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Professional groups back secular state in support of peace in Sudan

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Opening session of the third round of peace talks in Juba on 10 Dec 2019 (Sovereign Council Photo)
May 31, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - A spokesperson for the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) which spearheaded protests that led to the ouster of former President Omer al-Bashir on April 11, said that their support for separating religion from the state aims to promote the peace process.

On Saturday, the SPA announced its support for separating religion from the state. This announcement came in the wake of a declaration by the Sudanese Congress Party (SCoP) expressing its support for the negotiating position of the SPLM-N al-Hilu calling to reaching an agreement on the secular state during the peace talks.

"The SPA’s support for separating religion from the state comes to push the peace process forward," said Samaher al-Mubarak SPA’s spokesperson.

Al-Mubarak added that the step could cause a breakthrough in the peace negotiations with the SPLM-N al-Hilu’s.

"If the trade-off is between peace and separating religion from the state, we will choose peace," she stressed.

The negotiations between the government and the SPLM-N al-Hilu are stalled as the two delegations failed to agree on a declaration of principles.

The SPLM-N al-Hilu demands to include in the agenda of the talks the secular state and the right to self-determination. The government rejected this demand saying the peace talks aim to end the war but these demands can only be discussed at the constitutional conference.

Musab Muhamed Ali, a professor of political science at Neelain University in Khartoum, expected that the move would push the peace process forward because backs the demand of the SPLM-N al-Hilu.

Nonetheless "I think there are other files that could not (be easy to settle) such as the security arrangements, armies merger, power-sharing and wealth distribution," Mohamed Ali told Sudan Tribune.

He further warned that this support could widen the gap between the Forces for Freedom and Change, adding that some forces of the large coalition are keen to discuss this matter in the constitutional conference.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 1 June 10:27, by Kwacha Okonyomoi

    The separation of South Sudan from Sudan came about as a result of the unpopular Sharia Law of 1983 imposed by President Jaafar Mohammed Nimeiry otherwise South Sudan wouldn’t have broken out from our beloved Sudan. To preserve the unity of Sudan, secular State is a must otherwise Southern Kordufan will also break away and will be followed by Blue Nile.

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