Here's a look at what you need to know about Sudan, a North African country bordering the Red Sea, Egypt, Libya, Chad, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea.
Between 2003 and 2008, at least 300,000 people were killed, and 3 million displaced during the Darfur Conflict, fighting between rebel groups and the government.
About Sudan: (from the CIA World Factbook, all information except where noted pre-South Sudan independence in July 2011)
Land Area: 2,505,813 sq km, slightly more than one-quarter the size of the US, before South Sudan independence. 1,861,484 sq km, slightly less than one-fifth the size of the US, after South Sudan independence.
Population: 34,206,710 (July 2012 est., includes South Sudan). The Sudan Ministry of Information estimates that Sudan's population count will lose about 8 million people to South Sudan.
Median age: 18.7 years
Ethnic Groups: Sudanese Arab (approximately 70%), Fur, Beja, Nuba, Fallata
Religion: Sunni Muslim, small Christian minority
GDP: $90.19 billion (2011 est.)
GDP per capita: $2,800 (2011 est.)
Unemployment: 18.7% (2002 est.)
Other Facts: Sudan was the largest country in Africa prior to the secession of South Sudan. It is now the second largest, after Algeria.
The size of Sudan is now approximately 25% smaller, with an area of 1.86 million square km.
Sudan lost most of its oil reserves, estimated to be between five and seven billion barrels, after the secession of South Sudan.
The U.N. has called the Sudan/Darfur conflict one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world.
Timeline: 1955 - Prior to Sudan's independence, conflict breaks out between Muslim Arabs in the North and Christian/Animist Africans in the South.
January 1, 1956 - Sudan gains its independence after an agreement between the UK and Egypt.
1972 - 17 years of civil war end with the signing of the Addis Ababa Agreement between the North and the South.
1977 - Oil is discovered in southwestern Sudan. Civil war in the 1980s and 1990s prevents much exploration or development of the oil deposits.
1980s - Prolonged droughts put pressure on water and farming resources.
1983 - Col. John Garang de Mabior leads a mutiny of army soldiers, re-igniting the civil war.
June 30, 1989 - Lt. Gen. Omar al-Bashir seizes power in a coup.
October 1993 - Al-Bashir becomes president of Sudan when the Revolutionary Command Council is dissolved, and Sudan is restored to civilian rule.
March 1996 - Al-Bashir is re-elected president with over 75% of the vote.