Sudan President Omar al-Bashir dissolves government

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Sudan President Omar al-Bashir

Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir dissolved the government on Sunday and named a new prime minister who is tasked to form a smaller cabinet, as the country struggles to fix the crisis-hit economy battered in recent months by shortages of bread, fuel and hard currency.

Bashir named Motazz Moussa as the country’s prime minister. He replaces Bakri Hassan Saleh, who was appointed in 2017 as the country’s first prime minister since Bashir came to power in 1989.

Moussa had been serving as minister of irrigation and electricity before the government was dissolved.

Saleh, who had been serving as both prime minister and vice president before the shake-up, will stay on in the newly created post of first vice president, while Osman Yusuf Kubur was appointed second vice president.

The announcement came just after Bashir called an emergency meeting of ruling party officials in the presidential palace on the back of growing economic concerns over price rises and shortages.

No other ministerial appointments were announced, but the number of ministries in the new government will be slashed to 21 from 31, a move intended to cut down on spending, National Congress Party Deputy Chairman Faisal Hassan told a news conference.

The ministers of foreign affairs, defence and presidential affairs will remain in their posts when the new government is formed, Hassan said.

Khartoum has been trying to slash expenditures as it grapples with record high inflation, the hard-currency shortage and growing concern over low levels of liquidity at commercial banks.

This move according to the presidency in a statement are latest measures necessary to solve “the state of distress and frustration faced by the country during the last period”.

Sudan’s economy has been struggling since the south seceded in 2011, taking with it three-quarters of oil output and depriving Khartoum of a crucial source of foreign currency.

 

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