As of today, Southern Sudan is a country. Welcome!
My rudimentary knowledge of Sudan comes mainly from the book What is the What, an autobiography (with an assist by Dave Eggers) of Valentino Achak Den, one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. A refugee to America, Valentino told his story to Eggers, who turned it into an engrossing and edifying narrative. What struck me most was the senselessness of the fighting between northern and southern Sudan. I had no idea that the South was even close to gaining independence, making the news today even more of a lift.