First Sudan cabinet since Bashir to be announced within 48 hours

Cabinet nominations reportedly include the first female foreign minister and a renowned economist as finance minister.

    Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok previously said he will choose technocrats to lead Sudan through its formidable challenges [AP]
    Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok previously said he will choose technocrats to lead Sudan through its formidable challenges [AP]

    Sudan's prime minister has approved 14 members of his cabinet, the first to be appointed since the fall of long-term leader Omar al-Bashir in April.

    The full cabinet announcement will be made in the next 48 hours, spokesman and member of the new Sudan Sovereignty Council Mohamed al-Faki Suleiman said on Tuesday.

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    Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, who took up the job last month, was supposed to announce a cabinet last Wednesday.

    However, the seasoned UN economist mulled over the candidates proposed by protest organisers - who led the campaign against al-Bashir - now working together under the umbrella movement Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC). 

    This led to a knock-on delay to the first meeting between the government and the joint civilian-military ruling body overseeing the transition, which was supposed to have been held on Sunday.

    The prime minister explained it "is because he wants to form a government that is more representative of states across Sudan", the council said.

    Hamdok also wished to ensure "gender balance", it added.

    First female foreign minister

    The nominations for the cabinet include the first female foreign minister, and a former World Bank economist as its new finance minister.

    Asmaa Abdallah had been chosen as foreign minister, according to a member of the FFC, who spoke to Reuters news agency on condition of anonymity.

    Sudanese eager for real change after power-sharing agreement

    Ibrahim Elbadawi would serve as finance minister, the source added.

    The energy and mining ministry will likely be led by Adel Ibrahim, the source said.

    General Jamal Aldin Omar will head the defence portfolio, he added.

    The government will lead a three-year transition to elections under a power-sharing deal between the military and the civilian opposition.

    Hamdok previously said he would choose technocrats based on their "competence" to lead Sudan through formidable challenges, which include ending internal conflicts that ravaged the nation for years.

    Rebel groups from marginalised regions - including Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan state - waged long wars against al-Bashir's forces.

    On Saturday, four rebel groups from Darfur said they will be "negotiating with transitional authorities with a unified vision", without elaborating.

    US 'terror' list

    Meawhile, Hamdok on Tuesday called on the United States to drop his country from its "state sponsors of terrorism list", insisting it was crucial to economic revival.

    The United States in late 2017 lifted economic sanctions it imposed on Sudan in 1997, but kept the country on its "terror" blacklist along with Iran, North Korea and Syria.

    "We believe that the situation is suitable for removing Sudan from the terrorism list," Hamdok said at a joint press conference with visiting German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.

    Sudan has been "in negotiations with the Americans and [we] expect there would be progress on removing Sudan from the terrorism list", he said.

    Maas said the integration of Sudan into the global economy was essential.

    "I am confident that we will ... lay the foundation that gets Sudan the international support that it needs at this important stage," he said.

    But implicitly acknowledging the process may take some time, he said removal from the US blacklist "will depend largely on development and reforms in Sudan over the coming weeks and months".

    Sudan is one of the poorest countries in the world. The United Nations last year ranked it 167th out of 189 in its Human Development Index.

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    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies