Sudan appoints first female judiciary head to fight corruption

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudan appointed a woman as the head of its judiciary on Thursday for the first time in the history of the Arab Muslim country, the ruling Transitional Sovereignty Council said.

Supreme Court Judge Nemat Abdullah Khair was nominated by the judges’ professional association, which was part of a protest movement that helped oust veteran ruler Omar al-Bashir in April.

Taj-Elsir Ali, a former prosecutor and lawyer, was named as the public prosecutor, a government statement said.

The two judicial officials “will carry out their tasks in addressing corruption cases and other cases”, the sovereignty council member spokesman said in a statement without giving details.

The Sudanese opposition used to accuse the judiciary of being a tool of the Bashir regime to suppress dissent and lock up opposition figures.

Sudan in August formed a 11-member Transitional Sovereignty Council as part of a power-sharing deal between the military and civilian parties and protest groups.

The council, formed of military leaders and civilians, will run the country for a three-year transitional period until elections.

A cabinet was also formed in September, including the country’s first female foreign minister, Asmaa Abdallah.

Reporting by Ali Mirghani and Ahmed Tolba; Writing by Mahmoud Mourad; Editing by Ulf Laessing and Nick Macfie