Sudan’s Bashir hints at cabinet shakeup

Omar al-Bashir’s speech comes amid the most serious split within his ruling party for years

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An imminent Sudanese government shakeup could be on the cards, President Omar al-Bashir hinted on Saturday in a speech to his National Congress Party (NCP) Shura Council.

“We will soon make changes in the executive and legislative bodies at the federal and state levels,” the Sudanese leader said, according to Agence France-Presse.

His remarks came after the most serious split within his ruling party in years, as well as deadly protests in September over the government’s decision to slash fuel prices.

“Reforms have to come from within party institutions,” Bashir told the Shura Council, although analysts have been skeptical of the NCP’s willingness to consider divergent opinions.

During the September protests, Amnesty International said security forces were believed to have killed more than 200 demonstrators.

Analysts said the spontaneous demonstrations pointed to an urgent need for reform by Bashir’s 24-year regime grappling with wars, internal dissent, economic crisis and international isolation.

In late October, more than 30 prominent NCP reformers announced that they would form a new political party, although they have not yet revealed details of their movement led by ex-presidential adviser Ghazi Salahuddin Atabani, according to AFP.

Later on Saturday, the Shura Council was expected to decide whether to formally expel Atabani and two other leaders of the breakaway group, AFP reports.

The 400-member council meets every six months and is the NCP’s second-highest decision-making group, outside the general congress which is to be held next year.

(With AFP)