Sudan: President Omar al-Bashir forms a new government

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President Omar al-Bashir speaks to the crowd after a swearing-in ceremony in Khartoum (02 June 2015)Image source, Reuters
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President Bashir has been forced to admit that Sudan needs to change

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has formed a new government a month after winning elections that were boycotted by the main opposition parties and tarnished by a poor turnout.

The key foreign ministry portfolio has gone to Ibrahim Ghandour, a former presidential assistant.

Mohamed Zayed has been appointed oil minister, while Mustafa Osman Obeid was appointed acting defence minister.

The new government will comprise a total of 31 cabinet ministers.

In addition President Bashir has also appointed governors for Sudan's 18 states in what he has vowed will be a "new page" for his country,

Image source, AFP
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The president says that he wants to bring an end to fighting in Darfur
Image source, Reuters
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President Bashir won elections in April with more than 94% of the vote - which was boycotted by most opposition parties

Speaking at his inauguration last week, the president said that he wanted to repair ties with the West, tackle corruption and bring peace to the country.

Another priority is restoring Sudan's ailing economy.

Mr Bashir, 71, seized power in an Islamist-backed coup in 1989.

James Copnall, BBC Sudan Analyst

Even President Bashir has been forced to admit - with civil war(s) continuing, and the ongoing economic crisis - that Sudan needs to change, and this reshuffle is part of his promised reforms.

The most surprising decision is the removal of Abdel Rahim Hussein as defence minister, as for many years he has been President Bashir's confidant and friend.

Mr Hussein has been named governor of Khartoum state, one of several changes among the governors, which seem designed to remove any who were developing sizable local power bases.

But simply replacing ministers and governors will not bring change. Instead, the way Sudan is governed will have to improve if the country is to escape from its current malaise.

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