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English is being phased out as a foreign language taught in the schools, although it is still spoken by some people. The flag adopted at independence had three horizontal stripes: blue, symbolizing the Nile River; yellow, for the desert; and green, for the forests and vegetation.
This flag was replaced in 1970 with one more explicitly Islamic in its symbolism.
In 1896 the British and the Egyptians again invaded Sudan, defeating the Sudanese in 1898 at the Battle of Omdurman. In 1922 the British adopted a policy of indirect rule in which tribal leaders were invested with the responsibility of local administration and tax collection.
This allowed the British to ensure their dominion over the region as a whole, by preventing the rise of a national figure and limiting the power of educated urban Sudanese.
The southern part of the country consists of a basin drained by the Nile, as well as a plateau, and mountains, which mark the southern border.
These include Mount Kinyeti, the highest peak in Sudan.
Rainfall is extremely rare in the north but profuse in the south, which has a wet season lasting six to nine months.
The central region of the country generally gets enough rain to support agriculture, but it experienced droughts in the 1980s and 1990s.
There is strong animosity between the two groups and each has its own culture and traditions. It shares borders with Egypt, Libya, Chad, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Kenya, and Ethiopia.The country supports a variety of wildlife, including crocodiles and hippopotamuses in the rivers, elephants (mainly in the south), giraffes, lions, leopards, tropical birds, and several species of poisonous reptiles.The capital, Khartoum, lies at the meeting point of the White and Blue Niles, and together with Khartoum North and Omdurman forms an urban center known as "the three towns," with a combined population of 2.5 million people. Fifty-two percent of the population are black and 39 percent are Arab.In 1952 Egypt's King Farouk was dethroned and replaced by the pro-Sudanese General Neguib.In 1953 the British-Egyptian rulers agreed to sign a three-year preparation for independence, and on 1 January 1956 Sudan officially became independent.
Khartoum is the center for commerce and government; Omdurman is the official capital; and North Khartoum is the industrial center, home to 70 percent of Sudan's industry. Six percent are Beja, 2 percent are foreign, and the remaining 1 percent are composed of other ethnicities. These include the Jamala and the Nubians in the north; the Beja in the Red Sea Hills; and several Nilotic peoples in the south, including the Azande, Dinka, Nuer, and Shilluk. There are more than one hundred different indigenous languages spoken in Sudan, including Nubian, Ta Bedawie, and dialects of Nilotic and Nilo-Hamitic languages.