Sudan Industry

With the exception of the oil-related industry, Sudan’s industrial sector is relatively small and undeveloped. The first factories were built in the early 1900s for cotton preparation. Food is also produced.

The manufacturing industry is centered around the capital Khartoum, while the oil industry is mainly located in the port city of Port Sudan. The industrial sector employs less than a tenth of the workforce. In particular, the oil industry creates few job opportunities.

Nationalizations in the 1970s did so much damage that the industry began to recover somewhat only at the turn of the millennium. During the first decade of the 2000s, industrial production grew steadily, but most factories go well below their capacity and Sudan imports many goods that the country could produce on its own.

A free trade zone with factories and warehouses was inaugurated on the Red Sea coast in 2000. Four years later, the specially built industrial city Giad was opened a few miles south of Khartoum.

  • COUNTRYAAH: List of top trading partners of Sudan. Includes countries that imported most shipments from and exported most goods to the country.




Big demonstrations for reform

June 30th

Tens of thousands of protesters gather on the streets of Khartoum, Omdurman and several other cities demanding political reform and justice for those killed in the regime-critical demonstrations that led to the overthrow of President al-Bashir in 2019. The demonstrations are held despite curfews because of the corona pandemic. In Darfur, protesters demand that al-Bashir be extradited to the International Criminal Court in The Hague (ICC), where he is charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Progress in the dust conflict with Ethiopia and Egypt

June 26

Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt have agreed that Ethiopia should wait to start filling water in the giant dam on the Blue Nile that is causing strong tensions between the three countries. The Ethiopian government is adamant that it is ready to start filling the dam in July, but that it has agreed to wait a while. Sudan’s prime minister says the countries agreed that the dam should only be filled once an agreement is signed between the three parties. Technical committees shall try to produce a basis for an agreement within two weeks.

Assistance to political reform

June 25

At an international donor conference, Sudan promises a total of $ 1.8 billion in support of the country’s political reforms and democratization.

Janjawidleders surrender to ICC

June 10th

Ali Kushayb, one of the leaders of the Janjawid militia in Darfur, voluntarily submits to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. Kushayb is wanted for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Darfur in the early 2000s. This applies to murder, rape and torture.

A new UN mission is set up

June 3

The UN Security Council unanimously adopts a resolution that sets up a new mission to support Sudan’s political reform. The term of office for the mission, which is named Unitams (United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan), is one year. The proposal comes from Germany and the United Kingdom. At the same time, the Council extends the mandate of the peacekeeping force in Darfur to 31 December 2020.


Attack on military posting

May 28

An army commander and a civilian are killed and seven soldiers are injured when a military posting is attacked in the city of al-Qadarif near the border with Ethiopia. The Sudanese government accuses Ethiopia of supporting the perpetrators, but judges believe the attack was carried out by militia sponsored by the government of the Ethiopian state of Amhara. In the area, there is a border conflict between Amharic peasants from Ethiopia and the locals. Occasionally, clashes occur with handguns between the groups.

Clan battles in the south

May 13th

Twenty-six people are killed and 19 injured in battles between rival clans in South Kurdufan on the border with South Sudan. The fighting has its background in livestock theft. The transitional government is negotiating peace with rebels in South Kurdufan, where armed insurgency has been going on since 2011. Similar battles have recently been reported in Kassala in the east and in South Darfur in the west.

Clan battles in Darfur

May 6

About 30 people are killed in violent clashes between the Arab clan al-Raziqat and African al-Falata in southern Darfur province, Prime Minister Hamdok reports. The fighting must have been caused by livestock theft. The Southern Darfur Governor states to the media that military has been deployed to calm down the situation.

Female genital mutilation is prohibited

May 1

The transitional government illegally declares female genital mutilation. Anyone who performs the procedure risks being sentenced to three years in prison and a fine. According to the UN, 90 percent of women in Sudan are sexually abused.


Khartoum is quarantined

April 13

The transitional government quarantines the capital Khartoum when it turns out that the coronas center is spreading. The city is closed down and only necessary shops and service establishments are kept open. Residents are encouraged to stay at home and transport to and from the city is kept to a minimum.


State of emergency and closed limits

March 16

Sudan faces a state of emergency and closes the country to the outside world, except for the introduction of humanitarian aid. Steps are being taken to try to prevent the spread of the new corona virus, which has caused a pandemic. When the decisions are made, a Sudanese has died as a result of the corona virus, a 50-year-old man who has just returned from the United Arab Emirates.

Assassination attempt on the Prime Minister

March 9

Prime Minister Hamdok is subjected to a murder attempt in Khartoum but escapes unharmed. Hamdok’s car is shot as he passes through the capital. The perpetrators are unknown.

The United States is lifting sanctions on 157 companies

4th of March

US abolishes sanctions against 157 Sudanese companies, states Sudan’s central bank, which received information from the Khartoum government. This means that companies can now do international transactions. According to the governor, US sanctions remain only against “some individuals and entities with links to the conflict in Darfur”.


Sudan ready to hand over al-Bashir to ICC

February 11

Sudan has agreed to extradite EX-PRESIDENT al-Bashir to the ICC The ICC, which for many years asked to try him for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur. It states a member of Sudan’s media transition council at a press conference in Juba in South Sudan. The notice of extradition also applies to three other persons in the old regime. A spokesman for the Sudanese Transitional Government confirms the information. According to the United Nations, some 300,000 people have been killed and millions have been fleeing since the Darfur conflict erupted in 2003 (see Conflicts: Sudan-South Sudan).

Relatives of victims of the USS Cole deed are compensated

February 7

Sudan pays compensation to relatives of victims of the bombing of the US battleship USS Cole in Yemen 2000. The agreement is one of several demands placed by the United States on Sudan to remove the country from the US list of countries sponsoring terrorism. The transitional government emphasizes that the agreement states that the Sudanese government was not responsible for the bombing attack on the USS Cole that claimed the lives of 17 US sailors. The attack was carried out by two al-Qaeda members. They had received military training in Sudan, which between 1992 and 1996 gave al-Qaeda leader Usama bin Laden a sanctuary. Sudan was blacklisted by the United States as early as 1993 for its support for radical Islamist groups.

Gently approaching Israel

February 5

A spokesman for the Armed Forces says that Sudan has basically agreed to allow Israeli civil aviation to use Sudanese airspace. Assessors believe that Sudan’s approach to Israel is part of the efforts to get the United States to remove Sudan from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism. Removal would mean that Sudan could again apply for international credit and debt relief, and could more easily attract foreign investment. The civilian part of the transitional government opposes the approach to Israel on the grounds that Sudan’s temporary government does not have the power to make such decisions. Demonstrations are held in several places in Sudan.

Burhan meets Netanyahu

February 3

Transitional Council leader al-Burhan holds an unplanned meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Entebbe, Uganda. Sudan’s relations with Israel have long been broken because of President al-Bashir’s support for radical Islamist groups, such as al-Qaeda, which are hostile to Israel. Sudan, for its part, has opposed Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Al-Burhan says after the meeting that by talking to Netanyahu he wants to “strengthen Sudan’s national security”. The Sudanese military welcomes the initiative. Netanyahu says after the meeting that he believes that Sudan after al-Bashir is heading in the right direction and that al-Burhan and he have agreed to start working together to normalize diplomatic relations between Sudan and Israel. However, the Sudanese Transitional Government stresses that the meeting was a “personal initiative” from al-Burhan and that the Transitional Council did not have the powers to re-establish relations with another country.

al-Burhan invited by the United States

February 2

Transition Council leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan receives an invitation to the White House in Washington, USA. It is the first time in over 30 years that Sudan’s top leader has been invited to the United States. When the meeting will take place is unclear. US-Sudan relations have improved following the fall of President Omar al-Bashir, but Sudan is still on the US list of countries that support terrorism.


US facing entry restrictions

January 31

US President Donald Trump imposes restrictions on entry into the United States for nationals from six countries: Nigeria, Myanmar, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Sudan and Tanzania. In the past, Trump has done the same for citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and North Korea as well as Venezuelan political officials. The decision, according to US authorities, is because these countries have been unwilling or unable to follow certain basic rules for, among other things, identity control, information exchange and public safety. The rules begin to apply on February 22 and the focus is on people who want to settle in the US, not just visit the country.

New battles and refugee flows in Darfur

January 28

Firing violence in Darfur has forced 57,000 people to flee the area in January, the UN agency UNHCR reports. Of these, 11,000 have crossed the border to Chad, while the rest are internal refugees. In Chad, the refugees have settled in villages along the border. The majority of people suffer from both food and water. The battles in Western Darfur are being fought this time between agricultural Masalites of African origin and Arab nomads belonging to Rizeigat. The two groups have repeatedly been battling for land and water resources since the Darfur conflict erupted in 2003. It has since claimed around 300,000 lives and forced 2.5 million to flee, according to the UN.

Conflict mediation on pond construction

January 16

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan are reported to have reached an agreement in principle in a conflict involving Ethiopians in the process of building a giant dam in the Blue Nile, one of the largest tributaries to the Nile. Ethiopia is in dire need of electricity, but Egypt and Sudan, both downstream, believe the river system is being drained of water at their expense. The hydroelectric power plant will be the largest in Africa. According to the agreement, which was reached through mediation by the United States and the World Bank, the dam should be filled with water gradually, while the rainy season prevails.

The revolt within the security service is cut off

January 14

Two soldiers and three civilians are killed when fighting erupts between the military and agents in the security service Gis (formerly Niss). Security agents are revolting against the transitional government’s plans to restructure it under al-Bashir’s influential security organization. The trigger for the revolt is a plan to retire a number of agents. Struggles between Gis and the military are fought on several Gis bases in Khartoum before the revolt can be fought. According to government officials, former Nissah chief Salah Gosh is behind the revolt. Niss was central to the regime’s strike against the protesters in April 2019.

Two newspapers and two TV channels are prohibited

7 th of January

The daily newspapers al-Sudani and al-Ray al-Am as well as the two satellite TV stations Ashrooq and Teeba are banned on the grounds that they have received money from the old regime. The decision is made by a committee commissioned by the transitional government to dissolve institutions with ties to the deposed ex-president al-Bashir and his dissolved party NCP.

Sudan Industry

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