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Rift Valley Institute

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Sudan Appointment of Veteran Ally Seen Checking Islamist Dissent

Sudanese President Umar al-Bashir’s appointment as vice president of a former military officer who helped him seize power a quarter-century ago strengthens the country’s army against Islamists who may threaten his rule, according to Magdi El Gizouli at the Rift Valley Institute.

The choice of Bakri Hassan Saleh, a lieutenant general who participated in the coup that overthrew Sudan’s democratically elected government in 1989, may also reduce army concern that Sudan could face a succession crisis if Bashir steps down, Gizouli said.

Saleh’s appointment “assures the army that if anything happens this is the man to take over,” Gizouli, a fellow at the Nairobi-based institute, said by phone yesterday from Freiburg, Germany.

Saleh, a former presidential affairs minister, replaces Ali Osman Taha, who signed the 2005 peace deal that ended Sudan’s two-decade civil war. Hasabo Abdel-Rahman, who served as federal governance minister, will be second vice president, Nafie Ali Nafie, deputy chairman of the ruling National Congress Party, or NCP, told reporters in Khartoum yesterday….

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