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Abdalla Hamdok appointed as Sudan’s new prime minister

Sudan has appointed a new prime minister as the country embarks on a three-year transition to civilian rule.

Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said achieving peace and solving the economic crisis were priorities. His appointment comes as Lt-Gen Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan was sworn in as leader of the new Sovereign Council.

The new government will run the country until an election. There have been months of turbulence including the deaths of dozens of protesters, AFP reported.

The opposition hopes the new appointments will usher in an end to military rule. The crisis began with protests at the end of last year which led to the ousting of Omar al-Bashir after 30 years.

Hamdok was sworn in as transitional prime minister on arrival from Ethiopia, where he has worked as a respected senior economist for the UN since 2011 before stepping down last year.

“The government’s top priorities are to stop the war, build sustainable peace, address the severe economic crisis and build a balanced foreign policy,” he told reporters.

Last year, Hamdok was nominated by Bashir to the job of finance minister, but he turned it down, the AFP news agency reported. The swearing-in of Hamdok and the Sovereign Council marks the first time that Sudan has not been under full military rule since Bashir came to power in a 1989 coup.

The new Sovereign Council replaces the Transitional Military Council (TMC) that took charge after the Islamist ruler was toppled after mass protests. Gen Burhan will lead a group of six civilians and four other military officers as part of a planned 39-month long transition to democracy.

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