Sudan

Sudan forms new government

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The new government, led by Abdalla Hamdok, was officially approved Thursday in Sudan.  The corresponding decree was signed by the Sovereign Council of the country.

The government consists of 19 ministers and six state ministers;  Prime Minister Hamdok is due to unveil the composition of his cabinet in the coming hours at a press conference in Khartoum.  Meanwhile, according to the lists that appeared in the Sudanese press, four ministries can be headed by women, including, for the first time in the history of Sudan, the Foreign Ministry.  Diplomat Asma Abdullah appears among the approved candidates for the post of head of the foreign affairs agency.  Women will also head the ministries of higher education, social development, youth and sports, write the media.

According to the political agreement reached by the army and the opposition, the Alliance for Freedom and Change defines the prime minister and the majority of cabinet members, with the exception of the defense and interior ministers nominated by the military.

In the next 39 months of the transition period, the new cabinet will have to take effective measures to overcome the dire economic crisis.

The difficult economic and financial situation in Sudan, caused by 20 years of sanctions, was exacerbated after South Sudan was declared independent in 2011, resulting in the loss of a number of oil-bearing regions for Khartoum.  Amid strong inflation, devaluation of the national currency, skyrocketing prices for basic foodstuffs, and an acute shortage of goods, mass protests began in the country at the end of last year, which ultimately led to a military coup on April 11 this year.  The army suspended President Omar al-Bashir, who had ruled for 30 years, took control of the state, creating an interim Military Council, dissolving the parliament and suspending the constitution.

In August, the Military Council and the alliance, after several months of difficult negotiations and disagreements, reached a long-awaited agreement on the distribution of power, and on August 21 the governing Sovereign Council, consisting of 11 military and civilian representatives, began to operate.  On the same day, the new head of government was sworn in.

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