Gov’t, SPLM-N Agar agree to establish religious freedom body in Sudan


May 22, 2020


By Sudan Tribune


JUBA – The transitional government and the SPLM-N Agar agreed on Thursday to establish a commission tasked with the monitoring of violations of religious freedom in Sudan.

The two parties held a new session of talks via videoconference to end the conflict in the Blue Nile State and South Kordofan.

At the end of the meeting, the deputy chief mediator announced from Juba that the two sides agreed to allocate 40% of the wealth produced in the Two Area during ten years.

Dhieu Matouk further said that the two delegations agreed to establish a religious freedom commission.

“Religious freedom is part of human rights, but due to the importance of this freedom, the two parties have agreed to establish a special commission for religious freedoms,” Matouk said.

“This is an important step to address the root causes of the crisis in the Two Area and entire Sudan,” he added.

The SPLM-N Agar called for the creation of a commission for religious liberty pointing to the religious discrimination practised by the former Islamist regime.

“The establishment of such a body would be a response to the violations of religious freedoms and grants full citizenship to Christians in Sudan,” said Yasir Arman SPLM-N Agar deputy leader and the group’s chief negotiator in statements to Sudan Tribune earlier this month.

Speaking to the media after the meeting Arman highlighted the agreement on the religious freedom body saying they resolved an important issue on Thursday.

He added they called for the establishment of the commission on religious freedoms to render justice to Christians and followers of African traditional religions in Sudan.

“Today we have agreed to establish the religious freedoms commission because the Two Areas have a considerable number of Sudanese Christians, so this is an important issue that has been resolved,” he stressed.

Dhieu said the two sides, still have to reach an agreement on the security arrangements pointing that the only sticking point is the time for the merger of the SPLM-N fighters in the national army.

The SPLM-N Agar proposes four years while the government says nine months are enough to achieve the merger, he added.

According to the deputy chief mediator, the two sides also have to finalize the discussions on the system of governance in the Two Areas as the SPLM-N speaks about ’self-rule’ while the government prefers federal system.

On this point, Arman said they defined the powers of the regional authority and attributions but they only diverge on the whether to call it, self-ruled states or federated states.

However, he showed optimism saying “We are close to reaching an agreement ending the war in the Two Areas and Darfur”.

He recalled that once they are in Sudan, the SPLM-N will work as a political movement advocating for the New Sudan vision. Also, he vowed to work with the political forces and to cooperate with the civilian and military components of the transitional authority.

The government and the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) agreed to sign an initial peace agreement in Juba on 20 June.

Sudan Tribune | Published: May 21, 2020

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