1989 Sudanese coup d'état

1989 Sudanese coup d'état
Date30 June 1989
Republic of Sudan SAF coup plotters
National Islamic Front
Commanders and leaders
Ahmed al-Mirghani
President of Sudan
Sadiq al-Mahdi
Prime Minister of Sudan
Col. Omar al-Bashir
Coup Leader
Hassan al-Turabi
NIF Leader

The 1989 Sudanese coup d'état was a successful coup, led by Col. Omar Hassan al-Bashir, against the government of Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi.



Sudan had been engaged in a bloody civil war since 1983, with hundreds of thousands dead due to famine. Tension had been building in the country prior to the coup between the army and the Prime Minister over both the war and the poor state of the economy.

In February 1989 a group of Sudanese Army officers had presented an ultimatum to the Prime Minister asking for either an end to the civil war or to give the military the means to end the war, resulting in a government effort to try and resolve the conflict.[1]

It was also alleged that the coup was spurred by Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi's decision on 18 June 1989 to arrest a group of 14 military officials and 50 civilians accused of being engaged in a plan to overthrow the government by means of a coup and restore former President Gaafar al-Nimeiry to power.[1]


On 30 June 1989, military officers under then Col. Omar Hassan al-Bashir, with National Islamic Front (NIF) instigation and support, replaced the Sadiq al-Mahdi government with the Revolutionary Command Council for National Salvation (RCC), claiming to be saving the country from the "rotten political parties."[2]

The new military junta consisted of 15 military officers (reduced to 12 in 1991) assisted by a civilian cabinet. General al-Bashir became president, chief of state, prime minister, and chief of the armed forces.

The new RCC al-Bashir military government banned trade unions, political parties, and other "non-religious" institutions. 78,000 members of the army, police, and civil administration were purged in order to reshape the government.


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