Capital: Khartoum Population: 38,115,000 (as of July 2003) Total area: 967,490 square miles—largest country in Africa, slightly more than one-quarter the size of the United States Independence: January I, 1956 (from Egypt and United Kingdom) Government: authoritarian regime—ruling military junta took power in 1989; government is run by an alliance of the military and the National Congress Party (NCP), formerly the National Islamic Front (NIF), which espouses an Lslamist platform Religions: Sunni Muslim 70 percent (in north), indigenous beliefs 25 percent,Christian 5 percent (mostly in south and Khartoum) Ethnic groups: black African 52 percent, Arab 39 percent, Beja 6 percent, foreigners 2 percent, other I percent Languages: Arabic (official), Nubian, Ta Bedawie, diverse dialects of Nilotic, Nilo–Hamitic, Sudanic languages, English Industries: oil, cotton ginning, textiles, cement, edible oils, sugar, soap distilling, shoes, petroleum refining, pharmaceuticals, armaments, automobile/light truck assembly Agriculture: cotton, groundnuts (peanuts), sorghum, millet, wheat, gum arabic, sugarcane, cassava (tapioca), mangoes, papayas, bananas, sweet potatoes, sesame; sheep, livestock Climate: tropical in south; arid desert in north; rainy season varies by region (April to November) Currency: Sudanese dinar (SDD) facts and background information compiled by Maike Byrd from: www. cia.
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