Born In: Hosh Bannaga, Sudan
Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir is a Sudanese politician and former president of Sudan. He came into power as the seventh president of Sudan in 1989 after he led a military coup to oust the government of Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi. After 30 years of dictatorship, his reign came to an end when he was deposed in a coup d'état in 2019. Bashir served as a brigadier in the Sudanese army at the time of the coup. After assuming power, he proclaimed himself the chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council for National Salvation and suspended all political parties, trade unions, and government bodies. He also banned all independent newspapers and imprisoned leading journalists and political activists. His power grew immensely after he disbanded the Revolutionary Command Council for National Salvation in 1993 and declared himself the president of the country. A proud and egoistic man, Omar al-Bashir has often been criticized for his repressive rule and dictatorship. When he seized power, Sudan was in the midst of a 21-year civil war between north and south, and the political situation in the country has worsened since then. His friendship with Hassan al-Turabi, an Islamist politician with links to Arab militant groups, also added to his notoriety, leading to accusations of harboring and providing sanctuary and assistance to Islamic terrorist groups. In 2009, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant against Bashir for directing a campaign of mass killing, rape, and pillage against civilians in Darfur; he became the first sitting president to be indicted by the ICC. By late 2018, mass protest against his regime had started all over the country. On April 11, 2019, he was removed from power and the government was dissolved by Transitionary Military Council which then passed the authority to a provisional Sovereignty Council and civilian Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.
Also Known As: Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir
Spouse/Ex-: Fatima Khalid, Widad Babiker Omer
mother: Hedieh Mohamed Al Zain
Born Country: Sudan
political ideology: National Congress
education: Sudan Military Academy, Military Academy
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Omar al-Bashir was born on 1 January 1944, in Hosh Bannaga, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. He is of Arab descent, belonging to Al-Bedairyya Al-Dahmashyya, a Bedouin tribe. His father was a farmer.
When he was a young boy, his family moved to Khartoum where he completed his schooling.
He studied at the ‘Egyptian Military Academy’ in Cairo and then at the ‘Sudan Military Academy’ in Khartoum from where he graduated in 1966.
Omar al-Bashir joined the army as a young man and rose through the ranks swiftly. He became a paratrooper and fought for the Egyptian army in the Arab-Israeli war in October 1973.
He went to the United Arab Emirates as a Sudanese military attaché in 1975. Upon his return, he was made a garrison commander. He became the commander of an armored parachute brigade in 1981.
Omar al-Bashir assumed the leading role in the Sudanese army’s campaign against the rebels of the southern ‘Sudan People’s Liberation Army’ (SPLA) in the mid-1980s.
By the late-1980s, he had risen to the rank of a brigadier in the Sudanese army. At that time, the country was at risk of suffering a famine, and he was dissatisfied with the administration of Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi.
After coming to power, Omar al-Bashir suspended all political parties and introduced an Islamic legal code throughout Sudan. He proclaimed himself Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council for National Salvation and assumed the posts of chief of state, prime minister, chief of the armed forces, and minister of defense.
The country plunged into deep political turmoil under Omar al-Bashir’s leadership. His powers increased considerably when he declared himself president of Sudan in October 1993. He did so after disbanding the Revolutionary Command Council for National Salvation and all other rival political parties.
He now enjoyed absolute power and was elected president in the 1996 national election where he was the only candidate. In 2000, he was re-elected for a five-year term in presidential elections.
Throughout this period, the war with the SPLA continued with increasing intensity. Millions of people were killed, injured, and displaced during the war. The pressure was mounting on al-Bashir to end the civil war.
He finally gave in to international pressure and agreed to form a peace pact with the SPLA. After extensive negotiations, he and rebel leader John Garang signed a peace agreement in January 2005.
With deteriorating economy, numerous civil uprisings and protests started taking place from December 2018. On the verge of national unrest, Omar al-Bashir declared a national emergency in February 2019.
On 11 April 2019, the Sudanese armed forces, led by Defense Minister and Vice President Gen. Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf, removed Omar al-Bashir from his position and dissolved the National Legislature.
The coup d'état helped establish a provisional government and transferred the authority to Sovereignty Council and a civilian Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. The dissolution of Omar’s government was followed by three months of national emergency and a two-year transition period.
After he was forced to step down from his post, Omar al-Bashir was convicted of corruption in December 2019. He was sentenced to two years in prison for the elderly. On 11 February 2020, Sudan agreed to hand him over to the ICC to face charges of crimes against humanity.
Even though his long political career was marked by war, conflicts, and widespread corruption, it cannot be denied that Sudan established strong trade ties with countries like China and Russia. These countries opposed ICC’s decision of prosecuting Omar al-Bashir on war crime and genocide.
Omar al-Bashir has two wives. His first wife is his cousin Fatima Khalid, while his second wife is Widad Babiker Omer. Omer was once married to Ibrahim Shamsaddin, a member of the Revolutionary Command Council for National Salvation, with whom she has several children. Omar al-Bashir does not have any children of his own with either of his wives.
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