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Port Sudan

Port Sudan
بور سودان
Top: Port Sudan Skyline; Middle: Red Sea University, Port Sudan Harbour; Bottom: Port Sudan Post Office, Port Sudan Old Market
Port Sudan is located in Sudan
Port Sudan
Port Sudan
Location in Sudan
Coordinates: 19°37′N 37°13′E / 19.617°N 37.217°E / 19.617; 37.217
Country Sudan
StateRed Sea
 • Metro

Port Sudan (Arabic: بور سودان, romanizedBūr Sūdān, Beja: Bar'uut) is a city and port on the Red Sea in eastern Sudan, and the capital of Red Sea State. Port Sudan is Sudan's main seaport and the source of 90% of the country's international trade.[2] The population of Port Sudan was estimated in the 2008 Census of Sudan to be 394,561 people.[3]

Port Sudan has historically been a center for commercial activity, particularly in the shipping industry.[4] During the 2023 Sudan war, the military government has largely relocated to Port Sudan as a result of intense fighting in the capital city Khartoum, leading to it being described as a de facto capital of the country. Port Sudan also has emerged as a refuge for internally displaced persons in Sudan.


Founding and early history

Port Sudan was built between 1905 and 1909 by the administration of Anglo-Egyptian Sudan to replace Suakin—the historic, coral-choked Arab port.[5] An oil pipeline was built between the port and Khartoum in 1977.

Early 21st century

In 2009, Israel allegedly used naval commandos to attack Iranian arms ships at Port Sudan as part of Operation Birds of Prey.[6] In 2020, Russian president Vladimir Putin announced that the Russian Navy would begin construction on a base with capacity for 300 personnel and four warships in Port Sudan. The facility would provide Russia with a naval base in the nation for at least 25 years.[7] The plan was ultimately suspended, though Sudanese leadership has indicated that it is possible for the construction to go ahead in the future.[8]

In 2016, it was reported that residents of Port Sudan face water scarcity.[9] Following the October–November 2021 Sudanese coup d'état, the Beja tribal council initiated a weeklong blockade of the city's ports. Following negotiations with military officials, the blockade was lifted.[10]

2023 Sudan war

During the 2023 Sudan war, Port Sudan has emerged as a leading destination and refuge for internally displaced persons fleeing war in other parts of the country.[4][11] Internally-displaced refugees in the city reportedly face extreme heat and shortages of food and water.[12]

By late October 2023, Reuters reported that the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) controlled most of Khartoum, causing the government led by Abdul Fattah el-Burhan to have largely relocated to Port Sudan.[13] General Abdul Fattah al-Burhan, leader of the Sudanese Armed Forces, "has threatened to establish a cabinet at the Red Sea city of Port Sudan, with the intention of creating an alternative or second capital." Hemedti, leader of the RSF, in turn, warned that this would lead to him declaring his own rival government based in Khartoum or another city he controlled. Analysts have raised concerns of a lasting split similar to that of Libya during its civil wars.[14] Port Sudan has been described as becoming a "de facto" capital of Sudan.[15][16]


Fish restaurant in Port Sudan

The city has an oil refinery and handles 90% of the country's international trade.[5][2] Major exports include oilseed, senna, and hides and skins. Imports include construction materials, heavy machinery, and vehicles.


The city has a modern container port to handle imports and exports.[5] The port is part of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road that runs from the Chinese coast via the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean, there to the Upper Adriatic region of Trieste with its rail connections to Central and Eastern Europe.[17][18][19][20]

The main airport is Port Sudan New International Airport. There is now a tarred road linking Port Sudan to Khartoum via Atbara. Port Sudan also has a 1067mm gauge rail link with Khartoum. There is also an international ferry from Jeddah.[citation needed]

In 2023 a new seaport was proposed about 200km north of Port Sudan at Abu Amama.[21] A 450km road to the farming hub at Abu Hamad would also be provided. This new seaport is opposite Jeddah which shortens the ferry trip from Jeddah.


Red Sea University campus

The city is home to the Red Sea University, established in 1994.[22]

Places of worship

Mosque at Port Sudan

Places of worship are predominantly Muslim mosques,[23] but there are also Christian churches and temples including the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Khartoum (Catholic Church), Sudan Interior Church (Baptist World Alliance), and Presbyterian Church in Sudan (World Communion of Reformed Churches) and Coptic Orthodox Churches.[citation needed]


Port Sudan has a hot desert climate (Köppen: BWh) with extremely hot summers and moderately hot winters, requiring the acquisition of fresh water from Wadi Arba'at in the Red Sea Hills and from salt-evaporating pans. Temperatures can easily exceed 30 °C (86 °F) in winter and 45 °C (113 °F) in summer. Over 90% of the annual rainfall falls between October and January, mostly in November, with the wettest month on record being November 1947 with 182 millimetres (7.2 in), whilst the wettest year was from July 1923 to June 1924 with 231 millimetres (9.1 in). Average annual rainfall is 76 millimetres (3.0 in), and no rainfall occurred between January 1983 and June 1984.[24] The mean temperature year round (the average of all daily highs and nighttime lows) is 28.4 °C (83.1 °F).

Climate data for Port Sudan, Sudan (1991–2020 normals, extremes 1906–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 37
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 27.3
Daily mean °C (°F) 23.5
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 19.8
Record low °C (°F) 10
Average precipitation mm (inches) 2.3
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.4 0.3 0.1 0.7 0.4 0.0 1.3 2.3 1.3 7.1
Average relative humidity (%) 64 65 63 58 46 37 38 40 50 65 68 67 55
Mean monthly sunshine hours 195.3 204.4 266.6 291.0 310.0 264.0 229.4 223.2 264.0 279.0 228.0 182.9 2,937.8
Source 1: NOAA[25][26]
Source 2: Meteo Climat (record highs and lows)[27]


Year Population
1906[28] 4,289
1941 26,255
1973 132,632
1983 209,938
1993 305,385
2007 (est.) 489,275
2008 (est.) 517,338

The population consists mainly of Sudanese Arabs, including the native Beja people, with small Asian and European minorities.[5]


Hay Al-Arab SC founded in 1928, and Hilal Alsahil SC founded in 1937, both play at the Port Sudan Stadium in the football Sudan Premier League. The city's third team is Al-Merreikh Al-Thagher.

Notable people


  1. ^ "Bur Sudan, Sudan Metro Area". Retrieved 17 September 2023.
  2. ^ a b Eltahir, Nafisa; Abdelaziz, Khalid; Saul, Jonathan (2021-12-23). "Sudan's Red Sea port struggles to recover from blockade and turmoil". Reuters. Retrieved 2022-04-22.
  3. ^ "City Population in Sudan". Retrieved 6 September 2023.
  4. ^ a b Milton, Immanual John (2023-06-20). "CityLab Daily: Port Sudan Becomes Haven for Refugees Fleeing War". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2023-06-20.
  5. ^ a b c d "Port Sudan | Facts". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2018-11-02.
  6. ^ Ynet (2009-04-08). "Report: Naval commando forces involved in Sudan strike". Ynetnews. Retrieved 2022-11-26.
  7. ^ Foy, Henry; Schipani, Andres (November 16, 2020). "Russia to build naval base in Sudan". The Financial Times. Archived from the original on November 20, 2020. Retrieved November 20, 2020. Russia will build a naval base on Sudan's Red Sea coast, its first in Africa, as the Kremlin seeks to expand its global military footprint and cement its burgeoning trade and defence ties with the continent. The Russian navy has been directed to proceed with plans to construct a base for 300 personnel and space for up to four warships, including nuclear-powered vessels, according to an order signed by president Vladimir Putin on Monday.
  8. ^ Phillips, Michael M. (2022-03-02). "U.S. Worries Sudan Is Close to Leasing Russia a Red Sea Base". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2022-04-22.
  9. ^ "Port Sudan's water shortage worsening - Sudan | ReliefWeb". 2016-06-16. Retrieved 2023-06-20.
  10. ^ "Sudan tribal protesters lift port blockade, week after coup". AP NEWS. 2021-11-01. Retrieved 2022-04-22.
  11. ^ Jamal, Urooba (2023-05-03). "Port Sudan, a Red Sea refuge for many fleeing Sudan's violence". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 2023-06-22.
  12. ^ VOA60 Africa - Displaced Sudanese in Port Sudan suffer from extreme heat, food and water shortages, 2023-05-15, retrieved 2023-06-20
  13. ^ Eltahir, Nafisa (26 October 2023). "Paramilitary RSF say they have seized Sudan's second city". Reuters. Retrieved 28 October 2023.
  14. ^ "Sudan talks resume as 'Libya scenario' looms large". Retrieved 2023-10-29.
  15. ^ "After six months of civil war, little remains of Khartoum". The Economist. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved 2023-10-29.
  16. ^ "The SAF-RSF Conflict and its Consequences on Eastern Sudan". Retrieved 2023-10-29.
  17. ^ "China's 'Maritime Silk Road': Don't Forget Africa".
  18. ^ See also: Harry G. Broadman "Afrika´s Silk Road" (2007).
  19. ^ "Implications for Africa from China's One Belt One Road Strategy".
  20. ^ "China's Belt and Road Initiative beacons new trade in MENAT".
  21. ^ "Sudan to develop Red Sea port in $6-bln initial pact with Emirati group". Reuters. 2022-12-13. Retrieved 2023-07-11.
  22. ^ "Red Sea University". African Studies Center. Archived from the original on 2011-08-12. Retrieved 2011-09-17.
  23. ^ Britannica, Sudan,, USA, accessed on July 7, 2019
  24. ^ "Monthly Rainfall for Port Sudan (#62641)".
  25. ^ "World Meteorological Organization Climate Normals for 1991-2020 — Port Sudan". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved January 22, 2024.
  26. ^ "Port Sudan Climate Normals 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved January 24, 2015.
  27. ^ "Station Port Soudan" (in French). Meteo Climat. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  28. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Port Sudan" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 22 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 133.


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Port Sudan
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