1969 Sudanese coup d'état

The 1969 Sudanese coup d'état was a successful coup, led by Colonel Gaafar Nimeiry, against the government of President Ismail al-Azhari. The coup signaled the end of Sudan's second democratic era, and saw the beginning of Nimeiry's 16 year rule.

1969 Sudanese coup d'état
Part of the First Sudanese Civil War and the Arab Cold War

Members of the National Revolutionary Command Council
Date25 May 1969
Location15°38′00″N 32°32′00″E / 15.633333°N 32.533333°E / 15.633333; 32.533333

Coup attempt succeeds


Sudan Republic of the Sudan

 Sudanese Armed Forces

Commanders and leaders
Ismail al-Azhari
President of Sudan
Muhammad Ahmad Mahgoub
Prime Minister of Sudan

Col. Gaafar Nimeiry
Coup Military Leader
Babiker Awadalla
Coup Civilian Leader
Faruq Hamadallah
Free Officers Member
Ma'mun Awad Abu Zaid
Free Officers Member
Khalid Hassan Abbas
Free Officers Member
Abu al-Qasim Muhammad Ibrahim
Free Officers Member

Zain al-Abdin Abd al-Qadir
Free Officers Member
1969 Sudanese coup d'état is located in Sudan (2005-2011)
1969 Sudanese coup d'état
Location within Sudan.

Nimeiry's government would pursue a radical Arab nationalist and leftist program, bringing in a socialist program for social and economic development, including widespread nationalization of private property. His government would also push for an end to the First Sudanese Civil War, which by 1969 had been ongoing for nearly 14 years. In pursuing peace, the new government pushed for amnesty, and would declare regional autonomy for southern Sudan on 9 June 1969.[1]

Background edit

Following independence on 1 January 1956, Ismail al-Azhari of the National Unionist Party (NUP) became Prime Minister leading the government with the Sudanese Sovereignty Council. However, political instability led to a vote of censure, replacing Azhari with Abdallah Khalil of the Umma Party (UP) in July 1956. These years saw shifts in power dynamics and legislative elections.[2]

In November 1958, Lt. General Ibrahim Abboud with Abdallah Khalil orchestrated a military self-coup, suspending the constitution, dissolving the parliament, and establishing the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). This led to a state of emergency and diplomatic recognition from various countries. [2]

Amid resistance, the October 1964 Revolution emerged, as widespread protests erupted against Abboud's rule. The revolution began with student-led demonstrations in the city of Wad Medani, triggered by the government's decision to increase prices of basic commodities. The protests quickly spread to other cities, including Khartoum, the capital of Sudan.[3][4] The revolution led to Abboud's resignation on 16 November 1964.[5]

An interim government was formed following Abboud's resignation, with Sudanese Sovereignty Council being at the helm of the government and Sirr Al-Khatim Al-Khalifa as the prime minister. Notably, the Umma Party played a central role in the Constituent Assembly elections after the 1965 Sudanese parliamentary election. Factionalism emerged within UP, and despite challenges, Muhammad Ahmad Mahgoub formed a coalition government in June 1968, aided by Soviet military assistance.

Coup edit

The coup, led by Colonel Gaafar Nimeiry began early in the morning of 25 May 1969, and by 4:00 am the key installations in the Khartoum-Bahri-Omdurman area had been occupied and leading Sudanese Army generals arrested. At 7:00 am, Radio Omdurman broadcast recorded speeches by Nimeiry and Babiker Awadalla,[6] setting out their plans for government. Later that morning Radio Omdurman broadcast the names of the members of the new Council of Ministers, who had been agreed upon on 23 May in a meeting between Awadalla and the 6 key officers.[7]

Whilst the composition of the ruling Revolutionary Command Council had been planned in advance, during the course of the day the council's membership was expanded. Whilst his fellow Free Officers were visiting key Army units and Security organisations to ensure their loyalty to the new regime, Nimeiry met with two members of the Free Officers who had voted against the coup at the Officers April meeting; Lt. Col. Babikir al-Nur and Maj. Abu al-Qasim Hashim. Both had their respective power bases, with al-Nur being the highest-ranking officer associated with the Sudanese Communist Party, and the latter maintaining key links with civilian Arab nationalists and Nasserists. Nimeiry, without consulting with the other coup plotters, decided to bring both individuals into the new government in order to expand its support base. Another officer associated with the communist party, Hashem al Atta, was also brought into the new council. The new council was therefore not composed of only those who had implemented the coup, but also representatives of the majority block of the Free Officers Movement; which had opposed the coup in April.[7]

References edit

  1. ^ Historical Dictionary of the Sudan (3rd ed.). Scarecrow Press. 2002. p. xlviii. ISBN 0-8108-4100-2.
  2. ^ a b "69. Republic of the Sudan (1956-present)". uca.edu. Retrieved 24 August 2023.
  3. ^ Mahmoud.Munir. "برد": قصص سودانية من الثلاثينيات [Sudanese Stories from the Thirties]. Alaraby (in Arabic). Retrieved 12 December 2022.
  4. ^ "Queen Elizabeth II and Africa: In pictures". BBC News. 9 September 2022. Archived from the original on 28 January 2023. Retrieved 9 April 2023.
  5. ^ Hasan, Yusuf Fadl (1967). "The Sudanese Revolution of October 1964". The Journal of Modern African Studies. 5 (4): 491–509. doi:10.1017/S0022278X00016372. ISSN 0022-278X. JSTOR 158754.
  6. ^ Ben Hammou, Salah (2023). "The Varieties of Civilian Praetorianism: Evidence From Sudan's Coup Politics". Armed Forces & Society: 0095327X2311556. doi:10.1177/0095327X231155667.
  7. ^ a b Niblock, Tim (August 1987). Class and Power in Sudan: The Dynamics of Sudanese Politics, 1898-1985. SUNY Press. p. 240. ISBN 9780887064814.

See also edit