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Sudan’s Ansar sect disapproves Hamdok-Hilu agreement

Hamdok and al-Hilu shake hands after signing the Joint Agreement on the peace talks on 3 September 2020 (ST photo)September 11, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - Al-Ansar sect, the religious arm of National Umma Party (NUP) criticized the joint agreement between Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok and SPLM-N leader Abdel Aziz al-Hilu on the relation between religion and the state.

In the Friday sermon, the preacher of the Ansar Mosque in Omdurman, Adam Ahmed Youssef, said the 3 September agreement was "a violation of the transitional government’s mission" which is limited to securing people’s livelihood, dismantling the "Ingaz" regime and preparing for free and fair elections.

Hamdok and al-Hilu agreement provides that Sudan’s future constitution should be "based on the principle of separation of religion and state" otherwise the right to self-determination must be respected.

However, the deal will not be valid if the concerned parties (Forces for Freedom and Change and the military component) did not endorse it. Also, they agreed to discuss the place of the religion in informal consultations before to resume formal negotiations on this respect.

“The mission of the transitional government is limited to a certain number of issues including liquidating the former regime, providing a decent living for citizens, fighting corruption, pursuing corrupt people, recovering stolen money, ensuring a stable purchasing power of the national currency, and finally preparing for free and fair elections," said Youssef.

The statement of the preacher who is the deputy secretary-general of al-Ansar comes in contradiction with a previous statement by the sect leader Sadiq al-Mahdi who voiced his support to the agreement.

"The mechanism established between Hamdok and al-Hilu is sound because it provided to hold informal workshops to discuss contentious issues," he said on 5 September.

According to the transitional constitution, the constitutional conference should take place after the peace agreements with the armed groups. Hamdok in his deal wanted to hold discussions between the parties to the constitutional conference on the religion and state with the rebel group to agree on this issue before to resume peace talks.

Several political forces in Sudan voiced their support to the agreement while the Sudanese Communist signed an agreement with the SPLM-N al-Hilu on the matter.

The military component of the Sovereign Council did not yet voice its position on the agreement, several sources said.