Sudan - once Africa's largest state
Sudan was once the largest country in Africa by area. In Southern Sudan,
since 2005 an autonomous region of the country, a referendum was held in January
2011th In it, the majority of those who voted spoke in favor of the independence
of the predominantly Christian region from Sudan.
The declaration of independence was then finally read out on July 9, 2011. Since
then, South Sudan has been independent and Sudan is no longer the largest
country in Africa, but has slipped into third place - behind Algeria and the
Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Since Sudan's independence in 1956, there have been repeated rebellions, for
example in the southern provinces, against the Arabizing-Islamizing policies of
the governments in the capital Khartoum. In 1983 a civil war began in which 2
million Sudanese lost their lives and 4.5 million were displaced. One must,
however, keep in mind the reasons for the civil war. When the colonial rulers
divided Africa among themselves, ethnic and/or religious affiliations were
ignored. As far as Sudan is concerned, the completely different peoples of the
north - predominantly Muslims (including Nubians and Arabs), who have much of
their history and culture in common with the Egyptians - have been amalgamated
with the predominantly Christian and animist-minded Bantu of the south.
Outside of conflict regions, you can travel very safely in Sudan. The
Sudanese show a lot of respect and hospitality towards foreign
travelers. Invitations to eat with locals or to stay with them are not
uncommon. Nevertheless, you should definitely find out about the latest
developments and the security situation at the Federal Foreign Office.
The country's estimated 41 million residents are almost without exception
Sunni Muslims. The Nile flows through Sudan. As in Egypt, of which the country
was once a province, there are numerous archaeological sites on the banks of the
Nile that bear witness to a culturally rich history. However, due to the
political situation in the country, only one place made it onto the UNESCO World
Heritage List; these are the "holy mountain" Barkal and the archaeological sites
of the Napa region. You can see the remains of a temple dedicated to the
Egyptian god Amun, a palace and pyramids.
|Name of the country
||Republic of Sudan
(Arabic جمهورية السودان,
|Form of government
||Islamic Republic (de facto military regime)
||Northeast Africa on the Red Sea
||Nahnu Djundulla Djundulwatan
||approx. 43.5 million (Credit:
||approx. 50% Arabs
50% African ethnic groups
||Sunni Islam is the state religion in Sudan.
50% African languages
||Approx. 1,886,000 km²
||Jebel Marra with a height of 3,042 m
||Nile with a length of 6,690 km
|International license plate
||(New) Sudanese pou
|Time difference to CET
|International phone code
|Mains voltage, frequency
||240 volts and 50 hertz
|Internet TDL (Top Level Domain)
Until around the year 1000
Between around 2500 and 1500 BC The kingdom of Kerma existed in the area of
today's Sudan, which extended to the southern border of Egypt and represented
the oldest specifically African high culture. 2000 BC BC it was defeated by the
pharaohs, the northern part of the country came between 1500 and 1000 BC. Under
Abbreviationfinder website, around 1000 BC, the kingdom of Kush with the later capital Meroe was founded
in the 7th century BC. BC conquered the Egyptian Empire and established the 25th
pharaoh dynasty. It existed until the 3rd century BC. BC and had a great wealth
of gold and a strong military power.
From the year 1000 to the 19th century
The Christianization of Nubia began in the 4th century AD.
In 1315 the northern parts of the country were Islamized.
From 1504, after the collapse of the last Christian empire, Alwa, the spread
of Islam also began in the south.
Between 1500 and 1800 the Arab tribes founded various Islamic sheikdoms such
as the Fung Empire. At the end of the 18th century, Mohamed Ali conquered
Sudan. Under the Egyptian rule, the region was mainly traded in slaves and gold.
A movement founded by the Sudanese religious leader Muhammad Ahmad (al-Mahdi)
achieved the withdrawal of Egypt from Sudan by 1885. With British support, the
Egyptians recaptured the country in 1898. During the Faschoda crisis in 1898 and
1899, Great Britain and France fought for supremacy in Sudan. After France
renounced it in 1904, the area officially became an Anglo-Egyptian condominium,
but was de facto a British colony. During this time, a Christian minority
developed through missionary work in the south of the country.
Civil War in Sudan
In 1953, after elections under Ismai al-Aschari, an independent government
was formed in the country. In 1955 the civil war began in Sudan between the
Christian black south and the Islamic Arab north. On January 1, 1956, the
country's independence was proclaimed under President al-Ashari. In April Sudan
joined the Arab League. After the elections in 1957, Abdallah Khalil (Umma
Party) ruled the country for half a year.
In 1958 there was a military coup by General Abbud with the subsequent
dissolution of parliament, suspension of the constitution and a ban on all
parties. In 1964 the self-appointed head of state was replaced by a civil
government under Al-Ashari. A period of political instability followed.
In 1969, after another coup, Colonel Jafar Muhammed an-Numeiri came to
power. A socialist one-party system with the "Sudanese Socialist Union" (SSU)
developed by Numeiri was introduced and foreign banks and companies were
nationalized. In terms of foreign policy, the new government joined forces with
the Soviet Union.
Another coup by left forces against the national revolutionary wing in 1971
was suppressed with Egyptian and Libyan help. Numeiri won the elections in
In 1972, the insurrectionary south was granted autonomy status, an amnesty
for the rebels and economic aid in the Addis Ababa Peace Agreement. In terms of
foreign policy, the country opened up to the Federal Republic of Germany and
the USA, while relations with the Soviet Union deteriorated increasingly.
In the new constitution of 1973, among other things, Islam was established as
the state religion and the SSU as the sole state party. An autonomous government
was formed in South Sudan.
After a failed coup attempt in 1976, Numeiri accused Libya of authorship and
concluded an assistance agreement with Egypt.
In 1983 Islamic law (Sharia) was introduced in the country. In the same year,
renewed uprisings began on the occasion of ethnic conflict in South Sudan after
oil deposits were discovered in the region. The South Sudanese resistance
fighters received logistical support from Ethiopia. Numeiri's radical
Islamization policy met with increasing opposition from both the majority of the
population and in the National Assembly. In 1985 he was overthrown in a
bloodless military coup.
The transitional government oriented itself more closely to Libya and the
Soviet Union and also established diplomatic relations with Iran. The supply
situation for the population, especially in the south of the country, continued
to deteriorate dramatically.
After a military coup in 1989, the Islamic-oriented Umar Hasan Ahmad
Al-Bashir took power. He banned the international aid organizations' aid flights
to the starving south.
After Osama bin Laden had to leave Saudi Arabia in 1992, he went to Sudan and
from there directed the further development of the international terrorist
organization Al-Qaeda. In the same year the government launched a large-scale
offensive against the South Sudanese "Sudanese People's Liberation Army" (SPLA).
Although the military dictatorship was officially ended in 1993, UN observers
speak of genocide in the south of the country that was perpetrated jointly by
radical Islamists and government troops. In 1998 the United States intervened in
the conflict by bombing a chemical plant near Karthum, which allegedly produced
poison gas. They also accused Sudan of being involved in the terrorist attacks
in Nairobi and Dar as-Salam.
The civil war in the south of the country allegedly killed a quarter of a
million people and another 2.5 million were affected by famine. In addition,
there were increasing reports of an increasing slave trade in the region, which,
according to this information, was being carried out by Arab-Muslim
paramilitaries with unimaginable brutality. In 1999, following the dissolution
of parliament by Al-Bashir, a state of emergency was imposed in Sudan. After the
renewed ceasefire between the government and the rebels was broken, the aid
organizations ended their aid flights. The 2001 new elections were blocked by
the opposition parties and won by Al-Bashir.
Despite the ceasefire agreements in 2002, the conflict in Darfur in the west
of the country escalated again in 2003. The government carried out massacres of
the insurgent population as part of ethnic cleansing. Another famine
followed. The government and the rebel organization SPLA signed a security
agreement in October 2003 and a partial agreement in May 2004 on power-sharing
and conflict settlement in four regions.
In January 2005, a peace agreement was signed that granted the south of the
country partial autonomy for six years, followed by a referendum on secession.
In May 2005, the UN Security Council referred the human rights violations
committed by the Sudanese government and the Janjaweed militias it supported in
Darfur to the International Criminal Court by resolution 1593 (2005).
The 21-year civil war in Sudan left around 2 million dead. One of the causes
of war is the oil wealth of some southern provinces. While several states,
including Great Britain, the USA and Germany, criticized the Sudanese
government, others like Russia and the PRC, which are also interested in the oil
concessions, prevented a more decisive approach. The UN at least reacted with
great dismay through its Secretary General Kofi Annan.
On July 14, 2008, the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court
(ICC) in The Hague requested an arrest warrant against the President of Sudan
for genocide in Darfur, crimes against humanity and eight other charges. It is
estimated that in Darfur around 300,000 people were killed by the Islamic
equestrian militias by 2008 and that 2.5 million are on the run or live in
Independence of South Sudan
In South Sudan, an autonomous region of the country since 2005, a referendum
was held in January 2011. In it, the majority of the voters spoke out in favor
of the independence of South Sudan from Sudan. The declaration of independence
was then finally read out on July 9, 2011. Since then, South Sudan has
been independent and Sudan is no longer the largest country in Africa, but has
slipped into third place - behind Algeria and the Democratic Republic of the