The Nimeiri Regime and the Oil Debate, 1980–83
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The main reason President Jaafar Mohamed Nimeiri had to press ahead with the division of the South, eventually abrogating the Addis Ababa Peace Agreement of 1972, was the discovery of oil in the South. Like much of the political elite of Northern Sudan, Nimeiri had no intention of sharing the oil revenue with the South. The man responsible for this very negative oil agenda was Sharif al-Tuhami, the Umma Party minister for energy and mining, whom Nimeiri had lured away from Al-Sadiq al-Mahdi. Tuhami had refused to leave Nimeiri’s government with Al-Sadiq al-Mahdi. Abel Alier had been re-elected in 1980 as the president of the High Executive Council (HEC) after one of the South Sudan mini-elections ordered by Nimeiri as the oil debate was ensuing. I had been living abroad since leaving Nimeiri’s government, when Alier invited me back from Oxford to establish and head the new Ministry of Industry and Mining in Juba, which now had to include briefing on oil. Nimeiri did not fail to note that Alier clearly wanted me to lead the South in the oil debate with the North.
KeywordsVice President National Theatre Military Coup Peace Agreement National Front
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