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Sudan, republic in northeastern Africa, the largest country of the African continent. The country’s north and south stand in stark contrast to one another: The dry, desert north is populated largely by Arab Muslims, while the wet, swampy south is populated by black African Christians and animists. The site of several powerful ancient states, Sudan was controlled by Egypt and Britain until the 20th century. An estimated 1.5 million Sudanese people died in a long and brutal civil war between the north and south, lasting from 1983 to 2004. Another conflict that erupted in the western region of Darfur in 2003 has claimed more than 200,000 lives and left more than 2 million people displaced from their homes. The conflict in Darfur continued in 2007 despite international mediation efforts.

Sudan is bounded on the north by Egypt; on the east by the Red Sea, Eritrea, and Ethiopia; on the south by Kenya, Uganda, and Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC, formerly Zaire); and on the west by the Central African Republic, Chad, and Libya. Sudan has a total area of 2,505,800 sq km (967,490 sq mi). Khartoum is the capital and largest city.

Sources

Sudan

Burr, J. Millard, and Robert O. Collins. Requiem for the Sudan: War, Drought, and Disaster Relief on the Nile. Westview, 1994. Relief worker and a journalist detail the destruction happening in Sudan because of political events, drought-induced migration, and the ineffectiveness of international aid.

Deng, Francis M. War of Visions: Conflict of Identities in the Sudan. Brookings Institution, 1995. Explanation and analysis of the deep divisions between ethnic and religious groups; by a former foreign minister from Sudan.

Harir, Sharif, and Terje Tvedt, eds. Short Cut to Decay: The Case of the Sudan. Coronet, 1994. Thorough examination of current and historical factors that have shaped the Sudan; by ten regional scholars.

Holt, P. M., and M. W. Daly. The History of the Sudan From the Coming of Islam to the Present Day. 5th ed. Addison-Wesley, 2000. Cultural fusion of African and Arab societies; colonial influence of Egypt and Britain.

Ismail, Saleh Khogali, ed. Sudan in Pictures. Lerner, 1988. For younger readers.

Peterson, Scott. Me Against My Brother: At War in Somalia, Sudan and Rwanda. Routledge, 2000. Illustrates how U.S. preventive action and a better understanding of Africa might have averted much suffering.

Prendergast, John. Crisis Response: Humanitarian Band-AIDS in Sudan and Somalia. Pluto, 1997. Provides a range of initiatives and options for humanitarian aid to the Horn of Africa.

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