Seven Sudan ministers leave cabinet amid calls for reform

Friday July 10 2020

Women demonstrators gather during a protest

Women demonstrators gather during a protest outside the Sudanese Professionals Association in the Garden City district of Sudan's capital Khartoum on July 4, 2020, in solidarity with the people of the Nertiti region of Central Darfur province in the country's southwest. Hundreds of Sudanese had held a protest the previous day in the Central Darfur state calling on the government to secure their properties following recent incidents of killings and looting. A week prior, unidentified armed men killed three farmers near the town of Nertiti in Central Darfur, triggering the ire of residents who long complained of lack of security in the area. AFP photo  

By AFP

Six Sudanese cabinet ministers have quit and another was sacked, the government said on Thursday, days after tens of thousands of protesters hit the streets demanding long-awaited reforms.

"Six ministers have resigned to allow a change in the (18-member) government" line-up, a statement from Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok's office said.

It said those who quit were the ministers of foreign affairs, finance, energy, agriculture, transport and animal resources.

The health minister was sacked, the statement said, without elaborating.

During a cabinet meeting, Hamdok stressed the need "to evaluate the government's performance in order to satisfy public opinion following calls for a government reshuffle", the statement added.

On June 30, tens of thousands of Sudanese protesters flocked the streets of the capital Khartoum and other cities, calling for economic reforms.

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The protesters also demanded justice for those killed in anti-government demonstrations last year that pushed the army to force veteran president Omar al-Bashir from office.

Bashir was ousted in April 2019 following months-long mass protests against his 30-year rule, an uprising triggered by economic hardship.

He was replaced by a transitional military government but after weeks of tense negotiations between the military and protest leaders, a civilian-majority administration was set up in August.

The new administration was tasked with ruling Sudan for a three-year transitional period, and in September Hamdok's government was sworn in.

The post-Bashir administration vowed to tackle the country's daunting economic woes, largely blamed on the former regime's policies, and forge peace with rebel groups.

At least 246 were killed and hundreds others wounded during the anti-government protests, according to doctors linked to Sudan's protest movement.

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