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Introduction

Flag of Sudan.svg

Sudan, also UK: /sˈdɑːn/; Arabic: السودانas-Sūdān), officially the Republic of the Sudan (Arabic: جمهورية السودانJumhūriyyat as-Sūdān) and sometimes referred to as North Sudan, is a country in Northeast Africa. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea to the east, Ethiopia to the southeast, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the southwest, Chad to the west, and Libya to the northwest. It has a population of 39 million people (2016 estimate) and occupies a total area of 1,886,068 square kilometres (728,215 square miles), making it the third-largest country in Africa. Sudan's predominant religion is Islam, and its official languages are Arabic and English. The capital is Khartoum, located at the confluence of the Blue and White Nile. Since 2011, Sudan is the scene of ongoing military conflict in its regions South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

Sudan's history goes back to the Pharaonic period, witnessing the kingdom of Kerma (c. 2500 BC–1500 BC), the subsequent rule of the Egyptian New Kingdom (c. 1500 BC–1070 BC) and the rise of the kingdom of Kush (c. 785 BC–350 AD), which would in turn control Egypt itself for nearly a century. After the fall of Kush the Nubians formed the three Christian kingdoms of Nobatia, Makuria and Alodia, with the latter two lasting until around 1500. Between the 14th and 15th centuries much of Sudan was settled by Arab nomads. From the 16th–19th centuries, central and eastern Sudan were dominated by the Funj sultanate, while Darfur ruled the west and the Ottomans the far north. This period saw extensive Islamisation and Arabisation.

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Khartoum
Credit: Chris

Khartoum, the capital city of Sudan.

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Kitgum IDP camp from the air, Uganda.jpg

The start of the period 1994 to 2002 of the Lord's Resistance Army insurgency in northern Uganda saw the conflict intensifying due to Sudanese support to the rebels. There was a peak of bloodshed in the mid-1990s and then a gradual subsiding of the conflict. Violence was renewed beginning with the offensive by the Uganda People's Defence Force in 2002.

For a seven year period beginning in 1987, the Lord's Resistance Army was a minor rebel group along the periphery of Uganda. However, two weeks after Museveni delivered his ultimatum of 6 February 1994, LRA fighters were reported to have crossed the northern border and established bases in southern Sudan with the approval of the Khartoum government. The end of the Bigombe peace initiatives marks a fundamental shift in the character of the Lord's Resistance Army, which is estimated to have consisted of 3,000 to 4,000 combatants at this time. This is the turning point at which the LRA becomes essentially the organization that operates today. (Read more...)

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El-Hassa temple du Roi AmanaKhereqerem Béliers de Grés.jpg
Credit: Ottaviani

The discovery of five sandstone rams at the temple of King Amanikhareqerem in el-Hassa, Sudan.

Did you know-- ...


Did you know?


  • ...that the boundary between Sudan and Ethiopia was defined for the region near the Pibor River in 1899 by Major H.H. Austin and Major Charles W. Gwynn of the British Royal Engineers?


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Omar al-Bashir, 12th AU Summit, 090131-N-0506A-342.jpg

Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir (Arabic: عمر حسن أحمد البشير‎, born 1 January 1944) is the current President of Sudan and the head of the National Congress Party. He came to power in 1989 when he, as a brigadier in the Sudanese army, led a group of officers in a bloodless military coup that ousted the government of Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi.

In October 2004, al-Bashir's government negotiated an end to the Second Sudanese Civil War, one of the longest-running and deadliest wars of the 20th century, by granting limited autonomy to Southern Sudan. Since less than a year before that, however, there has been a violent conflict in Darfur that has resulted in death tolls between 200,000 and 400,000. During his presidency, there have been several violent struggles between the Janjaweed militia and rebel groups such as the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), Sudanese Liberation Army (SLA) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) in the form of guerrilla warfare in the Darfur region. The civil war has resulted in over 2.5 million people being displaced, and the diplomatic relations between Sudan and Chad being at a crisis level.

(Read more...)

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