The cultural influence of Islam is strong.
The Sufic orders (Islamic mystics) have their own
singing and dance traditions, such as Zikhs and Madiehs.
Prior to the 1989 military coup, Arab popular music from
the capital Khartoum reached radio far beyond the
borders of Sudan and became style-forming on the Horn of
In Arabic there are older, written literature that
often depicts holy men and their lives. Among modern
writers are the poet Muhammad Mahdi Majdhub and the
novelist Tayyib Salih, born in the late 1920s in the
rural areas of northern Sudan and died in 2009 in
London. His novels, such as "Season of Migration to the
North", depict the break between tradition and
Latest population statistics of Sudan, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.
Since hard-core Islamists seized power in 1989, many
musicians, artists and intellectuals went on the run.
However, the peace agreement between northern and
southern Sudan 2005 brought relief to the music and
cultural life. Now young people had to go back to dance
or rap concerts. Public poetry reading was also allowed,
and traditional musicians were allowed to perform, for
example, at weddings. The radio again played Western and
Arabic pop music.
A number of monuments from ancient cultures have been
granted World Heritage status by the UN agency Unesco.
This mainly applies to pyramids and remains of temples
and palaces from the Kingdom of Kush (see Ancient
History), including in Meroe northeast of Khartoum.
Parliament accepts the Prime Minister's proposal
The country's Legislative Assembly votes for President al-Bashir's proposal
to set up a prime ministerial post. The head of government will have limited
powers compared to the president.
Civil disobedience in protest of price increases
In November and December, on at least a couple of occasions, protests against
the regime's austerity policy are carried out through civil disobedience rather
than street demonstrations, which the police responded hard with tear gas.
Students stay at home from schools and universities and employees (including
civil servants) stay at home from work on certain days that are agreed on via
social media. No leader or organizer of the actions is known.
Protests against sharp price increases
A government decision to abolish subsidies on fuel and pharmaceuticals leads
to sharp price increases, in some cases by 300 percent. Demonstrations and
strikes erupt in protest of price increases. Four independent newspapers, which
have written about strikes carried out by opposition groups, have their editions
withdrawn by the security police.
Bashir: "Prime Minister's post to be reinstated"
As part of an ongoing dialogue on reforms between the government and parts of
the opposition, Bashir decides to reinstate the Prime Minister's post, which was
abolished in 1989. According to official sources, a prime minister is expected
to be in place in about two months.
The unilateral ceasefire is extended
President Bashir extends the one-sided ceasefire in Darfur, Blue Nile and
South Kordofan by two months.
"Nuclear weapons used in Darfur"
The Government of Sudan is accused by Amnesty International of using chemical
weapons against civilians in Darfur, where an uprising against the regime has
been ongoing since 2003. According to the human rights organization, between 200
and 250 people have fallen victim to the bombs, many of them children. The
attacks should have been directed at 32 villages in the Jebel Marra region. The
data is denied by the Sudanese government, which says there is no reason to bomb
the area because there are no rebels. The International Chemical Weapons
Surveillance Authority (OPCW) announces that more evidence is needed to confirm
Oil agreement with South Sudan "to be extended"
Sudan and South Sudan agree that the oil agreement between the two countries
expiring in October should be extended, but the parties do not agree on what the
agreement will look like. Under the current agreement, South Sudan pays such a
high fee for oil transport through Sudan to the shipping port in the Red Sea
that oil production is in fact at a loss. In the ongoing negotiations, which are
being held in Khartoum, South Sudan promises to increase its oil production and
to re-open the oil fields in the state of Unity that are now in decline.
The peace talks are on hold
Already later in the month, it is clear to all involved that the signed
agreement on a roadmap for peace has broken down. UN chief Ban Ki-moon expresses
New peace attempt
9th of August
Three major rebel groups - JEM, SPLM-N and SLA-Minnawi (see Political system)
- join the "roadmap for peace" developed by the African Union with the aim of
ending conflicts in Darfur, the Blue Nile and South Kordofan. The government has
previously approved the roadmap.
Unamid's mandate is extended
Despite strong protests from the Government of Sudan, the UN extends its
mandate by one year to June 2017.
Bashir: ceasefire in the Blue Nile and South Kurdufan
Bashir orders a four-month ceasefire in the Blue Nile and South Kurdufan
where the government fights the SPLM-N insurgency group. The decision is made
before the impending rainy season as warfare becomes more difficult to
EU: Five million in need of emergency assistance
According to a representative of the European Commission's Humanitarian and
Civil Protection Unit, more than five million people in Sudan are in need of
relief. It is mainly refugees from South Sudan and Darfur who are in urgent need
of assistance. According to the UN agency Ocha, more than 230,000 South Sudanese
refugees have moved into Sudan since the civil war broke out in South Sudan in
December 2013. No other country has received so many refugees from South Sudan.
China will build Sudanese nuclear power plant
24th of May
Sudan and China sign an agreement for China to build Sudan's first nuclear
power plant. According to the Sudanese government, China's investments in the
country's oil industry now amount to the equivalent of $ 17 billion.
Reports of increased violence in Darfur
Information comes about a number of violent acts in Darfur. For example, a
senior UN official states that six civilians (including two children) are killed
when clan members attack a temporary camp for internal refugees in Northern
The Darfurians vote no to merge
Sudanese authorities announce that 98 percent of the darfurians who
participated in the referendum earlier this month have voted to retain the five
states that Darfur consists of today instead of merging them into a single
state. The Khartoum government says the results show that the conflict in Darfur
is now finally over.
Referendum in Darfur
A three-day referendum is being launched in the Darfur region to decide
whether to merge the current five states into one, as was the case until 1994. A
single state has long been a requirement of ethnic minorities fighting the
Sudanese state, but the calls for a boycott, on the grounds that a fair vote
cannot be carried out during ongoing conflicts and relocations.
Hassan al-Turabi dies
4th of March
Islamist leader Hassan al-Turabi dies at the age of 84. During the 1990s he
was Sudan's most important politician and in practice the country's leader.
After breaking with President al-Bashir in 1999, he was jailed for several
South Africa leaves Unamid
South Africa decides to take home its 850 soldiers from the UN and AU
peacekeeping forces Unamid in Darfur. The last South African soldiers will leave
Sudan on April 15.
New refugee stream in Darfur
According to the UN, up to 73,000 people have fled their homes since new
fighting broke out between the army and rebels in the Jebel Marra area of
central Darfur in mid-January. It is said to be the strongest refugee stream
in the area in ten years.
The border to South Sudan opens
President al-Bashir orders to open the border to South Sudan. It has been
closed since shortly after the neighboring country's independence in 2011 due to
disagreement between the two countries on a number of issues.
Sudan breaks with Iran
Sudan breaks off diplomatic relations with Iran after protesters set fire to
the Saudi embassy in Tehran in protest of the execution of a Saudi Muslim leader
in Saudi Arabia. Sudan follows Saudi Arabia and Bahrain's example of breaking
ties with Iran.