Sudan’s Bashir says wants dialogue with West as new term starts
Sudan is open to dialogue with Western nations, President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said on Tuesday in an unusually conciliatory message from a leader wanted on genocide charges and whose country suffers under economic sanctions.
Speaking at the start of a new presidential term that extends his quarter century in power, Bashir, 71, also appealed for national unity as he grapples with rebellions and dwindling oil revenues following South Sudan’s 2011 secession.
Sudan has long labored under a raft of U.N. and bilateral sanctions, including from the United States. Bashir also faces charges at the International Criminal Court that he masterminded genocide and other atrocities in his campaign to crush a revolt in the Darfur region. He has denied all the charges.
Sudan’s Bashir changes foreign, defense, oil ministers: state TV
Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir announced a new government with changes to the defense, foreign affairs and oil portfolios, state television said on Saturday, days after the start of his new presidential term.
Mohamed Zayed takes over the oil ministry, while Ibrahim Ghandour becomes Sudan’s top diplomat. Lieutenant-General Mostafa Osman Abeed was appointed acting defense minister, state television said.
The reshuffle could mark a shift for Sudan, which has long labored under a raft of U.N. and bilateral sanctions, including from the United States.
WFP suffers acute shortfall in Sudan’s programme funding
The World Food Programme (WFP) has said that the funding for its cash and voucher assistance is facing a severe shortfall with a complete break in funding anticipated from July onwards.
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) bulletin, the WFP estimates the extent of this funding shortfall at almost $24, 8 million, including $18, 4 million in transfer value for the next six months.
“In response, WFP has already halted a number of expansion plans and will likely cut rations in some locations for the month of June. If no urgent funds are mobilized however, WFP may have to further disrupt the voucher distribution cycle with more extensive ration cuts or even complete suspension of the programme,” the newsletter added.