Sudan Recommits to Religious Liberty in Pact With Holdout Rebels

Sudan made another commitment to separating religion and state as it took a step toward a peace deal with rebels who have waged war in the country’s south since 2011.

A declaration of principles signed Sunday by the head of Sudan’s transitional sovereign council, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and a faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North led by Abdelaziz al-Hilu, calls for a “civil, democratic, federal state.” The country espoused a form of Islamist government under long-time dictator Omar al-Bashir, who was ousted in 2019.

Hilu, whose forces fought in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states, last year signed a similar declaration with Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok as other insurgents joined a broader deal ending their conflicts. The rebel chief also agreed on a road map to an eventual peace agreement at Sunday’s ceremony in Juba, the capital of neighboring South Sudan.

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