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Bashir sacks long-time friend as Sudan vice president

Still powerful? Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has sacked his long-time ally Saleh from the position of first vice president. (AFP PHOTO)

KHARTOUM – President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan on Saturday, February 23 sacked his long-time ally Bakri Hassan Saleh as first vice president, just a day after dissolving his troubled government in the face of nationwide protests.

The Citizen reports that a presidential decree has announced Defence minister Awad Ibnouf to replace Saleh. Saleh took part in the coup that brought Bashir to power three decades ago.

On Friday president Bashir imposed a state of emergency across the country and dissolved the federal and provincial governments in a bid to quell weeks of demonstrations that have rocked his iron-fisted 30-year rule.

Saleh, a key aide to Bashir for decades, previously held several ministerial portfolios including that of interior and defence.

In March 2017 he was appointed prime minister, the first since Bashir seized power in 1989. He was later removed from the post.

Saleh was also an adviser to Bashir on national security and head of the country’s powerful National Intelligence and Security Service in the 1990s.

Related story: Sudan’s Bashir fires all state governors, declares state of emergency

Protests erupted in Sudan in December last year after the Khartoum government decided to cut a vital bread subsidy. The development quickly degenerated into anti-government demonstrations calling for Bashir to leave office.

Reports say more than 30 people have died in protest-related violence.

Protest leaders have dismissed Bashir’s declaration of a state of emergency and pledged to continue with their drive to until Bashir steps down.

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