Sudan's Bashir appoints new defence minister: State news agency

Reuters , Sunday 23 Aug 2015

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. (Photo: Reuters)

Sudan appointed a new defence minister on Sunday, the state news agency and a presidential source said, three days after President Omar Hassan al-Bashir proposed a two-month ceasefire with rebels fighting to overthrow his government.

Bashir, who extended his 25-year rule in April when he was re-elected with over 94 percent of votes after most opposition groups boycotted the poll, had only appointed an acting defence minister at the start of his new term.

The new minister, Awad al-Karim Ibnouf, is a retired army lieutenant-general who once served as the head of Sudan's military intelligence agency and later as ambassador to Oman, a presidential source said.

Sudan's government has faced a rebellion in its Darfur region since 2003 and a separate but linked insurgency in Blue Nile and South Kordofan since the secession of South Sudan in 2011. The government has rebuffed opposition and rebel demands to link political negotiations with peace talks.

Bashir on Thursday set Oct. 10 as a date for a new meeting in a national reconciliation process that collapsed in January. He repeated his offer of amnesty for rebels who agreed to put down their arms and join the national dialogue between the government and opposition parties.

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