History of Sudan: Civil Wars

History of Sudan: Civil Wars Last updated on Saturday 24th April 2010

Problems began for the new republic almost immediately, in the shape of conflict between north and south. Carefully isolated from one another under British rule, the vast cultural differences between these two regions now escalated rapidly, and civil war was imminent.

A military coup, led by General Ibrahim Abboud, overthrew the government in 1958. Parliament was dismissed and martial law was declared, with Abboud as self-proclaimed Prime Minister.

Another coup in 1969, led this time by Colonel Jafaar Mohammed al-Nimeiry, set up government under a revolutionary council. Nimeiry became the Sudan's first elected President in 1972, and signed the Addis Ababa agreement, in an attempt to end strife between north and south. Uneasy peace was maintained for almost a decade and in 1983, Nimeiry was re-elected for a third term of office. His policies for economic recovery were ineffective, however, and unrest grew once more, resulting in Nimeiry's deposition in a bloodless coup in April 1985.

A one-year transitional rule followed before the election of Sadiq al-Mahdi as prime minister in April 1986. A military coup engineered by the National Islamic Front (NIF) took place on the 30th of June 1989 overthrowing the democratically elected government of Sadia al-Mahdi. w government proved weak and al-Mahdi was deposed in 1989. The new regime, led by Brigadier Omer Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir -later promoted to Lt. General- dissolved the parliament, political parties and suspended the constitution.

Throughout the 1990s, conditions have deteriorated in the Sudan. The war between the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), led by John Garang, and the government troops continued; hundreds of thousands of civilians were displaced, while many others are faced with economic ruin and the threat of starvation.

The northern opposition under the umbrella of the "National Democratic Alliance" (NDA), including the SPLM, had also took up arms against al-Bashir rule and occupied territories in eastern Sudan and northern Blue Nile.

War and famine are still haunting the country. Between 1,000-2,000 displaced people per day continued to take refuge in the centers where the international relief organizations operate.

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