The Sudan or Sudan (US: ( listen), UK: ; Arabic: السودان‎ as-Sūdān) also known as North Sudan since South Sudan's independence and officially the Republic of the Sudan (Arabic: جمهورية السودان‎ Jumhūriyyat as-Sūdān), is a country in Northern Africa. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea, 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. It is the third largest country in Africa. The River Nile divides the country into eastern and western halves. Before the Sudanese Civil War, South Sudan was part of Sudan, but it became independent in 2011. Sudan's predominant religion is Islam. What is now northern Sudan was in ancient times the Kingdom of Nubia, which ruled Egypt in the early years. A Nubian civilization called Kush flourished until 350 AD. Kush at the height of power ruled all of Egypt, South Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia, Eriteria, part of Libya, Gaza Strip, Israel, the West Bank, part of Modern day Syria, and Jordan. The period after Kush is the 3 Kingdom period, in-which three Nubian Kingdom emerged Nobatia, Makuria, and Alodia. Also, the Beja Kingdom of Blemmyes emerged with ruled The eastern part of Sudan and Southern Egypt. Nobatia ruled part of Southern Egypt and were the first of the Nubian kingdoms to get in contact with Christianity. Christianity in Sudan was propagated by Coptic Monks as early as the 1st to 4th century. Records indicate that it was King Silko of Nobatia in the 4th Century who asked the Coptic church to send a representative to explain the Christian faith to him. Once, he heard what they are calling for he accepted Christianity, and all of his kingdom fallowed him and accepted Christianity. Later, the Kingdom of Makuria expanded absorbed Nobatia, Alodia, and Blemmyes. Makuria Rulers also accepted Christianity and by the 6th century all of The Makuria Kingdom became christian. The Byzantine Empire tried to expand further south, but failed at defeating and retreating the kingdom of Makuria in battle in Southern Egypt. Also, the Persian Empire was also defeated by the Kingdom of Makuria as they tried to expand South into Southern Egypt. The 7th century and the rise of Islam and the Arab Empire came as the Arabs defeated both the Persian Empire and Byzantine Empire, and expanded. The Islamic Army met a rare defeat in Southern Egypt when they meet the cavalry and archers of the Kingdom of Makuria. The commander of the Islamic Army was 'Amr ibn al-'As(RA) he meet three rare defeats when he fought the Nubian Army of the Kingdom of Makuria. Thus, he wrote a letter to Umar ibn Al-Khattab(RA) asking for more Soldiers to fight, but Umar ibn Al-Khattab(RA) refused. Further, during the time of the 3rd caliph Uthman ibn Affan(RA) the Islamic Army tried to expand South of Luxor into the Kingdom of Makuria, but it was a stalemate with no territory gain or loss on both sides in a war that lasted 13 years. Thus, The Islamic Empire and the Kingdom of Makuria entered into a treaty called the Baqt treaty. The Baqt treaty came into effect and through trade the people of the kingdom of Makuria came to know about Islam. It was King Jamil who had one of the most influential roles in establishing an Islamic ruler-ship and spreading Islam. He accepted Islam and revived the kingdom of Nobatia autonomy within Makuria. He traveled to the Muslim World and asked the Islamic Caliph for aid to establish anIslamic State. Also, for a tribe to aid him in teaching the religion to the people and to establish an Islamic Ruler-ship. The descendants of Ubay ibn Ka'b of the tribe Banu al-Khazraj decided to go and help establish an Islamic State and to teach the people Islam in the kingdom of Makuria. Eventually, the descendants of Ubay ibn Ka'b were able to overthrow the Christian ruler-ship in Makuria and establish an Islamic Rluer-ship in Makuria. At the height of power the Kingdom of Makuria expanded south to Tanzania and westward to boarder Mauritanian. As Makuria weakened from internal court dispute and fight for succession to the throne it began losing territory first to the Mamluk Sultanate and then to Banu Kanz. During the 1500s, the Funj and Abdallah Jamma established Sultanate of Sinnar which ruled much of Sudan and conquered several other black African groups settled in the south, including the Dinka, Shilluk, Nuer and Azande. after Britain occupied Egypt in 1882. The Mahdi forces lead by Muhammad Ahmad bin Abd Allah lead a revolt in Sudan the next year 1883. The first between the Mahdi forces and the Egyptian army was the Battle of Aba with a complete victory of Muhammad Ahmad bin Abd Allah forces. Muhammad Ahmad bin Abd Allah forces defeat two Egyptian columns led by British officers (Hicks Pasha and Baker Pasha). Previous, to the battle with Hicks Pasha and Baker Pasha Muhammad Ahmad bin Abd Allah forces decimated the 4000 strong forces of Yusef Pasha to a single man. Moreover, when the British Empire sent their famous General, General Gordon to lead the evacuation in Khartoum he was killed. The loss of General Gordon was a heavy loss for Britain, and it was one of the most cited reason for the effort to lead a colonial campaign in Sudan. In 1898 Britain succeeded in taking over Sudan, However the rule over Sudan was decentralized. British rule over Sudan and Egypt was known as the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan between 1898 and 1955. The 20th century saw the growth of Sudanese nationalism and in 1953 Britain granted Sudan self-government. Independence was proclaimed on January 1, 1956.
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