Sudan to name cabinet as tough challenges loom

Sudan’s new Prime Minister in the transitional government Abdalla Hamdok, addresses a news conference in Khartoum, Sudan on August 21, 2019. PHOTO | REUTERS

Sudan is on Wednesday set to announce the members of a new cabinet faced with a mountain of challenges after months of unrest, including rebuilding the economy and ending internal conflicts.

Newly-appointed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok will name his key picks from nominees put forward by the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC), an umbrella group that led protests against veteran president Omar al-Bashir and the generals who ousted him in April.

The cabinet announcement comes after a joint civilian-military ruling body was sworn in last week to steer the country through a three-year transition period.

“I received on Tuesday afternoon the nominees for ministers provided by the FFC,” Hamdok said, adding that it includes 49 nominees for 14 ministries.

Hamdok said he would also take into account a “fair representation of women”.

On Saturday, Hamdok told a local TV channel that he would select technocrats based on their “competence”.

“We are looking to create a homogeneous team to level up to these challenges,” he said.

The cabinet is expected to comprise a maximum of 20 ministers, largely picked by Hamdok with the exception of the interior and defence ministers, who will be chosen by the military members of Sudan’s ruling body.

The first meeting bringing together the new government and the ruling body is scheduled for September 1.

“The coming cabinet will enjoy a massive popular backing as it confronts the challenges ahead,” said Osman Mirghani, a Sudanese analyst and editor-in-chief of independent daily Al-Tayyar.

Mighrani says the cabinet should prioritise striking peace deals with armed groups across Sudan, especially those that rejected the transition roadmap.

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