Sudan scraps al-Bashir era law regulating women's lives

Updated: Nov 30, 2019, 08:16 IST | Agencies | Khartoum

Women activists hail decision by the new authorities, which also dissolves autocrat Omar al-Bashir's party that ruled the country for three decades.

An activist says more is needed to be done to end 'a very discriminatory legal framework'. File pic/AFP
An activist says more is needed to be done to end 'a very discriminatory legal framework'. File pic/AFP

Khartoum: Sudan's new authorities on Thursday night ordered that the party of ousted autocrat Omar al-Bashir be dissolved and all its properties be confiscated, heeding the call of protesters whose campaign led to the leader's overthrow.

Bashir and his Islamist National Congress Party (NCP) had ruled the northeast African country since June 30, 1989, before a nationwide protest movement resulted in him being deposed earlier this year.

The transitional government also repealed an al-Bashir era public order law used to regulate women's dress and behaviour. Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok took to Twitter to pay tribute to "women and youth who have endured the atrocities that resulted from the implementation of this law".

Women activists hailed the new government's move to repeal the law that gave authorities power to "literally hunt women". But human rights activist Hala al-Karib told BBC Newsday that more is needed to be done to end "a very discriminatory legal framework".

Meanwhile, analysts said it would be important to observe if the Hamdok government sincerely implements the new measures to end al-Bashir's three decades of oppressive rule, the Guardian reported. Nick Cheeseman, an expert in African politics at Birmingham University, asked, "As ever the question in Sudan is: is this going to be superficial and cosmetic or can the core of the regime remain?"

The country's ruling sovereign council and the cabinet led by Hamdok made the decision to dissolve the party, issuing a law titled "Dismantling of the regime of 30th June 1989". "The NCP is dissolved and its registration is cancelled from the list of political parties in Sudan," the decree said, adding that all its properties and assets would be confiscated.

Hamdok tweeted, "This decision is not revenge, but it aims to preserve the dignity of Sudanese people which was crushed by dishonest people... This decree aims to recover the plundered wealth of the people."

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