Sudan repeals public order law, moves to dissolve former ruling party

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Sudan’s transitional government has repealed a public order law used to regulate women’s behaviour and moved to dissolve the former ruling government of Omar al-Bashir that introduced the law.

The two measures respond to key demands made by the protest movement that helped overthrow the former president and their implementation is seen as a test of the transitional government’s willingness to implement genuine political change. Rights groups have praised the removal of the public order law while activists say Sudan is on the path to democracy with the dissolution of the former ruling party.

Sudan implements key political changes

Under the rule of former president Omar al-Bashir, a controversial public order law was introduced to impose strict conservative Islamic rules that restricted women’s freedom of dress, movement, work, study and greatly restricted their ability to socialise. Women found guilty of violating the law by, for example, spending time with people who aren’t their husband or immediate family, could be punished with flogging.

Women played a key role in Sudan’s protest movement that helped oust al-Bashir from power and repealing the public order law was a fundamental demand among much of the movement.

Meanwhile, the law to dissolve Bashir’s National Congress Party (NCP) has also been welcomed by the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), which spearheaded the protests against Bashir. A key concern for protest leaders was the potential continuation of the former ruling party and Bashir allies clinging on to power during the transitional period.

Featured image: By U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jesse B. Awalt/Released – DefenseImagery.mil, VIRIN 090131-N-0506A-342, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6058553

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.