SUDAN: Government Agrees to Separate Religion and State


KHARTOUM, SEPTEMBER 8, 2020 (CISA) – Sudan’s transitional government has agreed in principle to separate religion and state after 30 years of Islamic rule in the country.

“Sudan is a multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural society. Full recognition and accommodation of these diversities must be affirmed,” stated a declaration of principles signed by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and Abdel-Aziz Adam al-Hilu, leader of the rebel SPLM-North faction, in Addis Ababa September 3 as reported by VOA’s South Sudan in Focus.

“The state shall not establish an official religion. No citizen shall be discriminated against based on their religion,” the document further states.

The two leaders agreed to recognize and respect the country’s diversity.

According to the report by VOA’s South Sudan in Focus, the two sides also agreed to establish informal negotiation workshops to resolve contentious issues such as the right to self-determination of all citizens.

The declaration comes four days after the government initialed a deal in Juba, South Sudan, with a coalition of rebel forces, lifting hopes for an end to conflict in the country.

Hamdok and al-Hilu have said they believe it is necessary to reach a comprehensive and just political solution to all of Sudan’s conflicts, one that addresses the root causes of the crises that have racked the country.

For the past three decades Islam has been the state religion of Sudan with 97% of the population professing Islam.