The President of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, dissolved the Sudanese government yesterday. Upon the government’s dissolution, Bashir named Motazz Moussa as the country’s new prime minister and tasked him with forming a brand new cabinet to help run the country. Moussa previously served as Sudan’s Minister of Irrigation and Electricity. The prime minister is expected to form a more streamlined 21-member cabinet. This is down from 31.
The president’s intentions were outlined in a statement to press late Sunday night: “President Bashir has informed the high coordination committee of the national dialogue that he has dissolved the government at the presidential and ministerial levels. The decision is part of the austerity measures to overcome the economic difficulties.”
The country’s longstanding economic crisis began shortly after the Sudanese Civil War where South Sudan won their independence and took approximately 75 percent of the country’s oil reserves.
During the war, 2 million people lost their lives from violence, disease and the war-induced famine which followed. The 22-year conflict was marked by numerous human rights violations including slavery and mass killings, which lead to heavy sanctions from the United Nations.
Last year, the United States lifted its sanctions against Sudan. The lifting of the trade sanctions was expected to help turn Sudan’s bad fortune around but with inflation surging to more than 65 percent, the cost of food items have more than doubled over the past year and the Sudanese pound continues to nose-dive against the U.S. dollar.
The reshuffling appears to be welcomed by both government officials and civilians alike. Bashir’s reasoned new approach to leadership could bring about brighter days for a country brought to its knees by a long, bloody war and crippling sanctions.