Lawyer, diplomat and campaigner for democracy in Sudan.
Britain, the colonial power, compounded the division, first by reinforcing the inequalities of development between the centre and outlying regions, and then by hastily granting Sudan independence in 1956, without taking the interests of the southern Sudanese into account. 'One amazing feature of the Sudanese conflicts is its tenacity,' writes Mansour Khalid (himself a former foreign minister) in his book, War and Peace in Sudan and notes. 'Like the mythical phoenix, whenever the flames of war die down, it surprises friend and foe by emerging from the ashes reinvigorated, more vicious and ready to inflict greater causalities.'
Abdeen Ismael won a place in his country's history in 1964 during the uprising against the then military dictatorship that overthrew Sudan's post-colonial democracy in 1958.
Compiled by:M. Nauman Khan