Sudan: May 14, 2000

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On May 6th Sudan's President Omar al-Beshir tried to topple his main political rival, radical Islamist Hassan al-Turabi. Essentially, al-Beshir kicked Turabi from his post of secretary general in the National Congress Party. Turabi, however, is fighting back, and apparently using his Muslim Brotherhood connections. (Turabi was once secretary of the "Charter Front" (Gabhat al-Mithak), an Islamist group which was the forerunner of the Muslim Brotherhood in Sudan). Pro-Turabi factions, particularly militant pro-Islamic students, have been rallying throughout Khartoum (May 12). While at one level this is merely a battle over power in Khartoum between two autocrats, Al-Beshir has made several statements about trying to reach a peace agreement with Christian and animist rebels in south Sudan. Turabi sees this as a sell-out.

 

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