Arabic: ja¢faru muhammad ‘an-numayriyy

Sudanese military and politician, president 1971-85, prime minister 1969-71.
Nimeiri’s politics was at first intended to bring welfare and progress to his country, where at first Socialism was the applied method. Later he shifted to a Western-friendly policy of a more open economy allowing private ownership.
But after years of little progress, political instability, and perhaps most important, attempts on his own life, Nimeiri made alliances with groups that were in favour of a radically more conservative rule of Sudan: The Muslim Brotherhood.
From such alliances, Islamic law (Sharia) was introduced for all of Sudan, even in the Christian regions. As a reaction to this move, the civil war broke out again in the south — a civil war that Nimeiri succeeded to halt in 1972.
1930 January 1: Born in Wad Nubawi, Omdurman, as the son of a postman.
1952: Graduates from the Sudan Military College, and joins the Khartoum garrison.
1960: Joins a group of military officers working according to pan-Arab and socialist ideas.
1966: Graduates from the US Army Command College in Fort Leavenworth, USA.
1969: Together with 4 other officers he overthrows the government, and becomes prime minister and chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC). He starts a campaign aiming at reforming Sudan’s economy through nationalization of banks and industries as well as some land reforms.
1970 March: An attempt to overthrow him by Sadiqu l-Mahdi, a direct descendant of El Mahdi is put down.
1971 July: Nimeiri is overthrown by a Communist coup, but soon returns to power.
— September: Nimeiri wins a referendum with 98,6% of the votes. He now starts a more Western-friendly policy, where banks were returned to private ownership and foreign investments were encouraged.
1972: With the Addis Ababa Agreement, autonomy is granted to the non-Muslim southern region of Sudan, which brought peace and stability to the region.
1981: Nimeiri allies with the Muslim Brotherhood.
1983: Nimeiri imposes Muslim law, Sharia, for all of Sudan, including non-Muslim regions, a political move that leads to strong opposition all over the country. In the south, the civil war restarts.
1985 April 6: While Nimeiri is in Egypt for medical treatment, a bloodless military coup ousts him from power, and he is declared unwanted in the country. The official reason for the coup was high inflation and declining economic conditions in the country.
1985- 1999: Nimeiri lives in Egypt.
1999 May 22: Returns to Sudan from his exile.

By Tore Kjeilen


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