January 10, 2012 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir on Tuesday issued three decrees creating two new states and appointing new governors in the country’s western region of Darfur.
The changes are part of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) signed between the Sudanese government and the ex-rebel group Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) in a bid to end the eight-year conflict in the region.
The recommendation to divide Darfur into five states was first adopted by the 2008 Darfur People Conference in the Qatari capital of Doha, which hosted the marathon peace talks that led to the signing of the DDPD in mid-July last year.
Bashir’s first decree relieved the governors of South Darfur State, Abdul Hamid Musa Kasha, and of West Darfur State, Al-Sharati Gaffar Abdul Hakam of their positions.
In the second decree, Bashir established Eastern and Central Darfur states, re-appointing Kasha as governor of the first and Yusif Tibin, a former minister of infrastructure of Khartoum State, as governor of the second.
While the governor of north Darfur State, Osman Yusif Kibir, retained his position, the former governor of West Darfur State, Abdul Hakam, lost his position to Haydar Koma, one of the leaders of Al-Zagawa tribe and the LJM.
Among the new appointees was Hamad Ismail Abdul Karim who was given the position of the governor of South Darfur. Abdul Karim was until recently one of the Darfuri leaders who supported the opposition Popular Congress Party (PCP) of the Islamist leader Hassan Al-Turabi.