Senegal’s president removes prime minister

DAKAR, Senegal — Senegal’s president has removed his prime minister of about a year and a half and replaced him with the country’s justice minister.

President Macky Sall didn’t disclose a reason in announcing Abdoul Mbaye’s departure on Sunday. The statement issued by a presidential spokesman only said that “the president thanks the outgoing prime minister.”

Later Sunday, the government announced that he would be replaced by Justice Minister Aminata Toure.

Senegal’s president ousted former longtime leader Abdoulaye Wade in a presidential runoff vote in March 2012, and has been tasked with trying to address high levels of unemployment and a rising cost of living.

The newly chosen prime minister told journalists Sunday it would be a difficult task ahead to address those problems amid the global economic downturn.

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