The Kingdom of Makuria (Old Nubian: Ⲙⲁⲕⲟⲩⲣⲓⲁ, Makouria; Arabic: مقرة, al-Muqurra) was a kingdom located in what is today Northern Sudan and Southern Egypt. It was one of a group of Nubian kingdoms that emerged during the decline of the Aksumite Empire, which it had been part of from approximately 4BC to AD 950. Makuria originally covered the area along the Nile River from the Third Cataract to somewhere between the Fifth and Sixth Cataracts. It also had control over the trade routes, mines, and oases to the east and west. Its capital was Dongola (Arabic: Dunqulah), and the kingdom is sometimes known by the name of its capital.
By the end of the 6th century it had converted to Christianity, but in the 7th century Egypt was conquered by the Islamic armies, and Nubia was cut off from the rest of Christendom. In 651 an Arab army invaded, but it was repulsed and a treaty known as the baqt was signed creating a relative peace between the two sides that lasted until the 13th century. Makuria expanded, annexing its northern neighbour Nobatia either at the time of the Arab invasion or during the reign of King Merkurios. The period from roughly 750 to 1150 saw the kingdom stable and prosperous, in what has been called the "Golden Age". Increased aggression from Egypt, and internal discord led to the state's collapse in the 14th century.
The group was formed in 1987 and is engaged in an armed rebellion against the Ugandan government in what is now one of Africa's longest-running conflicts. It is led by Joseph Kony, who proclaims himself the "spokesperson" of God and a spirit medium, primarily of the Holy Spirit, which the Acholi believe can represent itself in many manifestations. blend of Christianity, Mysticism, traditional religion, and witchcraft, and claims to be establishing a theocratic state based on the Ten Commandments and Acholi tradition. The LRA is accused of widespread human rights violations, including murder, abduction, mutilation, sexual enslavement of women and children, and forcing children to participate in hostilities. The LRA operates mainly in northern Uganda, but also in parts of Sudan and DR Congo.
The Darfur Conflict began in Darfur, Sudan, in February 2003 when the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) in Darfur took up arms, accusing the government of oppressing black Africans in favor of Arabs. There are various estimates on the number of human casualties. One side was composed mainly of the Sudanese military and the Janjaweed, a Sudanese militia group recruited mostly from the Afro-Arab Abbala tribes of the northern Rizeigat region in Sudan. These tribes are mainly camel-herding nomads. The other side was made up of rebel groups, notably the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army and the Justice and Equality Movement, recruited primarily from the non-Arab Muslim Fur, Zaghawa, and Masalit ethnic groups. The Sudanese government, while publicly denying that it supports the Janjaweed, is accused of providing financial assistance to the militia, and of participating in joint attacks targeting civilians.
The Janjaweed started to become much more aggressive in 2003, after two non-Arab groups, the Sudan Liberation Army and the Justice and Equality Movement, took up arms against the Sudanese government, alleging mistreatment by the Arab regime in Khartoum. The Sudanese government has been accused of tampering with evidence, such as attempting to cover up mass graves. They also arrested and harassed journalists, thus limiting the extent of press coverage of the situation in Darfur.
The Battle of Khartoum or Siege of Khartoum lasted from March 13, 1884 to January 26, 1885. It was fought in and around Khartoum between Egyptian forces led by British General Charles George Gordon and a Mahdist Sudanese army led by the Mahdi Muhammad Ahmad. Khartoum was besieged by the Mahdists and defended by a garrison of 7,000 Egyptian and loyal Sudanese troops. After a ten-month siege, the Mahdists finally broke into the city and the entire garrison was killed.
Since the 1882 Anglo-Egyptian War, the British military presence ensured that Egypt remained a de facto British protectorate. However, the administration of Sudan was considered a domestic matter, and left to the Khedive's government. As a result, the suppression of the Mahdist revolt was left to the Egyptian army, who suffered a bloody defeat at the hands of the Mahdist rebels at El Obeid, in November 1883. The Mahdi's forces captured huge amounts of equipment and overran large parts of Sudan, including Darfur and Kordofan.
Southern Sudan (officially known as the Autonomous Government of Southern Sudan), is located in Africa with Juba as its capital city. It is bordered by Ethiopia to the east, Kenya, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the south, and the Central African Republic to the west. To the north lies the predominantly Afro Arab and Muslim region directly under the control of the central government, with its capital at Khartoum. Southern Sudan includes the vast swamp region of the Sudd formed by the White Nile, locally called the Bahr el Jebel. The region's autonomous status is a condition of a peace agreement between the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army and the Government of Sudan represented by the National Congress Party ending the Second Sudanese Civil War. The conflict was Africa's longest running civil war.
The start of the period 1994 to 2002 of the Lord's Resistance Army insurgency in northern Uganda saw the conflict intensifying due to Sudanese support to the rebels. There was a peak of bloodshed in the mid-1990s and then a gradual subsiding of the conflict. Violence was renewed beginning with the offensive by the Uganda People's Defence Force in 2002.
For a seven year period beginning in 1987, the Lord's Resistance Army was a minor rebel group along the periphery of Uganda. However, two weeks after Museveni delivered his ultimatum of 6 February 1994, LRA fighters were reported to have crossed the northern border and established bases in southern Sudan with the approval of the Khartoum government. The end of the Bigombe peace initiatives marks a fundamental shift in the character of the Lord's Resistance Army, which is estimated to have consisted of 3,000 to 4,000 combatants at this time. This is the turning point at which the LRA becomes essentially the organization that operates today.
Khartoum (الخرطوم al-Kharṭūm) is the capital of Sudan and of Khartoum State. It is located at the confluence of the White Nile flowing north from Lake Victoria, and the Blue Nile flowing west from Ethiopia. The location where the two Niles meet is known as "al-Mogran". The main Nile continues to flow north towards Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea.
Divided by the Niles, Khartoum is a tripartite metropolis with an estimated overall population of over a million people consisting of Khartoum proper, and linked by bridges to Khartoum North called (al-Khartūm Bahrī) and Omdurman (Umm Durmān) to the west.