President of Sudan 1971–85 He graduated from Khartoum Military College in 1952, and became a commanding officer of the Sudanese army. He led the 1969 coup against Azhari and became chairman of the revolutionary council as well as Prime Minister. Elected President by a plebiscite, he played a major part in establishing an end to the civil war. However, from 1977 he increasingly created a power base around Islamic fundamentalism, and declared Islamic law to be state law in 1983. This was unacceptable to the Christian‐dominated south, and triggered a resumption of the civil war. Increasingly ruthless and isolated because of the country's economic problems, he was deposed in 1985. He was forced to flee into exile, but was allowed to return in 1999.
Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).