Sudan's former PM Sadiq al-Mahdi dies of coronavirus

Sudan’s former PM Sadiq al-Mahdi dies of coronavirus

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Khartoum: His party said that Sadiq Mahdi, the former prime minister and top opposition figure of Sudan, died of coronavirus infection on Thursday.

The 84-year-old was the country’s last democratically elected prime minister, after which he was overthrown by the current President Omar al-Bashir in 1989, a military coup supported by Islam.

The leader of the moderate Islamic National Unity Party was hospitalized in Sudan three weeks ago and was transferred to the United Arab Emirates for treatment after being positive for Covid-19.

“We offer our condolences to the Sudanese people over his death,” the party said in a statement.

During Bashir’s long rule, Mahdi was a staunch opposition figure who invested his power in a large-scale protest movement that eventually prompted the military to overthrow the president last year.

Since taking office, Bashir has been detained in the high-security Kober Prison in Khartoum and was convicted of corruption in December last year.

He is currently on trial in Khartoum for his role in the 1989 coup that brought him to power and the International Criminal Court (ICC) has charged him for alleged war crimes in the Darfur war that began in 2003.

If convicted, Bashir and his co-accused — including former top officials — could face the death penalty.

Sudan has so far recorded nearly 17,000 coronavirus cases including more than 1,200 deaths. 

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