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Sudan, officially the Republic of the Sudan and sometimes called North Sudan, is an Arab state in North Africa and the Middle East bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, 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. Internally, the Nile divides the country into eastern and western halves. The population of Sudan is a combination of indigenous inhabitants of the Nile Valley and descendants of migrants from the Arabian Peninsula. The overwhelming majority of the population today adhere to Islam. The people of Sudan have a long history extending from antiquity which is intertwined with the history of Egypt. Sudan suffered seventeen years of civil war during the First Sudanese Civil War followed by the Second Sudanese Civil War between central government of Northern Sudan and the SPLA/M of Southern Sudan. This led to the Second Sudanese Civil War in 1983. Because of continuing political and military struggles, Sudan was seized in a bloodless coup d'état by colonel Omar al-Bashir in 1989, who thereafter proclaimed himself President of Sudan. The civil war ended with the signing of a Comprehensive Peace Agreement which granted autonomy to what was then the southern region of the country. Following a referendum held in January 2011, South Sudan seceded on 9 July 2011 with the consent of Sudan. (via Freebase)