Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok on Thursday replaced the finance, foreign, energy and health ministers as well as three other senior cabinet post-holders in a major cabinet reshuffle, the first since his government was constituted 10 months ago, reported Reuters.
Hamdok currently heads a transitional government under a 39-month power-sharing agreement between the military and civilian groups, following the removal of long-time President Omar al-Bashir last year.
The biggest surprise was the exit of Ibrahim al-Badawi, who as finance minister led efforts to steady Sudan’s shattered economy and liaised with foreign donors.
An official statement confirmed that the ministers who resigned were those in charge of foreign affairs, finance, energy, agriculture, transport and animal wealth. It said that the cabinet changes were agreed during an emergency meeting of the government held earlier on Thursday.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Hamdok said the decision was taken as there was a need to assess the government’s performance in response to mass demonstrations on June 30 that demanded comprehensive reforms from the transitional government.
The Sudanese prime minister has named interim replacements to lead all seven ministries. Heba Ahmed Ali, a senior finance ministry official, will serve as Al-Badawi’s interim replacement.
The reshuffle follows mass protests held last month that demanded faster reforms from transitional authorities. A large number of protesters came out on the streets in many Sudanese cities despite a coronavirus lockdown to demand a transition towards democracy after al-Bashir’s removal last year.
On the eve of the protests, Hamdok had promised to take major decisions, without giving details. He promised the people that his transitional government would work to meet their demands in the next two weeks.
Earlier this week, the prime minister fired Sudan’s police chief and his deputy, both of whom were considered as close to al-Bashir and his allies by pro-democracy groups.