The former Sudanese Prime Minister, Sadik al-Mahdi, has arrived home in Khartoum after living in exile for more than seven years.
GV People's Palace in Khartoum
SV Sadik al Mahdi being received by President Nimeiri and other government officials
CU & SV El Mahdi seated talking to President Nimeiri (2 shots)
The Oxford-educated former Premier is a great grandson of the legendary Sudanese leader, the Great Mahdi, whose tribesmen killed Britain's General Gordon at Khartoum in 1885. In office from July 1966 to May 1967, at 31 he was the youngest Prime Minister in the world at the time. He spent his exile in London.
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Background: The former Sudanese Prime Minister, Sadik al-Mahdi, has arrived home in Khartoum after living in exile for more than seven years. He had been pardoned by President Jaafar Mohamed Nimeiri for his part in organising an abortive coup against the President last year.
SYNOPSIS: The People's Palace in Khartoum was one of the first stops for the former premier. There accompanied by 11 members of his National Front party, formed in exile, he met President Nimeiri. The two men have been bitterly opposed to each other for many years, but their reconciliation could have an important stabilising effect in Sudan. Mr. Mahdi said in a recent interview he was ready to reach a political compromise with the President -- provided what he called "essential liberties" were restored in the country.
Political observers say the opposition leader had presented President Nimeiri with a seven point plan as a basis for negotiation. That includes the ending of the state of emergency and a realignment of relations with the major powers. Mr. Mahdi said he supported a Socialist style economy, but the army still had a role to play in development.