Since independence from Anglo- Egyptian colonial rule in 1956, military regimes favoring Islamic-oriented governments have dominated national politics in Sudan. During the later part of the 20th century, Sudan has been embroiled in two prolonged civil wars. There first civil war ended in 1972 but another broke out in 1983. Peace talks begun in 2002-04 with the signing of several accords. Also, the first and largest UN/AU peacekeeping operation, United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) jointly commanded by the UN and the African Union in 2007 was established to bring stability to the war-torn Darfur region. Peacekeeping troops have increasingly become marks for attacks by armed groups in their struggle to stabilize the situation. In 2013, 16 peacekeepers were killed, UNAMID’s deadliest year so far. Sudan also faces refugee influxes from neighboring countries, primarily Ethiopia, Eritrea, Chad, Central African Republic and South Sudan. Armed conflict, poor transport infrastructure, and government denial of access have impeded the provision of humanitarian assistance to affected populations. Sudan is a poor country that has experienced civil war. In July 2011, it lost three quarters of its oil production due to the succession of South Sudan.
At a Glance
President: President Umar Hassan Ahmad al-BAHIR
Official Language: Arabic and English
Population: 37.99 million; (2013)
National Anthem: We are the soldiers of God and of our home-land
Media & Freedom of Expression Landscape in Sudan
In the wake of an outbreak of violence between Sudan and South Sudan over a disputed border region in April and widespread anti-government protests in June; Sudanese authorities tightened their grip on the media in 2012. Freedom of the press and expression are nominally protected under Article 39 of the 2005 Interim National Constitution—adopted as part of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the Khartoum government and the then insurgent Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM)—though a permanent constitution is currently being enlisted following the independence of South Sudan in 2011. While the CPA created slightly greater space for journalists to report more spontaneously and primarily reduced the common practice of expurgating newspapers prior to publication, the legal environment for media has remained largely unfavorable.
Visit: Freedom House for more information about Sudan.