Sudanese President Ja'afar al-Nimeiry was sworn in for a second term of office on Tuesday (24 May).
Sudanese President Ja'afar al-Nimeiry was sworn in for a second term of office on Tuesday (24 May). In a 90-minute inauguration ceremony he said Soviet influence in neighbouring Ethiopia posed a serious threat. The statement was a further sign of the worsening relations between Sudan and the Soviet Union. It also came on the day that President Nimeiry met the visiting United States Ambassador to the United Nations - Andrew Young - and made a request for American military aid to replace that of the Soviet Union.
SYNOPSIS: Mr Young - seen here with Sudan's Foreign Minister, Mansur Khalid - has been on a tour of Africa. He has spent most of the trip concentrating on the problems in southern Africa. But his Sudanese visit gave him the opportunity to discuss developments within countries surrounding Sudan including Ethiopia, Somalia and Djibouti. However, the recent changes in relations between Sudan and the Soviet Union provided the major point for discussion.
President Nimeiry's request for American aid came during his meeting with Mr Young. It came only one week after 70 Soviet military advisers to the Sudanese army were expelled by the President. He told newsmen on Thursday that the advisers should have gone two years ago as they were doing nothing and were not needed. President Nimeiry said his country's military equipment - half of which was Russian - was out of date. He added that what he now wanted was American military equipment which he knew was very modern. Mr Young said he was impressed by the President's statement that 80 per cent of the Sudanese Army's time was spent in national development projects.
Later that day, a guard of honour was waiting for President Nimeiry when he went to the National Assembly for his inauguration ceremony. He will serve a four-year term following a plebiscite in which he received 99 per cent of the votes. His attack on the Soviet Union followed the swearing-in ceremony. It was witnessed by a number of representatives from other African countries which have also shown signs of worsening relations with the Russians. Uganda's Vice-President General Mustapha Adrisi was present for the speech. As was the Vice-President of another country whose Soviet relations have cooled - Somalia's Major-General Hussein Kulmia Afrah.
President Nimeiry - seen here taking his oath of office on the Koran - did not identify the Soviet Union by name during his attack but talked about "the presence of foreign power" in neighbouring states. The Russians have a strong influence in Ethiopia, providing a great deal of equipment financial aid and personnel. President Nimeiry said the presence of foreign power posed a serious threat which could not be ignored.