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Generally flat, featureless plain; desert dominates the north


Hot and dry; arid desert; rainy season varies by region (April to November)


Nationality: Sudanese (singular and plural)
Population: 35,482,233 (July 2014 est.)
Languages: Arabic (official), English (official), Nubian, Ta Bedawie, Fur; note: program of “Arabization” in process


Sunni Muslim, small Christian minority


Sudan is an extremely poor country that has experienced protracted social conflict, civil war, and, in July 2011, the loss of three-quarters of its oil production due to the secession of South Sudan. The oil sector had driven much of Sudan's GDP growth since 1999. For nearly a decade, the economy boomed on the back of rising oil production, high oil prices, and significant inflows of foreign direct investment.

Living Conditions

Although Sudan is regarded as one of the poorest countries in the world, its people have long found ways to accommodate their harsh environment. In the rural areas of the north, the mud-baked, flat-roofed houses remain cool even in the hottest temperatures. In the south, conical grass huts provide warmth and safety from heavy rains and more variable climates. In towns and cities, housing ranges from European-style villas to make-shift huts and lean-tos (rakuba).


Federal republic ruled by the National Congress Party, the (NCP), which came to power by military coup in 1989; the CPA-mandated Government of National Unity, which between 2005 and 2011 provided a percentage of leadership posts to the southern Sudan-based Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), was disbanded following the secession of South Sudan.

US Military Presence/Support






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