Press statement on the unofficial workshop on Relation between Religion and the


Press statement on the unofficial workshop on Relation between Religion and the

The delegations of the Transitional Government and the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement/North held unofficial workshop, in Juba, capital of Republic of South Sudanduring Oct.24 -Nov.1, 2020. on the relation between the religion and the state and issued statement.

The workshop was attended by a number of organizations and national and international experts as facilitators putting on consideration   that Peace negotiations between the two sides stalled due to a disagreement over the issue of separating religion from the state, accompanied by the breakthrough caused by the joint agreement and the joint statement signed between the Prime Minister of the Transitional Government and Commander Abdulaziz Al-Hilu, Chairman of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement - North, on last September 2020 in Addis Ababa The workshop aimed to achieve the objectives of carrying out deep dialogue on the relation of the religion and the state to come out with the experiments of other states on how to deal with the issue of the religion and the state in peace negotiations And constitutional frameworks on the Sudanese political, religious, cultural, social context to reach an Agreement at the end of the workshop on the wording of what expresses the principle of "separating religion from the state" or "the relationship between religion and the state" in the Sudanese context, to be presented as a proposal that could be included in the declaration of principles in the upcoming formal negotiations.

Based on these objectives, the workshop held, where a number of international experts presented important conceptual and theoretical lectures on relation between the religion and the state supported by some comparative experiences from countries with a Muslim majority population, however they implemented  the principle of separation between religion and state, for example, Turkey - Nigeria - Egypt - Indonesia - Senegal - Tajikistan - Azerbaijan – Mali.

 The statement explained that despite the differences in viewpoints of the participants on some terminologies, top of which, “relation between the religion and the state” the spirit of constructive dialogue, mutual respect, frankness and transparency pervaded all the workshop’s deliberations, with a sincere desire to reach understandings on the subject. Thanks to the skill of the facilitators and the depth of experts ’discussion of some of the experiences of comparative countries, all the participants attending the workshop sessions agreed on seven points with regard to the topic of" the relationship between religion and the state "or" separating religion from the state "in the Sudanese context.

The two sides admitted the importance of religion in the life of the Sudanese people with the establishment of the citizenship state that guarantees the values of consensus, rights, freedom, peace, justice, equality and development for all the Sudanese.

The statement which issued by the Advisor of the Prime Minister for Peace Affairs, Prof. Gumaa Kunda Komi  underlined that the constitution should guarantee these rights and freedoms, besides, the protection of the citizens and the groups against any harm or damage.

“ The constitution should unify the Sudanese people by recognizing the religious and ethnic pluralism and the impartial  state should stand at an equal distance from all religions, and guarantee freedom of belief and worship without any coercion” the statement indicated.

The statement concluded that the participant could not reach full agreement on the preamble due to the emergence of sudden disagreement when the Chairman of the government delegation, in the final session, in the presence of the Chairman and the Rapporteur of the Mediation Committee deletion of “separation of the religion from the state and use “relation between the reli