"Abdalla Hamdok" by Ola A .Alsheikh / CC BY-SA 4.0

Sudan bans FGM and breaks with hardline Islamist policies

Jul 13, 2020

By Jason Burke

Sudan is to ban female genital mutilation (FGM), cancel prohibitions against religious conversion from Islam and permit non-Muslims to consume alcohol in a decisive break with almost four decades of hardline policies under the former Islamist government, its justice minister has said.

The transitional government which took over after the Sudanese autocrat Omar al-Bashir was toppled last year has faced stiff opposition from conservatives who thrived under the former regime but the prime minister, Abdalla Hamdok, appears to have accelerated the pace of reforms following calls from pro-democracy groups for faster change.

Last week the finance, foreign, energy and health ministers were replaced as part of a reshuffle and Sudan’s police chief and his deputy, both seen by pro-democracy groups as close to Bashir’s regime, were also fired.

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