Sudan’s Transitional Government and Rebel Group Agree to Form Independent National Commission for Religious Freedom

In what appears to be a promising positive change, Sudan’s transitional government and a rebel group that fought against the Muslim-majority country’s longtime authoritarian leader Omar al-Bashir, who was ousted last year, have agreed to form an independent national commission for religious freedom.

As part of the latest round of negotiations between Sudan’s transitional government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (Agar) under the Juba Peace Process, an agreement was reached “to establish a commission for religious freedom to address all issues relating to religious freedom in order to affirm the principle of peaceful coexistence in the country,” the Transitional Sovereign Council said on its Facebook page.

The SPLM-N armed group is based in Sudan’s predominantly Christian South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, which fought against al-Bashir.

“Today we have agreed to establish the religious freedom commission because the Two Areas have a considerable number of Sudanese Christians, so this is an important issue that has been resolved,” the armed group’s Deputy Leader and chief negotiator Yasir Arman was quoted as saying by the U.K.-based group Christianity Solidarity Worldwide.

The two parties have also agreed to create a Ministry for Peace and Human Rights.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has acknowledged improvements in the country’s religious and political atmosphere.

After a visit to that country in February, the commission’s chair, Tony Perkins, expressed optimism.

“We are grateful to Prime Minister Hamdok and other members of the country’s bold transitional leadership who met with USCIRF to convey their explicit desire to bring a new era of openness and inclusivity to their country that suffered for 30 years under brutal and autocratic religious repression,” he said, according to Crux.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Anugrah Kumar