Sudanese Military, Political Leader. Al-Nimeiry served as President of the Sudan from 1971 to his ouster in 1985. He spent the early part of his adult life in the military. In 1969 al-Nimeiry overthrew the government of Ismail al-Azhari and was promoted to major general. He also became prime minister and chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council. Al-Nimeiry squashed a right wing coup in 1970, but was briefly toppled in 1971. He was elected president in 1971 and afterwards dissolved the Revolutionary Command Council. Al-Nimeiry also formed the new political party, the Sudanese Socialist Union. He brought about negotiations which led to an agreement ending conflict in southern Sudan. When al-Nimeiry first took power, he pursued a socialist economic policy, but later adopted a course of "capitalist agriculture". His programs were hampered by several economic crises and there was many attempted coups against his rule. Al-Nimeiry was the first Muslim leader to back Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's peace overtures with Israel. War in predominantly Christian southern Sudan broke out in 1983 after he tried to bring about Islamic law in the country and also he tried to end the 1972 agreement that gave the region autonomy. In April 1985 al-Nimeiry was overthrown by his defense minister, while on a visit to the United States. He spent the next 14 years in exile in Egypt before returning to the Sudan in 1999.
Bio by: Mr. Badger Hawkeye