Saturday 7 September 2019 - 07:03

Sudan's PM unveils first cabinet since fall of Bashir

Story Code : 814945
Sudan's new Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok speaks during a press conference unveiling the first cabinet since veteran leader Omar al-Bashir's overthrow, in the capital Khartoum on September 5, 2019
The government was formed as part of a three-year power-sharing deal signed last month between the military and civilian parties and protest groups.

Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok announced the names of 18 ministers in the new Cabinet, and said he would name two more later.

The new government is an important step in transition away from nearly 30 years under Bashir, when Sudan was afflicted by internal conflicts, international isolation and deep economic problems.

However, the months since Bashir's fall have been marked by tension between the powerful security forces and civilian groups that are pushing for democracy, reform and justice for those killed during crackdowns on protests.

The announcement of the Cabinet had been held up by haggling over positions.

Most of the 18 ministers announced on Thursday were approved earlier in the week. The Cabinet includes four women, among them Asmaa Abdallah, who becomes the country's first female foreign minister.

It also includes Ibrahim Elbadawi, a former World Bank economist who will serve as finance minister, and Madani Abbas Madani, a leader of the civilian coalition that negotiated the transition deal with the military, as a minister of industry and trade.

General Jamal Omar, a member of the Transitional Military Council that took over from Bashir, was appointed as defense minister.

According to last month's deal a sovereign council will preside over the first 21 months before handing over to civilian leadership for another 18 months ahead of elections.

Changes in Sudan have evoked memories of the Arab Spring uprisings that swept across the region in 2011, when early hopes of reform gave way to military resurgence and conflict in several countries.