Ismail al- Azhari


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(b. 1902, d. 26 Aug. 1969).

Prime Minister of Sudan 1953–6, head of state 1964–9 Born in Omdurman, he graduated from Gordon College to become a mathematics teacher. He joined the Graduates Congress, which campaigned for independence, in 1938, and became its President in 1940. In 1942, he broke away to found the more militant Ashigga Party, which campaigned for the end of British colonial rule, in association with Egypt. Leader of the National Unionist Party since 1952, he became Prime Minister in 1953. Rising nationalist feeling against union with Egypt persuaded him to seek independence, so that on 1 January 1956 he led Sudan into independence on its own. He was forced to resign after a split in his party in 1956, when he became leader of the opposition. He was elected to head a civilian government in 1966, but was deposed by Nimieri's coup in 1969.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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