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Sudan: Politics and Government

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL1236, tabled on 3 February 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) freedom of religion or belief in Sudan, and (2) security sector reform, since the appointment of Abdalla Hamdok as Prime Minister; and what representations they have made to the government of Sudan about reports that Sudanese nationals have been detained for political reasons when returning to that country.

Answered on

18 February 2020

The UK welcomes commitments by the new civilian government to improve human rights but significant issues remain. Sudan remains a priority country in the UK Annual Human Rights Report with promotion of human rights a key aspect of our engagement with Sudan. There are recent signs of progress on Freedom of Religion or Belief, including institutions observing Christian holidays and Christians being able to attend church services on Sundays. However, we remain concerned by ongoing issues and abuses which I raised with the Sudanese Ambassador on 28 January.

Reforms of the security sector in Sudan were enshrined in the Constitutional Declaration of 17 August 2019. Our Embassy in Khartoum is monitoring developments. Reforms will take time but will form an important part of Sudan's transition to democracy and support of human rights. Progress since the appointment of the civilian-led government includes the disbanding of the operational arm of the General Intelligence Service (formally National Intelligence and Security Services) and reorganisation of the top-level command structures of the Sudanese Armed Forces.

We are concerned by reports of political detainees, have called for their release, and for all detainees to be treated in accordance with international standards. We will continue to engage the Sudanese authorities and civil society on this issue.