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Archive for September 9, 2019

Newsline: Career diplomat turned Sudan’s first female foreign minister

Asma Mohamed Abdalla, a seasoned diplomat who was sacked decades ago by now ousted leader Omar al-Bashir, has become Sudan’s first female foreign minister as the country transitions to civilian rule. Born in 1946, Abdalla was sworn in on Sunday as a member of the country’s new 18-member cabinet, the first since Bashir was overthrown by the army in April. Bashir, who had seized power in an Islamist-backed coup in 1989, was deposed following months of nationwide protests against his ironfisted rule. Dressed in a white traditional Sudanese tobe and wearing spectacles, Abdalla took the oath as foreign affairs minister at the presidential palace along with 17 other ministers. The swearing-in ceremony was held in the presence of members of the joint civilian-military ruling sovereign council, including its chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan. Abdalla, whose studies were partly in the United States, was one of the first three women to join Sudan’s foreign ministry as a diplomat after graduating from Khartoum University in 1971 with a degree in economics and political science. But she was sacked in 1991 by the then administration of Bashir, who had seized power two years before in a coup. (https://news.yahoo.com/abdalla-career-diplomat-turned-sudans-first-female-foreign-101500987.html) Abdalla’s appointment is part of new Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok’s plan to have a government made up of technocrats and one that reflects gender balance.

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