Politics and society

Sudan today

The theory and practice of politics in Sudan are two entirely different stories. Officially, Sudan is a democracy, organised as a federal republic with a directly elected president. In practice, Omar al-Bashir came to power after a military coup in 1989, leaning on the National Islamic Front (NIF). In 1998, internal struggles resulted in the foundation of the National Congress Party (NCP), which has been led by Bashir ever since.

Bashir also won the first multi-party presidential election in 2010 as well as the most recent election in 2015. Both were boycotted by major opposition candidates and saw a low voter turnout.

Sudan's most recent history has been defined by war. While a peace deal ended the 21-year civil war in the south in 2005, another conflict was breaking out in Darfur in western Sudan at the same time. The current 2005 constitution defines Sudan as a multicultural, multiethnic and multireligious state. But politics on the ground have so far failed to accommodate social and political interests arising from the country's diversity.

Amidst the prevailing conditions, numerous stakeholders demand reforms embracing the multicultural, multiethnic and multireligious reality, recognising the needs and rights of all members of society. Opposition in Sudan encompasses a wide spectrum, ranging from ethnic groups, through political parties to civil society, women's, youth and student movements. Many of these groups partially operate from exile, as does the online Sudan Tribune, which is trying to fill the gap of plural and free reporting on Sudan.

 

Geography

Sudan is the sixteenth-largest country in the world and the third-largest in Africa, after Algeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Its southern part belongs to the Sahel zone; the regions in the north are the southeasternmost part of the Sahara. Read more ...

Climate

Sudan lies within the tropics. Its climate is primarily dictated by the dry northeasterly trade winds from the Arabian Peninsula and the moist southwesterly monsoon winds from the Congo river basin, which bring the typical summer rains. Read more ...

Population

Of the estimated 38 million Sudanese, more than 5 million live in Greater Khartoum. About 40% of the population are younger than 15 years old. Despite Arabic being the main language and Islam the main religion, the Sudanese society is multiethnic. Read more ...

Economy and infrastructure

Historically, agriculture was the main source of income and employment in Sudan. Since the early 2000s, oil has been the backbone of the economy. The oil sector aside, the country's most important industries are agricultural processing and various light industries. Read more ...

Politics and society

Officially, Sudan is a democracy, organised as a federal republic with a directly elected president. Omar al-Bashir came to power after a military coup in 1989. He also won the first multi-party presidential election in 2010 as well as the most recent election in 2015. Read more ...

Islam in Sudan

97% of Sudan's population are Muslim, with the vast majority adhering to the Sunni denomination. An important aspect of Sudanese Islam is Sufism, which is considered to be a very tolerant persuasion. Divorced from personal beliefs, Islam has become deeply politicised in Sudan. Read more ...