Sudan: In the Steps of the Mahdi

In the Steps of the Mahdi

After 17 years of military control, Sudan once again has a democratically elected Prime Minister. He is Sadiq el Mahdi, 50, the Oxford-educated head of the Umma Party and the great-grandson of the mahdi, Mohammed Ahmed, who defeated the British General Charles George ("Chinese") Gordon at Khartoum in 1885.

Even as he was being chosen by the recently elected National Assembly, Sadiq was reminded that he faces enormous problems. After a quarter-century of sporadic fighting and unrest between the Arab north and the black south, the civil war is on again. Last week the Ethiopian-backed rebels of the Sudanese People's Liberation...

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