Khartoum(ANN)-Sudan’s Defense Minister Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf has been appointed as the first vice president of the country.

Ibn Auf will take office while remaining as the defense minister, the presidency announced on Saturday, adding that Mohamed Tahir Ayala, the governor of Gezira state, is to be appointed as the new prime minister.

The new appointments came after President Omar al-Bashir declared a one-year nationwide state of emergency on Friday.

Bashir, who has set up a caretaker administration, has replaced all the state governors with military officials.

The country’s dire economic situation has prompted protesters to take part in mass anti-government demonstrations in the past months.

The protests started after food and fuel prices increased and shortages started to plague the country.

The anti-government protesters demand an end to the decades-long rule of Bashir over the country.

Witnesses say police have used live munition to disperse the protesters in some cases.

Earlier this month, Ibn Auf, who previously served as the head of the military intelligence, made an effort to ease tensions by saying that the younger population who participated in the recent protests had “reasonable ambition.”

In November, Bashir said he would support Ayala in the 2020 presidential election if he decided to run.