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Sudan’s new state Walis vow to maintain ‘equality without discrimination’

July 28 - 2020 KHARTOUM
Newly appointed civilian state governors take the Oath of Office at the Republican Palace in Khartoum yesterday (SUNA)
Newly appointed civilian state governors take the Oath of Office at the Republican Palace in Khartoum yesterday (SUNA)

Sudan’s new civilian governors (Walis) have vowed to “treat all residents in their states equally with no discrimination.” The governors affirmed their great concern for peoples livelihoods, security issues, and for implementing the principles of the revolution on the ground.

The newly appointed governors took their Oath of Office before the Chairman of the Sovereign Council at the Republican Palace in Khartoum on Monday. In a press statement following the ceremony, the new governors expressed their optimism that “the next phase [of Sudan’s history] will witness more peace and stability so that the Oath is a step towards completing the civilian authority”.

They also voiced their eagerness to fight corruption and the corrupt. Amna El Mekki, the new governor of River Nile state, said that the appointment of civilian governors is an important step that everyone has been waiting for and called on all to cooperate and join forces for a new Sudan.

New governors

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok announced the names of the new civilian state governors. Two of them are women.

The new governors are: Ayman Khalid (Khartoum), Abdallah Ohaj (Red Sea state), Saleh Ammar (Kassala), Suleiman Ali (El Gedaref), El Mahi Suleiman (Sennar), Abdelrahman Noureldayem (Blue Nile state), Hamid El Bashir (South Kordofan), Hamid Abdelrahman (West Kordofan), Khalid Mustafa (North Kordofan), Ismail Warrag (White Nile state), Abdallah Idris (El Gezira), Amna El Mekki (River Nile state), Amal Ezzeldin (Northern State), Mohamed Arabi (North Darfur), Mohamed Eisa (East Darfur), Mousa Mahdi (South Darfur), Adeeb Yousef (Central Darfur), and Mohamed El Doma (West Darfur).

Mixed response

The long-awaited appointment of civilian governors in Sudan has elicited divergent responses in the country.

Large sectors of the Sudanese society welcomed the new walis, considering the replacement of the acting military governors with civilian counterparts as a fulfilment of one of the demands of the Revolution, while a number of states witnessed protests against the selected state rulers.

In Red Sea state, Kassala, El Gedaref, and in North and West Kordofan, political forces and various society groups issued statements welcoming the new governors.

Kassala, El Obeid however witnessed protests against the new governors. The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) expressed its reservation about the partisan quotas used for the selection of the new state governors, and wondered why the criteria and considerations related to the qualifications of the candidates were overruled.

The National Umma Party (NUP), presided over by El Sadig El Mahdi, reacted to the announcement of the new governors, by withdrawing its members from their posts at the state governments.

The Sudanese people expected the acting military governors appointed by the regime of ousted President Al Bashir to be replaced by civilian state managers soon after the formation of the new government.

Yet, in the peace negotiations between the government and the rebel movements that started in September as well, it was agreed that new, civilian governors would only be selected after the signing of a comprehensive peace agreement.

In April this year, the rebel groups in principle agreed on the appointment of civilian state rulers. In early July, the government and the armed movements agreed on replacing three to four federal ministers and two members of the Sovereign Council in favour of the rebels. A final peace agreement is expected to be reached in the coming week.

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