World / Crime & Legal

Sudan army rulers want to retain Sharia as legal guide

AFP-JIJI

Sudan’s army rulers Tuesday said Islamic law should remain as the guiding principle in a new civilian structure, after protest leaders handed in proposed changes they want enforced but kept silent on Sharia.

The 10-member military council was handed the proposals last week for the new civilian structures protest leaders want.

The military council told reporters that the generals overall agreed to the proposals but had “many reservations.” These included the silence on Islamic Sharia law remaining the bedrock of all laws.

“The declaration failed to mention the sources of legislation, and the Islamic sharia law and tradition should be the source of legislation,” Lt. Gen. Shamseddine Kabbashi, spokesman for the military council, told reporters.

Sudan, under ousted leader Omar al-Bashir, saw Islamic law applied inconsistently, even though the country’s constitution says that Sharia is the guiding principle.

This led to thousands of women being flogged for “indecent behavior,” according to women’s rights activists.

Kabbashi said the military council was also of the opinion that declarations of emergencies be in the hands of a “sovereign” authority and not the cabinet as proposed by protest leaders.

He said the composition of a “sovereign” body has yet to be discussed with the protest leaders.

The military council and protest leaders have differed on the composition of an overall ruling council, with protest leaders demanding it be led by majority civilians and the generals insisting it be a military-led body.

Thousands of protesters meanwhile remain encamped outside the army complex, demanding that the army rulers step down and hand over power to a civilian administration.

The generals took power after the army ousted Bashir on April 11 following months of protests against his iron-fisted rule.

But since then the military council has resisted calls for handing over power to civilians, the main demand of protesters.