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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.Despite a devastating civil war and a number of natural disasters, the population has an average growth rate of 3 percent. Arabic is the official language, spoken by more than half of the population.The northern part of the country is desert, spotted with oases, where most of the population is concentrated.To the east, the Red Sea Hills support some vegetation. The southern region includes grasslands, and along the border with Uganda the Democratic Republic of the Congo, dense forests.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.
They signed a treaty with the Christians to coexist in peace, but throughout the next seven centuries, Christianity gradually died out as more Arabs immigrated to the area and gained converts.
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.
Throughout the 1940s an independence movement in the country gained momentum.
The Graduates' Congress was formed, a body representing all Sudanese with more than a primary education and whose goal was an independent Sudan.