On 19 December 1955 the Parliament elected on the basis of the Anglo-Egyptian agreement of 1953 to prepare the country for self-determination unanimously voted for immediate independence, officially proclaimed on 1 January 1956; Egypt and Great Britain accepted the fait accompli, also sanctioned by the immediate admission of the new state into the Arab League and the United Nations. The Sudanization programs were accelerated, but the economic and political difficulties, in particular the difficult situation in the southern regions, where the fighting started with the Juba uprising of August 1955 continued, caused a fracture within the majority party, the Party National Unionist (NUP), by Ismā ‛īl el-Azharī. Disagreements concerning especially the promised granting of autonomy to the predominantly non-Muslim regions led the adherents of the Islamic sect Khatmiyyah to approach the Anṣār, nucleus of the al-Ummah Party, which was able to take power in coalition with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). The coalition was confirmed by elections held in February 1958; even within the Ummah there were dissensions that led him to seek an agreement with the NUP, but in November military men led by gen. Ibrāhīm ‛Abbūd seized power, suspended the Constitution and dissolved Parliament. The military government recorded good successes in the economic field and started a serious administrative reform, which however provoked the discontent of the bureaucracy. He also tackled the southern problem with determination, but measures such as expulsion of foreign missionaries (February 1964) and the action of government troops only increased the activity of the rebels, organized in the Anya Nya, so much so that the belief began to spread that the only possible solution was the recognition of the independence of those regions. The project aroused violent reactions in the north, with strikes and incidents that led to the fall of the military regime in October. A provisional government, comprising all parties, from the Communist to the Muslim Brotherhood, assumed power and in March 1955 organized a conference open to all political movements in the North and South, in order to seek some solution. The conference approved a vast pacification program, but did not find an agreement on the constitutional order, whose study was entrusted to a commission of 12 people. In June 1965, political elections were held, which were boycotted by the PDP and contested by all political parties; Ummah and NUP had the most votes, but neither party got enough seats to govern, so they were forced to form a coalition chaired by Ahmad al-Mahgiūb. The progressive shift of the government towards positions of the extreme right caused a rift within the Ummah between the current led by the Imām al-Hādī, supporter of this trend, and the moderates led by Ṣādiq. The latter ended up prevailing, and in July 1966 Ṣādiq al-Mahdī replaced Mahgiūb in the direction of the government; among the successes of the new government was the holding in the South of the elections of the members reserved to it in the Constituent Assembly; it was thus made possible to start work on a new constitution. However, in May 1967 Ṣādiq was placed in the minority, and Mahgiūb returned to the head of the government. An active foreign policy, linked to the Arab-Israeli war of October, made people forget the internal problems for a moment, but soon the government found itself in difficulty in the face of the activism of the opposition. The political situation deteriorated rapidly, and on March 25, 1969, a military coup brought Col. Gia‛far en-Numeirī. The new regime, having suspended the Constitution and dissolved the Parliament, proclaimed the Democratic Republic of the Sudan and claimed to be inspired by “Sudanese socialism”; political parties were dissolved, a vast purge hit the old political class; in June the intention to solve the southern problem by granting a large autonomy. The announcement of a federation project with Egypt and Libya and reasons of internal order pushed a group of left-wing officials and the Communist Party to a coup in July 1971; however, the revolt was quickly quelled thanks also to the help of Libya. The harsh repressions also had an impact on foreign policy, with a rapprochement with the West; collaboration with the Arab states was also tightened. But the greatest success of the en-Numeirī regime was the signing, in July 1971 in Addis Ababa, of an agreement for the pacification of the South, which made possible in November 1973 the election, which took place without incident, of a Regional Assembly in the southern; a new Constitution approved in April 1973 by the People’s Assembly, had meanwhile sanctioned the autonomy of the southern provinces. Despite the persistence of social and economic difficulties, the successful solution of the major problem allowed a relaxation in the internal arrangement, and in March 1974 en-Numeiī was able to announce the release of all political prisoners. New plots were thwarted between September 1975 and July 1976; in April 1977 en-Numeirī was confirmed president, and was able to celebrate the 8th anniversary of his regime. The policy of national reconciliation achieved a success in April 1978, when the opposition front signed an agreement with the government. and was able to celebrate the 8th anniversary of his regime. The policy of national reconciliation achieved a success in April 1978, when the opposition front signed an agreement with the government. and was able to celebrate the 8th anniversary of his regime. The policy of national reconciliation achieved a success in April 1978, when the opposition front signed an agreement with the government.