KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - Following are some aspects of the Sudan's new cabinet announced on Monday by the Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok:
Just Five Ministers Have Left
Despite previous talk about a comprehensive reshuffle, we now find out just five ministers have left office. They are: Commerce and Industry Minister Madani Abbas Madani, Culture and Information Minister Faisal Mohammad Salih, Minister of Labor and Social Development Ms. Leena Alshiekh, Minister of Youth and Sports Ms. Wala’a Alboushi and Minister of the Interior, General (Police) Alteraifi Idris, while Minister of the Federal Government Chamber Yousif Aldai has become Minister of Youth and Sports.
But the real reshuffle was in July when seven ministers left the cabinet. They were Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Ibrahim Albadawi, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ms. Asmaa Abdallah, Minister of Agriculture Eisa Osman Alshareef, Energy Minster Aadil Ibrahim and Minister of Health Akram Ali Altoam.
Four Women In The New Cabinet
The issue of women assuming ministerial posts dates back to 1969 when the first woman (Dr, Fatima Abdel Mahmood) was appointed Minister of Social Welfare in the late President Nimeiri government.
And despite the increase in the number of ministerial posts in the new cabinet (up from 20 to 25), yet the number of female ministers remained the same, four women against 21 men. These are in the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Labor, the Federal Government Chamber and Higher Education.
One of these four women ministers, Minister of Higher Education Dr. Entisar Seghairoon has maintained her position in the new government. The new female ministers are: Mariam Alsadiq Almahdi who became Minister of Foreign Affairs, This is the second time that a woman assumes the office of Foreign Minister, after Asmaa Mohammad Abdallah who was relieved in June.
Mariam Almahdi was born in 1965 and graduated with B.Sc. of medicine from the Jordanian University in 1990.
She then obtained a diploma in (child health and tropical medicine from the Liverpool University, Britain.
She also obtained a post – graduate diploma in development and gender issues from the Ahfad Women University in 2006.
Following that she obtained a B.A in law from the Alneelain University in 2013.
Mariam has a rich political legacy, having worked with her father, the late former Prime Minister Sadiq Almahdi, leader of the Umma (nation) party, one of two major political parties in Sudan in terms of following. She is now one of three deputy chairpersons of the party. In addition, she is one of the outstanding females to have taken part in the struggle for freedom against General Bashir’s rule. In this she, during 1996-1999 joined the armed struggle in the ranks of the National Democratic Association that took bases in Eritrea. In 1999 she returned to the country after the Party signed a reconciliation deal with Bashir’s government.
Mariam speaks Arabic, English ‘with awareness’ in French.
Immense jobs await Mariam in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that include the repair of Sudan’s foreign relations, now that Sudan was lifted from the U.S terror sponsors list. Another issue in waiting for her is the thorny issue of normalizing relations with Israel, a move her Party is opposed to on the grounds that Israel is “an Apartheid state” that discriminates against the Palestinians on racial and religious grounds. The move to normalize relations with Israel was led by the military component of the Sovereignty Council (the head of state), in what politicians consider an encroachment of the state council on foreign affairs which is constitutionally the responsibility of the executive.
Buthaina Ibrahim Dinar, who was appointed Minister at the Federal Government Chamber is a lawyer, a graduate of Juba University. She was born in the Nuba Mountains region.
Chairman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement /North Malik Agar said they have nominated Buthaina to occupy the Movement’s only seat in the cabinet in recognition and appreciation of the struggle of Sudanese women, in particular in the war zones and in the areas of displacement and asylum in the Nuba Mountains, South Kordofan, West Kordofan, Darfur and during the December 2018 revolution.
Added Agar: Buthaina’s nomination was also due to her commitment to the New Sudan program. She had joined the Movement at an early stage and after the Naivasha peace agreement she was named chairperson of the Movement’s Caucus in the Northern State during 2006-2010.
Tayseer Alnawrani, the Minister of Labor and Administrative Reform was born in 1965 and graduated with BA in business administration from the Cairo University-Khartoum Branch.
She is a leader in the Ba’ath Arab Socialist Party.
Tayseer is an independent adviser in social gender, development, the integration of gender in the creation of jobs for the youths and women empowerment.
Since the first year of the Bashir Salvation Regime, Tayseer carried the banner of opposition to that regime, continuing that activity after she espoused Kamal Boalad, a leading figure in the Arab Ba’ath Party and also an active member in the central council of the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC).
Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning:
Jibreel Ibrahim, who chairs the Darfuri Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) was appointed minister of finance. Jibreel has a PhD in economics from Japan.
He was born at Altina area of Northern Darfur towards the border with Chad.
He finished his primary and intermediate education in the Altina village and then graduated from the Alfashir Secondary School and then to the University of Khartoum where he studied business administration.
Then he obtained MA and PhD degrees upon scholarship from the University of Miji, Tokyo, Japan in 1987.
He served as assistant professor of economics in the Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University in Saudi Arabia during 1987-1992.
Later on he worked for the Central Bank (the Bank of Sudan) before he migrated to Dubai because he was opposed to the Bashir Government. Then he became adviser of JEM, leading its delegations to the peace talks with the government.
In 2003, he replaced his brother Dr. Khalil Ibrahim (JEM founder), who was killed in an air raid, as the Movement’s Chairman. He speaks English and Japanese.
A tough job is awaiting Dr. Jibreel, due to the poor showing of the country’s economy.
Ministry Of Energy
One of the critical ministries with paramount association with the daily requirements of the citizens is the Ministry of Energy. The country is facing a tough crisis in fuel and energy.
The energy portfolio is being taken by Engineer Jadain Ali Obaid, from the Umma (Nation) Party.
Obaid was born in 1955 and had graduated with B.Sc. in civil engineering from the University of Khartoum in 1980 and obtained an MBA from the Juba University and an M.sc in civil engineering from the University of Wales , UK, in 1987.
He had acquired wide experience in the oil industry through his service in renowned companies both local and international in the areas of infrastructure and constructions.
Ministry Of Health
Another important ministry closely related to the public is the Ministry of Heath that suffered quite a lot under the defunct regime with its known greedy commercial mentality towards the health services in a country whose majority citizens are poor.
The portfolio of health is now the responsibility of Dr. Omar Ahmed Alnajeeb, nominee of the Sudan Call Group. He is member of the Haq Movement, a splinter group of the Sudanese Communist Party.
Dr. Najeeb has served as consultant of occupational health in London, UK, and as associate professor of occupational medicine and environmental health in the University of Manchester, UK.
He has a B.sc of medicine from the University of Khartoum, specialist in bone surgery from the University of Budapest (Hungary) in 1987, M.sc. of occupational health, University of Manchester 2007.
He became member of the Royal College of occupational health (London) in 2008 and fellow of the Royal College of occupational health, London, 2015.
Five Ministers Have To Stay In Office
These are barrister Nasr Eddin Abdelbari, the Minister of Justice Nasr Eddin Mifarrih, the Minister of Religious Affairs and Endowments, Yasir Abbas, the Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources and Entisar Seghayroun, the Minister of Higher Education.
Justice Minister Abdelbari, according to many analysts, has stayed in office thanks to the great breakthrough he had made in the Sudanese American relations that led to Sudan delisted as sponsor of international terrorism.
Minister Mufarrih was acclaimed for his big role in the area of religious freedoms and his great achievements in restoring religious endowments stolen or dissipated by the operatives of the Bashir regime.
Professor Abbas is a distinguished hydrologist and was, in addition, made to stay in office because he is leading the country’s side in the talks with Ethiopia on the controversial Grand Renaissance Dam Ethiopia is building on the Blue Nile.
Dr. Entisar Seghayroon was perhaps allowed to stay in office upon a reported call by 30 universities vice chancellors upon PM Hamdok to keep her in office, for what they consider the successes she scored with respect to stability in the institutions of higher education and scientific research.
Defense Minister, General Yasin Ibrahim has remained in the office he assumed a relatively short time ago upon the passing of former defense Minister Jamal Omar.
The New Government Working Program
Many an analyst now see that academic qualifications alone are not enough for success in running the government portfolios. There is dire need for political willpower and agreement on a practical, clear program bound to a time matrix.
Observers hope this problem can be solved through an agreed upon short program of action revealed by PM Hamdok which will be signed during this week.
The Prime Minister said the program will seek to tackle the economic problems along a unified vision. It will also implement the peace agreements, seek to build balanced external relations, in addition to the achievement of general and transitional justice, doing right to the victims, prevention of impunity, in addition to the reformation of the country’s civilian and military institutions.