Khartoum ? Sudan?s state news agency says five government ministries will be merged as part of austerity measures that earlier sparked protests.The latest move was approved on Wednesday by President Omar al-Bashir. It reduces the number of cabinet posts from 31 to 26.

Demonstrations erupted when subsidy cuts increased the cost of public transportation and doubled the price of fuel and food. Demonstrators have called for an end to al-Bashir?s 23-year reign. Al-Bashir has explained the need for belt-tightening steps by noting that since the secession of South Sudan, oil revenues have dwindled.

He also pointed to the cost of the ongoing conflict with South Sudan. Al-Bashir has been charged by the International Criminal Court with war crimes over a long conflict in Darfur.

Source : AFP

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