States of Sudan

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States of Sudan
الولايات السودانية (in Arabic)
Northern Sudan states numbered.svg
CategoryFederated state
LocationRepublic of the Sudan
Number18 states
Populations832,112 (Blue Nile) – 5,274,371 (Khartoum)
Areas22,140 km2 (8,549 sq mi) (Khartoum) – 348,770 km2 (134,659 sq mi) (Northern)

The Republic of the Sudan is composed of 18 wilayat or states, listed below. The states have their origins in the provinces during the period of Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. Before 9 July 2011, when 10 southern states gained their independence as South Sudan, the country consisted of 25 states.[1] Two additional states were created in 2012 within the Darfur region, and one in 2013 in Kordofan, bringing the total to 18.


The Republic of the Sudan is divided into 18 states and one area with special administrative status. Their names in Arabic are given in parenthesis.

  1. Khartoum (ولاية خرطوم Wilāyat Ḵarṭūm)
  2. North Kordofan (ولاية شمال كردفان Wilāyat Šamāl Kurdufān)
  3. Northern (ولاية الشمالية Wilāyat aš-Šamāliyya)
  4. Kassala (ولاية كسّلا Wilāyat Kassalā)
  5. Blue Nile (ولاية النيل الأزرق Wilāyat an-Nīl al-ʾAzraq)
  6. North Darfur (ولاية شمال دارفور Wilāyat Šamāl Dārfūr)
  7. South Darfur (ولاية جنوب دارفور Wilāyat Janūb Dārfūr)
  8. South Kordofan (ولاية جنوب كردفان Wilāyat Janūb Kurdufān)
  9. Gezira (ولاية الجزيرة Wilāyat al-Jazīra)
  10. White Nile (ولاية النيل الأبيض Wilāyat an-Nīl al-ʾAbyaḍ)
  11. River Nile (ولاية نهر النيل Wilāyat Nahr an-Nīl)
  12. Red Sea (ولاية البحر الأحمر Wilāyat al-Baḥr al-ʾAḥmar)
  13. Al Qadarif (ولاية القضارف Wilāyat al-Qaḍārif)
  14. Sennar (ولاية سنّار Wilāyat Sinnār)
  15. West Darfur (ولاية غرب دارفور Wilāyat Ġarb Dārfūr)
  16. Central Darfur (ولاية وسط دارفور Wilāyat Wasṭ Dārfūr)
  17. East Darfur (ولاية شرق دارفور Wilāyat Šarq Dārfūr)
  18. West Kordofan (ولاية غرب كردفان Wilāyat Ġarb Kurdufān) (disestablished in 2005; reestablished in 2013)[2][3]

Areas with special administrative status[edit]

As a result of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in 2005, the Abyei Area was given special administrative status and following the independence of South Sudan in 2011, is considered to be simultaneously part of both the Republic of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan, effectively a condominium.

  1. Abyei Area (منطقة أبيي Minṭaqat ʾAbyī)


  South Sudan (held referendum in 2011, seceded in July 2011)
  Abyei (to hold referendum in 2011, postponed indefinitely)
  States to hold "popular consultations" in 2011: South Kordofan (process suspended) and Blue Nile (status unclear)

Anglo-Egyptian Sudan had eight mudiriyat, or provinces, which were ambiguous when created but became well defined by the beginning of World War II. The eight provinces were: Blue Nile, Darfur, Equatoria, Kassala, Khartoum, Kurdufan, Northern, and Upper Nile. In 1948, Bahr al Ghazal split from Equatoria.[4]

There were numerous new provinces created on 1 July 1973. North and South Darfur were created from Darfur, while Kurdufan divided into North and South Kordofan. Al Jazirah and White Nile were split off from Blue Nile. River Nile split off from Northern. Red Sea was split off from Kassala.

A further fracturing of provinces occurred in 1976. Lakes split from Bahr al Ghazal, and Jonglei split off from Upper Nile. Equatoria divided into East and Western Equatoria. There were thus eighteen provinces. In 1991, the government reorganized the administrative regions into nine federal states, matching the nine provinces that had existed from 1948 to 1973. On 14 February 1994, the government reorganized yet again, creating twenty-six wilayat (states). The majority of the wilayat were either the old provinces or administrative subregions of a province. As part of the new government structure in South Sudan in 2005, Bahr al Jabal was renamed Central Equatoria. In 2006, West Kurdufan was split and merged with North Kurdufan and South Kordofan.

In January 2012, the new states of Central Darfur and East Darfur were created in the Darfur region, bringing the total number of states to 17.[5] In July 2013, West Kurdufan was reestablished.[2][3]

In July 2013, West Kordofan state was restored to its previous borders, as before 16 August 2005. The government announced the re-establishment of West Kordofan on 20 December 2012 (source [15]). President al-Bashir issued decrees endorsing the status of the three Kordofan states and appointing governors for them on 13 July 2013 (source [16]). West Kordofan contains Abyei district, whose status is still undetermined. A referendum is supposed to be held for Abyei to choose to stay in Sudan or join South Sudan.

Since the 2019 Sudanese coup d'état, states in Sudan have been without state governments and legislative councils.

Former states now part of South Sudan[edit]

On 9 July 2011, the ten southern states became the independent country of South Sudan. They were further divided into 86 counties.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "States history".
  2. ^ a b "Western Kordofan State". Archived from the original on August 12, 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Sudan shuffles governors of Kordofan states including ICC suspect - Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan".
  4. ^ "States of Sudan".
  5. ^ " Sudan: President Bashir Appoints New State Governors". January 15, 2012.

External links[edit]