's Sovereign Council, the military-civilian body that is the highest power in the transitional government, has ruled Sudan since the fall of Omar al-Bashir. Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok is the civilian leader of the cabinet. [90]

In October 2020, Sudan made an agreement to normalize diplomatic relations with Israel, as part of the agreement the United States removed Sudan from the U.S. list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. [91]

2020–2021 Ethiopian wars Edit

During the 2020–2021 Tigray War, Sudan also became collaterally involved. On 18 December 2020, Sudanese military would have been advancing towards the disputed Ethiopia-Sudan border area. An EEPA report stated that the Sudanese Commander-in-Chief, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, visited the area. Egypt condemned the border attack by Ethiopia on Sudan, and said that it stands in full solidarity with Sudan and called for all measures to ensure that such events do not reoccur. [92] An EEPA report stated that on 18 December 2020, the Sudanese government has accused the Ethiopian government of using artillery against Sudanese troops conducting operations in the border area. Tensions have been rising between the two countries in recent weeks after Sudan reoccupied land that it said was occupied by Ethiopian farmers. The government of Ethiopia has so far not commented on the matter. [92] On 18 December 2020, Sudanese authorities were instructing recently arrived Tigrayan refugees in Hamadyat camp to dismantle and go to the mainland of Sudan in fear of potential war between Ethiopia and Sudan. [92] On 19 December 2020, tension between Ethiopia and Sudan was increasing. Sudan has sent more troops, including Rapid Support Forces, and equipment to the border area. Support from the Beni Amer and al-Habb tribes in the states of Kassala and Gedaref, including food supplies and finances. Talks with Ethiopia have stopped. [93] An EEPA report stated that on 19 December 2020, Sudan had captured Eritrean soldiers dressed in Amhara militia uniforms fighting along the Sudan border alongside Amhara special forces. [93] On 20 December 2020, the Sudanese army had regained control of Jabal Abu Tayyur, in the disputed land on the Ethiopia-Sudan border. Heavy fighting between the Sudanese military and the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) and Amhara militia in Metemma near the Ethiopian-Sudanese border. [94]

Demographic trends

The country has a young population, with some two-fifths under age 15 more than one-fourth of the population is between ages 15 and 29.

Sudan has a rather low population density as a whole, but, due to the lack of adequate water supplies in many parts of the country, half of the population lives on just over 15 percent of the land. By contrast, one-quarter of Sudan is virtually uninhabited, including the deserts of the north and northwest.

There has been considerable rural-to-urban migration in Sudan in the decades since independence the urban population increased from 8.3 to 18 percent of the total between 1956 and 1972, and at the time of the south’s secession in 2011 the fraction of the population that is urban was about one-third. Recurrent famine and the long-running civil war brought more than three million southern and western Sudanese to the capital since 1983.

Because of the prevalence of pastoral livelihoods, the Sudanese population is highly mobile. About one-tenth of the population still follows a totally nomadic lifestyle.


The name Sudan is a name given to a geographical region to the south of the Sahara, stretching from Western Africa to eastern Central Africa. The name derives from the Arabic bilād as-sūdān ( بلاد السودان ), or the "Land of the Blacks". [39]

The Nilotic people of South Sudan—the Acholi, Anyuak, Bari, Dinka, Nuer, Shilluk, Kaligi (Arabic Feroghe), and others—first entered South Sudan sometime before the 10th century, coinciding with the fall of medieval Nubia. From the 15th to the 19th century, tribal migrations, largely from the area of Bahr el Ghazal, brought the Anyuak, Dinka, Nuer and Shilluk to their modern locations in Bahr El Ghazal and the Upper Nile Region, while the Acholi and Bari settled in Equatoria. The Zande, Mundu, Avukaya and Baka, who entered South Sudan in the 16th century, established the region's largest state of Equatoria Region.

The Dinka is the largest, Nuer the second largest, the Zande the third-largest, and the Bari the fourth-largest of South Sudan's ethnic groups. They are found in the Maridi, Yambio, and Tombura districts in the tropical rainforest belt of Western Equatoria, the Adio of Azande client in Yei, Central Equatoria, and Western Bahr el Ghazal. In the 18th century the Avungara sib rose to power over the rest of Azande society, a domination which continued into the 20th century. [40] British policies favoring Christian missionaries, such as the Closed District Ordinance of 1922 (see History of Anglo-Egyptian Sudan), and geographical barriers such as the swamplands along the White Nile curtailed the spread of Islam to the south, thus allowing the southern tribes to retain much of their social and cultural heritage, as well as their political and religious institutions.

British colonial policy in Sudan had a long history of emphasizing development of the Arab north, and largely ignoring the Black African south, which lacked schools, hospitals, roads, bridges, and other basic infrastructure. After Sudan's first independent elections in 1958, the continued neglect of the southern region by the Khartoum government led to uprisings, revolt, and the longest civil war on the continent. [41] [42] Peoples affected by the violence included the Acholi, Anyuak, Baka, Balanda Bviri, Bari, Boya, Didinga, Dinka, Jiye, Kaligi, Kuku, Lotuka, Mundari, Murie, Nilotic, Nuer, Shilluk, Toposa and Zande. [43]

Slavery had been an institution of Sudanese life throughout history. [44] The slave trade in the south intensified in the 19th century, and continued after the British had suppressed slavery in much of sub-Saharan Africa. Annual Sudanese slave raids into non-Muslim territories resulted in the capture of countless thousands of southern Sudanese, and the destruction of the region's stability and economy. [45]

The Azande have had good relations with their neighbors, namely the Moru, Mundu, Pöjulu, Avukaya, Baka and the small groups in Bahr el Ghazal, due to the expansionist policy of their king Gbudwe, in the 18th century. In the 19th century, the Azande fought the French, the Belgians and the Mahdists to maintain their independence. Ottoman Egypt, under the rule of Khedive Ismail Pasha, first attempted to control the region in the 1870s, establishing the province of Equatoria in the southern portion. Egypt's first governor was Samuel Baker, commissioned in 1869, followed by Charles George Gordon in 1874, and by Emin Pasha in 1878. [46]

The Mahdist Revolt of the 1880s destabilized the nascent province, and Equatoria ceased to exist as an Egyptian outpost in 1889. Important settlements in Equatoria included Lado, Gondokoro, Dufile and Wadelai. European colonial maneuverings in the region came to a head in 1898, when the Fashoda Incident occurred at present-day Kodok Britain and France almost went to war over the region. [46] In 1947, British hopes of joining South Sudan with Uganda while leaving Western Equatoria as part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo were dashed by the Rajaf Conference to unify North and South Sudan. [ citation needed ]

South Sudan has an estimated population of 8 million, [47] but, given the lack of a census in several decades, this estimate may be severely distorted. The economy is predominantly rural and relies chiefly on subsistence farming. [47] Around 2005, the economy began a transition from this rural dominance, and urban areas within South Sudan have seen extensive development.

The region has been negatively affected by two civil wars since Sudanese independence: from 1955 to 1972, the Sudanese government fought the Anyanya rebel army (Anya-Nya is a term in the Madi language which means "snake venom") [48] during the First Sudanese Civil War, followed by the Sudan People's Liberation Army/Movement (SPLA/M) in the Second Sudanese Civil War for over 20 years. As a result, the country suffered serious neglect, a lack of infrastructural development, and major destruction and displacement. More than 2.5 million people have been killed, and millions more have become refugees both within and outside the country.

Independence (2011) Edit

Between 9 and 15 January 2011, a referendum was held to determine whether South Sudan should become an independent country and separate from Sudan. 98.83% of the population voted for independence. [49] On January 23, 2011, members of a steering committee on post-independence governing told reporters that upon independence the land would be named the Republic of South Sudan "out of familiarity and convenience." Other names that had been considered were Azania, Nile Republic, Kush Republic and even Juwama, a portmanteau for Juba, Wau and Malakal, three major cities. [50] South Sudan formally became independent from Sudan on 9 July, although certain disputes still remained, including the division of oil revenues, as 75% of all the former Sudan's oil reserves are in South Sudan. [51] The region of Abyei still remains disputed and a separate referendum will be held in Abyei on whether they want to join Sudan or South Sudan. [52] The South Kordofan conflict broke out in June 2011 between the Army of Sudan and the SPLA over the Nuba Mountains.

On 9 July 2011, South Sudan became the 54th independent country in Africa [53] and since 14 July 2011, South Sudan is the 193rd member of the United Nations. [54] On 27 July 2011, South Sudan became the 54th country to join the African Union. [55] [56] In September 2011, Google Maps recognized South Sudan as an independent country, after a massive crowdsourcing mapping initiative was launched. [57]

In 2011 it was reported that South Sudan was at war with at least seven armed groups in 9 of its 10 states, with tens of thousands displaced. [58] The fighters accuse the government of plotting to stay in power indefinitely, not fairly representing and supporting all tribal groups while neglecting development in rural areas. [58] [59] Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) also operates in a wide area that includes South Sudan.

Inter-ethnic warfare that in some cases predates the war of independence is widespread. In December 2011, tribal clashes in Jonglei intensified between the Nuer White Army of the Lou Nuer and the Murle. [60] The White Army warned it would wipe out the Murle and would also fight South Sudanese and UN forces sent to the area around Pibor. [61]

In March 2012, South Sudanese forces seized the Heglig oil fields in lands claimed by both Sudan and South Sudan in the province of South Kordofan after conflict with Sudanese forces in the South Sudanese state of Unity. [62] South Sudan withdrew on 20 March, and the Sudanese Army entered Heglig two days later.

Civil war (2013–2020) Edit

In December 2013, a political power struggle broke out between President Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar, as the president accused Machar and ten others of attempting a coup d'état. [63] Fighting broke out, igniting the South Sudanese Civil War. Ugandan troops were deployed to fight alongside South Sudanese government forces against the rebels. [64] The United Nations has peacekeepers in the country as part of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). Numerous ceasefires were mediated by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) between the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) and SPLM – in opposition and were subsequently broken. A peace agreement was signed in Ethiopia under threat of United Nations sanctions for both sides in August 2015. [65] Machar returned to Juba in 2016 and was appointed vice president. [66] Following a second breakout of violence in Juba, Machar was replaced as vice-president [67] and he fled the country [68] as the conflict erupted again. Rebel in-fighting has become a major part of the conflict. [69] Rivalry among Dinka factions led by the President and Malong Awan have also led to fighting. In August 2018, another power sharing agreement came into effect. [70]

About 400,000 people are estimated to have been killed in the war, [71] including notable atrocities such as the 2014 Bentiu massacre. [72] Although both men have supporters from across South Sudan's ethnic divides, subsequent fighting has been communal, with rebels targeting members of Kiir's Dinka ethnic group and government soldiers attacking Nuers. [73] More than 4 million people have been displaced, with about 1.8 million of those internally displaced, and about 2.5 million having fled to neighboring countries, especially Uganda and Sudan. [74]

On 20 February 2020, Salva Kiir Mayardit and Riek Machar agreed to a peace deal, [75] and on 22 February 2020 formed a national unity government.

Government Edit

The now-defunct Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly ratified a transitional constitution [76] shortly before independence on 9 July 2011. [77] The constitution was signed by the President of South Sudan on Independence Day and thereby came into force. It is now the supreme law of the land, superseding the Interim Constitution of 2005. [78]

The constitution establishes a presidential system of government headed by a president who is head of state, head of government, and commander-in-chief of the armed forces. It also establishes the National Legislature comprising two houses: a directly elected assembly, the National Legislative Assembly, and a second chamber of representatives of the states, the Council of States. [79]

John Garang, the founder of the SPLA/M, was the first president of the autonomous government until his death on 30 July 2005. Salva Kiir Mayardit, [21] his deputy, was sworn in as First Vice President of Sudan and President of the Government of Southern Sudan on 11 August 2005. Riek Machar [21] replaced him as Vice-President of the Government. Legislative power is vested in the government and the bicameral National Legislature. The constitution also provides for an independent judiciary, the highest organ being the Supreme Court.

On May 8, 2021, South Sudan President Salva Kiir announced a dissolution in Parliament as part of a 2018 peace deal to set up a new legislative body that will number 550 lawmakers [80]

National capital project Edit

The capital of South Sudan is located at Juba, which is also the state capital of Central Equatoria and the county seat of the eponymous Juba County, and is the country's largest city. However, due to Juba's poor infrastructure and massive urban growth, as well as its lack of centrality within South Sudan, the South Sudanese Government adopted a resolution in February 2011 to study the creation of a new planned city to serve as the seat of government. [81] [82] It is planned that the capital city will be changed to the more centrally located Ramciel. [83] This proposal is functionally similar to construction projects in Abuja, Nigeria Brasília, Brazil and Canberra, Australia among other modern-era planned national capitals. It is unclear how the government will fund the project.

In September 2011, a spokesman for the government said the country's political leaders had accepted a proposal to build a new capital at Ramciel, [84] a place in Lakes state near the borders with Central Equatoria and Jonglei. Ramciel is considered to be the geographical center of the country, [85] and the late pro-independence leader John Garang allegedly had plans to relocate the capital there before his death in 2005. The proposal was supported by the Lakes state government and at least one Ramciel tribal chief. [86] The design, planning, and construction of the city will likely take as many as five years, government ministers said, and the move of national institutions to the new capital will be implemented in stages. [84]

States Edit

2020–present Edit

Under the terms of a peace agreement signed on 22 February 2020, South Sudan is divided into 10 states, two administrative areas and one area with special administrative status. [87] [88]

As a result of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in 2005, the Abyei Area was given special administrative status and following the independence of South Sudan in 2011, is considered to be simultaneously part of both the Republic of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan, effectively a condominium.

The Kafia Kingi area is disputed between South Sudan and Sudan and the Ilemi Triangle is disputed between South Sudan and Kenya.

The states of and administrative areas are grouped into the three former historical provinces of the Sudan Bahr el Ghazal, Equatoria and Greater Upper Nile:

2015–2020 Edit

In October 2015, South Sudan's President Salva Kiir issued a decree establishing 28 states in place of the 10 constitutionally established states. [89] The decree established the new states largely along ethnic lines. A number of opposition parties and civil society challenged the constitutionality of this decree and Kiir later resolved to take it to parliament for approval as a constitutional amendment. [90] In November the South Sudanese parliament empowered President Kiir to create new states. [91]

On 14 January 2017 another four states have been created, Central Upper Nile, Northern Upper Nile, Tumbura and Maiwut leading to an overall number of 32. [92] [93]

The Abyei Area, a small region of Sudan bordering on the South Sudanese states of Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Warrap, and Unity, currently has a special administrative status in Sudan and is governed by an Abyei Area Administration. It was due to hold a referendum in 2011 on whether to join South Sudan or remain part of the Republic of Sudan, but in May the Sudanese military seized Abyei, and it is not clear if the referendum will be held.

2011–2015 Edit

Prior to 2015, South Sudan was divided into the current 10 states, which also correspond to three historical regions: Bahr el Ghazal, Equatoria, and Greater Upper Nile:

Military Edit

A Defense paper was initiated in 2007 by then Minister for SPLA Affairs Dominic Dim Deng, and a draft was produced in 2008. It declared that Southern Sudan would eventually maintain land, air, and riverine forces. [94] [95]

As of 2015 [update] , South Sudan has the third highest military spending as a percentage of GDP in the world, behind only Oman and Saudi Arabia. [96]

Media Edit

While former Information Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin vowed that South Sudan will respect freedom of the press and allow journalists unrestricted access in the country, the chief editor of Juba newspaper The Citizen claimed that in the absence of a formal media law in the fledgling republic, he and his staff have faced abuse at the hands of security forces. This alleged fettering of media freedom was attributed in an Al Jazeera report to the difficulty SPLM has faced in reforming itself as a legitimate government after years of leading a rebellion against the Sudanese government. The Citizen is South Sudan's largest newspaper, but poor infrastructure and poverty have kept its staff relatively small and limited the efficiency of both its reporting and its circulation outside of Juba, with no dedicated news bureaus in outlying states and newspapers often taking several days to reach states like Northern Bahr el Ghazal. [97] In May 2020, South Sudan Friendship Press was established as the country's first dedicated online news website. [98]

Censorship Edit

On 1 November 2011, South Sudan's National Security Services (NSS) arrested the editor of a private Juba-based daily, Destiny, and suspended its activities indefinitely. This was in response to an opinion article by columnist Dengdit Ayok, entitled "Let Me Say So", which criticized the president for allowing his daughter to marry an Ethiopian national, and accused him of "staining his patriotism". An official letter accused the newspaper of breaking "the media code of conduct and professional ethics", and of publishing "illicit news" that was defamatory, inciting, and invading the privacy of personalities. The Committee to Protect Journalists had voiced concerns over media freedoms in South Sudan in September. [99] The NSS released the journalists without charge after having held them for 18 days. [100]

In 2015, Salva Kiir threatened to kill journalists who reported "against the country". [101] Work conditions have become terrible for journalists, and many have left the country. Documentary filmmaker Ochan Hannington is one of them. [102] In August 2015, after journalist Peter Moi was killed in a targeted attack, being the seventh journalist killed during the year, South Sudanese journalists held a 24-hour news blackout. [103]

In August 2017, a 26-year-old American journalist, Christopher Allen, was killed in Kaya, Yei River State, during fighting between government and opposition forces. Christopher Allen was a freelance journalist who had worked for several U.S. news outlets. He had been reportedly embedded with the opposition forces in South Sudan for a week before he was killed. [104] The same month, President Salva Kiir said the millions of civilians fleeing South Sudan were being driven by social media propaganda manned by those conspiring against his government. [105] Just a month prior in July 2017, access to major news websites and popular blogs including Sudan Tribune and Radio Tamazuj had been blocked by the government without formal notice. [106] In June 2020, access to Sudans Post, a local news website, was blocked by the government following the publication of an article deemed defamatory by the NSS. [107] Two months later, Qurium Media Foundation, a Swedish non-profit organization, announced that it has deployed a mirror for the website to circumvent the government blocking. [108]

Foreign relations Edit

Since independence, relations with Sudan have been changing. Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir first announced, in January 2011, that dual citizenship in the North and the South would be allowed, [109] but upon the independence of South Sudan he retracted the offer. He has also suggested an EU-style confederation. [110] Essam Sharaf, Prime Minister of Egypt after the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, made his first foreign visit to Khartoum and Juba in the lead-up to South Sudan's secession. [111] Israel quickly recognized South Sudan as an independent country, [112] and is host to thousands of refugees from South Sudan, [113] who now face deportation to their native country. [114] [115] According to American sources, President Obama officially recognised the new state after Sudan, Egypt, Germany and Kenya were among the first to recognise the country's independence on 8 July 2011. [116] [117] Several states that participated in the international negotiations concluded with a self-determination referendum were also quick to acknowledge the overwhelming result. The Rationalist process included Kenya, Uganda, Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya, Eritrea, the United Kingdom and Norway. [118] [a]

South Sudan is a member state of the United Nations, [119] the African Union, [33] [120] and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa. [121] South Sudan plans to join the Commonwealth of Nations, [122] the East African Community, [123] [124] [125] the International Monetary Fund, [126] and the World Bank. [127] Some international trade organizations categorize South Sudan as part of the Greater Horn of Africa. [128]

Full membership in the Arab League has been assured, should the country's government choose to seek it, [129] though it could also opt for observer status. [130] It was admitted to UNESCO on 3 November 2011. [131] On 25 November 2011, it officially joined the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, a regional grouping of East African states. [132]

The United States supported the 2011 referendum on South Sudan's independence. The New York Times reported that "South Sudan is in many ways an American creation, carved out of war-torn Sudan in a referendum largely orchestrated by the United States, its fragile institutions nurtured with billions of dollars in American aid." [133] The U.S. government's long-standing sanctions against Sudan were officially removed from applicability to newly independent South Sudan in December 2011, and senior RSS officials participated in a high-level international engagement conference in Washington, D.C., to help connect foreign investors with the RSS and South Sudanese private sector representatives. [134] Given the interdependence between some sectors of the economy of the Republic of South Sudan and the Republic of Sudan, certain activities still require OFAC authorization. Absent a license, current Sudanese sanction regulations will continue to prohibit U.S. persons from dealing in property and interests that benefit Sudan or the Government of Sudan. [135] A 2011 Congressional Research Service report, "The Republic of South Sudan: Opportunities and Challenges for Africa’s Newest Country", identifies outstanding political and humanitarian issues as the country forges its future. [136]

In July 2019, UN ambassadors of 37 countries, including South Sudan, have signed a joint letter to the UNHRC defending China's treatment of Uyghurs in the Xinjiang region. [137]

Human rights Edit

Campaigns of atrocities against civilians have been attributed to the SPLA. [138] In the SPLA/M's attempt to disarm rebellions among the Shilluk and Murle, they burned scores of villages, raped hundreds of women and girls and killed an untold number of civilians. [139] Civilians alleging torture claim fingernails being torn out, burning plastic bags dripped on children to make their parents hand over weapons, and villagers burned alive in their huts if it was suspected that rebels had spent the night there. [139] In May 2011, the SPLA allegedly set fire to over 7,000 homes in Unity State. [140]

The UN reports many of these violations and the frustrated director of one Juba-based international aid agency calls them "human rights abuses off the Richter scale". [139] In 2010, the CIA issued a warning that "over the next five years. a new mass killing or genocide is most likely to occur in southern Sudan." [139] The Nuer White Army has stated it wished to "wipe out the entire Murle tribe on the face of the earth as the only solution to guarantee long-term security of Nuer’s cattle" [61] and activists, including Minority Rights Group International, warned of genocide in Jonglei. [141] At the beginning of 2017, genocide was imminent again. [142]

Peter Abdul Rahaman Sule, the leader of the key opposition group United Democratic Forum, has been under arrest since 3 November 2011 over allegations linking him to the formation of a new rebel group fighting against the government. [143] [144]

The child marriage rate in South Sudan is 52%. [145] Homosexual acts are illegal. [146]

Recruitment of child soldiers has also been cited as a serious problem in the country. [147] In April 2014, Navi Pillay, then the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, stated that more than 9,000 child soldiers had been fighting in South Sudan's civil war. [148]

The United Nations rights office has described the situation in the country as "one of the most horrendous human rights situations in the world". It accused the army and allied militias of allowing fighters to rape women as form of payment for fighting, as well as raid cattle in an agreement of "do what you can, take what you can." [149] Amnesty International claimed the army suffocated to death in a shipping container more than 60 people accused of supporting the opposition. [150]

On 22 December 2017, at the conclusion of a 12-day visit to the region, the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan said, "Four years following the start of the current conflict in South Sudan, gross human rights violations continue to be committed in a widespread way by all parties to the conflict, in which civilians are bearing the brunt." [151] The Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan was established by the Human Rights Council in March 2016. [151]

South Sudan lies between latitudes 3° and 13°N, and longitudes 24° and 36°E. It is covered in tropical forest, swamps, and grassland. The White Nile passes through the country, passing by Juba. [109]

South Sudan's protected area of Bandingilo National Park hosts the second-largest wildlife migration in the world. Surveys have revealed that Boma National Park, west of the Ethiopian border, as well as the Sudd wetland and Southern National Park near the border with Congo, provided habitat for large populations of hartebeest, kob, topi, buffalo, elephants, giraffes, and lions.

South Sudan's forest reserves also provided habitat for bongo, giant forest hogs, red river hogs, forest elephants, chimpanzees, and forest monkeys. Surveys begun in 2005 by WCS in partnership with the semi-autonomous government of Southern Sudan revealed that significant, though diminished wildlife populations still exist, and that, astonishingly, the huge migration of 1.3 million antelopes in the southeast is substantially intact.

Habitats in the country include grasslands, high-altitude plateaus and escarpments, wooded and grassy savannas, floodplains, and wetlands. Associated wildlife species include the endemic white-eared kob and Nile Lechwe, as well as elephants, giraffes, common eland, giant eland, oryx, lions, African wild dogs, cape buffalo, and topi (locally called tiang). Little is known about the white-eared kob and tiang, both types of antelope, whose magnificent migrations were legendary before the civil war. The Boma-Jonglei Landscape region encompasses Boma National Park, broad pasturelands and floodplains, Bandingilo National Park, and the Sudd, a vast area of swamp and seasonally flooded grasslands that includes the Zeraf Wildlife Reserve.

Little is known of the fungi of South Sudan. A list of fungi in Sudan was prepared by S. A. J. Tarr and published by the then Commonwealth Mycological Institute (Kew, Surrey, UK) in 1955. The list, of 383 species in 175 genera, included all fungi observed within the then boundaries of the country. Many of those records relate to what is now South Sudan. Most of the species recorded were associated with diseases of crops. The true number of species of fungi in South Sudan is probably much higher.

In 2006, President Kiir announced that his government would do everything possible to protect and propagate South Sudanese fauna and flora, and seek to reduce the effects of wildfires, waste dumping, and water pollution. The environment is threatened by the development of the economy and infrastructure. The country had a 2019 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 9.45/10, ranking it 4th globally out of 172 countries. [152]

Climate Edit

South Sudan has a tropical climate, characterized by a rainy season of high humidity and large amounts of rainfall followed by a drier season. The temperature on average is always high with July being the coolest month with an average temperatures falling between 20 and 30 °C (68 and 86 °F) and March being the warmest month with average temperatures ranging from 23 to 37 °C (73 to 98 °F). [154]

The most rainfall is seen between May and October, but the rainy season can commence in April and extend until November. On average May is the wettest month. The season is "influenced by the annual shift of the Inter-Tropical Zone" [21] and the shift to southerly and southwesterly winds leading to slightly lower temperatures, higher humidity, and more cloud coverage. [155]

South Sudan has a population of approximately 11 million [156] [157] and a predominantly rural, subsistence economy. This region has been negatively affected by war for all but 10 of the years since 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 persons or became refugees as a result of the civil war and its impact.

Urbanization Edit

Ethnic groups Edit

The major ethnic groups present in South Sudan are the Dinka at more than 1 million (approximately 15 percent combined), the Nuer (approximately ten percent), the Bari, and the Azande. The Shilluk constitute a historically influential state along the White Nile, and their language is fairly closely related to Dinka and Nuer. The traditional territories of the Shilluk and the Northeastern Dinka are adjacent. Currently, around 800,000 expatriates from the Horn of Africa are living in South Sudan.

Education Edit

Unlike the previous educational system of the regional Southern Sudan—which was modeled after the system used in the Republic of Sudan since 1990—the current educational system of the Republic of South Sudan follows the 8 + 4 + 4 system (similar to Kenya). Primary education consists of eight years, followed by four years of secondary education, and then four years of university instruction.

The primary language at all levels is English, as compared to the Republic of Sudan, where the language of instruction is Arabic. In 2007 South Sudan adopted English as the official language of communication. There is a severe shortage of English teachers and English-speaking teachers in the scientific and technical fields.

On 1 October 2019, The South Sudan Library Foundation opened South Sudan's first public library, the Juba Public Peace Library in Gudele 2. [159] [160] The library currently employs a staff of over 40 volunteers and maintains a collection of over 13,000 books. [160] The South Sudan Library Foundation was co-founded by Yawusa Kintha and Kevin Lenahan. [159] [160] [161]

Languages Edit

The official language of South Sudan is English. [1]

There are over 60 indigenous languages, most classified under the Nilo-Saharan Language family collectively, they represent two of the first-order divisions of Nile Sudanic and Central Sudanic.

Constitution updates Edit

The interim constitution of 2005 declared in Part 1, Chapter 1, No. 6 (1) that "[a]ll indigenous languages of Southern Sudan are national languages and shall be respected, developed and promoted". In Part 1, Chapter 1, No. 6 (2), it was stated: "English and Arabic shall be the official working languages at the level of the governments of Southern Sudan and the States as well as languages of instruction for higher education." [162]

The government of the new independent state later deleted Arabic as an official language and chose English as the sole official language.

The new transitional constitution of the Republic of South Sudan of 2011 declares in Part 1, Chapter 1, No. 6 (1) that "[a]ll indigenous languages of South Sudan are national languages and shall be respected, developed and promoted". In Part 1, Chapter 1, No. 6 (2), it is defined that: "English shall be the official working language in the Republic of South Sudan, as well as the language of instruction at all levels of education." [163]

On 6 July 2017, South Sudan stated that it might adopt Swahili as an additional official language due to seeking Tanzania's help to send Swahili teachers to the country as it introduces the language in school curriculum ahead of its possible adoption as an official language. [164]

Some areas Edit

In the border region between Western Bahr el Ghazal state and Sudan are an indeterminate number of people from West African countries who settled here on their way back from Mecca – who have assumed a traditionally nomadic life – that resides either seasonally or permanently. They primarily speak Chadian languages and their traditional territories are in the southern portions of the Sudanese regions of Northern Kurdufan and Darfur.

In the capital, Juba, there are several thousand people who use non-classical Arabic, usually a pidgin called Juba Arabic, but South Sudan's ambassador to Kenya said on 2 August 2011 that Swahili will be introduced in South Sudan with the goal of supplanting Arabic as a lingua franca, in keeping with the country's intention of orientation toward the East African Community rather than Sudan and the Arab League. [165] Nevertheless, South Sudan submitted an application to join the Arab League as a member state on 25 March 2014, which is still pending. [166] In an interview with the newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, the Foreign Minister of South Sudan Deng Alor Kuol said: South Sudan is the closest African country to the Arab world, and we speak a special kind of Arabic known as Juba Arabic. [167] Sudan supports South Sudan's request to join the Arab League. [168] Juba Arabic is a lingua franca in South Sudan. [169]

Population Edit

2008 census Edit

The "Fifth Population and Housing Census of Sudan", for Sudan as a whole, was conducted in April 2008. The census counted the Southern Sudan population at 8.26 million [12] [170] However, Southern Sudanese officials rejected the census results of Southern Sudan because "the central bureau of statistics in Khartoum refused to share the national Sudan raw census data with the southern Sudan centre for census, statistics and evaluation." [171]

In addition, President Kiir "suspected figures were being deflated in some regions and inflated in others, and that made the final tally 'unacceptable'." [172] He claimed that the Southern Sudanese population actually constituted one-third of that of Sudan, though the census showed it to be only 22%. [170]

Many southern Sudanese were also said to have been uncounted "due to bad weather, poor communication and transport networks, and some areas were unreachable, while many southern Sudanese remained in exile in neighbouring countries, leading to 'unacceptable results', according [to] southern Sudanese authorities." [172] The chief American technical adviser for the census in the south said that the census-takers probably reached only 89% of the population. [173]

2009 census Edit

In 2009, Sudan initiated a Southern Sudanese census ahead of the 2011 independence referendum, which would also include the South Sudanese diaspora however, this initiative was criticised for leaving out countries with a high share of the South Sudanese diaspora, rather counting countries where the diaspora share was low. [174]

Religion Edit

Religions followed by the South Sudanese include traditional indigenous religions, Christianity and Islam. [175] [176] The last census to mention the religion of southerners dates back to 1956 where a majority were classified as following traditional beliefs or were Christian while 18% were Muslim. [177] Scholarly [178] [179] [180] and some U.S. Department of State sources [47] state that a majority of southern Sudanese maintain traditional indigenous (sometimes referred to as animist) beliefs with those following Christianity in a minority. However, according to the U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom Report of 2012 the majority of the population adhere to Christianity, while reliable statistics on animist and Muslim belief are not available. [181]

The Federal Research Division of the US Library of Congress states that "in the early 1990s possibly no more than 10% of southern Sudan's population was Christian". [182] In the early 1990s, official records of Sudan claimed that the population of what was then included as South Sudan, 25% of people followed traditional religions and 5% were Christians. [183] However, some news reports claim a Christian majority. [184] [185]

According to the World Christian Encyclopedia, the Catholic Church is the largest single Christian body in Sudan since 1995, with 2.7 million Catholics mainly concentrated in South Sudan. [186] The US Episcopal Church claims the existence of large numbers of Anglican adherents from the Episcopal Church of the Sudan with 2 million members in 2005. [187] The Presbyterian Church in Sudan is the third largest denomination in Southern Sudan. It has about one million members in 500 congregations in 2012. [188]

A 18 December 2012 report on religion and public life by the Pew Research Center states that in 2010, 60.5% of South Sudan's population was Christian, 32.9% were followers of traditional African religion and 6.2% were Muslim. [189] Some publishers described the conflicts prior to partition as a Muslim-Christian war, but others reject this notion, claiming Muslim and Christian sides sometimes overlapped. [190]

Speaking at Saint Theresa Cathedral in Juba, South Sudanese President Kiir, a Roman Catholic, said that South Sudan would be a nation that respects freedom of religion. [191] Amongst Christians, most are Catholic or Anglican, though other denominations are also active, and animist beliefs are often blended with Christian beliefs. [192]

Diaspora Edit

The South Sudanese diaspora consists of citizens of South Sudan residing abroad. The number of South Sudanese outside South Sudan has sharply increased since the beginning of the struggle for independence from the Sudan. Almost one and a half million South Sudanese have left the country as refugees, either permanently or as temporary workforce, leading to the establishment of the South Sudanese diaspora population. [ citation needed ]

The largest communities of the South Sudanese diaspora are located in North America, Western Europe, and Oceania are in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and small communities exist in France, Italy, Germany, Sweden, and New Zealand. [ citation needed ]

Activist Achol Jok Mach has spoken out about growing up and growing up in a diaspora community and the effect on her identity, saying: "I was only ever told, "You are South Sudanese". It was only much later that I learned I was Dinka." [193]

Due to the many years of the civil war, South Sudan's culture is heavily influenced by its neighbours. Many South Sudanese fled to Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda where they interacted with the nationals and learned their languages and culture. For most of those who remained in the country, or went north to Sudan and Egypt, they largely assimilated Arab culture.

Most South Sudanese value knowing one's tribal origin, its traditional culture and dialect even while in exile and diaspora. Although the common languages spoken are Juba Arabic and English, Swahili might be introduced to the population to improve the country's relations with its East African neighbours.

Music Edit

Many music artists from South Sudan use English, Swahili, Juba Arabic, their African language or a mix of all. Popular artists like Barbz, Yaba Angelosi, De Peace Child sing Afro-beat, R&B, and Zouk Dynamq is popular for his reggae releases and Emmanuel Kembe who sings folk, reggae and Afro-beat. Also Emmanuel Jal and Flizzame, Emmanuel being one of the South Sudaneses music artist's who have broken through on an international level [194] with his unique form of Hip Hop and a positive message in his lyrics. [195] Jal, a former child soldier turned musician, received good airplay and album reviews in the UK [196] and has also been sought out for the lecture circuit with major talks at popular talkfests like TED. [197]

Games and sports Edit

Many traditional and modern games and sports are popular in South Sudan, particularly wrestling and mock battles. The traditional sports were mainly played after the harvest seasons to celebrate the harvests and finish the farming seasons. During the matches, they smeared themselves with ochre – perhaps to enhance the grip or heighten their perception. The matches attracted large numbers of spectators who sang, played drums and danced in support of their favourite wrestlers. Though these were perceived as competition, they were primarily for entertainment. [198]

Association football is also becoming popular in South Sudan, and there are many initiatives by the Government of South Sudan and other partners to promote the sport and improve the level of play. One of these initiatives is South Sudan Youth Sports Association (SSYSA). SSYSA is already holding football clinics in Konyokonyo and Muniki areas of Juba in which young boys are coached. In recognition of these efforts with youth football, the country recently hosted the CECAFA youth football competitions. Barely a month earlier, it had also hosted the larger East African Schools Sports tournaments. [ citation needed ]

The South Sudan national association football team joined the Confederation of African Football in February 2012 and became a full FIFA member in May 2012. [199] The team played its first match against Tusker FC of the Kenyan Premier League on 10 July 2011 in Juba as part of independence celebrations, [200] scoring early but losing 1–3 to the more experienced team. [201] Famous South Sudanese footballers are James Moga, Richard Justin, Athir Thomas, Goma Genaro Awad, Khamis Leyano, Khamis Martin, William Afani Clicks and Roy Gulwak.

The South Sudanese can boast links to top basketball players. Luol Deng was a National Basketball Association star in the United States at the international level, he represented Great Britain. Other leading international basketball players from South Sudan include Manute Bol, Kueth Duany, Deng Gai, Ater Majok, Wenyen Gabriel, and Thon Maker. The South Sudan national basketball team played its first match against the Uganda national basketball team on 10 July 2011 in Juba. [200]

One athlete from South Sudan, Guor Marial, competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics. Due to South Sudan not as yet possessing an official Olympics organization, and Marial not yet possessing American citizenship, he, along with three athletes from the former Netherlands Antilles, competed under the banner of Independent Olympic Athletes.

On 2 August at the 128th IOC Session, South Sudan was granted full recognition of its National Olympic Committee. South Sudan competed at the 2016 Summer Olympics with three athletes in track and field. No medals were won during this Olympics. [202]

The economy of South Sudan is one of the world's most underdeveloped with South Sudan having little existing infrastructure and the highest maternal mortality and female illiteracy rates in the world as of 2011 [update] . [203] South Sudan exports timber to the international market. The region also contains many natural resources such as petroleum, iron ore, copper, chromium ore, zinc, tungsten, mica, silver, gold, diamonds, hardwoods, limestone and hydropower. [204] The country's economy, as in many other developing countries, is heavily dependent on agriculture.

Other than natural resources-based companies, other such organisations include Southern Sudan Beverages Limited, a subsidiary of SABMiller.

Oil Edit

The oilfields in the south have been significant to the economy since the latter part of the 20th century. South Sudan has the third-largest oil reserves in Sub-Saharan Africa. [205] However, after South Sudan became an independent nation in July 2011, southern and northern negotiators were not immediately able to reach an agreement on how to split the revenue from these southern oilfields. [206]

It is estimated that South Sudan has around 4 times the oil deposits of Sudan. The oil revenues, according to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), were split equally for the duration of the agreement period. [207] Since South Sudan relies on pipelines, refineries, and Port Sudan's facilities in Red Sea state in Sudan, the agreement stated that the government of Sudan in Khartoum would receive a 50% share of all oil revenues. [207] [208] This arrangement was maintained during the second period of autonomy from 2005 to 2011.

In the run up to independence, northern negotiators reportedly pressed for a deal maintaining the 50–50 split of oil revenues, while the South Sudanese were holding out for more favorable terms. [208] Oil revenues constitute more than 98% of the government of South Sudan's budget according to the southern government's Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and this has amounted to more than $8 billion in revenue since the signing of the peace agreement. [207]

After independence, South Sudan objected to Sudan charging US$34 per barrel to transport oil through the pipeline to the oil terminal at Port Sudan. With production of around 30,000 barrels per day, this was costing over a million dollars per day. In January 2012, South Sudan suspended oil production, causing a dramatic reduction in revenue and food costs to rise by 120%. [209]

China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) is a major investor in South Sudan's oil sector. [205] South Sudan's economy is under pressure to diversify away from oil as oil reserves will likely halve by 2020 if no new finds are made, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). [210]

Debt Edit

In terms of South Sudan's external debt, Sudan and South Sudan maintain a shared debt of approximately US$38 billion, all of which has accumulated throughout the past five decades. [211] Though a small portion of this debt is owed to such international institutions as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (approximately US$5.3 billion according to a 2009 report provided by the Bank of Sudan), the bulk of its debt load is actually owed to numerous foreign actors that have provided the nation with financial loans, including the Paris Club (over US$11 billion) and also non-Paris Club bilateral creditors (over US$13 billion). [212]

The Paris Club refers to an informal group of financial officials from 19 of the world's most influential economies, including such member nations as the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Canada, while non-Paris Club bilateral creditors refers to any entity that does not enjoy permanent/associated status as a Paris Club member. [213] Private bilateral creditors (i.e. private commercial banks and private credit suppliers) account for the majority of the remainder (approximately US$6 billion of the total debt). [214]

East African Community Edit

The presidents of Kenya and Rwanda invited the Autonomous Government of Southern Sudan to apply for membership upon the independence of South Sudan in 2011, [123] [215] and South Sudan was reportedly an applicant country as of mid-July 2011. [123] [216] Analysts suggested that South Sudan's early efforts to integrate infrastructure, including rail links and oil pipelines, [217] with systems in Kenya and Uganda indicated intention on the part of Juba to pivot away from dependence on Sudan and toward the EAC. Reuters considered South Sudan the likeliest candidate for EAC expansion in the short term, [218] and an article in Tanzanian daily The Citizen that reported East African Legislative Assembly Speaker Abdirahin Haithar Abdi said South Sudan was "free to join the EAC" asserted that analysts believe the country will soon become a full member of the regional body. [219]

On 17 September 2011, the Daily Nation quoted a South Sudanese MP as saying that while his government was eager to join the EAC, it would likely delay its membership over concerns that its economy was not sufficiently developed to compete with EAC member states and could become a "dumping ground" for Kenyan, Tanzanian, and Ugandan exports. [220] This was contradicted by President Salva Kiir, who announced South Sudan had officially embarked on the application process one month later. [221] The application was initially deferred by the EAC in December 2012, [222] however incidents with Ugandan boda-boda operators in South Sudan have created political tension and may delay the process. [223]

In December 2012, Tanzania officially agreed to South Sudan's bid to join the EAC, clearing the way for the world's newest state to become the regional bloc's sixth member. [224] In May 2013 The EAC set aside $82,000 for the admission of South Sudan into the bloc even though admission may not happen until 2016. The process, to start after the EAC Council of Ministers meeting in August 2013, was projected to take at least four years. At the 14th Ordinary Summit held in Nairobi in 2012, EAC heads of state approved the verification report that was presented by the Council of Ministers, then directed it to start the negotiation process with South Sudan. [225]

A team was formed to assess South Sudan's bid however, in April 2014, the nation requested a delay in the admissions process, presumably due to South Sudanese Civil War. [226] [227]

South Sudan's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, claimed publicly in October 2015 that, following evaluations and meetings of a special technical committee in May, June, August, September and October, the committee has recommended that South Sudan be allowed to join the East African Community. Those recommendations, however, had not been officially released to the public. It was reported that South Sudan could be admitted as early as November 2015 when the heads of East African States had their summit meeting. [228]

South Sudan was eventually approved for membership in East African Community in March 2016, [229] and formally acceded with the signature of the treaty in April 2016. [230]

South Sudan and the Commonwealth of Nations Edit

South Sudan has applied to join the Commonwealth of Nations, [231] considering that South Sudan was part of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, and has 2 Commonwealth republics, Kenya and Uganda as neighbouring countries.

Railway Edit

South Sudan has 248 km (154 mi) of single-track 3 ft 6 in ( 1,067 mm ) gauge railway line from the Sudanese border to Wau terminus. There are proposed extensions from Wau to Juba. There are also plans to link Juba with the Kenyan and Ugandan railway networks.

Air Edit

The busiest and most developed airport in South Sudan is Juba Airport, which has regular international connections to Asmara, Entebbe, Nairobi, Cairo, Addis Ababa, and Khartoum. Juba Airport was also the home base of Feeder Airlines Company and Southern Star Airlines. [232]

Other international airports include Malakal, with international flights to Addis Ababa and Khartoum Wau, with weekly service to Khartoum and Rumbek, also with weekly flights to Khartoum. Southern Sudan Airlines also serves Nimule and Akobo, which have unpaved runways. Several smaller airports exist throughout South Sudan, the majority consisting of little more than dirt runways.

On 4 April 2012, plans were unveiled to launch a South Sudanese national airline, primarily for domestic service at first but eventually expanding to international service. [233]

South Sudan is acknowledged to have some of the worst health indicators in the world. [234] [235] [236] The under-five infant mortality rate is 135.3 per 1,000, whilst maternal mortality is the highest in the world at 2,053.9 per 100,000 live births. [236] In 2004, there were only three surgeons serving in southern Sudan, with three proper hospitals, and in some areas there was just one doctor for every 500,000 people. [234]

The epidemiology of HIV/AIDS in the South Sudan is poorly documented but the prevalence is believed around 3.1%. [237] According to a 2013 study, South Sudan "probably has the highest malaria burden in sub-Saharan Africa". [238] South Sudan is one of the few countries where dracunculiasis still occurs. [239] [240] [241]

At the time of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005, humanitarian needs in Southern Sudan were massive. However, humanitarian organizations under the leadership of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) managed to ensure sufficient funding to bring relief to the local populations. Along with recovery and development aid, humanitarian projects were included in the 2007 Work Plan of the United Nations and partners. More than 90% of the population of South Sudan live on less than $1 a day, despite the GDP per capita of the entirety of Sudan being $1200 ($3.29/day). [242]

In 2007, the United Nations OCHA (under the leadership of Éliane Duthoit) decreased its involvement in Southern Sudan, as humanitarian needs gradually diminished, slowly but markedly turning over control to the recovery and development activities of NGOs and community-based organisations. [243]

Famine reportedly led to deaths in Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Warrap states in mid-2011, though the state governments of both denied hunger there was severe enough to cause fatalities. [244]

In Pibor County located in the Jonglei State, in December 2011 and January 2012, cattle raids led to border clashes that eventually resulted in widespread ethnic violence, with thousands of deaths and tens of thousands of South Sudanese being displaced, and hundreds of Médecins Sans Frontières staff went missing. The government declared the area a disaster zone and took control from local authorities. [245] South Sudan has a very high rate of child marriage. [246] Violence against women is common in the country, and South Sudan's laws and policies have been criticized as inadequate in offering protection. [247] [248]

Water crisis Edit

The water supply in South Sudan is faced with numerous challenges. Although the White Nile runs through the country, water is scarce during the dry season in areas that are not located on the river.

About half the population does not have access to an improved water source, defined as a protected well, standpipe or a handpump within one kilometre. The few existing piped water supply systems are often not well maintained and the water they provide is often not safe to drink. Displaced people returning home put a huge strain on infrastructure, and the government institutions in charge of the sector are weak. Substantial external funding from numerous government agencies and non-governmental organizations is available to improve water supply.

Numerous non-governmental organizations support water supply in Southern Sudan, such as Water is Basic, Water for South Sudan, the Obakki Foundation [249] and Bridgton-Lake Region Rotary Club [250] from North America.

Refugees Edit

As of February 2014, South Sudan was host to over 230,000 refugees, with the vast majority, over 209,000, having arrived recently from Sudan, because of the War in Darfur. Other African countries that contribute the most refugees to South Sudan are the Central African Republic, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. [251] As a result of the war that erupted in December 2013, more than 2.3 million people – one in every five people in South Sudan – have been forced to flee their homes, including 1.66 million internally displaced people (with 53.4 per cent estimated to be children) and nearly 644,900 refugees in neighbouring countries. Some 185,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) have sought refuge in UN Protection of Civilians (PoC) sites, while around 90 percent of IDPs are on the run or sheltering outside PoC sites. [252] Consequently, UNHCR is stepping up its response through an inter-agency collaborative approach under the leadership of the Humanitarian Coordinator, and working with the International Organization for Migration (IOM). In early February 2013, UNHCR started distributing relief items outside the UN base in Malakal, South Sudan, which was expected to reach 10,000 people. [251]

2017 famine Edit

On 20 February 2017 South Sudan and the United Nations declared a famine in parts of former Unity State, with the warning that it could spread rapidly without further action. Over 100,000 people were affected. The UN World Food Programme said that 40% of the population of South Sudan, 4.9 million people, need food urgently. [253] [254] U.N. officials said that President Salva Kiir Mayardit was blocking food deliveries to some areas. [255] Furthermore, UNICEF warned that more than 1 million children in South Sudan were subjected to malnutrition. [256]

An outbreak of fall armyworm further threatened sorghum and maize production by July 2017. [257]

23. The majority of children die before reaching the age of five.

24. As per, the employment rate for adults in Sudan is 47.3.

25. As per the 2008 World Refugee Survey, 310,500 refugees and asylum seekers lived in Sudan in 2007.

26. There are more pyramids in one small section of the northern Sudanese desert than there are in the whole of Egypt, according to

27. There are approximately 50,000 deaf people in Sudan.

28. Sudan is a net importer of food.

29. Sudan has a total border length of 6,751 kilometers.

Sudan Population - History

Synopsis of "The Quick and the Terrible"

The Geopolitics of Tragedy

Land and People, History and Government, Effects of War, Economy and Oil

Background, News, Humanitarian Response, Defining Genocide

The collision of cultures, religions and ethnicities in Sudan -- including those of sub-Saharan Africa and those of the Arab Islamic world -- have led to nearly 50 years of civil war. Since 1956, when Sudan first gained independence from the United Kingdom, there have been only 11 years of peace.

Sudan is the largest country in Africa -- more than one-quarter the size of the United States -- and borders nine other countries, including Egypt, Chad, Kenya and Ethiopia.

Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, sits where the White Nile and the Blue Nile join together as the Nile and flow north to Egypt and into the Mediterranean.

The country's name derives from the Arabic bilad al-sudan, which means "land of the blacks."

Sudan has an estimated population of 39 million, 52 percent of which are black, and 39 percent Arab. Arabic is the official language, and the government has attempted to impose Islamic sharia law since 1983.

Seventy percent of Sudan's population is Muslim. Animists and Christians, who for the most part live in southern Sudan, account for about 30 percent of the population.

In Sudan, "Arab" is an ethnic and cultural term, typically referring to those who can trace their ancestry to the original inhabitants of the Arabian peninsula and whose mother tongue is Arabic. "Muslim" refers to anyone who follows the Islamic religion. In Sudan, many blacks are Muslim.

The median age in Sudan is 18 years, and life expectancy is 58 years. (In the United States, the median age is 36 years, and life expectancy is 77 years.)

Sudan has an adult literacy rate of about 60 percent.

Darfur is a region in western Sudan, abutting Chad and the Central African Republic. It is about the size of Texas and has a population of 6 million the majority are Muslim and have African features.

The three largest African tribes in Darfur are the Fur, the Masalit and the Zaghawa. Generally speaking, most people of African descent in Darfur are farmers, and most people of Arab descent in Darfur are nomadic herders.

There is fierce competition for land between herders and farmers, including violent battles between Fur farmers and Arab herders from 1987 to 1989. This competition has fueled the present conflict in Darfur.

History and Government

For the first half of the 20th century, present-day Sudan was a colony of the British Empire. Even as Sudan achieved independence from Britain in 1956, civil war was already brewing between the north and the south.

Army coups in 1958 and 1969 plus civil war impeded attempts to build a parliamentary democracy. In 1972, the Addis Ababa Agreement enforced a peace agreement between the government and separatist southern rebels.

Civil war was sparked in 1983 when the military regime tried to impose sharia law as part of its overall policy to "Islamicize" all of Sudan.

Beginning in 1983, the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) led insurrections in the south, a region dominated by Animists and Christians.

In 1989, compromise between the ruling government and southern opposition groups seemed imminent, but Omar al-Bashir, a politically and religiously extreme military leader, led a successful coup and became chief of state, prime minister and chief of the armed forces. Al-Bashir has been elected only once, in 1996.

Al-Bashir continues to lead a government run by an alliance between the military junta and the National Congress Party, which pushes an Islamist agenda.

Sudan's government imposed a penal code in 1991 that instituted amputations and stoning as punishments.

The Sudanese government harbored Osama bin Laden in the 1990s until the Clinton administration successfully pressured the government to expel him in 1996.

In 1996, terrorist threats led President Clinton to withdraw the U.S. ambassador to Sudan. There is still no U.S. ambassador in Khartoum, although the embassy remains open.

In 1997, the United States imposed economic sanctions, prohibiting trade with businesses in Sudan and prohibiting investment in Sudan by U.S. businesses.

In early 2003, just as negotiations to end the civil war were progressing, a new rebellion spawned in the western province of Darfur when ethnically African rebel groups, including the Sudanese Liberation Army (SLA), attacked military installations. The SLA's attack was rooted both in its belief that the government was neglecting Darfur and in its objections to the government's preference for hiring ethnic Arabs as top government officials.

The Sudanese government has enlisted Janjaweed -- armed nomads from the north -- to attack villages that ostensibly harbored rebels. Attacks usually follow a pattern: Government planes bomb villages in Darfur, then, within hours, Janjaweed ride in on horses or camels to pillage homes and rape and murder civilians.

The Sudanese government maintains that the Janjaweed are acting independently, without government support.

Since the 1983 start of the civil war, more than 4 million people have been displaced, and an estimated 2 million have died. Opposition groups as well as the government have been accused of atrocities in the conflict.

Since 2003, violence in Darfur -- called ethnic cleansing by some and genocide by others -- has left an estimated 50,000 to 80,000 dead and an estimated 1.2 million to 2 million people displaced. Survivors face severe shortages of food and clean water.

An estimated 200,000 Sudanese have escaped to Chad, where they are living in refugee camps. Many are in desolate areas near the city of Abeche, where temperatures frequently exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

An estimated 2.3 million civilians in Darfur are in need of emergency aid, but bottlenecks created by both the government and the rebel forces cut them off from food and medical supplies.

In 2001, Sudan was declared to be free of polio, but the disease is making a comeback in the wake of war. Health experts say the probability is high that more than 10,000 Sudanese have been infected with the virus.

Although much of Sudan's land is made up of plains and deserts, it has large areas of arable land, significant gold deposits and massive oil reserves.

Agricultural production -- such as cotton and peanuts cultivation -- employs 80 percent of the workforce and contributes 39 percent of the gross domestic product.

Sudan is one of the poorest countries in the world. Annual per-capita income in 2001 was $340.

Oil accounts for about 73 percent of Sudan's total export revenues.

Officials from the Sudanese Energy Ministry estimate that the county has 3 billion barrels of oil reserves.

Foreign companies began oil exploration in the Red Sea in the 1960s the most fruitful oil fields were found in southern Sudan by Chevron. In 1981, Chevron and the Sudanese government formed the White Nile Petroleum Corporation to oversee oil production in the south, but Chevron suspended its southern Sudan operations in 1985 because of fighting near the oil fields.

Many Western oil companies have abandoned investments in Sudan, both because of the conflict and because of criticism by human rights groups. Economic sanctions imposed by the United States in 1997 barred American companies from operating in Sudan. The nation's major trade partners include China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, India, the United Kingdom, Germany, Indonesia and Australia.

The SPLA has declared oil installations a "legitimate military target," saying that oil revenues have supported the government's human rights abuses and that the government has displaced thousands of civilians living near the oil fields.

Upon the 1999 completion of an oil pipeline that extends from the southern oil fields through Khartoum to the Red Sea, Sudan began exporting crude oil -- and immediately recorded its first trade surplus. The same year, the government halted delivery of aid to people living near the oil fields.

Some experts refer to Algeria, Pakistan, China and Russia as the "Darfur Four": Each of these four countries has major oil investments in Sudan and has opposed the U.N. Security Council's plans for arms and oil embargoes.

Sources: CIA World Fact Book U.S. State Department Reuters Foundation Reuters Wikipedia BBC News U.S. Department of Energy Sudan Update International Crisis Group The World Bank Encyclopedia of the Orient "Dying in Darfur," by Samantha Power "Tragedy in Darfur: Understanding and Ending the Horror," by Alex de Waal.

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Geography of Sudan

The Red Sea off the coast of Port Sudan, view from the top of Sanganeb lighthouse. Photo Constantine Savvides


State borders

Located in north-eastern Africa, the Republic of Sudan has a total area of 1.9 million square kilometers. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, Libya to the north-west, Chad to the west, the Central African Republic to the south-west, South Sudan to the south, Ethiopia to the south-east, and the Red Sea to the east. The population in July 2015 was an estimated 36.1 million people.


The Nile is Sudan’s most prominent topographical feature and the country’s primary source of water. It has two major tributaries: the White Nile, which originates in the Great Lakes region of central Africa, and the Blue Nile, which begins in the Ethiopian Highlands. The two tributaries meet at the capital Khartoum, from where the river is called the Nile as it continues northwards into Egypt.

The White Nile gets its name from whitish clay that is suspended in its waters. When the Nile floods, deposits of silt act as a rich fertilizer for the soil.

Other important tributaries of the Nile are the Atbara, Dinder, and Rahad. There is also a group of large seasonal wadis, including Wadi al-Malik, Wadi Hawr, Wadi al-Magadam, and Wadi Azoum in the west, and Wadi Khor Baraka and Wadi al-Gash in the east. Several other wadis flow from the Red Sea Hills westwards into the interior and, conversely, from the west towards the sea.


The vast plains in central Sudan are bordered on three sides by mountains: the Red Sea Hills to the north, the Marrah Mountains to the west, and the Didinga Hills to the east. The Red Sea Hills represents the western edge of the Great African Rift Valley, which stretches from East Africa across the Red Sea to the Jordan River Valley and the Sea of Galilee in Israel. The volcanic highlands of the Marrah Mountains rise out of the Darfur Plateau to elevations of
between 900 and 3,000 meters above sea level. In south-central Sudan, rugged granite hills rise sharply from a wide clay plain, the largest group of which forms the Nuba Mountains.


Sudan’s landscape is characterized by isolated mountains and hills that rise up suddenly from deserts and clay plains. These are mostly the remnants of igneous or sedimentary rocks from different geological eras that withstood erosion.

Sedimentary rocks are found in large parts of the country. Nubian sedimentary rocks cover large parts of the northern, eastern, and western regions. Volcanic rock formations are scattered across the north and along the eastern border with Ethiopia. Modern sediments of mudstone, sandstone, clay, and iron also cover large areas.

The oldest geological formations belong to the Precambrian period, represented by basement rocks, and cover most of the eastern, western, central, and southern regions. Dating from the first and second geological eras, especially the Cretaceous period, are the Nubian sandstones that cover vast areas of the northern and central regions. In the central region is the Um-Rawaba, a formation rich in groundwater that dates from the third geological era. Rock formations settled throughout the fourth geological era up to the present day.

Climate and Climatic Regions

Sudan has a tropical climate, characterized by generally high temperatures with significant seasonal and regional differences. Temperatures in the dry northern region can exceed 45 degrees Celsius and rainfall is negligible. High temperatures also occur throughout the semi-arid central plains region and humidity is generally low. The semi-wet region covers the southern parts of the country, along the border with South Sudan. The Red Sea coast has a different climate from the rest of the country, associated with the formation of Lake Nubia behind the Aswan High Dam due to the humidifying effect of the lake waters.

Move to Meroe

After the Nubians were driven out by the Assyrians, Egypt was ruled by a succession of foreign powers including the Persians, Macedonians and Romans. There were only brief periods when Egypt was fully independent.

The Nubians had to contend with this succession of foreign powers to the north, and around 300 B.C. moved their capital south of Napata to a city called Meroe. At their new capital, the Nubians built a number of palaces, temples and pyramids. The Nubians also developed their own writing system, which today is only partially deciphered and now called "Meroitic."

Ancient texts and archaeological remains show that the Nubians also battled the Roman Empire. One famous archaeological find, made at Meroe in 1910, is a bronze head of the Roman Emperor Octavian (later called Augustus). Archaeologists presume that it was captured during a Nubian raid into Roman Egypt and was brought to Meroe as a sort of prize. Ancient records indicate that Rome and Meroe agreed to a peace treaty around 20 B.C.

The next few centuries brought a period of relative stability with the relationship between Meroe and Rome becoming mainly one of trade. Archaeological evidence indicates that Meroe declined around A.D. 300. Scholars have suggested a number of reasons for this decline, including desertification and loss of trade routes.

People in the Roman Empire converted to Christianity on a large scale during the fourth and fifth centuries A.D., and Christianity also began to make its way into Nubia. When Meroe collapsed it was a series of Christian kingdoms, including the kingdom of Makuria, which rose in its place. These new Christian kingdoms built cathedrals and supported monasteries. A number of new languages including Coptic and a language which modern-day scholars call "Old Nubian" flourished in Nubia.


Pre-trial/remand prison population: trend

The table below gives an indication of the recent trend in the pre-trial/remand prison population. The final row shows the latest figures available.

It consists of the number of pre-trial/remand prisoners in the prison population on a single date in the year (or the annual average) and the percentage of the total prison population that pre-trial/remand prisoners constituted on that day.

The final column shows the pre-trial/remand population rate per 100,000 of the national population.

Number in

of total
prison population

population rate
(per 100,000 of
national population)

It should be noted that the number of pre-trial/remand prisoners fluctuates from day to day, month to month and year to year. Consequently the above figures give an indication of the trend but the picture is inevitably incomplete.

The pre-trial/remand population rate is calculated on the basis of the national population total. All national population figures are inevitably estimates but the estimates used in the World Prison Brief are based on official national figures, United Nations figures or figures from other recognised international authorities.

Female prison population: trend

The table below gives an indication of the trend in the female prison population. The final row shows the latest figures available.

It consists of the number of female prisoners in the prison population on a single date in the year (or the annual average) and the percentage of the total prison population that female prisoners constituted on that day.

The final column shows the female prison population rate per 100,000 of the national population.

Number of

of total
prison population

Female prison
population rate
(per 100,000 of
national population)

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