Less than 7% of the country is able to be farmed or suitable for livestock, which causes conflict over scarce resources.
It became part of the British empire in 1898. They divided it into North (Arabic and Muslim) and South (African and Animist).
They gained their independence from the British in 1956, but the North and the South continued to struggle.
The first Civil War between the North and South began in 1955 and lasted until 1972. 1.5 million people were killed.
A second Civil War erupted in 1983 and lasted until 2005. (2 million killed; 5 million displaced) President Bush helped with the Peace Accord, which gave Southern Sudan the right to vote to secede in 2011.
From 2003-present, the government of Sudan has been involved in the world’s most recent genocide in Darfur, its Western region. Over 400,000 have been killed and 2.5 million displaced from their homes.
In January of 2011, Southern Sudan voted with a 98% majority to become a separate country. On July 9, 2011, they will become the world’s newest country. However, the North may not let them go quietly…