CAIRO — Egypt's military rulers on Monday swore in a Cabinet that includes new faces in key ministries, responding to protesters' demands that the new government be free of stalwarts of ousted President Hosni Mubarak.
The Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Essam Sharaf, a U.S.-educated civil engineer, is expected to be met with the approval of the pro-reform groups that led the 18-day uprising that forced Mubarak to step down Feb. 11.
The caretaker government's main job and challenge will be to help steer the country through reforms and toward free elections.
Among the most significant changes in the Cabinet designed to meet with protesters' demands, Sharaf named a new interior minister. Maj. Gen. Mansour el-Essawy, a former Cairo security chief, replaces Mahmoud Wagdi, who held the post for less than a month. The Interior Ministry is in charge of the security forces.
A new foreign minister and justice minister also were sworn in.
Hundreds of members of Bahrain's Shiite Muslim majority protested outside the U.S. Embassy in the capital, Manama, on Monday to appeal for Washington to back their campaign for greater political freedom. The protesters are staging daily marches in an effort to end what they say are the Sunni royal family's discriminatory policies and political persecution of Shiites.
Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi named an interim government on Monday and a much-hated police unit was disbanded as the interim leadership again sought to stabilize the country after a popular revolt ousted the president.