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Transitional Council appoints Neemat Abdullah Khair as Sudan’s first female Chief Justice

Sudan has appointed its first female Chief Justice Neemat Abdullah Kheir. Her appointment comes as the country looks to transition into a full democracy. The historic appointment is being celebrated as a progressive step towards gender equality.

Neemat Abdullah Khair was appointed as Sudan’s new Chief Justice making her the first woman in Sudan’s history to hold that position. Sudan’s road to democracy has been arduous, and every new achievement towards freedom and stability is worth celebrating.

With the appointment,  Khair becomes the continent’s fifth female Chief Justices after Ghana’s Sophia Akuffo, Seychelles’ Mathilda Twomey, Ethiopia’s Ashenafi and Lesotho’s Nthomeng Majara.

Kheir has been part of the judiciary, having served as a Supreme Court judge. Her appointment, Sudan News Agency (SUNA) reported, was made in accordance with a decree by the Transitional Sovereign Council (TSC). Tajelsir Al Hibir was named Attorney General. The new wave of appointments by Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok also saw Asma Mohammed Abdalla appointed as Sudan’s first female Foreign Minister.

Khair has been part of the judiciary since the early 1980s and worked in the Court of Appeal, the Court of First Instance, before becoming a judge in the Supreme Court. She founded the Sudanese Judges Club and was part of the protests that eventually led to the overthrow of former President Omar al-Bashir.

Part of Khair’s duties working with the Attorney General includes choosing a Judiciary Council. As Sudan works out its transition from a military rule to a civilian rule, there is hope that the much needed change protested for will come.

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Events in Sudan made global headlines when Sudanese citizens took to the streets to protest against the government of President al-Bashir who was wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity. The large wave of protests which started on the 19th of December in 2018 continued till August of 2019. The protests came to be known as the Sudanese Revolution.

Following protracted talks and negotiations, in August Sudan eventually formed a 11-member Transitional Sovereignty Council as part of a power-sharing agreement between the army and civilian parties and various protest groups.

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