Sudan opposition leader dies at age 84

Sudan opposition leader dies at age 84

- The main opposition leader in Sudan has died

- He died at age 84

-M Turabi is noted to have helped Omar al Bashir become President of Sudan

Sudan opposition leader dies at age 84

Hassan al-Turabi

The Sudanese opposition leader, Hassan al-Turabi, who helped bring President Omar al-Bashir to power, has died at age 84 in the Sudan capital, Khartoum.

A hospital source told AFP news agency that the opposition leader had suffered a heart attack.

The BBC reports that Mr Turabi was a key ally of Mr Bashir when he took power in a coup in 1989 but they fell out a decade later. He was one of the most divisive figures in the country's turbulent history.

For the first decade of Mr Bashir's rule, Mr Turabi was the de facto leader of the country, and his influence spread beyond Sudan's borders.


His death was announced by state TV, which described him as a "well-known Islamic thinker".

During his years of ascendancy, he promoted a radical version of Islamism, with sharia, or Islamic, law applied strictly. In his life time, Mr Turabi received an attack from a Karate black belt student in the Canadian capital Ottawa in 1992. He went in a coma, but Mr Turabi survived.

In 1999, he lost a power struggle with Mr Bashir and subsequently founded an opposition party but spent much of the next decade in prison. In March 2014, the two men had their first public meeting in years, with Mr Turabi visiting President Bashir at his guest house.

Mr Turabi was born to a local Imam in Kassala in eastern Sudan. He moved to Khartoum to study law before completing his studies in London and Paris. He joined Sudan's Muslim Brotherhood and rose to national prominence in the 1964 revolution which overthrew General Ibrahim Abboud.

Mr Turabi is also a widely read man with a high-pitched giggle. He is famous for his comprehensive and rambling – interviews. Mr Turabi is remembered with advocating  the rights of women and democracy within Islam.



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