Sudan’s president removes ICC-wanted minister in a mini cabinet reshuffle

May 7, 2009 (ST)

Sudanese President Omer Hassan Al-Bashir today has reshuffled his cabinet appointing two new ministers and removed the ICC-wanted state minister for humanitarian affairs from his position.

Ahmed Mohamed Haroun was the first Sudanese official indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes in Darfur. The ICC issued its first arrest warrant in May 2007 for Haroun together with a militia commander Ali Mohamed Ali Abdel-Rahman, also known as Ali Kushayb.

In a presidential decree issued this evening Bashir appointed Dr. Abdel-Bagi Al-Jailani as the State Minister at the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs. Haroun is designated as the governor of South Kordofan State.

ICC’s prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo accused Haroun of being the minister in charge of attacks on the villages and the camps. After his appointment at the ministry of humanitarian affairs, Ocampo said he had been appointed in this position to hinder the humanitarian assistance.

The Sudanese government had been subjected to Arab and international pressures to remove Haroun from his ministerial position after the ICC judges issued their arrest warrant against him. However, Bashir involved him in many files and he had been omnipresent on the Sudanese media.

The reshuffle, which dealt with the National Congress Party (NCP) ministers and northern Sudan governors, removed Al-Zubeir Bashir Taha from the ministry of agriculture and replaced him by the former governor of Khartoum state Abdel-Halim Ismail Al-Muaafi. Also Dr. Faisal Hassan Ibarhim is appointed as Minister of Animal Resources taking the position of Mohamed Tahir Abu Kalabeesh.

The Sudanese president further appointed Ms. Halima Hassaballa as the State Minister at the federal Ministry of Education.

Taha, the former agriculture minister, is appointed in accordance with the presidential decree as governor of Gezira State. While the former minister of Animal Resources Abu Kalabeesh is appointed governor of North Kordofan State.

Also Dr. Abdel-Rahman Al-Khidir is appointed as Governor of Khartoum State.


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