Sudan’s Bashir names two new vice presidents

Bashir announced on Saturday the resignation of First Vice President Ali Osman Taha

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Sudan’s ruling party on Sunday named as senior vice president a man once dubbed a “sinister” defender of the Islamist revolution which brought President Omar al-Bashir to power.

Bakri Hassan Saleh, a former interior and defense minister, was named first vice-president as Hassabo Mohammed Abdel Rahman became second vice-president, senior party official Rabbie Abdelatti Ebaid told Agence France-Presse.

Saleh was presidential affairs minister in the cabinet which Bashir dismissed last week after the most serious split in years within his ruling National Congress Party (NCP).

Abdel Rahman had been the NCP’s political secretary.

Saleh was a leader of the 1989 Islamist-backed coup which brought Bashir to power, Robert O. Collins wrote in “A History of Modern Sudan”.

He called Saleh “an efficient and sinister defender of the revolution” who was entrusted with rebuilding the country’s intelligence apparatus.

Bashir announced on Saturday the resignation of First Vice President Ali Osman Taha.
“[Osman Taha] resigned to make space for the youth and there are no disputes between us,” Bashir had said during a public appearance.

Taha led the National Islamic Front party which backed the coup that installed Bashir.

He later became first vice-president but stepped aside for former rebel leader John Garang in July 2005, under the terms of the peace deal which eventually led to South Sudan's independence two years ago, according to AFP.

Taha had announced in November that there would be a Cabinet reshuffle in an apparent way to appease protesters who took the streets in large numbers against a government decision to hike fuel prices.

Security forces are believed to have killed more than 200 demonstrators, Amnesty International said, but the government has given a toll of fewer than half that.

(With AFP)

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