Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country at the crossroads of Central and South Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan to the east and south; Iran to the west; Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan to the north; and China to the northeast.
Occupying 652,000 square kilometers (252,000 sq mi), it is a mountainous country with plains in the north and southwest. Kabul is the capital and largest city. The population is around 32 million, composed mostly of ethnic Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras, and Uzbeks.
China is the third largest country in the world by area and the largest country in the world by population. Properly known as the People’s Republic of China, the political territory of the country includes Tibet and Hong Kong. The capital is Beijing.
Ethiopia, in the Horn of Africa, is a rugged, landlocked country split by the Great Rift Valley. With archaeological finds dating back more than 3 million years, it’s a place of ancient culture. Among its important sites are Lalibela with its rock-cut Christian churches from the 12th–13th centuries. Aksum is the ruins of an ancient city with obelisks, tombs, castles and Our Lady Mary of Zion church.
Libya, officially the State of Libya, is a country in the Maghreb region in North Africa, bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad to the south, Niger to the southwest, Algeria to the west, and Tunisia to the northwest.
The sovereign state is made of three historical regions: Tripolitania, Fezzan and Cyrenaica. The largest city and capital, Tripoli, is located in western Libya and contains over three million of Libya’s seven million people. The second-largest city is Benghazi, which is located in eastern Libya.
Libya became independent as a kingdom in 1951. A military coup in 1969 overthrew King Idris I. Parts of Libya are currently split between rival Tobruk and Tripoli-based governments, as well as various tribal and Islamist militias.
Libya is a member of the United Nations (since 1955), the Non-Aligned Movement, the Arab League, the OIC and OPEC. The country’s official religion is Islam, with 96.6% of the Libyan population being Sunni Muslims.
South Sudan, is a landlocked country in East-Central Africa.
It gained independence from the Republic of the Sudan in 2011, making it the most recent sovereign state or country with widespread recognition. Its capital and largest city is Juba.
It includes the vast swamp region of the Sudd, formed by the White Nile and known locally as the Bahr al Jabal meaning “Mountain Sea”.
South Sudan has a population of 12 million, mostly of the Nilotic peoples, and it is demographically among the youngest nations in the world, with roughly half under 18 years old. The majority of inhabitants adhere to Christianity or various traditional faiths.
Sudan’s history goes back to the Pharaonic period. Independence from the British was proclaimed on 1 January 1956.
Islam was Sudan’s state religion and Islamic laws applied from 1983 until 2020 when the country became a secular state. The economy has been described as lower-middle income and relies on oil production. Sudan is a member of the United Nations, the Arab League, African Union, COMESA, Non-Aligned Movement and the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation.
Ukraine is a large country in Eastern Europe known for its Orthodox churches, Black Sea coastline and forested mountains. Its capital, Kiev, features the gold-domed St. Sophia’s Cathedral, with 11th-century mosaics and frescoes. Overlooking the Dnieper River is the Kiev Pechersk Lavra monastery complex, a Christian pilgrimage site housing Scythian tomb relics and catacombs containing mummified Orthodox monks.