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Senegal ministers lose jobs in reshuffle

30 October 2012, 13:12

Dakar - Senegalese President Macky Sall kicked out his foreign and interior ministers in a major government reshuffle Monday, just days after admitting "errors" in managing a violent protest against the detention of a religious leader.

Foreign minister Alioune Badara Cisse leaves the government and is replaced by Mankeur Ndiaye, formerly Senegal's ambassador to France.

Retired army General Pathe Seck was named as interior minister, replacing Mbaye Ndiaye who came under heavy criticism over the violent protests by hordes of devout disciples of Cheikh Bethio Thioune last week.

Thioune, a prominent leader of the Mouride brotherhood - one of four Sufi brotherhoods followed in the 95% Muslim nation - was arrested on April 23 after the death of two of his disciples during a brawl at his house the previous evening.

The education, trade, infrastructure, sports and other portfolios were also shuffled.

Among the new arrivals is journalist and writer Abdou Latif Coulibay, who will head up a new ministry for the promotion of good governance and be a government spokesman.

Sports minister El Hadji Malick Gakou was replaced days after national football coach Joseph Koto was sacked over a violence-tainted 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against the Ivory Coast earlier this month.

Senegal were formally disqualified from the 2013 Nations Cup after Ivory Coast players and fans were subjected to a hail of stones, bottles and chairs with fires lit in the stands and firecrackers thrown.

World music icon Youssou Ndour sees the culture brief removed from his culture and tourism portfolio, one of several such tweaks which sees the cabinet expand from 25 ministers to 30.

The reshuffle comes seven months after Sall named Abdoul Mbaye as prime minister.

"We have decided that it is possible to do better," so the reshuffle was carried out to allow for more effective action, Mbaye told reporters.



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