Sudan’s Bashir names new foreign, oil, defence ministers: TV

0 min 51Approximate reading time

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir started forming a new government late Saturday, state television reported, more than a month after he swept elections boycotted by the mainstream opposition and marred by poor turnout.

Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges, was sworn in for a new five-year term last Tuesday.

He handed the key foreign portfolio to Ibrahim Ghandour, a former presidential assistant, and named Lieutenant General Mustafa Osman Obeid as acting defence minister.

Mohamed Zayed was appointed oil minister, state television reported.

Bashir vowed to open a “new page” for Sudan at his inauguration last week, saying he would mend ties with the west, tackle corruption and bring peace to the country.

The 71-year-old career soldier seized power in an Islamist-backed coup in 1989.

Bashir won the April elections with more than 94 percent of the vote, standing against 13 little known candidates for the presidency.

The vote was boycotted by most opposition parties and by rebel groups in Blue Nile, South Kordofan and Darfur.

Ethnic insurgents launched a rebellion in the western region of Darfur in 2003, and Bashir government’s unleashed the armed forces and allied militiamen.

More than 300,000 people have been killed in the conflict, the United Nations says, and more than two million have been displaced.

The ICC indicted Bashir in 2009 for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity, and in 2010 for genocide.