Sudan is an Arab state in northeastern Africa. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the southwest, Chad to the west, and Libya to the northwest. Sudan has an area of 1,861,484 square kilometers (718,724 square miles), making it the third-largest country in Africa. The name Sudan is derived from the Arabic word سود (sūd), meaning "black", while the name of the capital city, Khartoum, is derived from the Arabic word قرتوم (qurṭūm), meaning "elephant trunk". Sudan was home to numerous ancient civilizations, such as the Kingdom of Kush, which flourished in Nubia, and the Meroitic Kingdom, which controlled much of Sudan's ancient trade. Sudan was the largest country in Africa and the Arab world until 2011, when South Sudan seceded, forming an independent state. Sudan is now also the third-largest country in Africa (after Algeria and Congo) and the sixteenth-largest in the world. With over 40 million people, it is the tenth most populous country in Africa and the third-most populous in the Arab world (after Egypt and Algeria). Sudan's capital, Khartoum, is the largest city in Sudan. The region of Sudan has a long and complex history. The area now called Sudan was the site of numerous ancient civilizations, such as the Kingdom of Kush, which flourished in Nubia, and the Meroitic Kingdom, which controlled much of Sudan's ancient trade. Sudan was also the home of the world's first Muslim state, the Kingdom of Aksum, which ruled much of the Red Sea coast from the 3rd to the 7th centuries CE. In the 8th century, the Kingdom of Nubia was conquered by the Islamic Arabs, and much of the Sudanese region became part of the Arab world. The Arabs introduced Islam to the Sudanese region, and Arab culture and language began to exert a significant influence on the region. In the 16th century, the Ottomans conquered Sudan, and the region became a province of the Ottoman Empire. However, Ottoman rule in Sudan was not effective, and the region became increasingly autonomous. In the 19th century, Sudan was conquered by the British, who established a colony called the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. The British rule was also not effective, and Sudanese resistance to British rule led to the outbreak of the Mahdist War in 1881. The British were eventually victorious, but Sudan remained a largely autonomous province of the British Empire. After World War II, Sudan became a sovereign state, but it was soon embroiled in a civil war between the Arab-dominated government and the African rebel groups. The civil war ended in 1972, but Sudan has since been plagued by internal conflict, violence, and instability. In recent years, Sudan has been in the news due to the conflict in the Darfur region. The conflict in Darfur began in 2003 and has resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of people and the displacement of millions of others. The conflict has been described as a genocide by some observers, and the Sudanese government has been accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Despite the challenges, Sudan is a fascinating country with a rich history and culture. Sudanese music, food, and art are unique and offer a window into the country's diverse heritage. Sudan is also home to some of the most impressive ancient ruins in Africa, such as the pyramids of Meroe. With its many challenges, Sudan is a country that is definitely worth learning more about.

Geographic data

Belongs to
Central Africa Time


177.40 billion US dollars
Sudanese Pound
Sudanese Dinar (1992–2007)
Sudanese Pound (1957–1998)
Egyptian Pound
British Pound

Date format

Gregorian Calendar
Islamic Calendar
Islamic Calendar (tabular, civil epoch)
Islamic Calendar (tabular, astronomical epoch)
First workday
Friday - Saturday

Measurement units

Measurement system
Length units
Area units
Square kilometer
Square meter
Square centimeter
Speed unit
Kilometer per hour
Temperature unit

Literacy percentage
Official languages

Spoken languages

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