Sudan’s prime minister Abdalla Hamdok announced the appointment of civilian governors, including two women, to run the country’s 18 states.
Hamdok made the announcement in a televised news conference in Khartoum. The new civilian governors will replace military governors, a move Sudanese pro-democracy activists have long awaited.
Sudan’s transition to democracy started last year when former president Omar al-Bashir was ousted after nearly three decades in power.
Last month, thousands of Sudanese took to the streets demanding faster reforms.
In his address to the nation, Hamdok said the appointment of civilian governors signals the progress made by the transitional government.
“The appointment of civilian governors at this crucial time is a real beginning of change in the states,” Hamdok said. “We have been talking for the last ten months that there is no change in the states. This is the beginning.”
Aamal Mohammed Izzadeen Osman, governor of the Northern state, and Amna Ahmed Al Mekki, governor of the River Nile state are the two women appointed.
“We have put a lot of efforts as the executive body in consultation with forces for freedom and change to create a situation where women are allowed to be appointed as governors to preserve the balance with regard to women participation and make their participation greatly satisfactory,” Hamdok said.
Esam Iprator, a resident of el-Geneina in West Darfur, said is he pleased with the appointments, but hopes the new governors are ready to address challenges in Sudan's conflict-prone regions.
“There is an issue of social peace, peaceful coexistence and rebuilding social fabric among different communities across Darfuri states,” Iprator said. “So as citizens of Darfur, we welcome the appointment of civilian governors so much.”
Sudanese women played a significant role in the demonstrations that brought an end to Bashir's rule and many protested for representation in the new government.
“Women are starting to contribute to the government, and to be capable of participating in such a big and huge deal, I would say it is a very good start,” said Mwada Al Mubarak, a Khartoum resident. “So, I am very satisfied and happy about it.”