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Also, European and Arab traders who came to the area looking for ivory established a slave-trade market.
This tore apart tribal and family structures and almost entirely eliminated several of the weaker tribes.
In 1504 the Funj people arrived, initiating a rule that would last for nearly three centuries. Little is known about the origins of the Funj; it is speculated that perhaps they were part of the Shilluk or some other southern tribe that migrated north.
This flag was replaced in 1970 with one more explicitly Islamic in its symbolism.
The northern part of the country is desert, spotted with oases, where most of the population is concentrated.
To the east, the Red Sea Hills support some vegetation. The southern region includes grasslands, and along the border with Uganda the Democratic Republic of the Congo, dense forests.
It consists of three horizontal stripes: red, representing the blood of Muslim martyrs; white, which stands for peace and optimism; and black, which represents the people of Sudan and recalls the flag flown by the Mahdi during the 1800s.
It has a green triangle at the left border, which symbolizes both agriculture and the Islamic faith.The southern part of the country consists of a basin drained by the Nile, as well as a plateau, and mountains, which mark the southern border.