Sudan: Hearts, Minds and Helicopters

Washington watches nervously as Nimeiri battles a rebellion

Sudanese President Gaafar Nimeiri, 54, launched the new era by ceremoniously pouring a can of beer into the Nile. Five million dollars' worth of liquor followed, as thousands watched from the riverbank, chanting, "Wise decision, Gaafar." Thus did Sudan pass under Islamic law this fall. At a stroke, alcohol was banned, and the harsh strictures of the Sharia eliminated the last vestiges of Western-style criminal justice. Thenceforth Muslim adulterers would be stoned, murderers beheaded and boozers flogged (40 lashes for Muslims, 30 for disorderly...

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