Sudan, rebel group sign deal on secularism

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KHARTOUM, Sudan

Sudan’s ruling Sovereign Council on Sunday signed a declaration of principles with the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement-North Sector (SPLM-N) on separating religion and state.

The agreement was signed in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, by Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan, chairman of the ruling Sovereign Council, and SPLM-N leader Abdul Aziz Alhilu.

The document calls for separating religion and state, respect of diversity, forming a united army, redistribution of wealth and power and adoption of the federal system.

“The establishment of a civil, democratic, federal state in Sudan, wherein the freedom of religion, belief and worship shall be guaranteed to all Sudanese people by separating the identities of culture, region, ethnicity and religion from the state,” the document reads.

“No religion shall be imposed on anyone and the state shall not adopt any official religion.”

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok and the SPLM-N chairman, whose forces fought in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states, signed a similar declaration of principles in September 2020, but the agreement was not implemented.

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