Sudan new cabinet sworn-in Friday

Omar al-Bashir, Sudan's President axed former cabinet members.

After sacking former aides for failing to steer country’s economic growth, Sudan’s ruling party on Thursday unveiled a new 21-member cabinet.

President Omar al-Bashir’s Sudan has been struggling with a severe foreign exchange shortage and inflation above 65 per cent for a number of months, prompting the president on Sunday to sack his 31-member cabinet to “fix the situation”.

The ruling National Congress Party (NCP), in a late meeting Thursday, approved the ministers chosen by Prime Minister Moutaz Mousa Abdallah, who had been tasked with forming a new government after he himself was sworn in on Monday.

“The executive bureau of NCP approved the nominated people from the party to take their positions as ministers,” Faisal Hassan Ibrahim, a top aide to Bashir, told reporters after the party meeting.

The new cabinet executives were sworn in on Friday, and are scheduled to hold its first meeting on Sunday.

Reports say several ministers from the previous government were retained in the new, smaller cabinet.

Former finance minister Osman al-Rikabi was replaced by Abdallah Hamdok, while Ahmed Bilal was named new minister of interior affairs.

Those retained from previous government are ministers of foreign and oil who were appointed to their posts just months ago following an earlier cabinet reshuffle.

Sudan’s economy in crisis

Prices of food items and other products more than doubled over the past year across Sudan as the economic crisis got higher. The foreign currency market has seen the Sudanese pound plunge against the US dollar.

Her economic catastrophe deepened regardless of the United States heady in October its decades old trade embargo on the African country.

Sudan’s economy already suffered from the loss of three-quarters of its oil resources when South Sudan gained independence in 2011.

An attempt in September 2013 to cut fuel subsidies led to bloody confrontations between anti-austerity protesters and security forces that left dozens dead in Khartoum.

In January this year, Sudan witnessed sporadic anti-government protests across the country after a spiky rise in food prices.

The authorities swiftly moved in, arresting several activists and opposition leaders.

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