Although the Sudanese people threw off the autocratic rule of Jaafar al-Nimeiri two years ago, they are still struggling to undo the economic and political damage that he wrought and to reorient their foreign policy in a way that will enhance their flexibility and credibility in the international arena.
In the quest for badly needed aid and support for ending the debilitating civil war in the south, the current prime minister, Sadiq al-Mahdi, has articulated a foreign policy of non-alignment, in contrast to the close relationship Nimeiri had with the United States. In Mahdi’s view, Sudan should neither become entangled in the East-West rivalry nor take sides in regional conflicts. His desire for amicable relations with all of Sudan’s neighbors and the significant external powers makes sense, given the location and social complexion of the country. But the government is already discovering that the policy is not easy to implement. The major internal priorities of the new democratic governm