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The Republic of the Sudan, sometimes known as North Sudan, is a North African country bounded by the Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Libya, and South Sudan. It is separated from Saudi Arabia on the east by the Red Sea.

The Hala'ib Triangle, in southeastern Egypt or northeastern Sudan, is an area of dispute between the two countries, although Egypt has administered the region since the 1990s, has deployed military troops to defend its claimed borders, and has been investing in the area.

Once part of Sudan, South Sudan became independent in 2011, as a result of the Sudanese Civil War.

Sudan is generally flat terrain, with mountains in the east and west. The southern part of the country is flooded during the annual floods of the Nile River system. Khartoum, the capital city of Sudan, is situated at the confluence of the Blue River and the Nile River. Sudan has a desert and savanna climate in the North and central areas, and a tropical climate in the south.

More than 70% of Sudan's population today are Sudanese Arab, while the remainder are of various Arabized ethnic groups. Sudanese Arabic is the most commonly spoken language in Sudan, although approximately 400 languages are spoken by different people within the country. Before 2005, Arabic was the sole official language. Today, its official languages are Arabic and English, although English is not widely spoken.

Islam is Sudan's official religion, and more than 97% of its population adheres to Islam. Although Christian missionaries had converted the region to Christianity in the 6th century, Christianity is a minor religion in Sudan today. Some small but long-established Orthodox Christian communities exist in Sudan's capital and elsewhere. However, under Sudanese law, Muslims who convert to Christianity can face the death penalty.

More than 70% of Sudanese adults are literate. Education is compulsory and free for children up to the age of thirteen, and includes eight years of primary school followed by three years of secondary. However, many of its schools have been damaged or destroyed through years of civil war, so its operating schools are concentrated in the urban areas of Sudan. There are approximately twenty universities in Sudan.

Prior to the secession of South Sudan, Sudan's chief export was oil. However, about 80% of the country's oilfields were in the South, and now under the control of South Sudan. However, Sudan relies on an oil pipeline to Port Sudan, as it is a landlocked country, and much of the oil produced in South Sudan continues to be processed in Sudan, so oil continues to be a large part of the country's economy.

Agriculture remains the chief source of income and employment for the Sudanese people, and drives about a third of the country's economy. Cash crops include cotton, sesame, sugar cane, peanuts, dates, citrus, and others, with cotton being the principal export crop.

Officially, Sudan is a federal semi-presidential republic, with the president serving as head of the state and government, and commander in chief of the armed forces. The Corruptions Perception Index cites Sudan as one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

Sudan's legal system is based on Sharia Law, which includes stoning and flogging as judicial punishments, and crucifixion and hanging are legal methods of capital punishment.

At the beginning of the Christian era, Sudan was a collection of small independent kingdoms, and remained so until 1820, when Egypt conquered the region. In 1881, an Islamic leader declared himself to be the Mahdi, beginning a movement to unify the tribes in western and central Sudan. The descendants of his followers are known as the Umma Party today.

From the late 1800s until 1953, Sudan was essentially a Crown colony of Britain, although Egypt had some involvement in its administration. Britain administered Sudan as two separate territories, the north and the South, largely as they are now.

When Sudan was granted self-government in 1953, and became independent in 1956. During talks about a system of government, the Arab-led Sudan government reneged on its earlier promises to southerners to create a federal system of government, which led to a 17-year civil war. Sudan has been at war with itself for more than three-quarters of its existence. Essentially, northerners, who controlled the government, sought to form an Arab government under Islam, marginalizing Christians and other non-Muslims, who were concentrated in the south.

Attempts were made to make peace with the South, including a brief period in which the South was exempted from Sharia Law, but these moves were never long-lasting due to pressure from the Arab North. The Second Sudan Civil War ended in 2005, and resulted in a referendum for independence for South Sudan in 2011.



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