Sudan Table of Contents
Since obtaining independence from Britain on January 1, 1956, Sudan has had a political history marked by instability. The military first intervened in politics in November 1958 by overthrowing the parliamentary government of Prime Minister Abd Allah Khalil (see The Abbud Military Government, 1958-64 , ch. 1). The ensuing regime of Major General Ibrahim Abbud lasted for six years before dissolving itself in the face of widespread popular opposition in 1964. The country then again experimented with civilian democratic government, which was terminated by a military coup in 1969. Colonel Jaafar an Nimeiri, leader of the junior officers who staged that coup, survived in power for sixteen years until overthrown by a military coup in 1985. The new government under Lieutenant General Abd ar Rahman Siwar adh Dhahab legalized political parties, scheduled elections, and handed over power to civilians in 1986. Sudan's third experiment in democratic rule was ended by yet another military coup on June 30, 1989.
The leaders of the 1989 military coup abolished all the existing executive and legislative institutions of government, suspended the Constitution, arrested many prominent civilian politicians, banned all political parties and partisan political activity, and restricted freedom of the press. They established the Revolutionary Command Council for National Salvation, which was designated the legislative authority of the country. The chairman of the RCC-NS was designated as head of state. The RCCNS also appointed a cabinet that served in many respects as the executive authority. Although the RCC-NS described its rule as transitional, pending the reestablishment of security and order throughout the country, as of mid-1991 the RCC-NS had not legalized political parties nor introduced permanent governmental institutions.
Data as of June 1991