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Sudan includes former rebels in new Cabinet

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok speaks during a press conference in Khartoum. Photo by Ashraf Shazly/AFP

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok speaks during a press conference in Khartoum. Photo by Ashraf Shazly/AFP

Published Feb 10, 2021

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Khartoum - A new government comprising seven ministers from rebel groups that were active under the former regime has been unveiled by Sudan’s Prime Minister, Abdallah Hamdok to buttress the peace agreement signed in October.

After several months of negotiations and consultations with rebel groups and armed gangs, the Prime Minister announced on Monday evening the formation of a new government, comprising ministers from various armed groups, especially from the Darfur region.

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“We have reached a consensus for 25 ministries and postponed the announcement of the Education Minister, pending further consultations,” Hamdok told a press conference.

“This formation aims to prevent the collapse of the country. We know there will be challenges, but we are confident that we can move forward,” he said, adding that the new government intends to focus on rebuilding the economy.

The transitional government and the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (FRS), a coalition of five rebel groups and four political movements, signed a peace accord in October.

Talks between the latter two rebel groups and the Prime Minister are underway, with a view to find a peace deal.

The whole government comprises 25 ministers, including former rebel leaders, the military and members of the opposition under Omar al-Bashir.

Outstanding figures of this new team include Mariam al-Sadeq al-Mahdi, the daughter of the last democratically elected Prime Minister of Sudan, who was overthrown by Bashir's coup in 1989. The latter is appointed Foreign Affairs Minister.

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Seven ministries belong to the rebel groups, two for the army and the other 17 for the Forces for Freedom and Change (ALC), which launched the popular revolution.

Only the post of Minister of Education has yet to be filled and requires further consultations.

The formation of this government marks an important step in the implementation of the peace agreement signed with the armed groups in October 2020. The next step is the establishment of a transitional Parliament by February 25.

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