Mahdi, Sadiq al-

Mahdi, Sadiq al-, 1936–2020, Sudanese political and religious leader. A descendent of Muhammad Ahmad (see Mahdi), Mahdi succeeded (1964) to the leadership of the Ansar, the Sufi order (see Sufism) founded by him. Mahdi worked in Sudan's finance ministry (1957–58) and led (1961–64) the opposition to Gen. Ibrahim Abboud, who seized power in a coup in 1958. In 1964 he became head of the National Umma party. He was Sudan's prime minister (1966–67) until he lost the support of his coalition over his policies toward S Sudan. Following a 1969 coup by Col. Muhammed Jaafar al-Nimeiri, he was often jailed and in exile (1974–77). Following Nimeiri's ouster, Mahdi was again prime minister (1986–89) until he was ousted by the coup that brought Omar al-Bashir to power, and later (1996–2000) lived in exile again. Mahdi supported the protests that led to Bashir's ouster in 2019, and retired from politics that year.

See A. Moseley Lesch, A View from Khartoum (1987).

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