Sudan consists of two countries, Sudan in the north and South Sudan. President Barack Obama granted U.S. recognition of South Sudan as an independent state after it formally seceded from the north in 2011.

Barely reported in the western media, since 2003, conflict in the Darfur in the north has included large-scale genocide, forcing millions from their homes and resulting in the death of around 200,000 people.

In 2013, nearly five million people were in need of humanitarian assistance. The conflict occurred after the government was accused of oppressing the non-Arab population of the region. The government responded by conducting an ethnic cleansing campaign in the Darfur region.

Former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir had previously turned to China, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, and Russia for assistance after the United States imposed sanctions related to human rights abuses in the Darfur region.

On 19 June 2019, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court demanded al-Bashir stand trial for mass killings perpetrated in Darfur.

North Sudan has experienced serious political conflict and social uprisings over the past several months.

On 14 June North Sudan’s ruling military council had ordered an attack on pro-democracy protesters which killed 120 people.

Subsequently, the military and a pro-democracy coalition agreed in early July on a joint sovereign council that will rule for three years while elections are organized.

According to The Associated Press, both sides said outside pressure from the United State helped broker the deal.

South Sudan. Last year, it was estimated more than six million people in South Sudan didn’t have enough food to sustain themselves. In 2017, the United Nations declared a famine in parts of the country. In addition, between 2014 and 2015, more than a million and a half people were displaced due to conflict, 800,000 ultimately seeking refuge in neighboring Uganda. In 2009, then President Obama and NATO established a military presence in South Sudan. Obama signed an executive order lifting sanctions against the country.

South Sudan produces 85 percent of Sudanese oil output. This production constitutes more than 98 percent of the government of South Sudan’s budget.

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