Republic of Sudan

General Facts:

Population: 370.9 million (2013),

Official Languages Arabic,English

Further  Languages

Capital
Khartoum

5 Regions : Northen, Kurdufan,Kassala,Darfur,Blue Nile, Khartoum.

Area: 728,200 mi²

Currency: Sudanese Pound

Crime & Security:
North and central Sudan, including Khartoum, experience relatively low crime rates compared to other capital cities in Sub-Saharan Africa. U.S. Crime in and around Khartoum is generally non-violent and non-confrontational property crime.
The threat of violent crime kidnappings, armed robberies, home invasions, and carjackings is particularly high in the Darfur region, as the government has limited capacity to deter crime there. In addition, Janjaweed militia and other heavily armed Darfuri rebel groups are known to carry out criminal attacks against foreigners.

Background

Omar Hassan al-Bashir, president since 1989 when he came to power in a military coup, faces two international arrest warrants based on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide in the conflict in Darfur that began in 2003, leaving over 2 million people displaced and over 200,000 killed. In October 2013, more than 30 members of al-Bashir’s National Congress Party formed a new opposition party. Cross-border violence, political instability, poor infrastructure, weak property rights, and corruption hinder development. Export growth (other than oil) is largely stagnant, and agriculture employs 80 percent of the workforce. Following the secession of South Sudan in 2011, Sudan lost two-thirds of its oil revenue to the South. Subject to multiple comprehensive sanctions regimes, Sudan has begun austerity measures to reduce government spending. A June 2015 U.N. report of an upsurge of violence in Darfur has raised concerns.

Political, Economic, Religious, and Ethnic Violence
Sudan has had a violent history since independence in 1956. The civil war between northern and southern Sudan began even before independence and lasted until 1972. After a decade-long period of relative peace, the war resumed in 1983 and formally ended with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005. These wars were based on religious, cultural, economic, and tribal differences and a long history dating back to the colonial period of northern dominance of the south. North-south relations remain tense with numerous disputes ranging from setting boundaries to revenue sharing. Per the CPA, a referendum in January 2011 in which southerners overwhelmingly voted for secession resulted in an independent South Sudan in July 2011. Renewed fighting has increased along the North-South border as post-secession arrangements are settled, and there continues to be an active insurgency in the border states of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile. Sudan and South Sudan had a brief armed conflict in April 2012 over Sudan’s Heglig oil area. Although Sudan and South Sudan signed a series of comprehensive agreements in September 2012, border management strategies have not been finalized, and there are communities and factions on both sides of the border that may not accept the outcome of agreements on border demarcation and/or the referendum. This must be viewed in the context of violence between tribes along the border during the migratory season of cattle and other livestock and that much of the country’s oil wealth is situated along and to the south of the border, all reasons why violence continues in the disputed region of Abyei.
In the north, there has also been a history of violence and war, in Darfur and in the east. The war in the east ended in 2006 with the Eastern Sudan Peace Agreement, but tensions remain. In Darfur, a small number of armed groups attacked government installations and police offices in 2003 over governance, development, and perceived unfairness in the way disputes over land and grazing rights were settled. Since then, the Bashir regime, which came to power through a military coup in 1989, orchestrated a violent, largely proxy counterinsurgency using “Arab” militias that employed scorched earth tactics to remove entire local populations alleged to be sympathetic to the “African” rebels. This violent campaign by the government, called a genocide by the United States, has resulted in an estimated 300,000 deaths and 2.7 million Darfuri internally displaced persons (IDPs).
In 2006, the government signed the Darfur Peace Agreement following negotiations in Abuja, but only one major rebel group signed the agreement, and its terms have yet to be implemented. In recent years, the war expanded as Chadian rebels, with the support of the government of Sudan, used Darfur as a base from which to wage war against the government of Chad. In February 2008, the Chadian rebels mounted an attack against N’Djamena with material support from Khartoum, and in May 2008, the Darfuri JEM rebel group mounted an attack on Khartoum with support from N’Djamena. In January 2010, Chad and Sudan officially ended their proxy war, signing agreements in N’Djamena on January 15 to formally normalize bilateral relations and to reinforce border security arrangements. The two countries pledged to end all support for armed rebel groups and remove them from their respective territories, requiring JEM to leave Chad and Chadian rebel groups to leave Sudan. The Joint Chad-Sudan Border Monitoring Force has been a Cinderella story of sorts, restricting cross-border movement of armed groups. Many of the Chadian rebels have found themselves with nowhere to go and have reportedly taken up arms with Darfuri rebel factions or resorted to criminality and banditry.

Arguably, Darfur was witness to a marked increase in violence in 2012 as fatalities from the conflict and from tribal clashes increased. In 2011, the government signed another Darfur peace agreement in Doha with the LJM rebel group, but its provisions have yet to be fully implemented.

Economy
Political instability and prolonged lawlessness have undermined the capacity of Sudan’s fragile economy to attract long-term investment and promote economic development. Although the small private sector has expanded slightly, the large informal economy remains the most important source of production and employment.

Despite some progress, security and political uncertainty remain formidable challenges. The rule of law continues to be fragile and uneven. The inability to deliver even basic services on a reliable basis, often exacerbated by systemic corruption, has severely eroded confidence in the government.

Education in Sudan
Education in Sudan is free and compulsory for children aged 6 to 13 years. Primary education consists of eight years, followed by three years of secondary education. The former educational ladder 6 + 3 + 3 was changed in 1990. The primary language at all levels is Arabic. Schools are concentrated in urban areas; many in the South and West have been damaged or destroyed by years of civil war. In 2001 the World Bank estimated that primary enrollment was 46 percent of eligible pupils and 21 percent of secondary students. Enrollment varies widely, falling below 20 percent in some provinces. Sudan has 19 universities; instruction is primarily in Arabic. Education at the secondary and university levels has been seriously hampered by the requirement that most males perform military service before completing their education.
In September 1990 the Bashir government decided to Islamize the schools, backed by the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic teachers and administrators, who were the strongest supporters of the regime.
A Moslem curriculum was devised and imposed on all schools, colleges and universities. It consisted of two parts, the first obligatory for all students and the second optional. All the essential elements of the obligatory course would be drawn from the Quran and the recognized books of the hadith. The optional course of study would permit the student to select certain specializations according to individual aptitudes and inclinations. In addition, membership in the Popular Defence Forces, a paramilitary body allied to the National Islamic Front, became a requirement for university admission.

Within a year the government ordered that Arabic should be used as the language of instruction, replacing English. It also dismissed around seventy faculty members of the University of Khartoum, who were opposed to the new policy. It also ordered that the number of university students should be doubled, and that many new universities should be opened.

These changes were very unwelcome in the South and contributed to turn the insurgency in the south into a real civil war. In consequence educational facilities in the South have largely disappeared.
By 2006 there were 27 public universities, 5 private universities, 9 public technical colleges, and 46 private colleges. The IAU World Higher Education Database 2006 indicates that the number of students rose from 6,080 in 1989 to 38,623 in 1999/2000, an increase of 535%. Total tertiary enrollment in 2000 was 204,114 students, of which 47% were female.

Health 

Sudan is still one of the largest countries in Africa even after the split of the Northern and Southern parts. It is one of the most densely populated countries .
With this rise in population and bearing in mind the political issues that have plagued the country with war and hostility for the last 25 years, health care has become an afterthought and basically lost in the midst of what the government might believe to be more pressing matters. Sudan still has a long way to go to achieve its millennium developmental goals and to establish an adequate and efficient health care system that benefits every individual in the country.

The Mobile Service for Hygiene and Preventive Medicine performs mass inoculations, carries out pest control campaigns, and provides education in hygiene and basic preventive measures. Its activities have led to significant decreases in mortality caused by smallpox, yellow fever, and sleeping sickness. Yaws, malaria, and leprosy continue to be major medical problems. Immunization rates for children up to one year old were: tuberculosis, 73%; diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus, 71%; polio, 71%; and measles, 58%. Rates for DPT and measles were, respectively, 41% and 43%.
The crude birth rate and overall mortality rate were estimated at, respectively, 36.1 and 11.3 per 1,000 people. The fertility rate in 2000 was five children per woman living through her childbearing years. The infant mortality rate was 62.20 per 1,000 live births in 2005 and the maternal mortality rate was 480 per 100,000 live births. Average life expectancy in 2005 was 57.01 years.
The health services are provided in addition to the ministries of health (federal, state and localities), by health sub-systems like insurance schemes, armed forces, and private providers. For provision of service, health care is organized at three levels: primary, secondary and tertiary level. The national health insurance fund, in addition to being an actor for financing, has its own health facilities. The armed forces and parastatal organizations like railways and Sudan Air etc. have their own network of health facilities and insurance schemes.

Sudan is bordered by seven countries in which HIV/AIDS is highly prevalent, therefore Sudan is susceptible to an increase in HIV/AIDS prevalence. In 1986, the first case of HIV and AIDS in Sudan was reported. Sudan’s HIV epidemiological situation is currently classified as a low epidemic, as of July 2011.
The main mode of transmission worldwide is through heterosexual contact, which is no different in Sudan. However transmission varies in different countries, in the United States,as of 2009, men who had sex with men was the main mode of transmission, accounting for 64% of all new cases. In Sudan however, heterosexual transmission accounted for 97% of HIV positive cases.
As of January 5, 2011, the Adult(15-49) prevalence in Sudan was found to be 0.4%, an estimated 260,000 were living with HIV and there were 12,000 HIV related annual deaths.[14] A population based study was conducted in 2002 which estimated the sero-prevalence to be 1.6%. According to recent studies, the HIV and AIDS prevalence in Sudan among blood donors has increased from 0.15% in 1993 to 1.4% in 2000. Sudan is considered to be a country with an intermediate HIV and AIDS prevalence[11] by the World Health Organization(WHO).
HIV/AIDS related-services have been introduced in all the states of Sudan. Free services have been provided across the country, which have significantly improved the life of people living with HIV.

Malaria Prevention

Malaria is one of the most deadly and epidemic diseases that affects Sudan and the African region in general. This is mainly due to the high temperatures and inadequate infrastructure regarding drainage and sewer systems. Stangnant and still water that builds up and is not drained becomes a reservoir and breeding ground for mosquitoes. This leads to their large numbers in the affected area. Still, we have reason to believe that the effect and burden of Malaria is somewhat underestimated. In 2007 a study was conducted in Sudan which revealed underreporting of malaria episodes and deaths to the formal health system, with the consequent underestimation of the disease burden.
Children less than five years of age had the highest mortality rate and DALYs, emphasizing the known effect of malaria on this population group. Females lost more DALYs than males in all age groups, which altered the picture displayed by the incidence rates alone. The epidemiological estimates and DALYs calculations in this study form a basis for comparing interventions that affect mortality and morbidity differently, by comparing the amount of burden averted by them. The DALYs would mark the position of malaria among the rest of the diseases, if compared to DALYs due to other diseases. Uncertainty around the estimates should be considered when using them for decision making and further work should quantify this uncertainty to facilitate utilisation of the results. More epidemiological studies are required to fill in the gaps revealed in this study and to more accurately determine the effect and burden of the disease.

Climate

Sudan has a tropical climate. Summer temperatures often exceed 43.3 degrees Celsius (about 110 degrees Fahrenheit) in the desert zones, and rainfall is negligible. Dust storms frequently occur in desert zone. High temperatures also occur in the south throughout the central plains region, but the humidity is generally low. In Khartoum the average annual temperature is about 26, 7° Celsius (about 80° Fahrenheit); and annual rainfall, most of which occurs between mid-June and September, is about 254 mm (about 10 inch).

Religion

Sudan is clearly a Muslim country, with Muslims making up well over 75 percent of the population (1), and the government that has been in power in Sudan since 1989 has consciously based its administration on Islamic values. Michael Field’s ‘Inside the Arab World’ states that Sudan post-1989 is unique amongst Islamic polities: “The only Arab country that has put into effect modern, republican, Islamist ideas has been Sudan”. (2) While Sudan has been misrepresented as a theocratic, Islamic fundamentalist state, the Sudan’s Islamic experience is different from the Saudi Arabian experience and very different from the Islamic model in Iran.

Public Transport

Taxis are a convenient way of getting around cities in Sudan and fares are inexpensive. There are two types of taxis available to travelers. There are the usual taxis which take one passenger from point A to point B. These taxis are not metered, so fares need to be agreed upon before departure. Then there are bakassis, which are minibus shared taxi that have no set stops but simply pick people up and drop them off as requested. Both types of taxi can simply be flagged down from the side of the road.
Car rentals are available from Sudan airports and in major city centers but tend not to be the most popular mode of transportation because rental fees are high and independent travel by road comes with a risk in many areas. It is best to rent a four-wheel drive as some of the roads, especially those outside of cities, are undeveloped and difficult to navigate. Roads outside of centers like Khartoum are often unsafe and travelers intent on visiting remote areas should be accompanied by a guide or local driver.

An efficient and inexpensive way of traveling between cities is by the local train system. The train network in the country is extensive, with the main line connecting Wadi Halfa in the north to Khartoum near the south. The total journey takes about two days but the train makes several stops along the way at which travelers can stock up on refreshments. There are also lines between Nyala and Er-Rahad, and Khartoum and Port Sudan. Travelers have a choice of first class seats (which are comfortable), sleeper carriages, and second and third class seats, which are far more rustic.
Previously, the network of roads in the county was limited and unpaved in most areas. Recently, however, the road network has grown significantly, making bus and coach travel a viable option for getting from one city to another. Bus routes stretch as far as Khartoum to Wadi Halfa and to the Ethiopian border and Port Sudan. There are a few private bus companies which operate reliable services but in most areas, rustic trucks are used to transport people between regions. These trucks are unsurprisingly less comfortable than the large coaches

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