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African Union lifts Sudan suspension after transitional government appointed

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KHARTOUM (Reuters) – The African Union (AU) on Friday lifted its suspension of Sudan’s membership in the bloc, ending a three-month freeze that had been in place pending the installation of a civilian government after the ouster of long-term President Omar al-Bashir.

Sudan’s membership was suspended in June following the violent dispersal of a main protest site in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum during which opposition medics said dozens of people were killed and amidst a standoff between ruling military men and civilian opposition.

But after the military and civilian parties and protest groups signed a three-year power-sharing deal in August, Sudan named Abdallah Hamdok as prime minister. On Thursday Hamdok formed the country’s first Cabinet since April, when Bashir was unseated.

Meeting in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, the AU’s peace and security council on Friday voted to lift Sudan’s suspension, it wrote on its Twitter page.

The Sudanese foreign ministry hailed the decision in a statement on Friday, saying: “(We) use this great occasion to reaffirm our commitment to the goals and objectives of the African Union.”

(Reporting by Alaa Swilam in Cairo and Khalid Abdelaziz in Khartoum, additional reporting by Maggie Fick in Nairobi; Writing by Nadine Awadalla; Eiting by Jonathan Oatis)

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