Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Nimeiri Takes Two Controversial Decisions | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Jikany Nuer White Army fighters hold their weapons in Upper Nile State, South Sudan February 10, 2014. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

Washington- Intelligence analysts considered that the personal and political motives of former Sudanese President Jaafar Nimeiri led him to take controversial decisions, unaware of their possible consequences. They also doubted his ability to maintain his presidential position if he decided to continue on the same path.

Two decisions bought him down: applying the sharia and dividing the south of Sudan, according to the CIA.

On November 1983, CIA analysts joined efforts to evaluate the situation in Sudan after Nimeiri issuing a number of controversial decisions, which were viewed by the CIA as a dangerous indicator to his imminent end. Two years after issuing the report, this actually happened through a national revolution against him.

On March 1985, Sudanese people were urged by syndicates, federations and parties to express their anger against the regime in the streets. So Nimeiri decided to return to Khartoum to foil the revolution but he changed his destination to Cairo due to the military forces bias to the people and remained there until his death in 2000.

The CIA, also monitored movements that aim at shaking the stability of the government and their sources were: Libya and Egypt. The report mentioned that these two countries are encouraging dissent to increase attacks against the south of Sudan.

Nimeiri’s controversial procedures increased rage among the armed forces, especially with the deterioration of economic conditions and the presence of outdated arms, as revealed by the report that seemed suspicious over the Sudanese armed forces fidelity to Nimeiri.

Major Challenges Facing Nimeiri

Nimeiri issued a number of controversial decisions including announcing the implementation of sharia and putting an end to the south of Sudan’s situation by considering it an independent region. Other challenges are the failed attempts to transfer military forces from the south to the north, but these steps were rejected by many Sudanese people.

Economic Condition

The economic crises increased political and security problems in Sudan. The government failed to provide essential needs and services and GDP dropped 2% in the fiscal year 1983. Also, Sudan foreign debts reached USD9 billion.

Importance of Sudan and Nimeiri’s Regime to U.S.

1- Sudan is the biggest African country by area and has a strategic position. It has played a major role in supporting U.S. efforts to prevent the Libyan and Soviet expansion in the region.
2- On March 1981, the Sudanese government allowed the U.S. to use the Sudanese military bases. This permission became official this year.
3- Nimeiri backed the U.S. policy objectives in the region including Camp David.