KHARTOUM — Ibrahim Nugud, who spent five decades at the helm of Sudan's once-powerful communist party, has died in London, the party's spokesman said on Thursday.
"The news is confirmed," Youssef Hussein told AFP, adding that Nugud's body was being returned to Khartoum.
Nugud, aged about 80, had been receiving medical treatment in England, the party announced earlier.
He spent much of his leadership underground, beginning his term as party general secretary in 1971 after President Jaafar Nimeiri executed other communist leaders in the wake of a short-lived coup.
Nimeiri himself had used the communists to seize power in 1969.
Historian Robert O. Collins wrote that Nugud's leadership was ineffectual and the party "never recovered its former strength."
It had been one of the most influential in the Arab world.
The communists resurfaced during a democratic interlude that followed Nimeiri's overthrow in 1985. But they were banned again with other parties after the Islamist regime of Omar al-Bashir took power in 1989.
Nugud re-emerged in 2005 after more than a decade in hiding.
In 2010 he ran unsuccessfully in the country's first multi-party presidential election in more than two decades. The communists have very little support in the country now.
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