Sudan’s First VP says he is stepping down

Sudan’s long-time serving First Vice President, Ali Osman Taha, is stepping down to make room for fresh blood in the coming cabinet reshuffle, the local media reports.

Taha, the second man in the power hierarchy in Sudan, has announced he is stepping down from office in the upcoming reshuffle in response to a proposal by President Omar Al-Bashir, according to the independent Al-Rai Al-Aam daily newspaper Friday.

The pro-government daily said the move is to create chance for new faces to lead the country after the present leadership, including Taha, who has remained in power for 24 years.

The newspaper said Taha on Thursday told “a limited group of journalists” that the old guard’s departure from their positions was in compliance with the “desire” of the National Congress Party (NCP).

He advised his audience not to publish statements by “enemies” of the Party misinterpreting the move for their own purposes, stressing that his stepping down was “not due to differences or disputes” among the ruling leadership.

“Change is the mode of life,” Taha said while wishing the new government and the ruling NCP success in their endeavours.

However, there has been no official statement on the new cabinet.

Taha was the lead negotiator in the peace talks with the then south Sudanese rebel movement, the Sudan people’s liberation Army/movement, (SPLA/M), which culminated with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement CPA, 2005, that led, four years later, to the secession of the South and the birth of the newest African Nation, South Sudan, in 2011.