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What is behind Sudan's cabinet reshuffle?

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Late last week, the Sudanese regime was greatly embarrassed when Dr Abdalla Hamdok, Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, declined to accept the position of finance minister.

Hamdok, a renowned Sudanese economist with a leftist background, was named finance minister by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in the latest reshuffle of his government. His appointment was aimed at winning the good will of international financial institutions and the West and securing support for the ailing Sudanese economy.

After Hamdok's refusal, the position was given temporarily to the new prime minister, Moataz Moussa, al-Bashir's cousin. Two other people who were offered ministerial positions turned them down.

So far al-Bashir's new cabinet, which is meant to take urgent measures to prop Sudan's collapsing economy, has produced only confusion and criticism.

The changes it introduced, including the cutting of ministerial positions from 30 to 21, will not result in any meaningful reforms or usher in any lasting solution for Sudan's political and economic crises.

The reshuffle is simply part of a strategy of political survival al-Bahir is pursuing which is unlikely to succeed.

One of the biggest problems with the new government is that it's almost completely like the old one. The majority of the 21 senior ministers were members of the dissolved cabinet, including the new prime minister, Moussa, who previously served as minister of irrigation and electricity.

General Bakri Hassan Saleh, al-Bashir's long-term confidante, who was prime minister and vice president in the previous government, remains in the position of first deputy to the........

© Al Jazeera