1969 Sudanese coup d'état

1969 Sudanese coup d'état
Part of the First Sudanese Civil War and the Arab Cold War
National Revolutionary Command Council (Sudan).jpg
Members of the National Revolutionary Command Council
Date 25 May 1969
Location 15°38′00″N 32°32′00″E / 15.633333°N 32.533333°E / 15.633333; 32.533333

Coup attempt succeeds


Sudan Republic of the Sudan

SAF Free Officers Movement
Commanders and leaders
Sudan Ismail al-Azhari
President of Sudan
Sudan Muhammad Ahmad Mahgoub
Prime Minister of Sudan

Col. Gaafar Nimeiry
Coup Military Leader
Babiker Awadalla
Coup Civilian Leader
Faruq Hamadallah
Free Officers Member
Ma'mun Awad Abu Zaid
Free Officers Member
Khalid Hassan Abbas
Free Officers Member
Abu al-Qasim Muhammad Ibrahim
Free Officers Member

Zain al-Abdin Abd al-Qadir
Free Officers Member
1969 Sudanese coup d'état is located in Sudan (2005-2011)
1969 Sudanese coup d'état
Location within Sudan.

The 1969 Sudanese coup d'état was a successful coup, led by Colonel Gaafar Nimeiry, against the government of President Ismail al-Azhari. The coup signaled the end of Sudan's second democratic era, and saw the beginning of Nimeiry's 16 year rule.

Nimeiry's government would pursue a radical Arab nationalist and leftist program, bringing in a socialist program for social and economic development, including widespread nationalization of private property. His government would also push for an end to the First Sudanese Civil War, which by 1969 had been ongoing for nearly 14 years. In pursuing peace, the new government pushed for amnesty, and would declare regional autonomy for Southern Sudan on 9 June 1969.[1]



The coup began early on the morning of 25 May, and by 4:00 am the key installations in the Khartoum-Bahri-Omdurman area had been occupied and leading Sudanese Army generals arrested. At 7:00 am, Radio Omdurman broadcast recorded speeches by Nimeiry and Babiker Awadalla, setting out their plans for government. Radio Omdurman would later that morning also broadcast the names of the members of the new Council of Ministers, who had been agreed on 23 May in a meeting between Awadalla and the 6 key officers.[2]

Whilst the composition of the ruling Revolutionary Command Council had been planned in advance, during the course of the day the council's membership was expanded. Whilst his fellow Free Officers were visiting key Army units and Security organisations to ensure their loyalty to the new regime, Nimeiry met with two members of the Free Officers who had voted against the coup at the Officers April meeting; Lt. Col. Babikir al-Nur and Maj. Abu al-Qasim Hashim. Both had their respective power bases, with al-Nur being the highest-ranking officer associated with the Sudanese Communist Party, and the latter maintaining key links with civilian Arab nationalists and Nasserists. Nimeiry, without consulting with the other coup plotters, decided to bring both individuals into the new government in order to expand its support base. Another officer associated with the communist party, Hashem al Atta, was also brought into the new council. The new council would therefore be composed of not only those who had implemented the coup, but also representatives of the majority block of the Free Officers Movement; which had opposed the coup in April.[2]



  1. ^ Historical Dictionary of the Sudan. p. 41.
  2. ^ a b Niblock, Tim (August 1987). Class and Power in Sudan: The Dynamics of Sudanese Politics, 1898-1985. p. 240. ISBN 9780887064814.

See also