Sudan is located in northeastern Africa, south of Egypt and north of South Sudan, with a 530-mile coastline to the east on the Red Sea. The country is divided into western and eastern halves by the Nile River, which flows through it from its southern to its northern border. Sudan is the third largest country in Africa, after Algeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with a comparative size of slightly less than one-fifth of the area of the United States.
In addition to its northern and southern borders with Egypt and South Sudan respectively, Sudan is bordered by Chad to the west, the Central African Republic to the southwest and Libya to the northwest. In addition to the Red Sea, Eritrea and Ethiopia lie to the east.
The capital city of Sudan is Khartoum and its largest city is Omdurman. Khartoum is the country's cultural, political and commercial center. The country's official languages are Arabic and English, and its legal system is based on Islamic law. Sudan's government is a federal presidential representative democratic republic, which is regulated by the National Assembly, a parliamentary organization.
Sudan faces several political and environmental challenges. Internal armed conflicts in the Blue Nile states, Southern Kordofan and the Darfur region have caused deaths estimated to be between 200,000 and 400,000 and have displaced nearly 2 million people. On the environmental front, the country suffers from periodic droughts, soil erosion and inadequate potable water supplies.