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Groups of Sudanese students inspired by events in Egypt and Tunisia used social network sites to organise small pockets of protest at the end of January. They were dispersed quickly by security forces who arrested and, it has been reported, beat student leaders. President Omar Hassan al-Bashir will not run for re-election in 2015, according to his ruling party. He took power in a military coup in 1989. Opposition groups remain cynical of his pledge.

Political system: republic
President: Omar al-Bashir – 1989 / …

Capital: Khartoum
Population: 39.1 million (2008 census)
Human Development Index1: 154th
Unemployment: 18.7%

1HDIis calculated according to factors such as schooling, life expectancy and gross national income and is used by the UN’s Development Programme for its Human development reports.

back to our news file: Unrest in the Arab world