Sudan's former PM Sadiq al-Mahdi dies from coronavirus in UAE

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudan's last democratically elected prime minister, Sadiq al-Mahdi, who was overthrown in the 1989 military coup that brought Omar al-Bashir to power, has died from a coronavirus infection, his party said on Thursday. Mahdi, aged 84, had been hospitalised in the United Arab Emirates three weeks ago

Reuters November 27, 2020 00:11:36 IST
Sudan's former PM Sadiq al-Mahdi dies from coronavirus in UAE

Sudans former PM Sadiq alMahdi dies from coronavirus in UAE

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudan's last democratically elected prime minister, Sadiq al-Mahdi, who was overthrown in the 1989 military coup that brought Omar al-Bashir to power, has died from a coronavirus infection, his party said on Thursday.

Mahdi, aged 84, had been hospitalised in the United Arab Emirates three weeks ago.

His moderate Umma Party was one of the largest opposition parties under Bashir, and Mahdi remained an influential figure even after Bashir was toppled in April 2019.

Sudan's transitional administration, which governs under a power sharing deal between the military and civilian groups, declared three days of mourning.

Last month, Mahdi's family said he had tested positive for COVID-19. He was transferred to the UAE for treatment a few days later following a brief hospitalisation in Sudan.

In a statement, the Umma Party said Mahdi would be buried on Friday morning in the city of Omdurman in Sudan.

Mahdi had returned to Sudan in December 2018, following a year-long self-exile, just as protests over worsening economic conditions and Bashir's rule gathered steam. His daughter Mariam Sadiq al-Mahdi, deputy leader of the Umma Party, was among those detained during the demonstrations.

While a successor to the party head has not yet been announced, she has been the most visible party leader in political negotiations and the media in recent years.

Opposition parties were weakened greatly under Bashir's three-decade rule and are jostling for power with the military during Sudan's transition, making the Umma Party's continued unity crucial to maintaining the balance of power.

After the military overthrew Bashir, Mahdi pushed for a transfer to civilian rule.

(Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz and Hesham Abdul Khalek, Editing by Angus MacSwan)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.