NATIONAL ISLAMIC FRONT 1989-97
Intensifying "Popular War"
Clampdown on Dissidence
"Kill Everything That Moves"
Joint Army Operations
Encouraging Chaos
Peace Charters & Peace Camps
Political Advantage
1989 - NATIONAL ISLAMIC FRONT

"There are genuine slaves, slave-raiders, and slave traders in contemporary Sudan. On a far larger scale, but failing short of the definition of slavery, there are also forced abductions, particularly of southern and western Sudanese children, who are subjected to a programme of religious and cultural indoctrination intended to give them an Arab Muslim identity, and often sent into military training and combat against their will."      - Southern Sudanese investigator Lawrence Tung, 1996Top

INTENSIFYING "POPULAR WAR"
On 30 June 1989, Lieutenant-General Omar Hassan al-Bashir led a military coup supported (clandestinely at first) by the National Islamic Front (NIF). Banning the old political parties, he promised a decisive end to the war. This turned out to mean pursuing military victory by systematically extending the use of militias alongside the regular army. To legitimise their formation, the Popular Defence Act, originally proposed under Sadiq al-Mahdi, was passed in 1990 by the regime that overthrew him. 

The Murahleen, or Baggara militias, were supplemented by urban NIF loyalist recruits, and by less willing conscripts including street children, would-be university entrants and government employees.Top

CLAMPDOWN ON DISSIDENCE

Under the security police state established by the National Islamic Front, oppression has been extended well beyond the war zones: in Northern Sudan, too, dissent is banned, and torture is rife.

Most Northern political parties, together with trades unionists and former army officers, have formed an exiled opposition front called the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), which has now joined forces with the SPLA. Top