- Four of the 20 ministers are women, including Asma Abdullah, Sudan's first woman Foreign Minister.
- The new government faces many challenges, including providing foreign exchange to finance and to cover the import bill for commodities such as fuel and flour.
- The sovereign council will oversee power for the first 21 months and then hand over to a civilian council for another 18 months before calling a general election.
On Thursday, Sudanese Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdouk announced the formation of the first government since the overthrow of former President Omar al-Bashir in April. The new government comes under a three-year power-sharing agreement between the military junta and the civilian opposition.
The government includes 20 ministers, 18 of whom are announced by the Prime Minister, and two others scheduled to be named later. Four of the ministers are women, including Asma Abdullah, Sudan’s first woman Foreign Minister.
Lieutenant General Jamal Omar, a member of the military council, was appointed Minister of Defense, while Tarif Idris Dafallah, a former senior police officer, was appointed Minister of Interior. The appointments also included Ibrahim al-Badawi, an economist and former World Bank expert as Finance Minister, and Madani Abbas Madani, a leader of the Freedom and Change Alliance, as Industry and Trade Minister.
“A new stage in Sudan’s history starts today. We are seeking an end to the war and [want to] achieve sustainable peace. We are keen on the participation of women in the transitional government because of the role they played in the Sudanese revolution,” Hamdok said at a press conference in the capital, Khartoum. “Armed factions are an integral part of the revolution, and the current political climate represents the right environment for reaching a complete peace.”
The new government faces many challenges, including providing foreign exchange to finance and to cover the import bill for commodities such as fuel and flour. The government will also negotiate to remove Sudan from the US list of sponsors of terrorism, and reduce the country’s military spending, which accounts for up to 70% of the public budget.
Last month’s agreement between the junta and the opposition stipulated that the sovereign council would oversee power for the first 21 months and then hand over to a civilian council for another 18 months before calling a general election. The signing of the constitutional document in an official ceremony was attended by African and foreign officials.
About Sudan’s New Prime Minister
Abdallah Hamdouk (born in Kordofan in 1956), Sudan’s new Prime Minister, was sworn in on August 21 and made his first press statement at Khartoum airport on his return from Ethiopia. “Priorities will be set in the interim period, and the government’s mission is to build a national project that does not exclude anyone.”
Hamdouk lived and studied in Khartoum until he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Khartoum. He has over 30 years of experience in the areas of economic development in Africa, particularly in the areas of governance, institutional analysis, public sector reform, regional integration, and resource management.
He began his professional career in 1981, upon earning a bachelor’s degree in Khartoum. He worked in the ministries of finance and agriculture and won the trust of those around him. He became a senior official from 1981-1987 at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning of Sudan. In the 1980s, he moved to Zimbabwe and worked in ILO advisory and administrative services.