Abdel Khaliq Mahjub

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Abdel Khaliq Mahjub
عبد الخالق محجوب
Abdel Khaliq Mahjub.jpg
Secretary General of the Sudanese Communist Party
In office
Unknown – 1971
Succeeded byMuhammad Ibrahim Nugud
Personal details
Born23 September 1927
Omdurman, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan
Died28 July 1971(1971-07-28) (aged 43)
Democratic Republic of the Sudan
Political partySudanese Communist Party

Abdel Khaliq Mahjub (Arabic: عبد الخالق محجوب‎) (23 September 1927 – 28 July 1971) was a Sudanese politician.

Mahjub was born in Omdurman. He was the Secretary General of the Sudanese Communist Party[1] till his death by execution in Khartum during the Gaafar Nimeiry regime. Following his execution Muhammad Ibrahim Nugud became the leader of the party.[2]


Mahjub was introduced to communist ideas while studying at Fuad I University in Egypt, from which he was expelled in 1948 for political activities.[3] He became Secretary General of the Sudanese Communist Party in February 1949.[4] He was influential in international communist forums. A number of his writings focused on the idea of finding a more Nationalist formula for Marxism in Sudan, rather than the literal application of the experience of the Soviets or the Chinese. These writings helped exacerbate the Soviet-Sino split. He also rejected subordination to the Soviet Communist Party, and in contrast to a large number of other communist parties, supported freedom of religion instead of State atheism.[4] He was arrested by the dictatorship of Ibrahim Abboud in 1959 and his trial speech in his own defence, "By Virtue of Marxism Your Honour", was an assertive and clearly-stated political testament.[5] and under Mahjoub’s leadership, the Communist Party played an important role in overthrowing Abboud in 1964.[2]

Mahjub opposed the 1969 coup by Jaafar Nimeiri as he saw it as incompatible with the principle of democracy, which was advocated by the party, but he could not secure the approval of a majority of secretaries of the CPC Central which was required to condemn the coup. The SCP later went on to participate in the new government.

1971 coup attempt[edit]

Mahjub opposed the coup 1971 coup attempt led by Hashem al Atta on 19 July 1971. Atta was able to seize power for a period of just three days before Nimeiry regained power. Nimeiry accused the SCP of masterminding the coup due to the involvement of a number of the military officers in the communist party. Nimeiry subsequently ordered the execution of a large number of SCP party leaders.

Mahjub initially refused to flee the country, despite an offer of sanctuary from the East German Embassy, stating that his basic duty was to spread awareness among the masses and the establishment of democracy in Sudan, neither of which he would be able to achieve from exile. After hiding for four days Mahjub turned himself in as an effort to stop the executions of communists. Following a trial Mahjub was sentenced to execution.[6]


Mahjub was executed on the early hours of the morning of Wednesday 28 July 1971 by hanging at Kober prison. His death was greeted with shock by a large number of Arab and Sudanese poets. It was also a great shock to the Arab Marxist movement. After his death the Sudanese Communist Party never enjoyed the influence it had previously held.[2]


  • New Horizons (1956)
  • Defense before Military Courts (1966)
  • Rectifying the Wrongs in Working amongst the Masses: Report Presented to the Central Committee of the Sudanese Communist Party (1963)
  • Socialist Schools in Africa (1966)
  • Marxism and the Quandaries of the Sudanese Revolution (1967)
  • Marxism and Linguistics (n.d.)
  • Literature in the Age of Science (1967)
  • On the Program (1971)

Further reading[edit]

  • Abusharaf, Rogaia Mustafa. (2009, Summer). Marx in the Vernacular: Abdel Khaliq Mahgoub and the Riddles of Localizing Leftist Politics in Sudanese Philosophies of Liberation. South Atlantic Quarterly, 108:3, 483–500.


  1. ^ El-Tigani Mahmoud, Mahgoub (September 2016). "Between secularist and Jihadist Bodes, Egypt and Sudan in Crossroads". European Scientific Journal. European Scientific Journal. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Sudanese Communist Party (SCP), Communist Party of Sudan (CPS)". SudanTribune.com. Sudan Tribune. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  3. ^ John Ryle (2011). The Sudan Handbook. Boydell & Brewer Ltd. p. 200. ISBN 978-1-84701-030-8.
  4. ^ a b Tareq Y. Ismael (22 December 2015). The Sudanese Communist Party: Ideology and Party Politics. Routledge. pp. 370-. ISBN 978-1-136-33101-5.
  5. ^ Hasan, Salah (2012). "How to Liberate Marx from His Eurocentrism: Notes on African/Black Marxism /" (PDF). Washington University in St. Louis. Washington University in St. Louis. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  6. ^ B. Malwal (8 December 2014). Sudan and South Sudan: From One to Two. Palgrave Macmillan UK. p. 13. ISBN 978-1-137-43714-3.