Conventional name: Rpublic of Sudan (‘al-jumhûriyyatu s-sûdâniyya)

Etymology: from the Arabic bilâd al-sudân « the country of the black people »

Capital: Khartoum

Surface area: 2.505.810 km².

Comparison with a European country: 5 x Spain (or: 3/4 of the whole European Union).

Administrative Divisions: 26 federated states since 1994 (wilayat, the governors are appointed by the President of the republic).

Population (2009): 41 087 825  inhabitants

Population density (2005): 14,5inhabitants /km²

Young people under 15 Years old (2009): 40.7%

Annual population growth (2009 est.): 2.143%

Fertility rate (2009 est.): 4,48

Life expectancy (2009):  51,42

Infant mortality (2009): 82,43 ‰

Urban population (2005): 39,9%

Illiteracy rate (2005): men 28,9% ; women 48,2%

Language : Arabic (official), Nubian, Ta Bedawie, diverse dialects of Nilo-Hamitic / Sudanic languages, English.

Ethnic background: The so-called «Northerner» people comprehend the Arabs, Nubians, Bedjas, tribes from the Nouba Mounts and some «arabised» groups representing about 70% of the population. The so-called «Southerner» pepople: several ethnies, among which the most important are the Dinkas, the Nuers and the Chillouks (representing arround 28% of the total population).

Religions : Sunni muslims 70% (mainly in the North), local faiths 20%, Christians 5% (mainly in Kharthoum and in the south), others 5%.

HDI (Human Development Indicator 2008): within the 177 countries selected in the report Sudan is ranked 147 (rate 0.526, low development)

Currency: 1 Sudanese dinar (SD) (263 dinars= 1€uro, on 7/2008)

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (2009): 92,81 millions  US$)

Gross Domestic Product G.D.P. per capita (2009 est.): 2 300  $

Annual growth: (2009 est.) : 4,8%

Value added by sectors (% of the GDP) (2002): agriculture 39.2%, industry 18.3% and services 42.5%

Unemployment Rate (2002): 18 ,7%

Labour Force by Economic Sector of Activity (1998): agriculture 80%, industry and trade 7%, services 13%

Exports (2009): 8 464 millions de $

Imports (2009): 6 823 millions de $

Industries: oil, cotton ginning, textiles, cement, edible oils, sugar, soap distilling, shoes, petroleum refining, pharmaceuticals, armaments,automobile/light truck assembly

Agricultural products: gum arabic (first world producer), groundnuts (peanuts), sorghum, millet, wheat, sugarcane, cassava (tapioca), mangos,papaya, bananas, sweet potatoes, sesame; sheep, livestock

Major Export Products: oil and oil related products, cotton, sesame, livestock, groundnuts, arabic gum, shugar

Major Import Products: foodstuffs, manufactured goods, machinery and transport, medicines and chemical products, textiles

Major Trading Partners: Japan, Chine, Saudi Arabia, UK, Germany

Total External Debt (2009): 36,27 billion US $

Year of independence: 1st of Janury 1956 (from Egypt and the UK)

Admitted in the UN: 1956

Member i.a. of: The League of Arab States (1956), African Union (2002, The AU replaced the Organisation of African Unity, founded in 1963, and of which Sudan was a founding member);  Organisation of the Islamic countries (founding member, 1969); Common Market of East and Southern Africa -COMESA-,  (1993, which replaced the former Preferential Trade Area, existing since 1981); CEN-SAD (2001, founded in 1998 as ‘Sahel and Sahara States Community’ –COMESSA-); Intergovernmental Authority on Development –IGAD- (1996, which superseded the Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development -IGADD- founded in 1986); observer status in the W.T.O.

Parties to i.a. Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

State nature : Federal Republic

Regime nature: military and Islamic

Constitution: 1998 (passed by a presidential decree. Another presidential decree promulgated the National Security Emergency law in December1999 by which it suspended the Constitution.)

President and Prime Minister: General Omar Hasan Ahmad al-BASHIR (Military coup d’Etat, 1989)

-Government of May 8, 2009-

First Vice-President: Général de C. A. Salva Kiir MAYARDIT

Minister for Foreign Affairs: M. Deng ALOR

Minister of Interior: M. Ibrahim Mohammed HAMED

Minister of National Defence: Général Abdul Rahim Mohamed HUSSEIN
Territorial disputes: Egypt and Sudan each claim to administer triangular areas which extend north and south of the 1899 Treaty boundary along the 22nd Parallel.

Sources (figures): Human Development Report 2003, World factbook 2009, l’Etat du monde 2007 (La Découverte)

Some features

Sudan is the largest country in Africa and also the largest among Arab countries (2.5 million Km²). It shares borders with nine countries: Egypt and Libya (to the north), Chad and Central Africa Republic (to the west), Congo (to the southwest), Uganda and Kenya (south) and Ethiopia and Eritrea (to the east).

The Nile is the dominant geographical feature of Sudan (around 70% of the country’s area is situated within the Nile river catchments area. The Blue Nile (originating in Ethiopian highlands) and the White Nile (originating in Equatorial lakes) join in Khartoum to form the Nile river. 60% of the total Nile length lies in Sudan.

The North, rich in natural resources, is mainly inhabited by Muslim Arabs, though the majority also use a traditional non-Arabic mother tongue. The less developed south, predominantly rural, is populated by black African (divided into many different ethnic groups), mainly animist or of the Christian faith. Most oil resources are situated in the south.


Sudan was a set of small, independent kingdoms and principalities until 1820, when Egypt conquered and unified the northern territories. Egypt was never able to establish an effective control over the southern territories of Sudan, which remained an area of disjointed tribes.
The first Sudanese modern national state was founded in 1885 by Mohammed Ahmed, the “Al-Mahdi” (auto proclaimed “the awaited guide”), after his followers, the « Ansars” captured Khartoum from British and Egyptian forces. Taking the form of a religious crusade he aimed at unifying the tribes in western and central Sudan. However, Sudan was recaptured by the Anglo-Egyptian forces, led by Lord Kitchener, in 1898. One year later, they established the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium, which ruled Sudan until its independence in 1956. While maintaining the appearance of joint administration, the British Empire formulated policies, and supplied most of the top administrators.

Nationalist movements arose in the aftermath of  WW1 with the creation of the “White Flag League”. But it was the two largest confraternities, the Mahdiyya and the Khatmiyya (favouring a union with Egypt) which mostly shore up the nationalist movements. British colonial administration and Northern and Southern representatives convened at the Juba Conference (June 1947) to discuss the future of an independent united Sudan. Independence was agreed by the colonial powers in February 1953, becoming effective on the first of January 1956. A « Transitional » Constitution was approved by the Constituent Assembly and Ismail al-Azhari was appointed the first Prime Minister, with a coalition government formed by the National Unionist (Khatmiyya) Party and the Umma Party.

General Ibrahim Abboud, the commander-in-chief of the Sudanese army, led a Coup in November 1958 and dissolved all political parties. There was continuing southern political dissatisfaction as the ruling elite in the north ignored demands for political rights and economic development in the south. In 1962, southern Sudanese leaders formed the Sudan African Closed Districts National Union (SACDNU, afterwards named Sudan African National Union –SANU-).

The military government lasted for six years, after which it was forced to step down from power. The country was ruled by a series of civil governments for five years but they couldn’t agree on a permanent Constitution, nor could they solve the country’s economic problems. Colonel Gaafar Muhammad Nimeiri led a new coup in 1969, abolishing Parliament  and banning all political parties.
In August 1967, southern leaders announced the foundation of the “Southern Sudanese Provisional Government”, which collapsed after two years and was replaced by the “Nile Provisional Government”. In July 1971, the « Southern Sudan Liberation Movement »  was founded and Joseph Lagu was appointed its leader.

In February 1972, northern and southern representatives convened in the Addis Ababa peace conference and established the basis for a peace agreement. This provided for a limited degree of autonomy in the south (constituent local elections and an autonomous regional government), the integration of southern militia men into the armed forces and the resettlement of southern refugees (with the assistance of the United Nations and some NGOs).

Current Civil War

Ever since independence was granted to Sudan, civil conflict has raged in the South, except for a period comprised between 1972 and 1983.  In April 1983, President Gaafar Muhammad Nemeiry unilaterally abrogated the autonomy given to South Sudan in the framework of the Addis Ababa agreement,  declared a state of emergency  and suspended all constitutional rights. Rebellion broke out in the south in May 1983. The government declared Sudan an Islamic republic and imposed the Sharia law on the whole territory and the whole population (Muslims as well as non-Muslims). This has been widely seen as the main cause of the rebellion, coupled with President Nemeiry’s desire to assert his Islamic legitimacy. The discovery of oil fields in South Sudan by the American company Chevron also influenced  the course of the conflict. Longstanding grievances were exacerbated by those events.

A new coup took place in April 1985, appointing a civil transitory cabinet that ruled until elections were held one year later. Sadiq al-Mahdi led a coalition government which was dissolved and reformed several times during the next four years.

In 1989, General Bachir led a coup instigated and supported by the National Islamic Front (now National Congress Party), whose leader was Hassan Al Turabi. The coup, which officially intended “to save the country from rotten political parties” was also aimed at setting up an Islamic system of government and at preventing the signature of a peace agreement with the SPLM. General Bachir and his Revolutionary Command Council for National Salvation established an overwhelming political and economical control of the country and prolonged the war with the south. His position was reinforced since the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), the controlling party in the south, split into two factions.

In April 1989 the UN and the Sudanese government agreed on the establishment of « Operation Lifeline Sudan » (OLS -a consortium of UNICEF, the World Food Programme and several NGOs) for the distribution of some 100,000 tons of food in both governmental and SPLA controlled areas. This agreement has passed through several ups and downs.

A recent report issued by Human Rights Watch accuses Sudanese government and big oil companies of a policy of division and displacement of population so that oil companies can extract and export crude oil via a pipeline to Port Sudan on the red Sea. The report also condemns abuses by SPLA rebels.

Peace Process

In June 1992, the government and the SPLA convened in Abuja for the first time, under the auspices of Nigerian President Ibrahim Babangida and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD, formed by six countries in the Horn of Africa – Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda-). The IGAD-led peace process is supported by several international partners including the EU.
Despite the lack of results of previous initiatives, the IGAD initiative promulgated the 1994 Declaration of Principles (DOP) that aimed at identifying the essential elements necessary for a just and comprehensive peace settlement: the relationship between religion and the state, power sharing, wealth sharing and the right of self-determination for the South. The Sudanese Government signed these agreements in 1997 . The IGAD led peace process is supported by the international community, through the IGAD  Partners Forum (IPF). The European Commission is an active member of IPF, along with other European Member States, the United States, and other countries.

In 1997, the Khartoum Peace Agreement  (KPA) was signed between some Southerners and the Government of Sudan. The Agreement contained provisions for ample autonomy given to South Sudan. Riak Machar was nominated President of the South Sudan Coordination Council and became advisor to President Bachir. The SSCC’s mandate was to implement the KPA. In January 2000, Riak Machar decided to return to armed struggle and to the SPLM, after having concluded that the KPA was not being implemented by the Government.

In 1995, a coalition of internal and exiled opposition parties in the north and the south created the National Democratic Alliance as an anti-government umbrella group  (the SPLA, the DUP and the Umma Parties were the key groups, along with several smaller parties and northern ethnic groups). This development opened a northeastern front to the civil war, transforming the conflict from a simply north-south into a centre-periphery confrontation.

Egypt and Libya presented a Joint Initiative in July 2000 calling for the establishment of an interim government, power sharing, constitutional reform and new elections. The “Arab peace initiative” was not welcome in the South since it had obviated the issue of relation between religion and the state and the right of self-determination. Nor was it internationally recognised as it competed and interfered with the IGAD peace process. It was finally under the IGAD’s framework that progress was reached towards a peace settlement.

In 2000, the US government decided to put the Sudanese war on its list of priorities. The US decision to get involved in the Sudanese Peace Process has proven decisive in pressuring both parties in conflict. President George W. Bush has been under pressure from both flanks to help bring peace to Sudan. Human rights campaigners continuous accusations, right-wing Christians (with considerable influence in his Republican Party) and oil future perspectives are said to have influenced President Bush’s decision. He appointed John Danforth as his special envoy to Sudan in 2001. The US holds the promise to end Sudan sanctions and to drop Sudan from Washington’s list of states it regards as sponsors of terrorism in the case a peace agreement is signed.

A significant internal factor enabling a peaceful solution was the political evolution in the North, notably the setting aside of El Turabi.
A ceasefire was agreed in the Nuba mountains region in January 2002 under the auspices of the IGAD and monitored by an international force. In July 2002, the Government of Sudan and the SPLM/A signed the Machakos protocol, a framework for a lasting peace agreement. The Machakos Protocol provides a framework for broader negotiations, procedures for a transitional period of six years, after which a referendum on self-determination will be held in the South, and an agreement to apply the Sharia law only in the north territories. A second round of talks (August 2002) dealt with the issues of power and wealth sharing, and both parties agreed on complete cessation of hostilities in October 2002, which was extended in February 2003. For the first time since the beginning of the first civil war in 1958, an International Verification and Monitoring Team was set up to control the implementation of the MoU. Talks on security arrangements began in early April 2003.
A Working Group chaired by the UNDP and including representatives of governments and of UN agencies in Khartoum and Nairobi, called the IGAD Partner Forum “ planning for peace”,  was formed in late 1999 to explore proposals for implementation, the moment a peace settlement was secured, notably by consolidating and promoting intra-Sudanese dialogue and consultation. Main contributors to the process  have been the European Commission, the Norwegian and Canadian governments,  and the governments of the Netherlands, Sweden, Italy and Switzerland. Many studies were funded under this framework, to prepare for peace, in various areas such as land mines, food security, internal displacement, land use, and other key subjects.

Government and rebels agreed on oil and non-oil wealth sharing during talks held in December 2003-January 2004 on a 50-50 basis. A presidential commission (formed by four members of the central government, four members of the SPLA and three members from the oil producing areas) will oversee the management of oil contracts. The agreement gives the SPLA the finances and institutions to run their own affairs during the six-year interim period, after which there will be a referendum on the question of independence. The parties also agreed on the structure of the country’s central bank, which will have two branches : one that will operate Islamic Sharia Bank (interest-free) and the other one Western-style banking.

Last outstanding issues were the status of three central areas (Abyei, Blue Nile State and Nuba Mountains), power sharing and the status of Khartoum regarding the Sharia law (whereas the government wanted to impose Islamic Law, the rebels claimed that the capital, even in the North, should be exempted). The government and the SPLA signed the last protocol agreements regarding these question in Naivasha (Kenya) on the 26th of May. The parties concluded that power is to be shared on a 55:45 basis in favour of the government, whereas the status of Khartoum is going to be decided by an elected Assembly. A status of self-rule, autonomy and popular consultation was agreed for the three regions of Abyei, Blue Nile State and Nuba Mountains.

The last standing issue before a final and permanent peace is the practical arrangements to secure a permanent end to hostilities. This will be the task of the army, which is to be composed of around 40.000 men coming from both sides, according to the agreement.

In 2003, fighting erupted in the western region of Darfour as the government and rebels in the south were nearing a peace deal. The Government declared that Darfour was entirely in governmental hands from the beginning of February 2004,a claim denied by rebels. A new flow of refugees, numbering over 100,000, fled to the border with Chad, in what UN officials called an « ethnic cleansing » campaign by a small group of Arab militia men. A cease-fire agreed between the government and the rebel Sudanese Liberation Army (SLA) and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) at the beginning of April provided for guarantees of safe passage for humanitarian aid, the release of free prisoners of war and disarmament of militias. Talks are undergoing for a possible UN mission to Sudan, which would be mainly based on EU forces.  The situation in Darfour is extremely serious.


Lieutenant-General Omar al-Bashir came to power in 1989 after a military coup supported by the National Islamic Front of Hassan el Turabi. The coup was aimed at installing an Islamic regime and as a henceforth, at preventing the signing of a peace treaty with the SPLM. The Government and other state bodies were dissolved and Bachir proclaimed himself chairman of the 15-member Revolutionary Command Council. This organ dissolved in October 1993, announcing a return to civilian rule and appointing Bashir as president. In 1996, non-party elections were held to elect the new National Assembly and the president (Bachir was elected by 75.7% of the votes). After the legalisation of political parties in January 1999, President Bachir and Hasan El Turabi (ideologist of the National Islamic Front, an extension of the Muslim Brotherhood movement in Egypt in the 40’s) founded the National Congress Party.

Mr Turabi, speaker of the National Assembly, introduced a bill in November 1999 to reduce the President’s power. The President replied with the dissolution of the Parliament and the declaration of a state of emergency. The power struggle between him and President Bachir led to the arrest of Turabi and some of his colleagues in 2001 on charges of undermining the state. President Bachir was re-elected in 2000 with 86.5% of the votes. Mr. Turabi was released in October 2003 after the Sudanese government pledged to free all political  detainees. Mr. Turani was detained again in April 2004 over an alleged plot to overthrow President Bachir. The National Islamic Front headquarters were closed and  its activities suspended. Mr Turabi faces a possible condemnation of ten years of prison.

The President, who is also the Prime Minister, appoints the cabinet. The Parliament is composed of 400 members of which 264 are elected and 136 appointed by the President. Political parties had been banned after the coup of June 1989. Since January 1999, multiparty politics was introduced and political parties allowed to register.  Last elections were held in December 2000 (the leading opposition groups boycotted these elections).

Sudan is a republic with a federal system of government. There are multiple levels of administration: 26 States (Wilayaat) subdivided into approximately 120 localities (Mahaliyaat). The executives, cabinets and senior level state officials are appointed by the President of the Republic. Although legislation grants considerable powers to the federated states, their limited budgets are determined by and dispensed from the central government, resulting in a complete economic dependency.

In the areas under its control, the SPLM/A does not recognize the Government’s administrative division into States and has introduced its own administrative structure, based on Regions, Counties, Localities (payams) and Villages (bomas).
Main opposition parties include :

  • The Umma Party, the political organization of the Islamic Ansar Sect. The party is led by Sadiq al-Sidiq Abdel Rahman al-Mahdi, who served as Prime Minister in all coalition governments between 1986 and 1989, the last period of parliamentary democracy in the Sudan;
  • The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), based on the Khatmiyyah sect, led by Mohammed Osman al-Mirghani who is also the leader of theNational Democratic Alliance;
  • The National Democratic Alliance (NDA), a loose coalition of political parties (DUP, Umma and SPLM), labour unions and individuals who oppose the ruling party);
  • The Popular National Congress (PNC) which was created by Hassan El Turabi in June 2000 after his expulsion from the National Congress.
  • There are a number of smaller religious, pan-Arabist and progressive parties, including the Communist Party of the Sudan, the Baath Party, the Republican Brothers and the Justice Party.
  • The SPLM, the military wing of the SPLA – fighting a guerrilla war in the south, is now split into several factions; the mainstream movement, led by Colonel John Garang, is part of the NDA. The SPLA has never clearly stated whether it is fighting for southern autonomy within Sudan or outright independence. The ideological profile of SPLM has varied from Marxism to support from Christian fundamentalists in the US. No dissent or disagreement was tolerated within the SPLM, and the movement has been repeatedly accused of serious human rights violations. The SPLM strength is thought to emanate from 50,000 to 60,000 men who control much of the southern third of the country (including parts of central and eastern Sudan).
  • Although the SPLA/M dominates in the South, there are several parties representing the interest of Southern Sudanese in Northern Sudan. These include the Union of Sudanese African Parties (USAP) and the United Democratic Salvation Front (UDSF).


Sudan is a mainly agro-pastoral society with a strong traditional social structure, in which much power and authority is vested in traditional leaders. Customatily, land has not been owned individually but rather belonged to an entire tribal group within its area of control. A government’s Land Act was enacted in the 1970s essentially transferring most land into state ownership, after which it was being then redistributed to traders and high-level civil servants and military officers on long-term leases. The exclusion of whole segments of society from political power and access to resources on the basis of tribal, ethnic and religious differences fuels a sense of exclusion and underpins civil strife in the country.

As a result of its own civil war and the unstable neighbouring environment, Sudan plays host and generates a very high number of refugees. In early 2001, Sudan was producing the second largest number of refugees (after Burundi) and hosted the third largest refugee population in Africa (mainly from Eritrea and Uganda). Approximately 4.4 million Sudanese were uprooted at the end of 2001, including an estimated 4 million internally displaced persons (the largest internally displaced population in the world) and some 440,000 Sudanese living as refugees and asylum seekers (mainly in Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya but also in Congo-Kinshasa, Central African Republic, Egypt and Chad).


Despite considerable natural resources, Sudan is among the poorest countries in the world, with a weak and uneven economic base and infrastructure. Traditionally, its economy has been mainly agricultural: this sector employs 80% of the work force,  contributes to 43% of GDP and remains the most dominant sector of the economy. However, since 1999, crude oil started to contribute increasingly to Sudanese economy (according to some estimations oil export revenues account for around 70% of the country’s export earnings).

Although oil was initially discovered in 1980, the government was unable to find the billion of dollars necessary to build the pipeline to the Red Sea. In 1999 a Consortium was created between the Chinese National Oil Company, the Malaysian Petronas and the  Canadian Talisman who succeeded in attracting the necessary funds. The pipeline, constructed by English and German companies, is managed by the Greater Nile Petroleum Corporation (40% for the Chinese National Oil  Company, 30% for Petronas, 25% for Talisman and 5% for the Sudanese National Company, Sudapet).

Sudan’s economic performance has been strong over the past few years: the GDP has steadily grown, the inflation has been drastically reduced and exports have considerably increased (since oil exports started in 1999, Sudanese trade balance has become positive).  However, this growth has been concentrated in the urbanised centre of Sudan and conflict, poverty, droughts and economic stagnation in the peripheral regions results in rural-to-urban migration. Women play a prominent role in economic activity, although this remains concentrated in agricultural production.

The IMF monitors a medium-term reform program since 1997. Sudan’s government negotiated a debt reschedule with the IMF in 2002 (among other conditions, military expenses were reduced –they account for about half of the public expenditure- and oil revenues were made more transparent). The total external debt is estimated around $15 billion. Although Sudan could be considered for debt relief as a « Highly indebted poor country », ongoing civil war and donors’ concern about governance have so far prevented it to materialise.

Although petroleum exploration started in Sudan as early as in the 1960s, positive results were not apparent until the late 1990s. In 2003, Sudan’s estimated proven reserves of crude oil stood at 563 million barrels doubling the estimations of 2001. The Sudanese production is about 300,000 barrels/day (it is estimated that, it will reach 450,000 barrels/day by 2005). Sudan was granted observer status at the OPEC in August 2001.

External relations

By the late 1990s, Sudan experienced tense diplomatic relations with most of its nine neighbouring countries. However, in the last years Sudan has actively sought regional rapprochement and has normalised its relations with its direct neighbours.

Relations with Egypt had deteriorated since the assassination attempt against Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak. But both countries restored diplomatic relations after Egypt had presented the peace initiative with Libya. Both countries still contest the Triangle of Halaib, a  territory of 17,000 Km2 on the north East of Sudan with an opening on the Red Sea, what makes it a strategic place for both countries. Still, solidarity with other Arab states has been a feature of Sudan’s foreign policy.

Although Sudan accuses Eritrea of supporting the opposition alliance, both countries signed a cooperation agreement in Qatar in May 1999.
Since 1995 Sudan accused Uganda to support the SPLA/M, and in its turn Uganda reproached its neighbour of providing military aid to the The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). Peace talks between both countries initiated in December 1999 under the auspices of the US based Carter Centre, culminating with the signature of an agreement. The parties agreed to stop supporting operations of rebels based in each other’s territory.  To date, the situation with regard to the LRA remains unsolved, and is causing a very precarious situation in  parts of South Sudan used as bases for this group.  LRA is accused of massive human rights violations.

Sudan has also improved its relations with the rest of the countries in the region and the Gulf countries.

In the early and mid 1990s, Carlos, Ossama Bin Laden, Abu Nidal and other terrorist leaders resided in Khartoum. In August 1998 the US bombed a medicine factory in Khartoum, suspected of preparing chemical weapons, in retaliation to the bombing of the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.  The United States imposed economic sanctions against Sudan in 1997 (and enlarged them in 2000). Since September 11, 2001, U.S.-Sudanese relations appear to have improved in the light of Sudanese cooperation in the war against terrorism. The US Congress passed the Sudan Peace Act in October 2002. This outlines stiff sanctions, ranging from a downgrading of diplomatic relations to a UN arms embargo, that could be imposed on the Sudanese government if it negotiates in bad faith with the SPLA.

The European Union and Sudan

Formal EU-Sudan development cooperation was suspended in March 1990 due to the civil conflict and concerns about lack of respect for human rights and democracy. To date, and pending the signature of a peace agreement in South Sudan, formal cooperation remains suspended. However,  humanitarian assistance was never interrupted, and since 1994 the EU has provided over 300 Million Euros in the form of direct relief assistance, notably in favour of the victims of the civil war. Other actions were progressively implemented, such as land mine action, support to the peace process, support to civil society, support to the eradication of abduction, …

The EU opened a political dialogue with the government in November 1999, aimed at addressing concerns about human rights, good governance, rule of law and democratisation, as well as about terrorism and the peace process.  This political dialogue is ongoing, now under the terms of the Article 8 of Cotonou Agreement. The Sudan has been a  pioneer amongst the ACP countries group (Africa, Caribbean and Pacific countries), in the framework of political dialogue with the EU. Formal discussions with the Government and with various parties are regularly held. Parallel discussions with the SPLM/A were launched in March 2002, also in the context of the political dialogue.

European Community programmes will be launched as soon as a Peace Agreement is signed. The European Commission  has already prepared for a rapid resumption of its development assistance. Under the 9th European Development Fund, 135M€ (envelope A) and 20M€ (envelope B)  have been allocated to Sudan, and the focus of the Country Strategy is mainly on food security and education.  With suspended Stabex funds, more than 400 Millions Euros will be made available to Sudan when a peace agreement is finally signed. In the meantime, and in addition to some projects as described above, the Commission is implementing on behalf of the Government a 18 Million Euros programme called ‘ Humanitarian Plus”, aimed at moving beyond emergency assistance and at helping beneficiaries to regain their capacity to take their future into their own hands.