The 24th Anniversary of the ill-fated Coup d’état of Sudan’s National Islamic Front

The 24th Anniversary of the ill-fated Coup d’état of Sudan’s National Islamic Front

By Mahmoud A. Suleiman

In remembrance of the fateful coup d’état, all the components of the Sudanese people will join the ranks in the National Campaign to Topple the National Congress Party (NCP) regime. Ironically, news media reported that the Egyptian youth have planned to end the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood, led by Mohamed Morsi on June 30, 2013.  Furthermore, they have amassed fifteen million signatures for it. Analysts say the Sudanese were more in need to take that step to uproot the obnoxious regime of the (NCP) on the very day. The NCP regime lived ruling Sudan with an iron fist for quarter of a century, destroyed, fragmented Sudan, and killed its inhabitants under the auspices of the Génocidaire fugitive from international justice Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir.

As of Sunday 30 June 2013, twenty-four odd lean years have passed on the peoples of the country once dubbed as the “Country of a million square miles. Sadly, the very people have been languishing under the autocratic authoritarian regime of multitude titles the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), Islamic Charter Front (ICF), National Islamic Front (NIF), National Congress Party (NCP) and Popular Congress Party (PCP). No one of the foregoing names reflects the true meaning for which named by or suggested.  A name that does not indicate the meaning of the named…as the popular saying goes! The NIF coup d’état on the morning of Friday, June 30, 1989 was neither a real test of a credible democratized Islamic movement nor a faithful belief in peaceful exchange of power through transparent, fair and free choice general elections. Their claim was a mere hollow rhetoric statement wrapped in guile and cunning. In addition, unfortunate for the peoples of Sudan that the leaders of the NIF have made Sudan a laboratory to test Islamic rule or what they nicknamed “the implementation of the Civilisation Project and Apostolic Orientation.” That turned out to be a fiasco an Islamist project without possessing the necessary intellectual vision and/or a qualified staff for the application of the alleged scheme. Moreover, the band of the putschists did not realise the winds of contemporary changes that affected the Sudanese societies. Furthermore, they dismissed the fact that Sudan is a very complex country with a vast area extending into the depth of African continent and the Arab region with cultural diversity, besides its strategic geographical location. 

Dr. Haidar Ibrahim, a Sudanese scholar, has rightfully pointed out in his treasured book entitled (the Fall of the Cultural Orientation Project in Sudan) that the NIF putschists initially found themselves confronted by questions to give plausible answers for the justification to resort to a coup d’état against a political system that they are an integral part of it. They got fifty-two (52) deputies in the parliament of (1986, 1989) out of the 301 deputies. They participated in more than one formation of a coalition government. Moreover, they held sovereign ministerial positions. Dr. Ibrahim added saying that the NIF clique resorted to circumstantial reasons that necessitated their implementation of the ill-fated military coup. The strategic goal of the coup initially was to help application of their ideological programme of the Islamic movement through assuming power; given the failure and inability of the democratic system to fit the circumstances of the Sudan!  And the second reason was disclosed at the outset which was the application of Islamic Shari’a Law and the establishment of an Islamic regime, referred to as the Islamic Civilisational Project and the Apostolic Orientation as a substitute for the Secular Project; a Comprehensive Islamic Guidance. Moreover, they claimed that by doing so they would enable the Islamic State to (make) the individual Muslim and formulate his thoughts, and (reform) his behaviour and the behaviour of the whole community in Toto upside down. Nevertheless, the fundamental goal of the NIF for the coup was ‘Rapid Gain of Wealth and absolute Power’. They found the justification through their own version of interpretation of the Holy Qur’an of the term “Empowerment”. Instead of the true Qur’anic meaning of (who, if We give them Authority in the Land, establish regular prayer and Charity, and ordered the Promotion of Virtue and forbid what is Evil, and God, the End of things and Decision of All matters). Thus, we find that a large proportion of the leaders of the ruling regime of the NCP are from poor backgrounds in the communities they grew up. This phenomenon seems to have played as a major factor behind their greed for acquisition of quick riches of money and real estate, by all means, in particular through corruption that characterised the affiliates of the infamous NIF. As they say in the proverbial adage: “Don’t expect vanity in those who starved and got filled; because goodness/morality has never been in them before they acquired the Grace at no time they anticipated before or was part of their dreamed. Maybe, it was part of their wishes and daydreaming! The NCP elements in view to feelings of inferiority complex adopted Arab ethnicity based on racial supremacy on other Sudanese components. This is in spite of their dark/black skin colour, snub nose, and ruggedness of lips, shaggy hair and the African/Negroid features that expose their lies. Moreover, they considered any demand by opponents for wealth sharing and political power sharing as crossing the red lines. The latter was the main reason for them to declare and wage the proxy war on the people of Darfur. They exploited members of some Arabised Darfuri tribal groups as tools for killing fellow citizens in the name of their own version of fundamentalist ‘Islam’. Islam is NOT a religion of extremism. Allah (SHWT) says: “He/She…Whosoever kills a soul, an innocent human being, it shall be as if he has slain/ killed all mankind, and whosoever saves the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind entirely…”Qur’an Sura5; al-Ma’idah: iya 32.

The Sudanese people in the era of the ill-fated NIF reign have witnessed the woes of a grotesque dark chapter in human history. The NCP cliques because they assume to have nothing to lose except their position in power, everything for them is negotiable, even the land of the country itself. They continued waging war against the Sudanese people in Darfur, Blue Nile State and the Nubba Mountains since their assumption of power through the 1989 coup d’état. The NIF/NCP failed to achieve a society of unity, peace and justice in Sudan.

The people of Darfur co-existed peacefully with each other for hundreds of years until when the supremacist NIF regime set a racial trap in Darfur, convincing the leaders of the Arabised tribes that the African tribes (Zurga) have determined to rid of them unless they stand on its side. Thus, the Islamism regime has given the conflict in Darfur racial and ethnic dimension, unlike the south of Sudan conflict where the factor of religion exploited; Darfuris are all devout Muslims.

After failing to quell the Darfuri rebellion, the GoS resorted to punish the civilian population by resorting to the scorched earth approach committing the most heinous crimes the world witnessed 10 years after the Rwandan genocide. Khartoum still keeps beating the drum of war in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile States. However, the collective efforts of the political opposition, SRF, people of Sudan and all the activist groups will bring justice by toppling the NCP regime and put an end to war in Sudan finally. 

Al-Bashir’s regime has become like a drowning man who is trying to clutch at a straw to save him from his inevitable fate but the crises of his own making besiege him from everywhere. Khartoum has gone further to play its usual scorched cards trying to impose Islamic religion and Arabic culture on some citizens of Southern Kordofan in the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile in Ingasana who prefer secularism and local cultures instead. The Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) armed opposition group, no longer trusts Omer al-Bashir given his abrogation of signed covenants on several previous agreements.

The end of the era of the NCP at the hands of the (SRF) rebels and the National Consensus Forces (NCF) opposition parties and civil society organizations have become close, just around the corner. Sudan without the NCP regime would enjoy a perfect democratic system as stated in the Charter of the New Dawn (CND).  The Sudan’s opposition calls for a new system of governance that would guarantee the achievement of just and comprehensive peace, stability and complete democratic transformation.

By the twenty-fourth anniversary of the ill-fated NIF coup Sudan is in fragility, failure and collapse. Whatever it takes, there is no escape from toppling the regime chaired by Omer al-Bashir.

Islam is the majority religion in Sudan, but no one can impose a theocratic state by force on the country’s multi-ethnic and diverse cultures and different ideologies and varied aspirations!

Human history chronicles told us about the tragedies perpetrated and the most egregious crimes committed in the name of religion, under the guise of virtue across time. This has been the case in the NCP Islamic reign of Sudan.

The Sudanese people could not be able to breathe peace unless this Islamic fundamentalist regime is up rooted. The SRF alliance of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), the factions of Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) led by Abdel Wahid Al-Nur (SLM-AW) and Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – North (SPLM-N) is poised for ousting the NCP regime. The SRF would opt for toppling rather than waiting for the regime to reform itself; given the fact that the fundamentalist Islamist entity is beyond corrigibility! SRF will continue fighting for the rights of marginalized people of Sudan. The SRF in coalition with the Sudanese opposition groups is fighting for the rights of all the people of the Sudanese homeland and Not Only for the pulverized people of Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile. The SRF, National Consensus Forces (NCF), youth, and civil society organisations, women groups, students unions, trade unions as well as patriotic members of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) are working for democratic change. Twenty-four years of oppression and killings are too long… Let us together topple the NCP regime today before tomorrow and throw it into the history dustbin. We need to quote Martín Luther King, Jr. “Freedom is never given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed”.

The divided international community on the Sudanese peoples cause required to put Sudan back on the map and refrain from supporting the NCP regime. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. The UN, AU, League of Arab Countries, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation should help construct a comprehensive peace process for all of Sudan rather than promote the regional piecemeal peace deals.

Dr. Mahmoud A. Suleiman is the Deputy Chairman of the General Congress for Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). He can be reached at

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