Numeiri was a close ally to the US and was the only Arab leader to support Egyptian President Anwar Sadat after he signed the Camp David Accords with Israel in 1978 that led to peace between the two countries.

He is also known for signing a peace accord in 1972 to end a rebellion by southern Sudan that started in 1955.

The accord collapsed after Numeiri imposed Sharia law in 1983, leading to the resumption of the civil war that only ended in 2005.

Numeiri was overthrown in a bloodless coup in 1985 while on an official visit to the United States.

He lived in exile in Egypt from 1985 until al-Bashir allowed him to return in 1999.