Nimeiri, Muhammed Jaafar al-
or Nimeiry, Muhammed Jaafar al- mo͞ohäm´mäd jäfär´ äl-nĭmār´ē [key], 1930–, Sudanese army officer and politician. Early active in the Sudanese nationalist movement, he was temporarily expelled from high school (1948) after leading a student strike against British rule. He attended military college and served in the army, where he rose to the rank of colonel. In 1969 he led a group of leftist army officers in a coup against the civilian government of Muhammad Ahmad Mahgoub. Nimeiri established himself as president and later (1972) as prime minister. In 1972, Nimeiri signed a truce with secessionist forces in S Sudan, thus ending some 17 years of civil war. Although twice reelected, his popularity waned as he supported Egyptian President Sadat 's efforts for peace with Israel, opposed external alliances, and tried to impose strict Islamic law. In 1985, while abroad, he was deposed. He lived in exile in Egypt until 1999, and ran unsuccessfully for president in 2000.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: North African History: Biographies