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Sudan, Aba Island Rebellion, 1970

Andrew J. Waskey

Subject History » Political History

Place Africa » Northern Africa

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

Key-Topics democracy, party politics, rebellion, revolution, socialism

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.01421.x


Sudan received its independence from the British in 1956. The movement for independence had pitted a number of political groups against the British. One of these was an Islamic party called the Umma (Nation) Party. Begun in the 1930s by Sadiq al-Mahdi, the Umma Party sought complete independence. Sadiq was a grandson of Mohammad Ahmed al-Mahdi who had successfully driven the British and the Turco-Egyptian forces out of Sudan in the 1880s. In Southern Sudan, which was either animist or Christian, the opposition to domination by the Arabic-speaking Islamic population broke into violent conflict even before Sudanese independence on January 1, 1956. Southern opposition contributed to the destabilization of Sudanese security to the extent that General El-Ferik Ibrahim Abboud, commander-in-chief of the armed forces, claimed justification to launch a coup d'état in 1958 against the civilian government of Abd Allah Khalil. General Abboud imposed authoritarian rule, replaced English in the schools with Arabic, expelled most of the English-speaking teachers, and sought to turn Sudan into an Arabic-Islamic state. He was expelled from power by the October Revolution of 1964, brought down by street disturbances led by the Ansar, who were members of the Umma Party. Authority was given to a civilian transitional government led by Sir Al-Khatim Khalifah. The 1965 election for president was won ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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