• Reuters


Sudan’s prime minister announced on Thursday the formation of the first government since the overthrow of long-term ruler Omar Hassan al-Bashir in April.

The government was formed as part of a three-year power-sharing deal signed last month between the military and civilian parties and protest groups.

Abdalla Hamdok announced the names of 18 ministers in the new Cabinet and said he would name two more later.

“(The new government) will start its work immediately in a harmonious and collective way,” Hamdok told a press conference in Khartoum on Thursday evening.

“Today, we start a new phase in our history,” he said.

The new government is an important step in transition away from nearly 30 years under al-Bashir, when Sudan was afflicted by internal conflicts, international isolation and deep economic problems.

However, the months since al-Bashir’s fall have been marked by tension between the powerful security forces and civilian groups that are pushing for democracy, reform and justice for those killed during crackdowns on protests.

The announcement of the Cabinet had been held up by haggling over positions.

Most of the 18 ministers announced on Thursday were approved earlier in the week. They include Asmaa Abdallah, who becomes the country’s first female foreign minister, and Ibrahim Elbadawi, a former World Bank economist who will serve as finance minister.

Madani Abbas Madani, a leader of the civilian coalition that negotiated the transition deal with the military, will be minister of industry and trade.

Gen. Jamal Omar, a member of the Transitional Military Council that took over from al-Bashir, was appointed as defense minister.

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