GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
Government: All executive and legislative powers
vested in Revolutionary Command Council for National Salvation
(RCC-NS), fifteen-member body of military officers. RCC-NS chairman
Lieutenant General Umar Hassan Ahmad al Bashir designated president
of the republic and prime minister. RCC-NS appointed members of
Council of Ministers, or cabinet, governors of states, and judges
of courts. No plans for new elections announced as of mid-1991.
Government's authority in southern one-third of Sudan limited
to several towns in which military garrisons were based. Rest
of south controlled by Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA).
Administrative Divisions: In 1991 RCC-NS decreed
division of Sudan into nine states. Each state further subdivided
into provinces and local government areas or districts.
Justice: Court system consisted of civil and
special courts. Civil courts required to apply Islamic law, or
sharia, but also permitted to consider customary law in reaching
decisions. Apex of civil judicial system was High Court of Appeal.
Lower courts consisted of state courts of appeal and at local
level, major courts and magistrate's courts. Special courts, under
military jurisdiction, dealt with offenses affecting national
security or involving official corruption.
Politics: Although RCC-NS banned all political
parties in 1989, it tolerated political activity by National Islamic
Front (NIF), a coalition dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood.
All other parties persecuted, and their leaders had reorganized
abroad or in southern areas outside government control. Opposition
parties tended to be sectarian. Umma Party and Democratic Unionist
Party (DUP) represented Muslim constituencies in northern Sudan;
Sudanese People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) drew support from
predominantly non-Muslim and non-Arab population of south.
Foreign Affairs: Prior to 1989 coup, Sudan had
relatively close relations with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and United
States, and had history of tense relations with Libya. RCC-NS
changed orientation of Sudan's foreign policy, particularly by
supporting Iraq during Persian Gulf War of 1990-91. Saudi Arabia
and Kuwait retaliated by suspending economic assistance, which
constituted crucial component of government's budget.
Data as of June 1991