Sudan swears-in new civilian cabinet

18 ministers were seen greeting members of the sovereign council, including its chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan
Members of the Sudanese cabinet take oath in the presence of the new Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok
Members of the Sudanese cabinet take oath in the presence of the new Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok (back- L) and General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of Sudan’s ruling sovereign council (back-C) at the presidential palace in the capital Khartoum, on September 8, 2019. – Sudan’s first cabinet since the ouster of president Omar al-Bashir was sworn in today as the African country transitions to a civilian rule following nationwide protests that overthrew the autocrat. The 18-member cabinet led by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, includes four women. (Photo by Ebrahim HAMID / AFP) / “The erroneous mention[s] appearing in the metadata of this photo by Ebrahim HAMID has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: [sovereign] instead of [military]. Please immediately remove the erroneous mention[s] from all your online services and delete it (them) from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience this notification may cause and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require.”

Sudan’s first cabinet since the ouster of President Omar al-Bashir was sworn in Sunday as the African country transitions to a civilian rule following nationwide protests that overthrew the autocrat. The 18-member cabinet led by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, which includes four women, took oath at the presidential palace in Khartoum, journalists reported.

It is expected to steer the daily affairs of the country during a transition period of 39 months. The line-up was formed after Sudan last month swore in a “sovereign council” – a joint civilian-military ruling body that aims to oversee the transition.

The 18 ministers were seen greeting members of the military council, including its chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, in images broadcast by state television from the palace. “We have to put in a lot of efforts to meet our people’s demands,” Information Minister Faisal Mohamed Saleh told reporters after the swearing-in ceremony.

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a section of Members of the Sudanese cabinet take oath
Members of the Sudanese cabinet take oath in the presence of the new Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok (back- L) and General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of Sudan’s ruling military council (back-C) at the presidential palace in the capital Khartoum, on September 8, 2019. (Photo by Ebrahim HAMID / AFP)

Read: Prime Minister continues talks as Sudan awaits new cabinet

“The world is watching us. It is waiting to see how we can solve our issues.” The sovereign council itself is the result of a power-sharing deal between the protesters and generals who had seized power after the army ousted Bashir in April.

Hamdok’s cabinet, which has the country’s first female foreign affairs minister, is expected to lead Sudan through formidable challenges that also include ending internal conflicts in three regions. Rebel groups from marginalised regions of Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan states had waged long wars against Bashir’s forces.

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“The road ahead is not easy. We will face many challenges but we have to work on them,” said Walaa Issam, Minister for youth and sports. Sudan’s power-sharing deal aims to forge peace with armed groups. Hamdok’s cabinet will also be expected to fight corruption and dismantle the long-entrenched Islamist deep state created under Bashir.

Members of the Sudanese cabinet
Members of the Sudanese cabinet take oath in the presence of the new Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok (back- L) and General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of Sudan’s ruling sovereign council (back-C) at the presidential palace in the capital Khartoum, on September 8, 2019. (Photo by Ebrahim HAMID / AFP) / )

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Bashir had seized power in an Islamist-backed coup in 1989 and ruled Sudan with an iron fist for three decades until his ouster. It was a worsening economic crisis that triggered the fall of Bashir, who is now on trial on charges of illegal acquisition and use of foreign funds. 

According to doctors linked to the umbrella protest movement that led to Bashir’s fall, more than 250 people have been killed in protest-related violence since December. Of that at least 127 were killed in early June during a brutal crackdown on a weeks-long protest sit-in outside the military headquarters in Khartoum. Officials have given a lower death toll.

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