Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir (image) has asked that the border between Sudan and South Sudan be opened up. It was closed in 2011, when Sudan split into two nations, Sudan and South Sudan. The two nations disagreed about their border in certain regions. This dispute has still not been resolved, but the two nations are trying to improve their relationship.
Sudan was the largest country in Africa by area until the split in 2011 (after which Algeria became the largest). As the name suggests, South Sudan is what used to be the southern part of Sudan, and the remainder is still called Sudan. When South Sudan separated, it took with it 75% of Sudan’s oil. Oil is very valuable since selling it brings money to a country. However, the refineries (where the oil is cleaned up and turned into fuel for cars, kerosene, diesel, and more) and the pipelines that transport the oil to other countries are located in what is now called Sudan. South Sudan continues to use Sudan’s refineries and pipelines, and pays Sudan for it. Recently, Sudan’s president reduced the price South Sudan has to pay for transporting its oil through Sudan. Then South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit (image) asked the country’s army to withdraw from the border between the two nations.
South Sudan’s capital is Juba, and Sudan’s capital is Khartoum. The Meroe Pyramids are a landmark of Sudan. They were built around 2,000 years ago and are located in north-east Sudan in the ancient city of Meroe. There are over 200 pyramids.
Image Credits: B N Chagny and Gene_Poole for the image of the Pyramids at Meroe, http://defenseimagery.mil/imagery for the image of Bashir, Jenny Rockett for the image of Mayardit
Sources: http://www.insightonconflict.org/, http://suna-sd.net/, http://news.xinhuanet.com, BBC, http://whc.unesco.org, http://goafrica.about.com/