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Published: Sunday December 8, 2013 MYT 9:30:02 AM
Updated: Sunday December 8, 2013 MYT 9:31:08 AM

Bashir announces resignation of Sudan vice president - state media

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir walks out of a hotel in Abuja July 14, 2013. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir walks out of a hotel in Abuja July 14, 2013. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir announced the resignation of First Vice President Ali Taha on Saturday, state media reported, the first move in a Cabinet reshuffle announced early on Sunday that brought in younger members of the ruling party.

Taha held the country's second-highest political position as first vice president and was the main negotiator of Sudan's Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005 that brought an end to the Sudanese civil war.

"(He) resigned to make space for the youth and there are no conflicts between us," state media quoted Bashir as saying on Saturday.

Taha was replaced by Lieutenant General Bakri Hassan Saleh.

Bashir held a meeting with ruling National Congress Party leaders to approve the Cabinet reshuffle that introduced at least five ministers from the younger generation of the ruling party.

An hour after midnight, an official announced the second vice president as Hasbo Mohamed Abdulrahman and the parliament head as Alfateh Ezziddin.

Ibrahim Ghandour, head of the labour union, was named assistant to the president. Badr El-Din Mahmoud, who was the deputy central bank governor, became finance minister.

Abdel Wahid Youssef replaced former Interior Minister Ibrahim Mahmoud, who is now minister of agriculture. The new oil minister is Mohamed Awad Makawi, former Sudan Railways manager.

Another new minister from the ruling party is Salah Wanasi, who became minister of the presidency. Tahani Abdullah and Altayeb Hassan Badawi were named minister of telecommunications and minister of culture, respectively.

Minister of industry is al-Sameeh al-Seddiq and minister of higher education is Sumaya abu Kashawa.

Taha had announced in November that the government planned to carry out a major Cabinet reshuffle, a move apparently aimed at appeasing protesters after fuel price increases provoked the country's worst unrest in years.

The government cut fuel subsidies to ease a financial crunch aggravated by the secession of oil-producing South Sudan in 2011. Dozens of people were killed and more than 700 arrested when protests erupted after pump prices doubled overnight.

(Reporting by Khaled Abdelaziz; Writing by Asma Alsharif; Editing by Pravin Char and Peter Cooney)

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