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Sudan's Bashir Names New Foreign, Defense, Oil Ministers

  • VOA News

Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir speaks to the crowd after a swearing-in ceremony in Khartoum, June 2, 2015.

Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir speaks to the crowd after a swearing-in ceremony in Khartoum, June 2, 2015.

Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has formed a new government with changes to the defense, foreign affairs and oil portfolios, state television said Saturday.

Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges, was sworn in for a new five-year term Tuesday.

State television reported that Mohamed Zayed would take over the oil ministry, Ibrahim Ghandour will become Sudan's foreign minister and Lieutenant-General Mostafa Osman Abeed has been appointed acting defense minister.

At his inauguration, Bashir, 71, promised to fight corruption, improve the economy and bring relations with the West back to what he called their "natural state."

He also vowed to bring peace to three separate regions where armed groups are fighting to topple his government: Blue Nile, Darfur and Kordofan. The president repeated his offer of total amnesty to any armed rebel who joins peace talks.

Bashir has ruled Sudan for 25 years. The country has been battered not only by armed rebellion but also by international sanctions and the loss of oil revenue when South Sudan gained independence.

The ICC has issued a global arrest warrant for Bashir, who is charged with war crimes and genocide for sending the army and backing Arab militias to put down an armed uprising in Darfur in 2003.

The United Nations said fighting in the impoverished region has killed 300,000 people and created more than 2 million refugees. Most of the victims have been civilians.

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