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Sudan:
Geography

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Background
Definition
Military regimes favoring Islamic-oriented governments have dominated national politics since independence from the UK in 1956. Sudan was embroiled in two prolonged civil wars during most of the remainder of the 20th century. These conflicts were rooted in northern economic, political, and social domination of largely non-Muslim, non-Arab southern Sudanese. The first civil war ended in 1972 but broke out again in 1983. The second war and famine-related effects resulted in more than four million people displaced and, according to rebel estimates, more than two million deaths over a period of two decades. Peace talks gained momentum in 2002-04 with the signing of several accords. The final North/South Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), signed in January 2005, granted the southern rebels autonomy for six years. After which, a referendum for independence is scheduled to be held. A separate conflict, which broke out in the western region of Darfur in 2003, has displaced nearly two million people and caused an estimated 200,000 to 400,000 deaths. The UN took command of the Darfur peacekeeping operation from the African Union on 31 December 2007. As of early 2008, peacekeeping troops were struggling to stabilize the situation, which has become increasingly regional in scope, and has brought instability to eastern Chad, and Sudanese incursions into the Central African Republic. Sudan also has faced large refugee influxes from neighboring countries, primarily Ethiopia and Chad. Armed conflict, poor transport infrastructure, and lack of government support have chronically obstructed the provision of humanitarian assistance to affected populations.
Location
Definition
Northern Africa, bordering the Red Sea, between Egypt and Eritrea
Geographic coordinates
Definition
15 00 N, 30 00 E
Map references
Definition
Africa
Area
Definition - World rank and map
total: 2,505,810 sq km
land: 2.376 million sq km
water: 129,810 sq km
Area - comparative
Definition
slightly more than one-quarter the size of the US
Land boundaries
Definition
total: 7,687 km
border countries: Central African Republic 1,165 km, Chad 1,360 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 628 km, Egypt 1,273 km, Eritrea 605 km, Ethiopia 1,606 km, Kenya 232 km, Libya 383 km, Uganda 435 km
Coastline
Definition
853 km
Maritime claims
Definition
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 18 nm
continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Climate
Definition
tropical in south; arid desert in north; rainy season varies by region (April to November)
Terrain
Definition
generally flat, featureless plain; mountains in far south, northeast and west; desert dominates the north
Elevation extremes
Definition
lowest point: Red Sea 0 m
highest point: Kinyeti 3,187 m
Natural resources
Definition
petroleum; small reserves of iron ore, copper, chromium ore, zinc, tungsten, mica, silver, gold, hydropower
Land use
Definition - World rank and map
arable land: 6.78%
permanent crops: 0.17%
other: 93.05% (2005)
Irrigated land
Definition
18,630 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
Definition
154 cu km (1997)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
Definition
total: 37.32 cu km/yr (3%/1%/97%)
per capita: 1,030 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
Definition
dust storms and periodic persistent droughts
Environment - current issues
Definition
inadequate supplies of potable water; wildlife populations threatened by excessive hunting; soil erosion; desertification; periodic drought
Environment - international agreements
Definition
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
Definition
largest country in Africa; dominated by the Nile and its tributaries


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