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Sudan names first Cabinet since al-Bashir ouster

September 6, 2019

A former World Bank economist will join Sudan's first female foreign minister in the country's first government since the overthrow of longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir, the new prime minister has said.

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok
Image: picture-alliance/AA/M. Hjaj

Sudan's prime minister announced the formation of his Cabinet on Thursday, making a major step for the East African county after former leader Omar al-Bashir was ousted after three decades in power.

"A new stage in Sudan's history starts today," Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said at a press conference in the capital, Khartoum. "We are seeking an end to the war and [want to] achieve sustainable peace."

The government was formed as part of a three-year power-sharing agreement between the military and civilian representatives and protest groups.

First female foreign minister

Among the 18 ministers announced on Thursday are four women — including Sudan's first female foreign minister, Asma Mohamed Abdallah.

"We are keen on the participation of women in the transitional government because of the role they played in the Sudanese revolution," Hamdok said.

The prime minister also named former World Bank economist Ibrahim Elbadawi to serve as finance minister.

Madani Abbas Madani, the leader of the civilian coalition that negotiated a power-sharing deal with the military, was named as minister of industry and trade.

The military named police Lieutenant General Idriss al-Traifi as interior minister, while army Lieutenant General Jamal Omar will take on the post of defense minister.

Talks are still ongoing with civilian representatives to fill the final two minister positions in Hamdok's 20-member Cabinet.

Major step for civilian-military government

The new interim government is a major development for Sudan as it seeks to transition after decades of rule under al-Bashir that were marked by internal conflicts, international isolation and economic problems.

Last month, the joint civilian-military ruling body called the "sovereign council" was sworn in to oversee the transition to democratic elections.

The power-sharing deal came after months of massive pro-democracy protests, which initially led to al-Bashir's removal in April.

The protests then continued, calling for civilian rule after al-Bashir was replaced by a transitional military council.

The military responded to the protests with a brutal crackdown that killed dozens of demonstrators.

rs/sms (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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