Name: Ghazi al-Sadeq
Born: 1956, Gezira Aba, Sudan
Died: 19 August 2012, South Kordofan, Sudan
Career: Former Sudanese Minister of Religious Affairs
Political Affiliations: National Umma Party, 1979-2002; Umma: Reform and Development / Umma Federal Party
Ghazi al-Sadiq, the most high-profile of the various officials who perished in a plane crash en-route to Talodi in South Kordofan on 19 August 2012, was not the most prominent member of Omar al-Bashir’s cabinet. However, his inclusion in the government symbolized the effectiveness of the regime’s strategy of co-opting and factionalizing the Sudanese opposition. Born in Gezira Aba, the spiritual home of the Sudanese Mahdi, in 1956, he was a lifelong member of the Mahdist Ansar religious movement and joined Ansar-sponsored Umma party in 1979.
Given his membership of the Umma, which obtained more seats than any other party during the country’s last democratic elections in 1986, he was initially opposed to the regime of Omar al-Bashir, whose coup in 1989 overthrew the Umma-led parliamentary government of al-Sadiq al-Mahdi. However, in 2002 he left the mainstream party and joined the government, helping to form a splinter faction of the Umma, ‘Umma: Reform and Development’. Although a relatively unknown figure, he rose to pole position in this party in 2009 after the party ejected the previous leader, Zahawi Ibrahim Malik. He then merged it with other splinter factions of the Umma to form the Umma Federal Party which is currently led by environment minister Ahmad Babikir Nahar. Ghazi al-Sadiq was secretary general of this party.
Within the government, he started off as a state minister, successively taking on the agriculture and ‘social affairs’ portfolios in White Nile State, and later joined the central cabinet. In the year of his death he had held three positions, serving as minister of tourism and archaeology, then as media minister, and at the time of his death as minister for religious guidance. Whilst not a member of the NCP, he supported hawkish statements made by the government during the 2012 Heglig Crisis, and at the time of the plane crash which brought about his demise he was leading a delegation which was to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr festival with troops in the South Kordofan, where the government had been fighting the SPLM-N rebels for well over a year.
‘Shuhada ta’ira Talodi ja’a yom shukrkum’, al-Sudani 20 August 2012, http://www.alsudani.sd/news/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=9376:2012-08-20-14-14-24&catid=1:2011-10-09-02-46-28&Itemid=212
‘Abd al-Hayy wa Ghazi wa Bilal’, al-Intibaha 22 August 2012
Federal Umma Party Website, http://ummafedeparty.ucoz.com/
‘UNMF pushes 2,000 troops to borders with Southern Sudan’, Sudan Views, 16 April 2012, http://sudanviews.net/details.php?a=a&lang=en&articleid=1076
Ghazi al-Sadiq interview with al-Sahafa, 17 March 2011, http://www.alsahafa.sd/details.php?articleid=24118
‘Al-ahzab al-Umma al-musharaka fi al-hukuma tu’lin ittihadhum al-yom’, al-Sahafa 3 September 2012, http://www.alsahafa.sd/details.php?articleid=30067
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