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Sudan’s new PM vows to make peace, economy top priorities of transition

Sudan's Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok speaks to the media after the swearing-in ceremony on 21 August 2019 (AFP Photo)
August 21, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Abdallah Hamdok swore in Wednesday night as prime minister of Sudan’s transitional government, vowing in his first statement to put peace and economy issues on the top of his priorities.

The Forces for Freedom and Change (CCF) that led the 4-month protests in Sudan and the military council that deposed al-Bashir agreed to appoint as prime minister for the transitional government the Sudanese economist who has served as Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

In a press conference after the swearing-in ceremony, the 15th Prime Minister of Sudan described the revolution that toppled the former regime last April as "the greatest revolution" and added that his program will be based on the realization of the slogan of the December Revolution "Freedom, Peace and Justice."

He stressed that the priority during the 39-month transitional period will be to "end the war, build sustainable peace and stop the suffering of the war-affected displaced people as well as to build a national economy based on production."

Also, he pointed to the need of reforming state institutions, fighting corruption, building a state of transparency and justice, developing moderate external relations, and fair representation of women.

Hamdok expressed his conviction of the tremendous capabilities that characterize the Sudanese economy, paving the way for dealing with its economic crisis.

"The Sudanese economy is strong in size and I believe that with the right vision and policies we will be able to address this economic crisis and we will have a reform plan to address the issues of inflation, the provision of fuel and medicine and in the long term we hope to address the issues of productivity," he said.

He pointed out that the banking sector in Sudan is on the verge of collapse, and this situation implies the search for solutions to restore confidence in it, adding, "There are many ways to achieve this goal."

On the political level, Hamdok said he intends to be a prime minister for all Sudanese, although his nomination was made by the Forces for Freedom and Change.

Further, he pointed to the existence of large areas of convergence with all Sudanese forces that reject the Constitutional Declaration, in the Sudanese Revolutionary Front or other groups, alike.

"Now there is a favourable climate. If we manage it well, we can cross the country to safety," he said.

Last July, he met with the armed groups of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front and SPLM-N of Abdel Aziz al-Hilu in Addis Ababa to explore their point of view on how to achieve peace during the first six months of the transitional period.

On the formation of his cabinet of technocrats, Hamdok pointed out that the criterion of efficiency will guide his choice of the government members.

He stressed that he will deal strictly with the list established by the FFC, which includes three candidates for each ministerial portfolio.

"If I don’t find the (required) criteria I will return (the list) to them," he said.

In line with the matrix established by the parties, Hamdo has to form his cabinet before 28 August as the first cabinet meeting should take place on the first of September.

(ST)