Under Arab rule from the 13th century, Sudan was conquered by Egypt in 1820-2. It was separated from its northern neighbour by the Mahdist revolt of 1881–98 and administered after the reconquest of 1898 as an Anglo-Egyptian condominium. It became an independent republic in 1956, but suffered severely as a result of protracted civil war between the Islamic government in the north and separatist forces in the south and west. In 2011 part of the southern region became independent as South Sudan
from Arabic sūdān, literally 'country of the blacks'