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Military regimes favoring Islamic-oriented governments have dominated national politics since independence from the UK in 1956. Sudan was embroiled in two prolonged civil wars during most of the remainder of the 20th century. These conflicts were rooted in northern economic, political, and social domination of largely non-Muslim, non-Arab southern Sudanese. The first civil war ended in 1972 but broke out again in 1983. The second war and famine-related effects resulted in more than four million people displaced and, according to rebel estimates, more than two million deaths over a period of two decades. Peace talks gained momentum in 2002-04 with the signing of several accords. The final North/South Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), signed in January 2005, granted the southern rebels autonomy for six years... See More



 Northern Africa, bordering the Red Sea, between Egypt and Eritrea

Geographic Coordinates:

 15 00 N, 30 00 E


 Total: 1,861,484 sq km
Land: NA
Water: NA

Area - Comparative:

 Slightly more than one-quarter the size of the US

Land Boundaries:

 Total: 6,751 km
Border countries: Central African Republic 175 km, Chad 1,360 km, Egypt 1,275 km, Eritrea 605 km, Ethiopia 769 km, Libya 383 km, South Sudan 2,184 km

Note: Sudan-South Sudan boundary represents 1 January 1956 alignment; final alignment pending negotiations and demarcation; final sovereignty status of Abyei region pending negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan


 853 km (Rank: 91)

Maritime Claims:

 Territorial sea: 12 nm
Contiguous zone: 18 nm
Continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation


 Hot and dry; arid desert; rainy season varies by region (April to November)


 Generally flat, featureless plain; desert dominates the north

Elevation Extremes:

 Lowest point: Red Sea 0 m
Highest point: Kinyeti 3,187 m

Natural Resources:

 Petroleum; small reserves of iron ore, copper, chromium ore, zinc, tungsten, mica, silver, gold; hydropower

Land Use:

 Arable land: NA
Permanent crops: NA
Other: NA

Irrigated Land:

 18,630 sq km (2008)

Total Renewable Water Resources:

 154 cu km (1997)

Freshwater Withdrawal:

 Total: 37.32 cu km/yr (3%/1%/97%)
Per capita: 1,030 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural Hazards:

 Dust storms and periodic persistent droughts

Environment - Current Issues:

 Inadequate supplies of potable water; wildlife populations threatened by excessive hunting; soil erosion; desertification; periodic drought

Environment - International Agreements:

 Party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands

Signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - Note:

 Dominated by the Nile and its tributaries

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 Noun: Sudanese (singular and plural)
Adjective: Sudanese

Ethnic Groups:

 Sudanese Arab (approximately 70%), Fur, Beja, Nuba, Fallata


 Arabic (official), English (official), Nubian, Ta Bedawie, Fur

Note: program of "Arabization" in process


 Sunni Muslim, small Christian minority



Note: includes the population of South Sudan (8,260,490); demographic data includes South Sudan (July 2011 est.)

Age Structure:

 0-14 years: 42.1% (male 9,696,726/female 9,286,894)
15-64 years: 55.2% (male 12,282,082/female 12,571,424)
65 years and over: 2.7% (male 613,817/female 596,559) (2011 est.)

Median Age:

 Total: 18.5 years
Male: 18.1 years
Female: 18.9 years (2011 est.)

Population Growth Rate:

 2.484% (2011 est.)

Birth Rate:

 36.12 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Death Rate:

 11 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)

Net Migration Rate:

 -0.29 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)


 Urban population: 40% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 3.7% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major Cities - Population:

 KHARTOUM (capital) 5.021 million (2009)

Sex Ratio:

 At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.05 male(s)/female
Total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal Mortality Rate:

 750 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)

Infant Mortality Rate:

 Total: 68.07 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 68.77 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 67.34 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

Life Expectancy At Birth:

 Total population: 55.42 years
Male: 54.18 years
Female: 56.71 years (2011 est.)

Total Fertility Rate:

 4.84 children born/woman (2011 est.)

Health Expenditures:

 7.3% of GDP (2009)

Physicians Density:

 0.28 physicians/1,000 population (2008)

Hospital Bed Density:

 0.7 beds/1,000 population (2008)

Drinking Water Source:

 Urban: 64% of population
Rural: 52% of population
Total: 57% of population
Urban: 36% of population
Rural: 48% of population
Total: 43% of population (2008)

Sanitation Facility Access:

 Urban: 55% of population
Rural: 18% of population
Total: 34% of population
Urban: 45% of population
Rural: 82% of population
Total: 66% of population (2008)

HIV/AIDS - Adult Prevalence Rate:

 1.1% (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - People Living With HIV/AIDS:

 260,000 (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - Deaths:

 12,000 (2009 est.)

Major Infectious Diseases:

 Degree of risk: very high
Food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
Vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness)
Water contact disease: schistosomiasis
Respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
Animal contact disease: rabies

Note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2009)

Children Under 5 - Underweight:

 31.7% (2006)


 Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 61.1%
Male: 71.8%
Female: 50.5% (2003 est.)

Average Years of Schooling:

 Total: 4 years (2000)

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Country Name:

 Conventional long form: Republic of the Sudan
Conventional short form: Sudan
Local long form: Jumhuriyat as-Sudan
Local short form: As-Sudan
Former: Anglo-Egyptian Sudan

Government Type:

 Government of National Unity (GNU) - the National Congress Party (NCP) and Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) formed a power-sharing government under the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA); the NCP, which came to power by military coup in 1989, is the majority partner; the agreement stipulated national elections in 2009, but these were subsequently rescheduled; elections took place in April 2010 and the NCP was elected as the majority party; due to the CPA stipulations, there is also an autonomous government in Southern Sudan where SPLM holds the majority of positions.


 Name: Khartoum
Geographic coordinates: 15 36 N, 32 32 E
Time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative Divisions:

 15 states (wilayat, singular - wilayah); Al Bahr al Ahmar (Red Sea), Al Jazira (Gezira), Al Khartoum (Khartoum), Al Qadarif (Gedaref), An Nil al Abyad (White Nile), An Nil al Azraq (Blue Nile), Ash Shimaliyya (Northern), Gharb Darfur (Western Darfur), Janub Darfur (Southern Darfur), Janub Kurdufan (Southern Kordofan), Kassala, Nahr an Nil (River Nile), Shimal Darfur (Northern Darfur), Shimal Kurdufan (Northern Kordofan), Sinnar

Note: the Sudanese Government has announced the creation of two new states, Central Darfur and East Darfur, but they are not yet operational


 1 January 1956 (from Egypt and the UK)

National Holiday:

 Independence Day, 1 January (1956)


 Interim National Constitution ratified 5 July 2005

Note: under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the Interim National Constitution was ratified 5 July 2005; Constitution of Southern Sudan was signed December 2005

Legal System:

 Mixed legal system of Islamic law and English common law in the north, and primarily customary law in the south

International Law Organization Participation:

 Accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; withdrew acceptance of ICCt jurisdiction in 2008


 17 years of age; universal

Executive Branch:

 Chief of state: President Umar Hassan Ahmad al-BASHIR (since 16 October 1993); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

Head of government: President Umar Hassan Ahmad al-BASHIR (since 16 October 1993)

Cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president; note - the National Congress Party or NCP (formerly the National Islamic Front or NIF) dominates al-BASHIR's cabinet

Elections: election on 11-15 April 2010; next to be held in 2015

Election results: Umar Hassan Ahmad al-BASHIR reelected president; percent of vote - Umar Hassan Ahmad al-BASHIR 68.2%, Yasir ARMAN 21.7%, Abdullah Deng NHIAL 3.9%, others 6.2%

Note: al-BASHIR assumed power as chairman of Sudan's Revolutionary Command Council for National Salvation (RCC) in June 1989 and served concurrently as chief of state, chairman of the RCC, prime minister, and minister of defense until mid-October 1993 when he was appointed president by the RCC; he was elected president by popular vote for the first time in March 1996

Legislative Branch:

 Bicameral National Legislature consists of a Council of States (50 seats; members indirectly elected by state legislatures to serve six-year terms) and a National Assembly (450 seats; 60% from geographic constituencies, 25% from a women's list, and 15% from party lists; members to serve six-year terms)

Elections: last held on 11-15 April 2010 (next to be held in 2016)

Election results: National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NCP 323, SPLM 99, PCP 4, DUP 4, UFP 3, URRP 2, DUPO 2, SPLM-DC 2, other 7, vacant 4

Judicial Branch:

 Constitutional Court of nine justices; National Supreme Court; National Courts of Appeal; other national courts; National Judicial Service Commission will undertake overall management of the National Judiciary

Political Parties and Leaders:

 Democratic Unionist Party or DUP [Hatim al-SIR]; Democratic Unionist Party-Original or DUPO; National Congress Party or NCP [Umar Hassan al-BASHIR]; Popular Congress Party or PCP [Hassan al-TURABI]; Sudan People's Liberation Movement or SPLM [Malik AGGAR]; Sudan People's Liberation Movement-Democratic Change or SPLM-DC; Umma Federal Party or UFP; Umma Renewal and Reform Party or URRP

Political Pressure Groups and Leaders:

 Umma Party [SADIQ Siddiq al-Mahdi]; Popular Congress Party or PCP [Hassan al-TURABI]; Darfur rebel groups including the Justice and Equality Movement or JEM [Khalil IBRAHIM] and the Sudan Liberation Movement or SLM [various factional leaders]

International Organization Participation:


Diplomatic Representation in the US:

 Chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Emad Mirghani ALTOHAMY
Chancery: 2210 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
Telephone: [1] (202) 338-8565
FAX: [1] (202) 667-2406

Diplomatic Representation From the US:

 Chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Robert E. WHITEHEAD
Embassy: Sharia Ali Abdul Latif Street, Khartoum
Mailing address: P.O. Box 699, Khartoum; APO AE 09829
Telephone: [249] (183) 774700 through 704
FAX: [249] (183) 774137

Flag Description:

 Three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black with a green isosceles triangle based on the hoist side; colors and design based on the Arab Revolt flag of World War I, but the meanings of the colors are expressed as follows: red signifies the struggle for freedom, white is the color of peace, light, and love, black represents Sudan itself (in Arabic 'Sudan' means black), green is the color of Islam, agriculture, and prosperity

National Symbols:

 Secretary bird

National Anthem:

 Name: "Nahnu Djundulla Djundulwatan" (We Are the Army of God and of Our Land)
Lyrics/music: Sayed Ahmad Muhammad SALIH/Ahmad MURJAN

Note: adopted 1956; the song originally served as the anthem of the Sudanese military

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Economy - Overview:

 Since 1997, Sudan has been working with the IMF to implement macroeconomic reforms including a managed float of the exchange rate and a large reserve of foreign exchange. A new currency, the Sudanese Pound, was introduced in January 2007 at an initial exchange rate of $1.00 equals 2 Sudanese Pounds. Sudan began exporting crude oil in the last quarter of 1999 and the economy boomed on the back of increases in oil production, high oil prices, and significant inflows of foreign direct investment until the second half of 2008. The Darfur conflict, the aftermath of two decades of civil war in the south, the lack of basic infrastructure in large areas, and a reliance by much of the population on subsistence agriculture ensure much of the population will remain at or below the poverty line for years to come despite rapid rises in average per capita income. Sudan's real GDP expanded by 5.2% during 2010, an improvement over 2009's 4.2% growth but significantly below the more than 10% per year growth experienced prior to the global financial crisis in 2006 and 2007. While the oil sector continues to drive growth, services and utilities play an increasingly important role in the economy with agriculture production remaining important as it employs 80% of the work force and contributes a third of GDP. In the lead up to the referendum on southern secession, which took place in January 2011, Sudan saw its currency depreciate considerably on the black market with the Central Bank's official rate also losing value as the Sudanese people started to hoard foreign currency. The Central Bank of Sudan intervened heavily in the currency market to defend the value of the pound and the Sudanese government introduced a number of measures to restrain excess local demand for hard currency, but uncertainty about the secession has meant that foreign exchange remains in heavy demand.

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity):

 $100 billion (2010 est.)
$95.18 billion (2009 est.)
$89.81 billion (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (Official Exchange Rate):

 $68.44 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - Real Growth Rate:

 5.1% (2010 est.)
6% (2009 est.)
6.8% (2008 est.)

GDP - Per Capita (PPP):

 $2,300 (2010 est.)
$2,200 (2009 est.)
$2,200 (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - Composition By Sector:

 Agriculture: 44.6%
Industry: 45.3%
Services: 10.2% (2010 est.)

Labor Force:

 11.92 million (2007 est.)

Labor Force - By Occupation:

 Agriculture: 80%
Industry: 7%
Services: 13% (1998 est.)

Unemployment Rate:

 18.7% (2002 est.)

Population Below Poverty Line:

 40% (2004 est.)

Household Income / Consumption By Share:

 Lowest 10%: NA%
Highest 10%: NA%

Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons:

 Refugees (country of origin): 162,000 (Eritrea); 43,000 (Chad); 11,009 (Ethiopia)
IDPs: more than 4 million (civil war 1983-2005; ongoing conflict in Darfur region) (2007)

Investment (Gross Fixed):

 21.2% of GDP (2010 est.)


 Revenues: $11.32 billion
Expenditures: $13.35 billion (2010 est.)

Taxes and Other Revenues:

 16.5% of GDP (2010 est.)

Budget Surplus / Deficit:

 -3% of GDP (2010 est.)

Public Debt:

 90.8% of GDP (2010 est.)
105.2% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices):

 13% (2010 est.)
11.2% (2009 est.)

Commercial Bank Prime Lending Rate:

 9.7% (31 December 2010 est.)
11% (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Money:

 $6.256 billion (31 December 2008)
$5.549 billion (31 December 2007)

Stock of Quasi Money:

 $4.264 billion (31 December 2008)
$4.068 billion (31 December 2007)

Stock of Narrow Money:

 $7.875 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$7.19 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Broad Money:

 $14.53 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$12.63 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Domestic Credit:

 $12.99 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$11.22 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Agriculture - Products:

 Cotton, groundnuts (peanuts), sorghum, millet, wheat, gum arabic, sugarcane, cassava (tapioca), mangos, papaya, bananas, sweet potatoes, sesame; sheep and other livestock


 Oil, cotton ginning, textiles, cement, edible oils, sugar, soap distilling, shoes, petroleum refining, pharmaceuticals, armaments, automobile/light truck assembly

Industrial Production Growth Rate:

 3.5% (2010 est.)

Electricity - Production:

 4.323 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Production By Source:

 Fossil fuel: 52.1%
Hydro: 47.9%
Nuclear: 0%
Other: 0% (2001)

Electricity - Consumption:

 3.787 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Exports:

 0 kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - Imports:

 0 kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - Production:

 514,300 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Consumption:

 98,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Exports:

 383,900 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Imports:

 11,820 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Proven Reserves:

 5 billion bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural Gas - Production:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Consumption:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Exports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Imports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Proven Reserves:

 84.95 billion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current Account Balance:

 -$4.119 billion (2010 est.)
-$4.232 billion (2009 est.)


 $11.4 billion (2010 est.)
$8.473 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - Commodities:

 Oil and petroleum products; cotton, sesame, livestock, groundnuts, gum arabic, sugar

Exports - Partners:

 China 68.3%, Japan 12.6%, India 5.8% (2010)


 $8.839 billion (2010 est.)
$8.528 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - Commodities:

 Foodstuffs, manufactured goods, refinery and transport equipment, medicines and chemicals, textiles, wheat

Imports - Partners:

 China 21.7%, Egypt 8%, Saudi Arabia 7.7%, India 6.1%, UAE 5.7% (2010)

Reserves of Foreign Exchange and Gold:

 $2.063 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$897 million (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - External:

 $37.7 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$35.72 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange Rates:

 Convert Sudanese Pound to Any Currency

Sudanese pounds (SDG) per US dollar -
2.36 (2010)
2.3 (2009)
2.1 (2008)
2.06 (2007)
2.172 (2006)

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Telephones - Main Lines In Use:

 374,700 (2010)

Telephones - Cellular:

 17.654 million (2010)

Telephone System:

 General assessment: well-equipped system by regional standards and being upgraded; cellular communications started in 1996 and have expanded substantially with wide coverage of most major cities

Domestic: consists of microwave radio relay, cable, fiber optic, radiotelephone communications, tropospheric scatter, and a domestic satellite system with 14 earth stations

International: country code - 249; linked to international submarine cable Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG); satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean), 1 Arabsat (2000)

Broadcast Media:

 The Sudanese Government directly controls TV and radio, requiring that both media reflect government policies; TV has a permanent military censor; a private radio station is in operation (2007)

Radio Broadcast Stations:

 AM 12, FM 1, shortwave 1 (1998)

Television Broadcast Stations:

 3 (1997)

Internet Country Code:


Internet Hosts:

 70 (2010)

Internet Users:

 4.2 million (2008)

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 116 (2011)

Airports - With Paved Runways:

 Total: 17
Over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 10
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
Under 914 m: 1 (2011)

Airports - With Unpaved Runways:

 Total: 99
1,524 to 2,437 m: 16
914 to 1,523 m: 46
Under 914 m: 37 (2011)


 5 (2010)


 Gas 156 km; oil 4,070 km; refined products 1,613 km (2010)


 Total: 5,978 km
Narrow gauge: 4,578 km 1.067-m gauge; 1,400 km 0.600-m gauge for cotton plantations (2010)


 Total: 11,900 km
Paved: 4,320 km
Unpaved: 7,580 km (2000)


 4,068 km (1,723 km open year round on White and Blue Nile rivers) (2008)

Merchant Marine:

 Total: 2
By type: cargo 2 (2010)

Ports and Terminals:

 Port Sudan

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Military Branches:

 Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF): Land Forces, Navy (includes Marines), Sudanese Air Force (Sikakh al-Jawwiya as-Sudaniya), Popular Defense Forces (2011)

Military Service Age and Obligation:

 18-33 years of age for male and female compulsory and voluntary military service; 1-2 year service obligation; a requirement that completion of national sevice was mandatory before entering public or private sector employment has been cancelled (2011)

Manpower Available For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 10,433,973
Females age 16-49: 10,411,443 (2010 est.)

Manpower Fit For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 6,475,530
Females age 16-49: 6,840,885 (2010 est.)

Manpower Reaching Militarily Significant Age Annually:

 Male: 532,030
Female: 512,476 (2010 est.)

Military Expenditures:

 3% of GDP (2005 est.)

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Disputes - International:

 The effects of Sudan's almost constant ethnic and rebel militia fighting since the mid-20th century have penetrated all of the neighboring states; as of 2006, Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda provided shelter for over half a million Sudanese refugees, which includes 240,000 Darfur residents driven from their homes by Janjawid armed militia and the Sudanese military forces; as of January 2011, Sudan, in turn, hosted about 138,700 Eritreans, 43,000 Chadians, and smaller numbers of Ethiopians; Sudan accuses Eritrea of supporting Sudanese rebel groups; efforts to demarcate the porous boundary with Ethiopia proceed slowly due to civil and ethnic fighting in eastern Sudan; Sudan claims but Egypt de facto administers security and economic development of Halaib region north of the 22nd parallel boundary; periodic violent skirmishes with Sudanese residents over water and grazing rights persist among related pastoral populations along the border with the Central African Republic

Trafficking in Persons:

 Current situation: Sudan is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children who are subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; Sudanese women and girls, particularly those from rural areas or who are internally displaced, are vulnerable to forced labor as domestic workers in homes throughout the country; some of these women and girls are subsequently sexually abused by male occupants of the household or forced to engage in commercial sex acts; Sudanese women and girls are subjected to domestic servitude in Middle Eastern countries, such as Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, and to forced sex trafficking in European countries; some Sudanese men who voluntarily migrate to the Middle East as low-skilled laborers face conditions indicative of forced labor; Sudanese children transit Yemen en route to Saudi Arabia, where they are used in forced begging and street vending, and reportedly work in exploitative labor situations for Sudanese traders in the Central African Republic; Sudan is a transit and destination country for Ethiopian and Eritrean women subjected to domestic servitude in Sudan and Middle Eastern countries; Sudan is a destination for Ethiopian, Somali, and possibly Thai women subjected to forced prostitution

Tier rating: Tier 3 - Sudan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; while the government took some steps to identify, demobilize, and reintegrate child soldiers during the reporting period, combating human trafficking through law enforcement, protection, or prevention measures was not a priority (2011)

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Last Updated: December 2011

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