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BBC's Caroline Hawley in Cairo
"Turabi is not an easy man to sideline"
 real 28k

Saturday, 6 May, 2000, 22:24 GMT 23:24 UK
Power struggle deepens in Sudan
President al-Bashir and Mr al-Turabi: deep rivalry
Deep rivalry between Bashir and Turabi
Sudan's power struggle has deepened after President Omar Al-Bashir suspended his former political ally, Hassan Al-Turabi, as secretary-general of the National Congress ruling party.

The president accused Mr Turabi of plotting against the government and inciting military officials to mutiny.

Police have surrounded the party's Khartoum headquarters and prevented Mr Turabi's supporters from holding a news conference.

A president does not need the consent of another leader to carry out his activities

President Bashir
Mr Turabi, once the Islamic government's main ideologue, has contested President Bashir's measure, insisting he does not have the power to suspend him from the party.

The two men have been engaged in a power struggle since December.

Escalating crisis

In an angry speech broadcast on national television, the president said the Islamist leader had made a habit of defying him, a situation he referred to as an escalating crisis.

"A president does not need the consent of another leader to carry out his activities. We have never witnessed such a situation in any country around the world," the president said.

He said he also was barring Mr Turabi's deputies from national and state-level political activities.


Turabi
Turabi: Effectively in opposition
BBC correspondent Caroline Hawley in Egypt says the question now is how Mr Turabi and his followers will react.

In comments published in the London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat, he likened the Bashir government to a dictatorship, warning that dictatorial rule does not have a history of enduring in Sudan.

As a religious leader, Mr Turabi retains considerable clout to address universities and fellow Islamists. But he has been marginalised by the official Sudanese media in the past month or so.

The Islamist leader was a close associate of the president until December, when President Bashir dissolved parliament and declared a state of emergency.

Since then the Sudanese Government has toned down its hardline Islamist stance and improved relations with many moderate Arab countries, notably its northern neighbour Egypt.

President Bashir has made it possible for many opposition leaders to return home from exile.

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05 May 00 | Africa
Sudan power struggle re-ignites
12 Dec 99 | Africa
Sudan parliament suspended
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