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Sudan, officially the Republic of the Sudan is a country in North Africa. It is sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically though not geographically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the southwest, Chad to the west and Libya to the northwest. While the population of Sudan predominately descends from both indigenous African groups and Arabs, today most tribes in the country have been Arabized and Arabic and Arab culture predominates. Over 97 percent of the population of Sudan adheres to Islam. The world's longest river, the Nile, divides the country between east and west sides. The people of Sudan have a long history extending from antiquity which is intertwined with the history of Egypt, with which it was united politically over several periods. After gaining independence from Egypt and the United Kingdom in 1956, Sudan suffered seventeen years of civil war during the First Sudanese Civil War (1955–1972) followed by ethnic, religious and economic conflicts between the Muslim Arab and Arabized northern Sudanese and the mostly animist and Christian Nilotes of Southern Sudan. This led to the Second Sudanese Civil War in 1983. Because of continuing political and military struggles, Sudan was seized in a bloodless coup d'état by colonel Omar al-Bashir in 1989, who thereafter proclaimed himself President of Sudan. The civil war ended with the signing of a Comprehensive Peace Agreement which granted autonomy to what was then the southern region of the country. Following a referendum held in January 2011, Southern Sudan seceded on 9 July 2011 with the consent of Sudan's President al-Bashir. A member of the United Nations, Sudan also maintains membership with the African Union, the Arab League, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, and the Non-Aligned Movement, as well as serving as an observer in World Trade Organization. Its capital is Khartoum, which serves as the political, cultural and commercial centre of the nation, while Omdurman is the largest city. Officially a federal presidential representative democratic republic, the politics of Sudan are widely considered by the international community to take place within an authoritarian system due to the control of the National Congress Party of the judiciary, executive and legislative branches of government. On 4 March 2009, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for al-Bashir, the current President of Sudan, on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity related to the ongoing conflict in the Darfur region of western Sudan. Al-Bashir is the first sitting head of state ever indicted by the ICC. On 12 July 2010, the ICC issued a second arrest warrant for al-Bashir, adding the charge of genocide.

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