57 Interesting Facts About Sudan

Last updated on September 30th, 2022

Civil wars in Sudan

41. The first civil war occurred in the country during 1955-1972, and the second civil war happened during 1983-2005.

42. In 1972, the first civil war ended after 17 years. The end was marked by the signing of the Addis Ababa Agreement between the two parties.

43. The signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005 brought an end to the second civil war.

44. The second civil war in Sudan became the reason for the death of two and half million people.

45. The reason behind the conflict in Sudan is not just religious differences. The conflict is also caused by a lack of availability of limited natural resources like water and pastureland to sustain life. Oil reserves are another cause of the conflict. One country – South Sudan – has an abundance of oil reserves, while the other – North Sudan or the Republic of Sudan – has the machinery to process it.

46. Sudan is the 16th largest country in the world by land area.

47. On August 20, 1998, the United States launched cruise missiles that destroyed a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Khartoum. The company was alleged to be manufacturing chemical weapons under the sponsorship of Osama bin Laden.

48. In September 2004, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell deemed the Darfur conflict a genocide and called it the worst humanitarian crisis of the 21st century.

PAl-Mogran Mosque, Khartoum, Sudan.
PAl-Mogran Mosque, Khartoum, Sudan. Photo © Minafouad

Cultural facts about Sudan

49. Sudan is nicknamed the Arab world’s food basket, as it accounts for 45% of arable land in the Arab world.

50. In Sudan, priests and high-ranking officials would often be buried with a small pyramid atop their grave.

51. The Neur tribe of southern Sudan has a tradition of “ghost marriage.” A man may marry a woman as a stand-in for his deceased brother. The children that are born of this union will be considered descendants of the dead man–the “ghost”. The ghost is the socially recognized father.

52. In Sudan, the minimum age for a male to get married is 18 or above, while that for a female is 16 years or above.

A traditional house in Wadi Halfa, Sudan. Image credit – David Stanley

53. Hospitality takes center stage in Sudan. When a visitor arrives, refreshments are served almost immediately, followed by meals. Irrespective of the host’s economic situation or the contents of their refrigerator, the guests will be offered everything they have.

54. Sudan boasts the first female parliamentarian in Africa and the Middle East (1965), and the first female Minister of Health (1974).

55. Sudan brought the Middle East its first female judge, cinematographer, football referee, army members and police officers.

The pyramids of Meroe in the Sahara of Sudan.

56. Recent excavations at Meroe and Mussawwarat es-Sufra revealed temples with walls and statues covered with gold leaf.

57. Omar al-Bashir, Sudan’s president since 1989, has been indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, and his country ranks near the bottom of the press freedom index.

About the flag of Sudan

The flag of Sudan represents pride, patriotism, and the true meaning of being Sudanese. It is an affirmation of commitment and loyalty. It represents and symbolizes Sudan.

The Sudanese flag is continuously displayed at certain locations including the presidential office and residence, government ministries, museums, and embassies among others.

There are interesting aspects about the flag of Sudan.

History of the Flag & Adoption Date

Sudan attained independence in 1956. The House of Representatives officially adopted a national flag featuring a tricolor of blue, yellow, and green.

The blue of the flag symbolized the River Nile, green the farmlands of the nation, and yellow the Sahara Desert.

This flag was used for 13 years from 1956 to the military coup of 1969.

On May 20th, 1970, the current flag of Sudan came into effect. It has a green triangle at the hoist and a horizontal red-white-black tricolor.

The colors of this flag are derived from the Pan-Arab colors.

One of the first flags used in Sudan was during the Mahdist War. A black flag was adopted in 1881. The black stripe in the current flag pays homage to the Mahdist flag.

The United Kingdom and Egypt administered Sudan from 1899 to 1956. During this administration, Sudan didn’t have its own flag. Instead, the flags of Egypt and the U.K were flown together.

Many Sudanese opposed the Anglo-Egyptian rule and subsequently the British and Egyptian flags. In 1924, a white flag league flew their flag in revolt. It had a white background with the Nile cutting across the background. At the upper left corner were three white stars, a white crescent, and a green insignia. A Mahdist flag featuring a white crescent and tri-colors of black, green, and red also frequently appeared.

Are Their Countries With Flag Designs Similar to The Flag of Sudan?

This design of the flag of Sudan is similar to the Arab liberation flags used by Iraq, Syria, Egypt, and Yemen.

There is no fixed order in which the Pan-Arab colors have to appear. The flags should only maintain a horizontal triband of equal stripes of white, red, and black. Green is what differentiates the various flags by way of Arabic script, green stars, or in the case of Sudan, a green triangle at the hoist.

Flag of Sudan
Flag of Sudan. Image credit – CIA

What Does the Flag of Sudan Symbolize?

The Pan-Arab colors on the flag of Sudan symbolize Arab unity and independence. These colors (red, white, black, and green) are historically linked to Islam and the Arab people.

The red stripe on the Sudanese flag is a symbol of the independence struggle and the sacrifices that have been made by the country’s martyrs. White symbolizes light, people, and optimism. Green represents agriculture, Islam, and the land’s prosperity. Black represents ‘Sudan,’ which in Arabic means ‘land of black people.’

Design of the Flag & Who Designed It

The modern Sudanese flag was designed by Abd al-Rahman Ahmad al-Jali. His design won a nationally held flag competition. The flag’s design resembles that of Egypt, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. It has a green triangle and a tricolor of red, white, and black.

The flag has a width-to-length ratio of 2:1. The horizontal stripes have the same shape with each stripe being a third of the flag’s length.

The Bottom-Line

The Sudanese flag is either flown full or half-staff. It is displayed at full staff on important national occasions like Independence Day and at half-staff on days proclaimed by the president.

Sudan – country at a glance

Independence day1 January 1956 (from Egypt and the UK)
Capital CityKhartoum
(15°38′N 032°32′E)
Largest CityKhartoum
(15°38′N 032°32′E)
Population47,958,856 (2022 est.)
Areatotal: 1,861,484 sq km

land: 1,731,671 sq km

water: 129,813 sq km
Suffrage17 years of age; universal
Literacy rate60.7%
Government typepresidential republic
Prime MinisterOsman Hussein (acting)
National anthem"Nahnu Djundulla Djundulwatan" (We Are the Army of God and of Our Land)
National symbolssecretary bird
National colorsred, white, black, green
Agricultural land100%
Official LanguageArabic and English
BordersEgypt, Eritrea and Ethiopia, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Chad and Libya.
CurrencySudanese pound (SDG)
Life expectancy at birth67.12 years (2022)
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
GDP - per capita (PPP)$4,000 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2020 est.)
Natural resourcespetroleum; small reserves of iron ore, copper, chromium ore, zinc, tungsten, mica, silver, gold; hydropower
Terraingenerally flat, featureless plain; desert dominates the north
Mean elevation568 m
Lowest pointRed Sea 0 m
Highest pointJabal Marrah 3,042 m
Climatehot and dry; arid desert; rainy season varies by region (April to November)
Birth rate33.47 births/1,000 population (2022 est.)
Death rate6.3 deaths/1,000 population (2022 est.)
Sex ratio1.01 male(s)/female (2022 est.)
Industriesoil, cotton ginning, textiles, cement, edible oils, sugar, soap distilling, shoes, petroleum refining, pharmaceuticals, armaments, automobile/light truck assembly
Exports$5.11 billion (2019 est.)
gold; oil and petroleum products; cotton, sesame, livestock, peanuts, gum arabic, sugar
Imports$9.79 billion (2019 est.)
foodstuffs, manufactured goods, refinery and transport equipment, medicines, chemicals, textiles, wheat
Time ZoneEAT (UTC+3)
Internet country code.sd
Calling Code+259
Drives on theRight
Table last updatedJuly 25, 2022