The Republic of Sudan is also known as Sudan and North Sudan (South Sudan gained independence in 2011 and is its own country). Sudan is one of the largest countries in Africa. It is found on the north-eastern parts of Africa.
It borders South Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Egypt, Libya, Chad, and the Central African Republic. The following 12 interesting facts will enable you to get a rough picture of what awaits you to explore on this expansive land.
With 46% of people under the poverty line, there is a lot of hardship in this country. There have been many conflicts in Sudan, over the years, that have left many people died due to war, famine, and disease. Women have very few rights in this country. Human rights groups have spoken out against atrocities against people of other faiths or beliefs. There are some interesting archeological sites in Sudan and also a variety of wildlife to experience in natural areas.
General facts about the civilization and norms of Sudan:
- The estimated population of Sudan is 41,160,965.
- The nominal GDP of Sudan is $115,874 billion, and the nominal per capita GDP is $2,841.
- The currency of Sudan is the Sudanese pound.
- Sudan is listed as the 16th largest country in the world based on land area.
- Sudan has a 530-mile (853 km) coastline bordering the Red Sea.
- The flag of Sudan has a green triangle based at the hoist, and the rest of the flag is three thick horizontal stripes of (from the top) red, white, and black.
- The landscape of Sudan consists mainly of flat plains punctuated by several mountain ranges.
- Sudan is divided into 18 states.
- Khartoum is the capital and largest city of Sudan. It is also a state in Sudan.
- Before the succession of South Sudan, Sudan was the largest country in Africa.
- Approximately 200,000 human beings were forced into slavery in Sudan during the Second Sudanese Civil War, which lasted from 1983-2005.
- Women in Sudan can be whipped in public by police officers for public indecency. Public indecency can entail getting into a car with a man they are not related to, or not dressing conservatively enough.
- The most popular sports in Sudan are track and field and football.
- Sudan is on the United States list of State Sponsors of Terrorism.
- Sudan experiences tropical weather in the south, while the north is filled with desert conditions.
- Khartoum is the capital and largest city of Sudan. The city is located where the Blue Nile and White Nile Rivers merge.
Cultural facts of Sudan:
- People can be sentenced to flogging for various crimes.
- Another legal, judicial punishment is stoning. Stoning usually happens to women for adultery.
- In Sudan, crucifixion is legal to use as a punishment.
- Sudan had one of the first and most active women’s movements in the African and Arab world during the 1960s–70s.
- Sudanese women are also pioneers in science, politics, and activism.
- Sudan boasts the first female parliamentarian in Africa and the Middle East (1965), the first female Minister of Health (1974), cinematographer, football referee, army and police officers.
- Sudan is the first Muslim and Arab country to appoint a female as a judge. This took place in the 1960s.
- According to Sudanese law, the minimum age for a male to get married is 18 and above, while a female must be 16 years old or above.
- The indigenous Sudanese literary tradition is oral rather than written and includes a variety of stories, myths, and proverbs.
- Music and dance are central to Sudanese culture and serve many purposes, both recreational and religious.
Religious facts of Sudan:
- The dominant religions in the country are Christianity and Islam.
- 97% of Sudan’s population are followers of Islam, and most of them follow the Sunni form of Islam.
- The Sudanese base their legal system on Islamic Sharia Law.
- Alcohol is forbidden in Sudan. When Sharia law was first enforced in 1983, the whole country’s stock of alcohol was poured into the Nile River.
- The name Sudan is short for bilād as-sūdān, which in Arabic means “land of the Blacks.
- Homosexuality is not legal in Sudan and is a capital offense.
- The Arab presence is estimated at 70% of the Sudanese population. Others include the Arabized ethnic groups of Nubians, Zaghawa, and Copts.
- In the north, music reveals strong Arabic influence and often involves dramatic recitations of verses from the Qur’an.
Historic facts of Sudan:
- In ancient times, Sudan was called the Kingdom of Nubia.
- There is a group of almost 200 ancient pyramids, called the Meroë pyramids, after the Meroitic Kingdom that reigned over the area for over 900 years, in a desert in the eastern part of Sudan. They were built over 2,000 years ago.
- By far the most popular tourist attraction in the country is the Pyramids of Meroe as one of the last remaining symbols from an ancient civilization.
- The Pyramids of Meroe were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011.
- In 1956, Sudan hosted the first African Cup of Nations event for football.
- One of the biggest archaeological sites in ancient Nubia, Kerma, is located in Sudan. It existed over 5000 years ago and included an enormous tomb structure called the Western Deffufa.
- Revolution Day, in Sudan, is celebrated yearly on June 30 to remember the bloodless coup of 1989, led by then Colonel Omar al Bashir getting rid of the Sadiq al-Mahdi government.
- According to the United Nations (UN), the civil war in the Darfur region is seen as “one of the worst nightmares in recent history.”
- January 1 is a national holiday in Sudan. While South Africans celebrate New Year, Sudan locals celebrate their independence from Egypt and the UK in 1956.
Interesting facts about South Sudan:
South Sudan is located in central Africa. It broke away from Sudan after many years of infighting among clans and became an independent state. South Sudan is made up of the 10 southern-most states of Sudan. Nilotes comprise the majority of the population. The dominant religions in the country are Christianity and Islam. Most people in the country, however, happen to be Christians. Some interesting facts about the country are as follows:
- South Sudan has a population of about 13 million people.
- South Sudan is the youngest country in the world.
- This country is currently experiencing a shaky economy with the value of the South Sudan currency on a constant decline.
- The country relies on donations and aid from developed countries (including the UK, US, Norway, and the Netherlands) to supplement the budget and also to avail basic needs to some of the citizens.
- In June 2016, 309% inflation was recorded in South Sudan, which is one of the highest in the world.
- The civil war had for many years rocked the country hampering any meaningful economic growth.
- President of the country, Salva Kiir Mayardiit is working hard to rejuvenate the economy resource due to the damage caused by the civil war that has ravaged the region for decades.
- South Sudan has many ethnic groups with the largest being the Dinka and Nuer. The rest of the population constitutes Arabs, Shiluk, Zande, Bari, Anwak and many other tribes.
- A large portion of the population engages in subsistence farming and livestock keeping.
- Juba is the Capital City of this beautiful nation and also holds the title of the largest city in the country.
Current situation of Sudan:
Sudan is a poor country, despite its potential resources. Sudan’s economy is basically agricultural, with inadequate infrastructure and ridden by civil wars and social and ethnic conflict. The worst thing is that Sudan is still going through a crisis. In December 2018, the government increased the prices of everyday items like bread and fuel in order to stop the country’s economy getting worse.
In response to this, protestors took to the streets in order to send a message that they wanted Sudan’s long-term leader Omar al-Bashir to step down or be removed from power. The rallies reached a turning point in April 2019, when demonstrators took over the town square in front of the military’s headquarters to demand that the army force the president out.
During action against demonstrators on 3 June, experts say the military council used “brutal violence” and tear gas – with many people being killed and injured. The authorities have introduced emergency laws and a night-time curfew – which means people must be in their homes and not leave after a certain time at night.
Five days later, it was announced that the president had been overthrown. Mr al-Bashir has been held under high-level security ever since.
Most African and western countries have backed the protesters. The US called it a “brutal attack” and the UK said the military council held “full responsibility”. Saudi Arabia has pushed for discussions between the two sides, but not directly criticized military violence.
We just hope and wish for the prosperity of the fellow country.
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