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Sudan Rebels Reject New Military Rulers in Khartoum

April 30, 1985

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) _ Sudanese rebels fighting for autonomy in southern Sudan have called the new civilian prime minister ″a figurehead″ and vowed not to negotiate a truce with the country’s military regime.

The southern rebels, rejecting peace overtures from the government in Khartoum, the capital, said in a radio broadcast Monday: ″The new military rulers, who were the executioners and torturers of the people, cannot adopt a patriotic stand and participate in the new economic and political order.″

In the statement read by a spokesman for the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, the rebels also said: ″The rulers exist not to defend our national sovereignty and security, but to prevent the social and economic changes that the Sudanese people so urgently need.″

The broadcast, monitored in Nairobi, said El-Gazouly Dafaallah, the physician named last week by the ruling Military Council to be prime minister, is ″a figurehead with no power.″

″The cooperation of the Cabinet and the Military Council constitutes a system diametrically opposed to the interests of the Sudanese people, which are naturally in conflict with the interests of the generals,″ the spokesman added.

Gen. Abdul-Rahman Swareddahab, who was Nimeiri’s defense minister, led the bloodless coup that deposed the pro-Western president while he was in Egypt, returning from a visit to the United States.

Swareddahab set up a 15-man Military Council, which he heads, and promised a return to civilian rule within a year.

On April 22, the council announced formation of a 15-member transitional Cabinet headed by Dafaallah.

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