Until 2011, Sudan was one country – the largest country in Africa. Muslim Arabs live in northern Sudan, while Africans live in the south. The people in the South are mostly Christian or follow traditional African faiths. Many speak English. Religious and cultural differences between the two groups have led to years of conflict. During almost 40 years of war, 2.5 million people died from drought and starvation.
The country finally decided to split the north and south in an attempt to gain peace. Today, both countries are struggling to emerge from the years of conflict. Sudan and South Sudan remain among the poorest countries on Earth. Many people belong to nomadic tribes that move their cattle from place to place. Most of the pastureland was destroyed during the wars. Conflicts between tribes are common, even now that the country has been split.
Facts about Sudan and South Sudan
- Sudan has a population of 40.53 million; South Sudan has a population of 12.58 million.
- The capital of Sudan is Khartoum and the capital of South Sudan is Juba.
- Sudan has a land area of 718,722 square miles; South Sudan includes 248,777 square miles.
- The official language of Sudan is Arabic; most people in South Sudan speak English.
- The life expectancy in Sudan is 64 years. Besides a lack of clean water and food, Sudan has approximately one doctor for every 10,000 people. Most people never see a doctor. Many children die before they reach the age of five.
- The currency in Sudan is the Sudanese pound and in South Sudan it is the South Sudanese pound.
- The highest mountains in Sudan are the Marrah Mountains.
Sudan and South Sudan Vocabulary
- Conflict: disagreement, fighting
- Drought: lack of water
- Starvation: death due to lack of food
- Emerge: come forth
- Nomadic: one who wanders from place to place without a permanent home
All About Sudan and South Sudan Video for Kids
Watch this awesome Sudan and South Sudan video for kids:
This is a video documentary of the culture in South Sudan and how they plan to preserve it.
Sudan and South Sudan Q&A
Question: Is religion the only reason the people in Sudan and South Sudan fight with one another?
Answer: Religion actually plays a small role in the conflict. Sudan is a harsh desert with few resources. Imagine if you lived in a place where there wasn’t enough food or water to go around. You might feel like fighting other people so your family could survive. In Sudan, many of the conflicts in the past have been over water and pastureland.
Today, conflicts still arise over these issues, as well as oil. South Sudan has many oil reserves. Sudan has oil refineries to process the oil. The two countries need each other, but Sudan keeps most of the money made from selling oil. Naturally, this angers people in South Sudan.
Map of Sudan and South Sudan
Here’s a map of the countries of Sudan and South Sudan and all its cities and villages. Zoom in to get into street level or zoom out to see other countries around Sudan and South Sudan! You can see the terrain, but also see the roads, images of the buildings and even take a 3D tour through the streets of the cities of Sudan and South Sudan, as though you are actually there!
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