Sudan

Sudan lifts state of emergency for peaceful future

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KHARTOUM, Jul 10, 2005 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Sudanese President Omar Hassan al- Bashir issued a decree here Sunday, announcing to lift the 16-year- old state of emergency.
The president announced the cancellation in all states except the states of north Darfur,south Darfur, west Darfur, the Red Sea and Kassala in view of security tensions there.

A statement from the presidential palace said that the president issued the decree according to the interim constitution and with an agreement of the First Vice President John Garang, who was ex- southern rebel leader of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM).

The Sudanese government under President al-Bashir and Garang's SPLM signed a peace deal on Jan. 9 in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, putting a final seal on the longest civil war in Africa.

Al-Bashir Sunday also issued a decree relieving all current ministers and state ministers and presidential advisers to pave the way for the formation of an interim national unity government.

A new Sudanese presidential council was sworn-in on Saturday. Al-Bashir was re-sworn-in as the country's president, while Garang was sworn-in as the first-vice president and Ali Othman Mohammed Taha as the second vice president.

According to the new interim constitution signed and approved by the presidential council before the sworn-in ceremony, an interim government of national unity will take office in August.

Garang arrived in the capital Friday afternoon for the first time after two decades of civil war.