KHARTOUM, 30 March 2021 – The interim government of Sudan and a rebel group have signed an agreement accepting the separation of religion from the state.
The “Declaration of Principles” signed on Sunday in the South Sudanese capital, Juba, between Sudan and the rebel faction means talks on a final accord can now begin.
Reaching a consensus is a breakthrough that would now accelerate talks towards a final peace settlement, Aman Amum, the Secretary-General of SPLM-N told the Reuters news agency.
“Sharia law was first imposed in Sudan in 1963, and maintained by the now-deposed president Omar al-Bashir for the duration of his 30-year-long Islamist rule”.
Under the declaration, both parties agree to “the establishment of a civil, democratic federal state in Sudan, wherein, the freedom of religion, the freedom of belief and religious practices and worship shall be guaranteed to all Sudanese people by separating the identities of culture, religion, ethnicity, and religion from the state”.
The declaration falls short of stating that Sudan is a secular state, instead merely stating that no religion shall be imposed on anyone and the state shall not adopt an official religion.