State of public mourning declared following death of Sudan’s former prime minister
The corpse of the late El Sadig El Mahdi, the president of the National Umma Party (NUP) and Imam of the Ansar (followers of the Mahdi) was carried to his final resting place in the tomb of Imam El Mahdi in Omdurman today.
Large sectors of the Sudanese people are mourning the death of El Mahdi, the last elected prime minister in Sudan (1986-1989).
The Council of Ministers declared a state of public mourning for a period of three days, starting from Thursday. It directed that flags at all state facilities and institutions inside and outside the country be lowered.
His body arrived in Khartoum this morning. Chairman of the Sovereign Council Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan and Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok attended the funeral. El Sadig El Mahdi will be buried in the tomb of Imam Mohamed Ahmed El Mahdi* in Omdurman.
The Ansar Affairs Authority appealed to the Mahdi’s followers to arrange for spaces of condolence in their own towns and villages, and not come to Omdurman, in order to avoid overcrowding and avoid the spread of COVID-19.
The leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), Mohamed Osman El Mirghani, issued a statement yesterday in which he mourned the death of El Mahdi, “one of the national leaders loyal to the homeland and the citizen.” El Mirghani governed Sudan in a coalition with the NUP and five other parties between 1986 and 1989.
Yasir Arman, Secretary-general of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N Agar) said on his personal Twitter account that "the departure of Imam El Sadig El Mahdi is a great loss for Sudan, especially in the critical circumstances it is going through," adding that, "Sudan is in need of his expertise and humanity."
Sovereign Council chairman Abdelfattah El Burhan visited the El Mahdi household yesterday to pay his respects. During the visit he spoke of sacrifices and contributions in the political and humanitarian fields that the NUP leader made for Sudan.
* El Sadig El Mahdi was the great-grandson of Mohamed Ahmed bin Abdallah, the Mahdi [the Chosen One, the messianic saviour of Islam] who led the Mahdist War in the late 19th century to free Sudan from Anglo-Egyptian rule.
The team of Radio Dabanga offers their deepest condolences to the family of El Sadig El Mahdi, the NUP, the Ansar, and all Sudanese mourning his death.
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