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Sudanese state embraces secularism

  • post Type / General news
  • Date / 7 سپتامبر 2020

On 3 September 2020, the Prime Minister of Sudan’s Transitional Government Abdalla Hamdok and Abdel-Aziz al-Hilu, a leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North rebel group, signed a declaration agreeing to separate religion from the state.

The agreement reads:

“For Sudan to become a democratic country where the rights of all citizens are enshrined, the constitution should be based on the principle of ‘separation of religion and state,’ in the absence of which the right to self-determination must be respected.”

Sudan, an Arab republic in which the predominant religion is Islam, has long suffered from severe ethnic strife and has been plagued by internal conflict. Sudan’s long civil war has given the country a poor human rights record, and has led to large numbers of internal displacements within the country. 

Sudan is currently undergoing a political transition, which began in July 2019 with the overthrow of former President Omar al-Bashir, and aims to dismantle some of the hardline Islamist policies of the former regime and achieve peace and democracy through civilian rule. Currently, as part of a power sharing deal between the ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) and the opposition Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) coalition, a 11-member sovereign council composed of six civilians and five military officers has been appointed to govern the country for a 3 year transition period (until 2022).

The move, which ends 30 years of Islamic rule, comes a year after the state entered a political transition following the overthrow of former President Omar al-Bashir. Through a power sharing deal between the ruling Transitional Military Council and the opposition Forces for Freedom and Change coalition, the nation is working to dismantle the hardline Islamist policies of the former regime and achieve peace and democracy through civilian rule. In July 2020, the authorities announced a number of progressive reforms to the penal code, including the abolition of the death penalty for apostasy and the prohibition of female genital mutilation.


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