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Hamdok announces first post-Bashir era government in Sudan

September 5, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok finally announced on Thursday evening the names of ministers of the country’s first government after the ouster of former President Omar al-Bashir.

Hamdok’s government is formed by the Forces for Freedom and Changes (FFC) which picked him last month to head it two weeks ago. However, in line with the constitutional declaration, he has a relative power in the selection process as they nominate the candidates for every ministry and he chooses one of them.

At a press conference on Thursday evening, Hamdok unveiled the names of 18 of the 20 ministers, including four women. He said the two others (minister of infrastructure and minister of livestock and fisheries) will be announced later as they are still conducting consultation on this respect.

He went further to disclose that they are looking for two ministers from eastern Sudan and the Blue Nile state to file these portfolios.

Hamdok further said that the delay in the formation of his cabinet was triggered by the need to have a government in which every Sudanese from all the regions can identify himself.

"We practised a democratic exercise, and we conducted extensive and in-depth consultations that accompanied the standards related to efficiency and gender."

He also underlined they will appoint state ministers to address "the imbalance of the current appointments" with regard to the gender and regions.

The leaders of the Freedom and Change Alliance and a number of ministers were keen to attend the press conference.

The names of his government members which have been already disclosed by Sudan Tribune included the appointment of Omer Monis, Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Intisar al-Zein Sghairyoun, Minister for Higher Education, Faisal Mohamed Saleh, for Minister of Culture and Information, Asma Mohamed Abdallah, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ibrahim al-Badawi Minister of Finance.

Asma is a former diplomat that had been sacked by the Sudanese Islamists after the coup d’etat of June 1989 that brought al-Bashir to power.

Also, Monis is a former diplomat who quitted the foreign ministry to work for the UN peacekeeping department in several African countries, after the eruption of Darfur conflict and reports of crimes against humanity and genocide in his home region.

For his part, al-Badawi is a Sudanese economist who had served the World Bank as a lead economist and conducted a research project on Political Institutions, Development and Domestic Civil Peace until 2009. before to appointed as Manager Director of the Arab Economic Research Forum.

The prime minister also announced the appointment as the Defence Minister of Lt-Gen Jamal al-Din Omer who was the head of the security committee as the former Transitional Military Council.

He appointed Lt. Gen Police al-Traiffi Idriss Daffallah Minister of Interior.

Both, the defence and interior ministers were nominated by the army and the police respectively.

Hamdok underscored that they are nominated by their institutions but remain under his authority like the other government officials.

Sudanese journalist and commentator Faisal Mohamed Saleh has been appointed the Minister of Culture and Media. He is the 2013 winner of the Peter Mackler Award and used to be arrested by the security apparatus for speaking out against human rights violations and confiscation of freedoms.

Hamdok disclosed they would appoint state ministers in the upcoming period for a better representation of women and other regions, stressing they are keen to pick the right persons for these positions.

He alluded to Omer Gamar Eldin Ismail, of Enough Project, saying you would see him among my government team without further details.

The oath ceremony is expected to take place on Sunday.

(ST)