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Sudan: Ambiguity Surrounds Fate of Presidential Offices’ Director | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Taha Osman al-Hussein during his meeting with US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the Arab-Islamic-US summit in Riyadh last month

Khartoum – As the reasons behind the sacking of Sudanese state presidential minister and director of the president’s offices Taha Osman al-Hussein were still unknown, Hatim Hassan Bakhit was sworn in as Hussein’s successor during a ceremony on Thursday in the presence of President Omar al-Bashir.

On Wednesday, the Sudanese president relieved Hussein from his post, amid conflicting reports on the reasons behind the move.

A tweet by one of Bashir’s relatives on Saturday sparked confusion amid the Sudanese people.

“Stormy and dramatic events” will be witnessed in the country in the few coming days, the president’s relative said on his Twitter account.

On Wednesday, Bashir issued a presidential decree appointing Bakhit as state presidential minister and director of the president’s offices. However, the decree didn’t mention whether or not Hussein would retain his ministerial position.

In this regard, a political analyst, who was speaking on condition of anonymity, told Asharq Al-Awsat that all theories on Hussein’s sacking were “mere speculations” that are not based on verified information.

He added that the president and his close aides did not disclose any information regarding the matter, which makes current analyses only assumptions.

The political analyst noted the presence of an organized campaign that “aims to assassinate the official on the political level”.

On the other hand, a source close to the Sudanese presidency said that Hussein has committed a major mistake that led the president to remove him from his post.

Hussein, who is a security general, had been appointed in June 2015 as state presidential minister and director of the president’s offices at the presidential palace and the council of ministers.

Reliable sources said that the Sudanese official, who gained a reputation as being the most influential person within the president’s inner circle, was informed of his removal verbally before he was allowed to leave for Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah.

During the last couple of years, al-Hussein played a pivotal role within the presidency and appeared to be the person behind important decisions especially after the president named him as personal envoy to a number of countries including Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Hussein’s last assignment was his participation in the Arab-Islamic-US Summit in Riyadh last May where he represented Bashir, whose participation was vetoed by Washington.