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Vol 40 No 15

Published 23rd July 1999


Sudan

Arranged marriages

A growing flirtation with the Umma Party is one sign of the National Islamic Front's continuing charm offensive. At our press-time, NIF leader Hassan el Turabi and Umma chief El Sadig el Mahdi were about to hold their second meeting. France was the latest candidate as facilitator though with El Sadig enthusiastically promoting the 'reconciliation process', none was needed. As the NIF was putting obstacles in the way of British officials keen to 'resume' relations, Paris won a round in the Euro-scramble for Khartoum: Sadig met Cooperation Minister Charles Josselin on 20 July. Paris had always refused to meet individual party leaders, oppositionists noted, claiming it dealt only with the National Democratic Alliance. Sadig holds no NDA position but now speaks as if he did.

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