Sudan's President Forms New Government
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has formed a new 31-member government mostly made up of his ruling National Congress party, Sudanese state television reported late Thursday.
Sixteen members of the preceding 25-strong administration will stay on, joined by other backers of Bashir, who seized power in a coup in 1989 and who was given a five-year mandate in controversial elections last December which the opposition boycotted.
The announcement came the day after the arrest of Sudan's dissident Islamist leader, Hassan al-Turabi, a former Bashir ally whose latest act of defiance was to strike a deal with southern rebels the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA).
Eight members of the outgoing cabinet retain their posts, including the key portfolios of defense, foreign affairs, justice and information and culture.
Former presidential affairs minister Abdel Rahim Mohamed Hussein takes over the interior ministry.
The new cabinet also includes six ministers from the country's troubled south.
Turabi portrayed his deal with the southern rebels as aimed at promoting democracy and ending the civil war that erupted in 1983 pitting Sudan's Christian and animist south against the predominately Arab and Muslim government in Khartoum.
Since Turabi's arrest, more than 30 senior officials from his Popular National Congress (PNC) have been arrested in Khartoum and elsewhere in the country, PNC Information Secretary Mohammed al-Amin Khalifa told AFP -- KHARTOUM (AFP)
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