New Sudan army chief


Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir replaced the head of the army in a further shake-up of the country’s security establishment.

Kamal Abdalmarouf takes over as army chief following the removal of Emad al-Din Adawi, according to an army spokesman who also announced a series of senior appointments in the armed forces. He said the changes were routine.

Earlier this month, Bashir replaced his head of security, reinstating Salah Abdallah Mohamed Saleh, also known as Salah Gosh, as head of the National Intelligence and Security Service. He helped initiate dialogue with the United States after the September 11 attacks.

Relations between Sudan and the United States improved under President Donald Trump. Trump last year lifted sanctions against Sudan, saying it made progress fighting terrorism and easing humanitarian distress.

He kept Sudan on the US list of state sponsors of terrorism, which carries a ban on weapons sales and restrictions on US aid, according to officials.

Gosh’s appointment was followed by an announcement that more than 80 political prisoners would be released. They were arrested after violent protests against high prices and harsh economic conditions.

When Washington announced an end to sanctions after 20 years, the International Monetary Fund urged Sudan to float its currency as a measure to help its economy recover.

Sudan chose instead to devalue its currency and cut wheat subsidies, sending the pound plummeting on the black market. Bread prices doubled, leading to demonstrations.

Sudan’s economy struggled since the south seceded in 2011, taking with it most oil output.

Bashir remains in power for over 25 years, weathering rebellions, economic crisis and an indictment by the International Criminal Court on suspicion of having orchestrated war crimes in Sudan’s Darfur region.