Despite the “Declaration of Principles” that was signed on March 28, 2021 between the head of the Sudanese Sovereignty Council, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan and the President of the Popular Movement North Abdulaziz Al-Hilu, the outcome of the negotiations over secularization in the Sudanese constitution is still uncertain, according to a report. Correspondent to the French magazine Le Point in Khartoum.
It is true that the head of the Transitional Sovereignty Council, al-Burhan, signed on that day a “Declaration of Principles” which provides for the secularization of the state, but this does not mean, according to the report of the correspondent Augustin Bassley, in any way that the matter has become a foregone conclusion, but rather that it depends on what the negotiations will lead to. It will start on May 25 in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.
The correspondent mentioned that the new authorities in Sudan inherited from the rule of ousted President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir laws based largely on Islamic law, but the SPLM led by Al-Hilu stipulated to lay down its arms, separation of religion and state, which she said that the proof, by signing the Declaration of Principles, complied for him.
The correspondent quoted the lawyer for the “Sudanese Human Rights Initiative”, Sharif Ali Muhammad, who is currently writing a thesis on religious freedom in Sudan, as warning that the realization of this declaration “will not be easy,” indicating that it depends on “the army’s readiness to reach a compromise.” .
Al-Sharif explained that this signature conceals a sharp power struggle between the army represented by al-Burhan and the armed militias represented by the second man in power, Commander Muhammad Hamdan Dagalo, nicknamed “Hemedti”, and the civilian-representative Sovereignty Council headed by Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok.
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As for the head of the Christian Education Department at the Nile Theological College in Khartoum, Ghada Angelo, she assured the correspondent that there is no alternative to secularizing Sudan, noting that “the opposition of the soldiers of the old regime to this principle led to the secession of South Sudan [in 2011]”. Angelo believes that the Sudanese politicians should change their position if they are interested in the unity of the country and the interests of the Sudanese nation.
Angelo added that some see this signature as something like a miracle, while this step represented a shock to those close to the former regime who continue to refuse to separate religion and state, which is what this member of the Presbyterian Church regrets.
As for Sharif Ali, he comments on this decision by saying that “Islamists are hostile to a secular state, but they do not represent all citizens who aspire to a civil government, by definition and neutral in matters of religion.”
However, the correspondent recalls a survey conducted on the eve of the Sudanese revolution, in which the Arab Barometer – an independent research network – revealed that more than 6 out of 10 Sudanese said that the legislative system, in their opinion, should be based entirely or to a large extent on Islamic law. .
After this presentation, the correspondence concluded that there are many indications that the road will be long and winding, before the Sudanese constitution stipulates the neutrality of the state “in religion, belief and conscience.”