Sudan is a northeastern country that included South Sudan for more than a century, which seceded with independence in 2011 (see South Sudan entry for more information). For many centuries, Sudan has been host to many cultural interactions between African and Mediterranean traditions. Colonized by the British, the country achieved independence in 1956. The country's power, development, and wealth have long been sequestered in the north because the British found less resistance to colonization. After independence, governments found it very difficult to maintain power between the distinctive north and south; two civil wars followed between 1955-1972 and again between 1983 - 2005 when the Comprehensive Peace Agreement ending the fighting and gave South Sudan a pathway to independence, which was finalized in July 2011. Sudan's capital is Khartoum. Sudan's northern neighbor is Egypt, and the country is composed of vast plains, sand, and flat mesas of Nubian sandstone. The Nile River system runs through the country, with all the rivers and streams draining towards the Nile. The education system was established in the 1970s when the government reorganized the unorganized system of schools they inherited from the British colonial government. This included several higher education institutions, which doubled between 1990 and 1995. The country has had several constitutions and regime changes by military coups in 1985, 1989, and 2019. The interim constitution of 2005 was suspended after the 2019 coup, and the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC); an alliance between military and civilian groups, signed a new constitutional declaration that outlined a power-sharing agreement and a roadmap for a democratically-elected government to be installed with the first elections expected in 2022.