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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.
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.
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.
In the Battle of Shaykan in 1883, followers of the Sudanese leader defeated the Egyptians and their British supporting troops. In the Middle Ages, Arabs named the area that is present-day Sudan "Bilad al-Sudan," or "land of the black people." The north is primarily Arab Muslims, whereas the south is largely black African, and not Muslim.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.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.