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Nimeiri Cracks Down On Moslem Brotherhood

March 11, 1985

KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) _ President Gaafar Nimeiri, facing a rebellion in southern Sudan and widespread discontent over the economy, has purged 11 members of an Islamic group from leading government posts.

The official Sudan News Agency SUNA said Nimeiri on Sunday fired foreign policy adviser Hassan Abdullah Turabi and 10 other members of the fundamentalist Moslem Brotherhood, once his leading backer.

The purge came following rumors of widespread arrests of brotherhood figures. SUNA did not say whether any of the government officials had been arrested.

The Moslem Brotherhood is a secretive organization that has been banned throughout most of the Arab world. It operates openly in Sudan where it recruits most of its members from Khartoum University.

Turabi, leader of the brotherhood, was attorney general under Nimeiri before becoming his foreign affairs adviser more than a year ago.

Others dismissed were Ali Osman Mohammed Taha, speaker of Parliament; Mohammed Adam Eisa, minister of state in the attorney general’s office, and five of the office’s legal advisers. Three magistrates also were dismissed, including Ahmed Mahgoub Haj Nour, who was appointed only last Wednesday as chairman of the criminal court of appeal.

Nimeiri also purged the Sudanese Socialist Union, the only authorized political party in the country, of brotherhood members, the news agency said.

In a radio speech Sunday, Nimeiri accused three Islamic groups believed to be affiliated with the brotherhood of organizing ″paramilitary formations″ to overthrow him. He identified them as the Islamic Front, the Islamic Group and the Islamic Trend.

Nimeiri offered no details on how the brotherhood intended to overthrow him.He said, however, the brotherhood trained student members in organized fighting with clubs, stones and iron bars. The students, he said, were encouraged to attack opposition groups on campus.

Nimeiri charged that a nation, which he identified only as ″one that claims to be an Islamic country,″ was providing the group with military supplies.

He said he soon would announce decisions aimed at foiling attempts by plotters against him, a statement that appeared to portend a major crackdown on the brotherhood.

Nimeiri also accused the group of trying to claim credit for his September 1983 imposition of strict Islamic law, which includes limb amputations for thieves and public whippings for those caught possessing alcohol.

The enforcement of Islamic law has been a main reason for rebellion by non- Moslem tribes in southern Sudan.The United States, Sudan’s largest aid donor, and other Western countries have expressed concern about its imposition.

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