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Country Sudan



Sudan

The largest country in Africa, lying S of Egypt, bordered on the E by Ethiopia and the Red Sea; on the S by Kenya, Ugand a, and the Congo; on the W by the Central African Republic, Chad, and Libya.

The ancient kingdom of Kush occupied the region of Nubia that is now Sudan, as did Egypt, which had begun to colonize this northern section at least by 3000 b.c. Makuria and Alwa inherited control from Kush and ruled as Coptic Christian kingdoms until the 15th century a.d., when they were converted to Islam. After the 16th century there was no dominant state in the region until the early 19th century, when Ottoman Egyptian forces occupied the country.

By the middle of the century there had been considerable European exploration of this area, often referred to as Ethiopia or Nubia, and a considerable trade in slaves and ivory had begun. A violent religious war of rebellion erupted in 1881, led by Muhammad Ahmal al-Mahdi, an Islamic messianic leader. The Mahdi’s troops repelled the Ottoman Egyptian forces and destroyed a punitive expedition sent by Great Britain. Egypt aband oned the Sudan, and in 1884 Charles George Gordon was sent to Khartoum to relieve the remaining troops. Gordon was besieged there and killed in 1885 shortly before a relief column arrived.

Thereafter a Muslim Sudanese state ruled until 1898, when a British army led by General H.H. Kitchener reconquered the region. In 1899 it became the Anglo Egyptian Sudan, a joint condominium of Egypt and Great Britain. The latter dominated the condominium, and after Egyptian troops rebelled in 1924 Great Britain assumed sole control of the Sudan.

Nationalism became a strong movement after World War II, and in 1956 Sudan became an independent republic. The new country underwent several coups and changes of government and faced rebellion from black Sudanese guerrillas from the southern part of the country. In 1971 a coup led by Colonel Jafaar al-Nimeiry seized power, and he was subsequently elected president and has survived several assassination and coup attempts. Nimeiry established Islamic law in the country against the will of the Christian and Animist South. Nimeiry was overthrown in 1985, and General Abdul Rahman Swaredahab was installed as leader of a transitional military government. A civilian government led by Sadiq al-Mahdi ruled from 1986 until it was overthrown in a bloodless coup in 1989.

The new military regime under Lieutenant General Omar Ahmed al-Bashir strengthened the Islamic state and fought a long civil war against separatists in the South. In 1998, U.S. missiles destroyed a pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum that was suspected of manufacturing chemical-weapons compounds to be used in terrorist activities. The civil war in the 1990s was responsible for over 2,000,000 deaths due to casualties, disease, and starvation. The government was cited for numerous human rights abuses including slavery and ethnic cleansing. In 2003, another civil war broke out in the Durfur region of western Sudan and local government–allied militias were again accused by international observers of ethnic cleansing, and another 2,000,000 were displaced by the fighting. In 2005, peace agreements were signed with rebel groups limiting Islamic law to the North, southern autonomy, and elections for independence in the South in 2011.

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Sudan: Top Cities

Khartoum 1,974,647 Khartoum 32.53 x 15.55 Africa/Khartoum
Omdurman 1,200,000 Khartoum 32.44 x 15.64 Africa/Khartoum
Port Sudan 489,725 Red Sea State 37.22 x 19.62 Africa/Khartoum
Kassala 401,477 Kassala State 36.40 x 15.46 Africa/Khartoum
El Obeid 393,311 Northern Kordofan State 30.22 x 13.18 Africa/Khartoum
Kusti 345,068 White Nile 32.67 x 13.17 Africa/Khartoum
Wad Medani 332,714 Gezira State 33.50 x 14.41 Africa/Khartoum
El Fasher 252,609 Northern Darfur State 25.35 x 13.63 Africa/Khartoum
Ed Damazin 186,051 Blue Nile 34.36 x 11.79 Africa/Khartoum
El Geneina 162,981 Western Darfur State 22.45 x 13.45 Africa/Khartoum
Rabaq 135,281 White Nile 32.73 x 13.15 Africa/Khartoum
Sannar 130,122 Sinnar State 33.63 x 13.55 Africa/Khartoum
Al Manaqil 128,297 Gezira State 32.99 x 14.25 Africa/Khartoum
An Nuhud 108,008 Northern Kordofan State 28.43 x 12.70 Africa/Khartoum
Madent Atbara 107,930 River Nile 33.99 x 17.69 Africa/Khartoum
Ed Damer 103,941 River Nile 33.96 x 17.59 Africa/Khartoum
Kadugli 87,666 Southern Kordofan State 29.72 x 11.02 Africa/Khartoum
Ad Diwem 87,068 White Nile 32.31 x 14.00 Africa/Khartoum
Um Ruwwaba 55,742 Northern Kordofan State 31.22 x 12.91 Africa/Khartoum
Shendi 53,568 River Nile 33.43 x 16.69 Africa/Khartoum
Sinja 44,626 Sinnar State 33.93 x 13.15 Africa/Khartoum
Dilling 37,113 Southern Kordofan State 29.65 x 12.05 Africa/Khartoum
As Suki 33,524 Sinnar State 33.88 x 13.32 Africa/Khartoum
Ar Ruseris 28,862 Blue Nile 34.39 x 11.87 Africa/Khartoum
Hasiheisa 28,735 Gezira State 33.30 x 14.73 Africa/Khartoum
Maiurno 28,727 Sinnar State 33.67 x 13.42 Africa/Khartoum
Zalingei 28,687 Western Darfur State 23.47 x 12.91 Africa/Khartoum
Sawakin 28,570 Red Sea State 37.33 x 19.11 Africa/Khartoum
Tand alti 27,275 White Nile 31.87 x 13.02 Africa/Khartoum
Ar Rahad 26,273 Northern Kordofan State 30.65 x 12.72 Africa/Khartoum