Independence Day in Sudan falls on 1 January, the same as New Year’s Day on the Gregorian (Western) Calendar. It is a public holiday celebrating the declaration of independence from Anglo-Egyptian joint rule in 1956.
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Egypt and the UK had jointly ruled Sudan for nearly 60 years, but when Sudan declared its freedom in 1958, there was no real opposition. The new Sudanese government simply held a ceremony whereby they lowered the flags of Egypt and Britain and raised their own flag. Not one shot was fired.
But although gaining independence was bloodless, Sudan’s history since then has been full of conflict, civil wars, and many atrocities. There have been over a dozen coup attempts, three of them succeeding. And around one and a half million people have died in these post-independence struggles.
Despite the harsh history of the country since 1958, the people of Sudan put on Independence Day celebrations every year, including a presidential speech to the nation.
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