October 2020 Church & State Magazine | AU Bulletin

The transitional government of Sudan is moving to adopt separation of religion and government, a move away from the country’s former practice of Islamic law.        

The country’s prime minister, Abdalla Hamdok, joined Abdel-Aziz al-Hilu, a leader of a rebel group called the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, in signing a statement in Ethiopia in early September that codifies the end of religious rule, reported Bloomberg News.  

“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,” the document reads.  

Sudan is creating a new government after years of rule by Omar al-Bashir, a strongman who seized power in 1989. Bashir installed a severe version of Islamic law and said his goal was to make Sudan the “vanguard of the Islamic world.” Bashir was deposed in a coup in 2019.