April 25, 2016
By Prof. Medhane Tadesse
Republished from The Current Analyst
With all the turmoil, fluidity, and fluctuations of Sudanese politics since independence, one thing remained constant i.e. Hassan al-Turabi. Some assert that Turabi was a master of staying on top of the shifting coalitions of Sudanese politics. He led decades- long Islamist movement, saw and took the chance to seize power and use the state for a comprehensive transformation of Sudanese society. Whether one proceeds with a remorse or a closure it goes without saying that Hassan al-Turabi was a mastermind who left his mark on everything he touched about political Islam in Africa.
The death of Hassan al-Turabi on March 5, 2016, went largely unremarked by all but a few of his immediate contemporaries. The big television stations made a passing remark about it. There was no global tremor when his mortal remains were laid to rest in the presence of close to three thousand people. No notice of his passing was taken in the editorials of newspapers outside Sudan or in the newsletters that circulated on the African Continent. I could be wrong but it is my impression that Turabi’s passing was an entirely local Sudanese event, and regionally it seems scarcely to have been noted. It is expressive irony that the man who, a quarter of a century ago, came closer to altering ideological and geostrategic courses and sent shock waves globally attracted little attention in death.