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African Union reinstates Sudan as member of bloc after three-month suspension

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THE African Union (AU) has lifted its suspension of Sudan’s membership in the bloc, putting an end to a three-month ban on the country.

The suspension had been in place pending the installation of a civilian-led government after the removal of long-term President Omar al-Bashir in April.

The decision to reinstate Sudan by AU followed the formation of cabinet by the country’s new Prime Minister, Abdalla Hamdok,  as part of a three- year transition power-sharing agreement between Sudan’s military, civilian parties and protest groups.

Sudan’s membership of AU was suspended in June following the violent dispersal of a major protest site in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, during which opposition medics said dozens of people were killed in a standoff between the ruling military council and civilian opposition.

“We use this great occasion to reaffirm our commitment to the goals and objectives of the African Union,” the Sudanese foreign ministry said in a statement on Friday.

The cabinet is expected to steer the daily affairs of the country, while the council has been set up to oversee the transition.

The council will be led by a military figure for the first 21 months, after which leadership will rotate to a civilian for a further 18 months.

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Moussa Faki Mahamat, head of the AU Commission, hailed the newly-announced cabinet, and Sudan’s first-ever female foreign minister, by Hamdok as the “beginning of a new era and a fitting tribute to the determination of the Sudanese people for a new Sudan.”

 

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